Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli

$6.55 recipe / $1.63 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.69 from 48 votes
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Have you ever tried Garlic Noodles? They’re a super rich, buttery, salty-sweet, umami filled dream. I usually serve them as a side dish, but this week I decided to just go ahead and turn them into a full meal. Because it’s so much easier to just cook just one dish for dinner than a main and two sides. Ammiright? So, to make dinner a little easier, I give you Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli!

Two black plates of Garlic Noodles with Beef and broccoli next to the pan and a bowl of sliced green onions.

What is Oyster Sauce?

This recipe revolves around one ingredient—oyster sauce. It’s a thick, rich, salty sauce that packs a huge umami punch. But don’t worry, this sauce doesn’t taste fishy at all. It’s just salty, rich, and good. You can find oyster sauce in the international aisle of most major grocery stores, near the other Southeast Asian ingredients. It’s usually fairy inexpensive, but you’ll be able to get an even better deal if you go to an Asian market. Scroll down to the step by step photos below the recipe to see the kind of oyster sauce I used.

Can I use Hoisin Sauce Instead?

I’ve had several people comment on my original Garlic Noodles recipe stating that they have used hoisin sauce in place of the oyster sauce and enjoyed the results, but I have not tried this swap myself. While the two sauces are similar in color and consistency, they differ quite a bit in flavor. Hoisin sauce is much sweeter and not nearly as rich, so your end results will definitely be different.

Can I Freeze Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli?

I wouldn’t suggest this dish for freezing, as the sauce would probably absorb into the noodles and become dry.

Is This Recipe Spicy?

No. The Garlic Noodles themselves are not spicy at all (I often suggest them as a non-spicy alternative to my Dragon Noodles), but if you top them with red pepper flakes, as I did, you will get some heat. If you prefer a totally non-spicy dish, simply skip the crushed red pepper flakes at the end.

Close up of a fork twirling some Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli on a black plate
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Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli

4.69 from 48 votes
Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli is a quick and easy all-in-one bowl dinner recipe with a rich, buttery, salty, and sweet sauce.
Close up of a fork twirling some Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli on a black plate
Servings 4
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp oyster sauce ($0.40)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.12)
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.12)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil* ($0.30)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef ($2.65)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 1/2 lb. frozen broccoli florets ($1.30)
  • 8 oz. spaghetti ($0.55)
  • 4 green onions ($0.40)
  • 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes ($0.05)

Instructions 

  • Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a bowl (microwave for about 20 seconds) then add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Stir to combine, then set the sauce aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, add the spaghetti and continue to boil until the spaghetti is tender (about 7 minutes). Drain the spaghetti in a colander.
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, begin the beef and broccoli. Add the remaining tablespoon butter to a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the ground beef and continue to cook over medium heat until the beef is cooked through (5-7 minutes). If you're using a higher fat content beef, drain the fat before moving onto the next step (I used 10% fat and there wasn't enough to drain).
  • While the beef is cooking, mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the skillet with the browned beef and continue to cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes more, or until the garlic has softened slightly.
  • Add the frozen broccoli florets to the skillet with the beef and garlic. Continue to sauté over medium heat just until the broccoli is no longer frozen. The broccoli will continue to cook in the next steps, so it does not need to be completely heated through at this point.
  • Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta and the prepared sauce to the skillet with the beef and broccoli. Continue to cook and stir until everything is combined, coated in sauce, and heated through.
  • Slice the green onions and sprinkle over top just before serving, along with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

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Notes

*Toasted sesame oil does not always have the word “toasted” on the label. Look for sesame oil that is deep brown in color, not a light straw color. Toasted sesame oil has a much stronger, nutty flavor compared to regular sesame oil. Scroll down to the step by step photos to see the kind I used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 555.85kcalCarbohydrates: 60.28gProtein: 14.95gFat: 28.08gSodium: 1031.63mgFiber: 4.33g
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Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

Close up of Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli in the skillet

How to Make Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli – Step by Step Photos

Prepared oyster sauce mixture in the bowl

Begin by preparing the sauce. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a bowl, then add ¼ cup oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp sesame oil. Stir to combine. Set the sauce aside.

Bottle of oyster sauce

This is the bottle of oyster sauce I used. It’s very inexpensive and can be found at most major grocery stores in the International aisle, although you’ll probably get a better deal (and better product) if you go to an Asian grocery store.

Toasted sesame oil

And this is the toasted sesame oil I used (from ALDI). Toasted sesame oil can also often be found in the International foods aisle. Don’t confuse this with untoasted sesame oil, which has a much more mild flavor and a light straw color. Once you start using this super potent nutty oil, you’ll want to add it to everything!

