30-Minute Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls (Bulgogi!)

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Obsessed.  I am truly obsessed with this dinner recipe.  Is it possible to fall in love with a recipe?  If so, this one did it to me.  It’s my 30-Minute Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls.  I love love love my original Korean Beef Tacos recipe, but this one is sooooo much faster to make!  There is no marinating needed. The sauce comes together in just minutes and gets added to the ground beef in the pan for the most intensely perfect flavor. 

The Soy sauce brings salt, the sesame gives nuttiness, the vinegar gives acidity, the brown sugar brings sweetness, and the ginger and garlic bring loads of spice and flavor! 

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowl with sliced radishes fanned out on top and scallion garnish.

RICE BOWLS FOR EASY WEEKNIGHT DINNERS!

Rice bowls, Noodle bowls, Quinoa bowls, Poke bowls, Soup bowls, Salad bowls…they ALL make for an easy weeknight dinner!  I love that you can create your own mix of ingredients when it comes to “bowls” so that everyone is unique and just exactly what you want.  I also love that they can get you and the kids to try new ingredients and flavors.

Here are some links to some of my favorite Bowl Recipes!

These are just ideas, it’s really up to you to have fun with it.  AND, include your kids!  If they help to pick out the ingredients and prepare them, they are more likely to eat them.

To get more easy dinner ideas, check out my 30 Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas.

Spoon with bite of Korean Ground Beef and Rice with bowl below with sliced radishes fanned out on top and scallion garnish.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a large skillet/frying pan to cook the ground beef. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.

It’s also easiest to use a food processor or blender to make the sauce so you don’t have to mince the garlic and ginger by hand. My mini food processor was perfect for the job! 

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR KOREAN GROUND BEEF AND RICE BOWLS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

The steps for prepping ahead are really easy.  Basically, you can prep the sauce, slice the radishes, and cook the rice ahead if you want.

The easiest way to make this sauce is to use a mini food processor.

First peel your ginger by scraping off the skin using a spoon. Rough chop the ginger.

Peel the garlic.  The easiest way to do this is to smash the clove with the side of knife, which loosens the peel so you can simply pull it off. 

Note: if you’re not using a food processor or blender for the sauce, you can use a Garlic Press to mince the garlic cloves use your knife to mince.

Add the garlic cloves, chopped ginger, sugar, food processor. Pulse to get it going and then puree until all chopped up. 

Marinade in food processor for Korean Beef Tacos with flavorful Korean beef, crunchy Sesame Cabbage Slaw and a creamy, cool, Cilantro Lime Sriracha sauce!

Soy sauce added to brown sugar and other ingredients for Korean Ground Beef cooked in a skillet for Korean Beef and Rice Bowls.

Can I use dried garlic and ginger?

Fresh garlic and ginger makes a huge difference in the flavor.  You can buy jars of already minced garlic and ginger to save time.  But if you absolutely cannot get fresh, you could use dried powders.  Use 3 teaspoons of garlic powder and 3 teaspoons of ginger powder.  If you do use powders, there is no need to blend, simply mix with a fork or whisk in a bowl.

COOK YOUR KOREAN GROUND BEEF AND RICE BOWLS 

Start the rice before cooking the beef.  You can also make the rice up to 3 days in advance and simply warm it up again.

Preheat a large pan/skillet on High heat. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook for 5 minutes to brown the meat, then stir in the sliced whites of the scallions. Turn the heat down to medium and add the premade korean sauce to the pan and stir all of the browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. Bring back up to a simmer and stir as it thickens slightly (takes about 5 minutes).

Ground Beef cooked in a skillet for Korean Beef and Rice Bowls.

Korean Ground Beef cooked in a skillet for Korean Beef and Rice Bowls.

To serve, simply scoop the rice into bowls, add a scoop of the Korean beef and sauce on top of the rice, and then garnish with the sliced radishes and scallion greens.

