Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

I get SO MANY awesome ideas from the wonderfully creative minds of my readers. You offer so much inspiration, expertise, and ideas, which makes blogging so much fun. :) One reader shared with me recently that she put a southwest spin on my classic Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. I was so in love with that idea that I had to try it myself. I’m happy to report that this Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a tasty way to change things up if and when you get tired of Asian flavors. It’s just as easy and delicious as the original… ‘cept different. ;)

And I regret to say that I can’t find the original comment where the idea for a Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry was shared with me (was it on Facebook? Instagram? An email? I can’t find it!) to thank you personally here, so if you’re reading this, THANK YOU.

Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

A skillet full of Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry with taco sauce drizzled over top

Keep it Simple or Jazz it Up!

I kept this Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry very simple to make the preparation easy, but you could go a little further and add things like sliced black olives or even some crispy tortilla strips. I think thin little crunchy tortilla strips would be an amazing texture addition to this stir fry (add after cooking). A few thinly sliced fresh jalapeños would also be amazing on top for those of you who like things spicy (hi, me!). You can really go crazy with this one and top it with just about anything that you like on tacos or taco salad.

But Dont’ Make Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry Without These…

The two things that I think wouldn’t skip, though, are the taco sauce and green onions. That tangy taco sauce really brightens the flavors and adds another dimension that takes the dish up about ten levels. You can sub your favorite hot sauce if you don’t have taco sauce, as long as it has a vinegar base.

 
This Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a fast, easy, and flavorful way to make sure dinner is filled with plenty of vegetables. BudgetBytes.com
Print Recipe
4.8 from 20 votes

Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

This Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a fast, easy, and flavorful way to make sure dinner is filled with plenty of vegetables.
Keyword: Easy Dinner, Easy Recipe
Total Cost: $5.68 recipe / $1.42 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (about 5 cups) ($0.85)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1/2 lb ground beef ($1.99)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • Salt to taste ($0.05)
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles** ($0.99)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels ($0.44)
  • 2 green onions, sliced ($0.21)
  • Taco sauce or hot sauce to taste ($0.60)

Instructions

  • Remove any damaged outer leaves from the cabbage and give it a good rinse. Remove the core, then finely shred the leaves. Set the shredded cabbage aside.
  • Add the cooking oil, ground beef, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of salt to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the beef as you go, until the beef is fully browned. If using a higher fat content beef, drain the excess fat from the skillet.
  • Drain most of the liquid from the diced tomatoes, then add them to the skillet along with the frozen corn kernels. Sauté over medium heat until the corn is heated through and most of the liquid on the bottom of the skillet has evaporated. Taste the mixture and add more salt as needed.
  • Add the shredded cabbage and sauté for just a couple minutes more, or until the cabbage just becomes slightly wilted. Top with sliced green onions and a drizzle of taco sauce or hot sauce, then serve.

Notes

*This chili powder is a mild blend of ground chiles and other spices.
**Like Rotel
To make this recipe even faster and easier, use bagged shredded cabbage and substitute the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt with a packet of taco seasoning.
Tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Cabbage is really becoming one of my favorite versatile ingredients!

A white plate full of Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry with taco sauce drizzled over top

Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry in the skillet, viewed from the side

Step by Step Photos

Shredded Green Cabbage

Begin by finely shredding 1/2 head of green cabbage, or about 5 cups once shredded. If needed, you can use bagged pre-shredded cabbage.

Beef Garlic and Spices in the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil, 1/2 lb. ground beef, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, and a pinch of salt to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the beef is fully browned. If you’re using a high fat content beef, drain the excess fat away before the next step.

Browned beef, Diced Tomatoes with Chiles, and Corn in the skillet

Add one cup frozen corn kernels and a drained 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with chiles.

Can of Diced Tomatoes with Chiles

I used a generic brand of diced tomatoes with chiles, but this is basically Rotel tomatoes. If you can’t find something similar, you can use a small can of petite diced tomatoes and a small can of diced green chiles.

Cooked Beef Mixture in the skillet

Sauté the ingredients in the skillet for a few minutes, or until the corn is heated through and most of the liquid in the bottom of the skillet has evaporated (it’s okay for there to be a bit of saucy moisture, just not puddles of liquid). Taste the mixture and adjust the salt. You’ll want it to be slightly on the salty side so that it doesn’t get too bland once all the cabbage is added.

Add Shredded Cabbage to the skillet

Finally, add the shredded cabbage and sauté for just a couple minutes more (still over medium), or just until the cabbage begins to wilt. You want the raw edge taken off the cabbage, but for it to retain a little crunch.

Drizzle Taco Sauce over beef and cabbage stir fry

Sprinkle a couple of fresh sliced green onions over top, then drizzle with taco sauce or your favorite hot sauce. You want a sauce that is nice and tangy. I’ll admit the store bought one I used left a little to be desired, so now I have to come up with a recipe for homemade taco sauce! :D

Close up of Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry in the skillet with wooden fork on the side

And that’s it! Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is on the table! 

Two plates of Southwest Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry on a patterned napkin