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Korean Style Ground Beef & Spinach Rice Bowls

So full of flavor, these Korean Style Ground Beef & Spinach Rice Bowls just take 30 minutes to throw together — a great choice for any busy weeknight!

Do you guys ever do this? Sometimes I just take a pack of meat out to thaw and then decide what to make with it later. After a very chicken-heavy week it seemed time to mix things up with a little ground beef — and since I’ve also been dealing with this lovely upper respiratory/sinus thing all week, it also seemed time for a little spice.

Although my first thought on a cold day was chili, I also wanted to incorporate some baby spinach… so eventually landed on the idea for these Korean Style Ground Beef & Spinach Rice Bowls.

A bowl of Korean style ground beef & spinach with egg

This basic recipe for Korean ground beef and rice bowls is floating around in a virtually identical format on multiple sites, but it looked a little too sugary for me — so I decided to mash it up with the recipe for bibimbap over on Budget Bytes to create my own take on Korean ground beef & spinach rice bowls. I used chili garlic sauce (because again, I wanted mine on the slightly spicier side), but you could also use Gochujang or Sriracha to good effect. Top everything off with a runny fried or soft-boiled egg, and you have yourself some comfort food in a bowl!

This week’s Sunday Scratchups recipe from scratch around grocery sales and affordable ingredients is a budget-friendly, all-in-one, 30-minute meal idea, using just one pound of ground beef to feed four (when bulked up with the rice, eggs, and spinach). And if you want to substitute a bag of cheaper regular spinach for the baby spinach — or maybe use a different vegetable, such as broccoli? Go for it; this recipe is just begging to be messed with. 😉

Korean Style Ground Beef & Spinach Rice Bowls

ground beef & spinach rice bowls ingredients

– for the rice

2-3 cups cooked rice (any kind — I made a pot of Jasmati; or this is a great use for any leftover cooked rice!)

– for the spinach

1 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
5 oz fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

– for the beef — *See note

1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp Gochujang, Sriracha, or chili garlic sauce

– to top

4 large eggs
Canola oil (for frying eggs)
4 green onions, chopped

Directions

sauteed spinach

I spy with my little eye through my blue glass bowl…!

Start rice cooking (if not using leftover rice). Heat canola and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering and swirl to coat the pan, then add garlic and saute for just a few seconds. Add spinach and crushed red pepper, then continue sauteing over medium heat until spinach is wilted and dark green, stirring occasionally. Remove cooked spinach from the pan to a separate bowl.

browned beef

Add ground beef to the same pan you used for the spinach, brown and crumble it over medium-high heat until cooked through, then drain. Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and Gochujang. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir, and simmer for another couple of minutes to blend the flavors.

Mixed up ground beef & spinach rice bowl

While finishing up your beef, fry four eggs sunny side up in a little canola oil in a separate pan. Divide cooked rice evenly among four bowls and top each bowl with beef, spinach, egg, and green onions. Mix up your bowls and enjoy.

Serve with additional Gochujang, Sriracha, or chili garlic sauce, if desired.

Note: Adjust proportions on the soy sauce, brown sugar, and spicy sauce to taste depending on if you prefer your beef spicier, sweeter, or saltier. Note also that Gochujang and Sriracha have an underlying sweetness, while chili garlic sauce does not.

This Korean ground beef bowls are such an easy weeknight dinner idea…

30 minute ground beef & spinach rice bowls

So much flavor, and so satisfying! These Korean style ground beef & spinach rice bowls make for a super easy weeknight dinner that can be on your table in about 30 minutes, and a nice alternative to common ground beef dinner staples like tacos, spaghetti, or chili. You can also easily make them gluten free by substituting gluten free soy sauce or tamari.

A note on ingredients: If you usually shop ALDI and/or follow my ALDI meal plans, you’ll know that ALDI carries neither sesame oil nor chili garlic sauce (although they do sometimes stock Gochujang and Sriracha). UPDATE: ALDI now carries toasted sesame oil a few times a year, so stock up when they have it! 🙂

Both of these are great ingredients to have handy in your pantry, however; they last forever, and just a little bit of either adds so much flavor to any number of dinners. Pick up your chili garlic sauce and sesame oil at a larger grocery store, produce store, or even at Target or Walmart. See more here on suggested pantry staples.

Korean Style Ground Beef & Spinach Rice Bowls, printable recipe

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5 from 12 votes

Korean Style Ground Beef & Spinach Rice Bowls

This flavorful, budget-friendly, all-in-one, 30-minute meal idea uses just one pound of ground beef to feed four (when bulked up with the rice, eggs, and spinach).
Course dinner
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

– for the rice

  • 2-3 cups cooked rice (any kind — I made a pot of Jasmati; or this is a great use for any leftover cooked rice!)

– for the spinach

  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
  • 5 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

– for the beef — *See note

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang, Sriracha, or chili garlic sauce

– to top

  • 4 large eggs
  • Canola oil (for frying eggs)
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Instructions

  • Start rice cooking (if not using leftover rice). 
  • Heat canola and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering and swirl to coat the pan, then add garlic and saute for just a few seconds. Add spinach and crushed red pepper, then continue sauteing over medium heat until spinach is wilted and dark green, stirring occasionally. Remove cooked spinach from the pan to a separate bowl.
  • Add ground beef to the same pan you used for the spinach, brown and crumble it over medium-high heat until cooked through, then drain. 
  • Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and Gochujang. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir, and simmer for another couple of minutes to blend the flavors.
  • While finishing up your beef, fry four eggs sunny side up in a little canola oil in a separate pan. 
  • Divide cooked rice evenly among four bowls and top each bowl with beef, spinach, egg, and green onions. Mix up your bowls and enjoy.
  • Serve with additional Gochujang, Sriracha, or chili garlic sauce, if desired.

Notes

Adjust proportions on the soy sauce, brown sugar, and spicy sauce to taste depending on if you prefer your beef spicier, sweeter, or saltier. Note also that Gochujang and Sriracha have an underlying sweetness, while chili garlic sauce does not.

Recipes in the real world

weekly ALDI meal plans from Mashup Mom -- six complete dinners for four, $60 out the door! MashupMom.com, every Wednesday.

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Recipe Rating




Jan Wishau

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

Hi Rachel, I stumbled upon your Korean dish as I'm trying to get rid of fresh spinach. I was surprised when I saw your name. I was an avid follower of yours years ago when you use to do couponing. Glad to see you are still The Mashup Mom. Merry Christmas

Nerak

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Loved this!! I googled ground beef and spinach recipe and landed here. My fresh spinach reduced to almost nothing so I added a can of artichokes. I only had regular oil. And I used sweet chili sauce. This was fast and a huge hit. Gonna make this vegetarian-style next so my daughter will also love it. Yum yum !!

Sonja

Tuesday 18th of May 2021

I can't count the number of times i heard, "this is so good! ' and 'you've got tti make this again, next week!' within a couple minutes of sitting down to eat. I did add a diced onion as the hamburger was cooking.

Emma

Sunday 17th of January 2021

So delicious! I added a couple Serrano peppers sliced thinly. I will have leftovers in lettuce wraps - yum!

Nicole

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

This recipe is fantastic. I was out of brown sugar so used honey. Even my pickiest eater gobbled this down.

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