Beef Stir Fry Noodles

$7.93 recipe / $1.98 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.70 from 30 votes
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Okay, so technically I didn’t “stir fry” anything here, but this is what you make at home to mimmic stir fry when you don’t have the proper equipment. This was really more of a “brief sauté” but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Regardless, these Easy Beef Stir Fry Noodles were fast and delicious, and that’s what really counts, right? I made this dish as simple and fast as possible, which was my goal. No frills, just good and easy. The ingredients are basic, but the flavor is still big.

Simple Stir Fried Noodles with Beef

Overhead view of a big bowl of beef stir fry noodles on a yellow and white napkin, chopsticks on the side

Can I Add More Vegetables?

I used carrots and green onions as my only vegetables, but you could always toss in a handful or two of broccoli slaw, thinly sliced bell peppers, snow peas, bean sprouts, or really just about any vegetable that floats your boat. We’re going for fast, filling, and convenient with this one! Sweep out that fridge and make it work.

What Kind of Noodles Should I Use?

I used rice noodles for this because that’s what I was in the mood for, but in a pinch you could probably use just about any long pasta that you’d like. Ramen? Okay, go for it. Fettuccini? It’ll pass. Lo mein? Do it. Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to stir fry!

What is Chili Garlic Sauce?

Chili garlic sauce is a really simple mixture of ground up red chiles, garlic, vinegar, and salt. It’s a really easy way to inject heat and flavor into any meal or homemade sauce. I used Huy Fong brand, which you can find in most major grocery stores in the United States. It’s the same brand as the popular “green top” sriracha that is available in most stores. 

If you can’t find chili garlic sauce you can use sriracha or sambal oelek in its place.

Is The Beef Stir Fry Noodles Spicy?

Yes, thanks to the chili garlic sauce, this recipe is deliciously spicy. If you want to try something similar without heat, consider using the sauce that I used in my Vegetable Lo Mein recipe. Want spicy noodles without the beef? Check out my Spicy Dragon Noodles.

Side view of the skillet full of Beef Stir Fry Noodles

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Easy Beef Stir Fry Noodles

4.70 from 30 votes
These everyday fast beef stir fry noodles are easy enough to make on a busy weeknight and delicious enough to keep you from calling for take-out.
Servings 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp water ($0.00)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce ($0.68)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil ($0.57)

STIR FRY

  • 8 oz. rice noodles ($1.43)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.02)
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef ($3.74)
  • 1 carrot ($0.16)
  • 3-4 green onions ($0.50)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro (optional) ($0.25)

Instructions 

  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions, being careful to leave them al dente and not over cooked. drain the noodles in a colander and set aside.
  • Prepare the sauce by stirring together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce, and sesame oil. Set the sauce aside.
  • Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Use a large-holed cheese grater to grate the carrot (or julienne using a mandoline). Slice the green onions on a diagonal, separating the fleshy white portions from the green ends.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until the beef is cooked through. Add the white portions of the sliced green onions and sauté for one more minute. Add the shredded carrots and sauté for one minute more (leaving the carrots slightly crunchy).
  • Add the drained noodles and the prepared sauce to the skillet. Stir until everything is coated in sauce and any extra moisture has been absorbed by the noodles. Turn the heat off and top with the green portion of the sliced green onions and fresh cilantro leaves.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 411.75kcalCarbohydrates: 54.9gProtein: 15.65gFat: 13.73gSodium: 1022.4mgFiber: 2.15g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Side view of a bowl full of beef stir fry noodles with chopsticks on the side

How to Make Beef Stir Fry Noodles – Step by Step Photos

Rice Noodle Box

Start with 8oz. of rice noodles (or whatever type of noodles you prefer) and cook them according to the package directions. Make sure to only cook them until they are al dente (not overly soft) so that they don’t get mushy when added to the skillet later. Drain the cooked noodles in a colander. (This is a 14oz. box, so I used just over half and saved the rest for later.)

Stir Fry Sauce in a small bowl

While the noodles are cooking, prepare the stir fry sauce. This is a super basic, pared down sauce. Stir together 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1-2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (depending on how spicy you like it–I used 2 Tbsp), and 1 tsp sesame oil. 

Close up of Chili Garlic sauce in a measuring spoon

I love using chili garlic sauce in my stir fry because it’s like killing three birds with one stone. This rustic sauce contains red pepper, garlic, and vinegar, three ingredients that I’d normally add to a stir fry sauce separately (this particular sauce is made by Huy Fong, makers of the most popular sriracha). You can also use sambal oelek or sriracha in place of this sauce.

Grated Ginger on a fine-holed cheese grater

You can also prepare the rest of the ingredients while the noodles cook, so that everything is ready to toss together quickly in the skillet. Grate about one inch of fresh ginger (about 1 Tbsp). I keep my ginger in the freezer, which makes it really easy to grate. Also mince two cloves of garlic.