Enjoy!  😍 Carrie

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls with sliced radishes fanned out on top and scallion garnish.
Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls with sliced radishes fanned out on top and scallion garnish.
5 from 1 vote
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30 Minute Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls (Bulgogi)

30-Minute Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls are the perfect weeknight family dinner!  The mouthwatering sauce comes together in just minutes and gets added to the ground beef in the pan for the most intensely perfect flavor.  The Soy sauce brings salt, the sesame gives nuttiness, the vinegar gives acidity, the brown sugar brings sweetness, and the ginger and garlic bring loads of spice and flavor!  Served over rice with with a simple cool and crunchy radish garnish, it's a hearty and delicious dinner! #koreanbeef #easydinnerideas #familydinnerideas #ricebowl #30minutedinners

Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword bulgogi, ground beef, korean beef
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Korean Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup White wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame oil
  • 2 inches Ginger Root (2 tablespoons minced)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (3 teaspoons minced)

Other

  • 1 pound Lean Ground Beef, raised w/o antibiotics
  • 1 cup Radishes
  • 4 Scallions
  • 2 cups White Long Grain Rice, uncooked

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Make your sauce by first peeling your garlic. Then peel your ginger by scraping off the skin using a spoon. Rough chop the ginger. Add the garlic cloves, chopped ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and sesame oil to a mini food processor or blender. Pulse to get it going and then puree until blended.

  2. Clean and thinly slice the radishes. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the greens (used for garnish) from the whites (cook with the beef).

  3. If you really want to get ahead, you can also make the rice up to 3 days ahead (see instruction step below)

Cooking Steps

  1. Make the rice.  Rinse the rice under water in a strainer until the water runs clear.  Add to 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil.  Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. 

  2. Preheat a large (12") pan/skillet on High heat. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook for 5 minutes to brown the meat, then stir in the sliced whites of the scallions.  Turn the heat down to medium and add the premade korean sauce to the pan and stir all of the browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. Bring back up to a simmer and stir as it thickens slightly (takes about 5 minutes).

    Korean Ground Beef cooked in a skillet for Korean Beef and Rice Bowls.
  3. To serve, simply scoop the rice into bowls, add a scoop of the Korean beef and sauce on top of the rice, and then garnish with the sliced radishes and scallion greens.

    Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowl with sliced radishes fanned out on top and scallion garnish.

Easiest Ground Beef Empanadas

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Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan.  Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

What’s not to love about Empanadas?  They are little savory pastry pockets of love!  These Ground Beef Empanadas recipe is the absolute easiest way to make these babies at home!  Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  You can make them all ahead and freeze so you can later bake them off one by one as a snack or all at once for dinner or a party!  And incredibly easy to make with only a few steps.  

These Ground Beef Empanadas are also a great way to use leftover ground beef from Taco night or leftover burgers.  Click here to get 30 Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas to give you even more ideas like this.

Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Apps for Dinner

Every once in a while we have a Smorgasbord dinner in my family.  It’s where I serve a bunch of appetizers across protein, veggie, and other categories.  ‘Other’ is just whatever we are craving or have in the house that’s fun and yummy. 

These Ground Beef Empanadas are perfect for filling the Protein category in a Smorgasbord Dinner!  Other proteins that I may include are my Baked Chicken Taquitos or my Hanky Panky Canapes (Cheesy Sausage & Meat).  My Baked Coconut Shrimp would also be perfect!

For the Veggie category, I will typically cut up some raw veggies and serve with a dip, such as my Sriracha Hummus or Pimento Olive Ranch Dip.  Other great veggie appetizers are my Baked Parmesan Zucchini Chips or my Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites (yep, just like the shrimp, but with cauliflower!)

The ‘Other’ category includes things like cheese and crackers, chips and guacamole, or other fun nibbles.  Include things you love and make it fun!

Making Ground Beef Empanadas - crust rounds with filling in center, beef filling in dish, and empanada on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) and a 4 3/4 inch diameter circle for cutting the empanadas from the dough. You could use a plastic lid, and large circle biscuit cutter or anything really that you can run a knife around to cut the dough.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR GROUND BEEF EMPANADAS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

One of the best things about these Ground Beef Empanadas is that they can be made ahead and frozen before baking them.  They will last in your freezer for up to 4 months!  Here are the easy steps.

First, buy a good quality ready-to-bake pie crust dough.  I like Immaculate Pie Crusts, which are not overly sweet.

Making Ground Beef Empanadas - pie crust dough roll, beef filling in dish. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Mince the garlic. Thinly slice the scallions. Beat the egg in a small bowl.

Next make the ground beef filling.  I used a 90% lean ground beef without antibiotics.  Simply sear the beef with 2 minced cloves garlic, 2 sliced scallions, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper.