Cooked Spaghetti

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the spaghetti. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes). Drain the spaghetti in a colander.

Browned beef and minced garlic in a skillet

While the spaghetti is cooking, you can prepare the rest of the dish. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once melted, add ½ lb. ground beef and continue to cook until the beef is cooked through. If you’re using a higher fat content beef, drain the excess fat. Mince 4 cloves garlic, then add them to the browned beef and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more.

Frozen broccoli added to the skillet with beef

Add ½ lb. frozen broccoli florets to the skillet and continue to cook over medium just until the broccoli is no longer frozen. The broccoli will continue to cook in the next steps, so no need to cook to the point where it is heated through here. Just cook until it is no longer frozen.

Spaghetti and sauce added to the skillet with beef and broccoli

By this point the spaghetti should be finished and drained. Add the drained spaghetti to the skillet along with the prepared sauce. Continue to cook and stir everything over medium heat until everything is combined, coated in sauce, and heated through.

Finished Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli in the skillet

Slice four green onions and sprinkle over top just before serving. If you like a little spiciness, add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes on top as well.

Two plates of Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli next to a bottle of oyster sauce and a small bowl of sliced green onions

Enjoy that big ol’ plate of rich noodles!!

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  1. This has become my go-to for “I have thawed ground beef and limited brainpower for making dinner” evenings. As usual, the original Budget Bytes recipe is a great foundation for adjustments.

    My general rules of thumb for BB are: double the sauce ingredients, double the seasonings, and halve or eliminate the sugar (oyster sauce is plenty sweet enough for my taste). I do that every time I make this and love it. Sometimes add a dash of fish sauce or rice vinegar or sriracha.

    What makes no sense to me is browning ground beef in butter, especially if you end up draining the fat anyway. I skip the butter then and add it with the sauce later.

  2. This was good. I added msg to bump the flavor a bit, but I still feel like it’s missing a little something. I’ll make this again when I’m low on time or my kids ask specifically for this. I may add a splash of rice vinegar next time.

  3. This was Devine!! Even husband approved!! I cut the pasta in half and used some palm heart noodles I made in a small pot – then I mixed the sauce in with the beef and broccoli, and then divided that mixture between the two pots of pasta/palm hearts. To increase the vegetables in the dish for myself I served this over a bed of fresh baby spinach, and it was so delicious! I love the little crunch and the heat from the dish wilted it some as well. I added it to the list of A+ meals to make again! Thanks for another winner!

  4. I stole off with this sauce recipe for a different stirfry I was making, but gotta come back here to the page I found it on to pay respects. ABSOLUTE BANGER OF A SAUCE. made for possibly the best stirfry of my life. Thank you so much.

  5. This is perfect comfort food. I used frozen beans and chopped up some fresh cabbage to saute with the beef. Turned out delicious. Will make again.

  6. Wow was this good! I upped the recipe by 50% and the three of us still ate every last noodle. Definitely going into the weekly rotation

  7. I’ve made this twice, and the second time I added ginger and topped with sriracha and lime. I would definitely recommend the lime for acidity!

  8. This recipe sounds delish! I’d like to try it next week, but I’m allergic to shellfish so I’m afraid I’ll have to skip the oyster sauce. I saw that some people were subbing hoisin sauce, but you said it’s much sweeter which doesn’t sound like something I would like. Is there any other alternative you can recommend? Would soy sauce be good in this recipe? Thanks!

    1. I would say substituting with soy sauce will work out just fine! (Hoisin sauce is a lot sweeter, but I’m sure is also good.) You could also try fish sauce, but I would check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain any traces of shellfish. Another option is Worcestershire sauce, which is made with anchovies, and fairly similar to fish sauce — or a combination of Worcestershire and soy sauce! ~ Marion :)

    2. I know you left this comment a while ago but I wasn’t sure if you knew that they make a vegetarian mushroom sauce that is a much better replacement for oyster sauce than hoison is. Sometimes the bottle will say vegetarian oyster sauce and other times it will say mushroom oyster sauce in both instances it actually doesn’t have oysters in it. I hope you find this helpful. My son has a shellfish allergy so I know how it can be.

  9. I cook this at least once a month. It’s so fast and easy, and it accepts all sorts of odds and ends from the fridge. I’ve added tofu, mushrooms, cabbage, bean sprouts… It all works. With small reductions in the amounts of butter and sugar it’s surprisingly macro-friendly for those who care about that.

  10. Super easy and tasty! We don’t use beef, so I subbed in ground pork. Plus we wanted more spice, so I added Sirracha. Yum.

  11. This dish is so delicious and simple. I made it with beyond beef and linguini and it turned out wonderful. This sauce is so delectable. Yum yum YUM!