Grated Carrot on a large-holed cheese grater

Use a large hole grater to grate one carrot. If you don’t have a grater, you can use a spiralizer, mandoline, or a julienne peeler.

Sliced Green Onion on a blue cutting board

Slice 3-4 green onions, separating the white/fleshy ends from the green ends (they’ll be added to the stir fry at different times).

Browned Ground Beef in the skillet

Finally, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, the minced garlic, and grated ginger. Sauté until the beef is cooked through.

Onion and carrot added to the skillet with beef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the white ends of the sliced green onions and sauté for one minute more. Add the shredded carrots and sauté for one additional minute. I added the carrots last because I wanted them to stay fairly crunchy.

Cooked noodles in the skillet, stir fry sauce being poured over top

Finally, add the drained noodles and prepared sauce.

Beef, vegetables, and noodles coated in stir fry sauce in the skillet

Stir until everything is coated in sauce and no extra liquid remains on the bottom of the skillet (it should get absorbed by the noodles). Turn the heat off.

Beef and noodle stir fry topped with cilantro and green onion

Top with the remaining green portions of the sliced green onions and a handful of fresh cilantro leaves (optional).

Beef Stir Fry Noodles served in a bowl on a yellow napkin, chopsticks on the side

Then eat! 

Beef Stir Fry Noodles in a bowl, chopsticks lifting a bite

You don’t have to tell me twice…

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  1. I didn’t have green onions so I thinly sliced a small yellow onion and added it with the carrot. I also threw in some frozen broccoli. Great pantry meal. 

  2. I’m from NZ and our supermarkets don’t stock garlic chilli sauce and I was wondering what I could replace this with. We can get siracha but its quite expensive and I wouldn’t use it otherwise. Could I make a chilli sauce out of ground up red chiles, garlic, vinegar, and salt? or will sweet chilli sauce work if I don’t add in the brown sugar?

    1. I probably wouldn’t do the sweet chili sauce because I think the flavor is going to be too different and it will be too hard to estimate how much brown sugar to use. I think your best bet is to Google “homemade chili garlic sauce” or “chili garli sauce recipe” to find a guide for making it with the red chiles, garlic, vinegar, and salt. :)

  3. Delicious!! I now try to save a 1/2 lb of ground beef or pork for all your quick throw together meals. I was thinking of making fried rice tonight, but really wanted rice noodles and look what recipe I had saved from eons ago! Added peppers and thinly sliced green beans from the freezer as well as the shredded carrot. Didn’t have any scallions or cilantro, but it was still great. Thank you for all your tips on using whatever you have on hand.

  4. I’ve likely commented on this dish before, but just want to say that I have made it so many times, and everyone has LOVED and asked for the recipe! This is probably my favourite site for easy to make, Asian inspired recipes! Thanks for your great taste and ideas!

  5. I absolutely loved this recipe the first time I made it. LOVED. It’s delicious. Decided to make it again maybe a week later, and I had half a zucchini in the fridge that needed using up, so I figured I’d improvise and grate it along with the carrots. WARNING: DO NOT ADD GRATED ZUCCHINI TO THIS RECIPE. I somehow didn’t realize that the zucchini would let out so much liquid. It was not a welcome addition to this dish. Please learn from my mistakes.

  6. Yum! I’m so happy with how this came out. I used a different type of Asian noodle I had on hand and powdered ginger instead of fresh. It is delicious! I love that you can cater the spice level to each person. 

  7. This is delicious! I made it using ground turkey instead of beef and it was still great. I may use less sambal next time though, I used 1 and 1/2 tablespoons and it was super spicy.

  8. So good, we couldn’t stop eating it. I used 3 pouches of cheap ramen noodles and doubled the sauce. I added cooked broccoli too. This recipe is a keeper!

  9. So super delicious! I ate it for lunch 4 days in a row and looked forward to it every day.  And on Wednesday, my coworkers were all jealous of my lunch. 

  10. Hi I am just wondering whether this meal would be able to be frozen and reheated for quick lunches/dinners?

    1. This one probably won’t be as good for freezing because it’s not quite saucy enough to keep it from drying out. I find that pasta dishes need a lot of sauce to survive the freeze/thaw cycle.

  11. So normally, what Beth calls 4 servings is 2 servings for me and my wife. Had a pound of beef in the refrigerator that I needed to use up. So doubled everything, figuring we could have the left overs tomorrow night.

    So made it, eating it….and OMG, it is so good I can’t stop eating. Had to go back and get more! Even my wife who almost never over eats went back for seconds. So what I had been planning for our meal tomorrow night for both of us is now just a small snack for just me.

    This really is that good. Just try not to be like me and keep eating it till you are so full you are a bit uncomfortable. 😛