Ground Beef in pan with seasonings for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

ASSEMBLE YOUR EMPANADAS

Roll the dough out onto a large smooth, clean and floured surface. Using a Rolling pin, roll it even thinner to spread it out to about 15-16″ in length and 11″ in width. If it breaks as you open or roll it, simply patch it back up together. Lift it up to ensure it isn’t sticking to the surface.

Using a lid or large biscuit cutter about 4 3/4″ in diameter, cut circles into the dough. When you run out of space, roll out the scraps again after you make the first batch. You should get about 8 empanadas from each pie crust.

Circles cut into dough for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Take the cooled beef filling and add a heaping spoonful to the center of each circle, creating a tall mound that leaves about 3/4″ space from filling to edge.

Pie crust dough circles with beef filling in center for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Using your finger or small pastry brush, brush a small amount of the beaten egg around the outer edge of the right half of the circle.

Using both hands, carefully fold over one side using the other hand to push the filling inside away from the edge so that you get dough on dough to seal. Push down to seal with fingers. Then use a fork to crimp around the edge.

Brushing milk around dough with finger for Ground Beef Empanada closed. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Hand pressing Ground Beef Empanada closed. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Fork pressing edges around Ground Beef Empanada. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Place each empanada on an oiled sheet pan. Brush the tops with the egg and then give a very light sprinkle of chili powder. Now, either bake them (see below) or place the sheet pan in the freezer and then transfer the empanadas to a storage container after frozen.Hand sprinkling chili powder on Ground Beef Empanada. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Raw Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Raw Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan in freezer. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

COOK YOUR GROUND BEEF EMPANADAS 

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.  Place the empanadas (fresh or frozen) on an oiled sheet pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling. Hand holding a Ground Beef Empanada with more on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Hands holding a Ground Beef Empanada with more on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

 

Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
5 from 2 votes
Print

Easiest Ground Beef Empanadas

These Ground Beef Empanadas are delicious and easy to make!  Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling. Simply start with ready-to-bake pie crust dough, cut out circles, make the filling with lean ground beef, then fill, fold, and seal! You can freeze them up to 4 months or bake immediately and enjoy! #empanadas #appetizers #easydinners #easyrecipes #beefempanadas

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword empanadas, ground beef
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Filling Cooling Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 Empanadas
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 Ready-to-Bake Pie Crust Rolls (thaw in fridge the night before if frozen)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef, 90% Lean no antibiotics
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil (1 for making filling, 1 for baking the empanadas)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 Scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg, large

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Set the pie crust dough out on the counter (unopened) to bring to room temperature.

  2. Mince the garlic. Thinly slice the scallions. Beat the egg in a small bowl.

  3. Make the ground beef filling by first preheating a medium-large pan on high heat. Add 1 tsp Olive Oil, then the ground beef. Break up the beef and add the minced cloves garlic, sliced scallions, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and a touch of cayenne (optional).  Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool in the fridge.

    Ground Beef in pan with seasonings for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a large smooth, clean and floured surface. Using a Rolling pin, roll it even thinner to spread it out to about 15-16" in length and 11" in width. If it breaks as you open or roll it, simply patch it back up together. Lift it up to ensure it isn't sticking to the surface.

  5. Using a lid or large biscuit cutter about 4 3/4" in diameter, cut circles into the dough. When you run out of space, roll out the scraps again after you make the first batch. You should get about 8 empanadas from each pie crust.

    Circles cut into dough for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  6. Take the cooled beef filling and add a heaping spoonful to the center of each circle, creating a tall mound that leaves about 3/4" space from filling to edge.

    Pie crust dough circles with beef filling in center for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  7. Using your finger or small pastry brush, brush a small amount of the beaten egg around the outer edge of the right half of the circle.

    Brushing milk around dough with finger for Ground Beef Empanada closed. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  8. Using both hands, carefully fold over one side using the other hand to push the filling inside away from the edge so that you get dough on dough to seal. Push down to seal with fingers. Then use a fork to crimp around the edge.

    Fork pressing edges around Ground Beef Empanada. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  9. Place each empanada on an oiled sheet pan. Brush the tops with the egg and then give a very light sprinkle of chili powder. Now, either bake them (see below) or place the sheet pan in the freezer and then transfer the empanadas to a storage container after frozen.

    Raw Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan in freezer. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Bake your Empanadas

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees

  2. Place the empanadas (fresh or frozen) on an oiled sheet pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

    Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.