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Thai Basil Beef Skillet

I am personally a really big fan of skillet meals. Grab some veggies and protein from the fridge, add a few seasoning components, throw it in a skillet, and dinner is done. What’s better than that? It’s a complete meal in practically no time at all and there’s only one dish to clean up. I also love how versatile they are; you can switch up your herbs and spices for an entirely different flavor. That being said, I love this particular combo. With fragrant basil, plenty of garlic, and just enough Thai chili heat, it always satisfies.

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This skillet takes just 20 minutes and is full of bright Thai flavor. While we’ve used beef here, you can use pretty much any ground meat, so feel free to swap in some ground turkey if you’re looking to lighten things up. Likewise, you can toss in some sliced zucchini or extra bell pepper as a way to sneak some more veggies into your diet.

It’s as simple as sauteeing a few things together. You start by cooking the beef and onions until the meat has cooked through and the onions have softened, and then you toss in some bell pepper, garlic, and chilies, and cook for just a minute or two until their aroma wafts through the kitchen. While we’ve used one little chili, you can totally up the quantity there if you can handle some heat!

The sauce comes together even quicker – a little soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice go in and coat everything in a delicious salty-sweetness. The finishing touch – and the main flavor component of this dish – is the fragrant Thai basil, which gets stirred in last just in time to wilt a bit. If you can’t find Thai basil, common basil works just as well, and you’ll still end up with a quick and vibrant dish that adds an effortless deliciousness to any busy weeknight.

Thai Basil Beef Skillet

20 minutes to prepare serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 birds eye chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 cup Thai basil
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
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Preparation

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and onion until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add red pepper, garlic, and chilies, and cook until fragrant, about 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and zest, and basil, and cook until basil starts to wilt, about 1 minute.
  4. Garnish with green onion and serve over rice. Enjoy!
  5. Note: Can sub sriracha sauce for chilies if desired.

Adapted from Closet Cooking.

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