Easy Beef and Broccoli Noodles

published May 6, 2024
Dinner Therapist
Beef and Broccoli Noodles Recipe

You only need 10 minutes to prep these saucy noodles.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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overhead shot of beef and broccoli noodles in a small white bowl, topped with sesame seeds
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

Dear Dinner Therapist: I recently gave birth to a baby and struggle with getting healthy meals to nourish myself. Can you help me with a dinner that’s quick (something I can do between feeds), easy (accomplished in a half-awake state), and dairy-free (baby doesn’t tolerate lactose well)? I’m open to meal prep options as well. —New Mom

New Mom: First, congratulations! Thinking back to the time shortly after my son was born, I remember craving dinners that were equal parts nourishing and comforting. I leaned on a short roster of simple meals for new parents, which was the key to my mealtime survival for a while. With that in mind, this saucy noodle skillet loaded with iron-rich ground beef and lots of fresh broccoli is a perfect fit for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s super satisfying. Bonus: The leftovers are incredible!

After making these noodles six times in the past month, I can tell you that it’s one of those amazing flexible recipes that works with a variety of substitutions, and doesn’t overcook if it’s on the heat a minute or two too long. Plus, it tastes just like stir-fried beef and broccoli. And once you make it a couple of times you may still need to glance at the recipe for the ingredient amounts for the sauce, but you’ll be able to cook without needing the recipe.  

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s just as much about the broccoli and beef as it is about the noodles. I love how balanced this dish is.
  • A little bit of cornstarch thickens the savory sauce so it perfectly clings to the noodles. Plus, there’s just enough sauce so all the components are nicely coated, but not swimming in it.
  • You can pull this together in 30 minutes or less from start to finish. And if you want to get a head start, you can mix together the sauce and even cut the broccoli up to a day in advance. 
  • The leftovers are amazing. If it seems like the noodles soaked up most of the sauce, just add a splash of broth or water in with the noodles when reheating. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

Key Ingredients in Beef and Broccoli Noodles

  • Noodles. A wide variety of dried noodles work here, including udon noodles, ramen noodles, soba noodles, lo mein noodles, and even spaghetti. Choose your favorite or use what you already have on hand. 
  • Ground beef. I like ground beef for this recipe because it’s relatively quick-cooking and doesn’t require any upfront prep work.  
  • Broccoli. I recommend cutting the broccoli into small bite-size florets (do this even if you buy one of those bags of pre-cut florets), so that they cook in just a couple of minutes. Plus, it makes them easier to eat in one bite.
  • Low-sodium chicken broth. You’ll use this to steam the broccoli, and as an ingredient in the super-savory sauce.

How to Make Beef and Broccoli Noodles

  1. Stir together the sauce. Stir together all the ingredients for the sauce. You can get a head start and mix the sauce together up to a day in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
  2. Cook the noodles. The cook time will vary depending on the type of noodles you’re using. Check the instructions on the package and cook the noodles for two minutes less than the suggested cook time; they’ll finish cooking in the sauce.
  3. Brown the ground beef. While the noodles are cooking, cook the ground beef, breaking it up into small pieces until browned.
  4. Steam the broccoli. Add some broth and the broccoli florets to the skillet. Cover and cook until just tender.
  5. Add the sauce and finish the noodles. Give the sauce one more stir, then add to the pan with the noodles. Toss everything together and cook until the sauce is thickened and everything is well-coated.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

Helpful Swaps

  • While the recipe uses ground beef, any kind of ground meat is fair game here. Ground turkey and ground chicken would make nice alternatives.
  • Don’t have any fresh broccoli on hand? Frozen broccoli will also get the job done. Instead of cooking the florets until tender, add the broccoli, noodles, and sauce at the same time. The two- to three-minute cook time is just enough to thaw and warm the broccoli.

Dinner Therapist is my column dedicated to solving your dilemmas around the most important — but let’s be honest, sometimes most dreaded — meal of the day. Prepping dinner night after night can be so hard. Here, I deliver practical and hopefully fun advice to make cooking less complicated and more enjoyable. Follow along for all the recipes. Got your own dinner struggles? We want to hear from you! Fill out this super-quick form for your chance to be featured in an upcoming column.

Beef and Broccoli Noodles Recipe

You only need 10 minutes to prep these saucy noodles.

Prep time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces

    dried udon, ramen, soba, lo mein noodles, or spaghetti

  • 1

    large crown broccoli (10 to 12 ounces)

  • 2

    cloves garlic

  • 1

    (1-inch) piece fresh ginger

  • 1 1/4 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth, divided

  • 1/4 cup

    reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari

  • 2 tablespoons

    oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon

    honey

  • 1 tablespoon

    cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 pound

    lean ground beef

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for the noodles

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)

  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 8 ounces dried noodles of choice and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and rinse well under cool water.

  2. Cut 1 large broccoli crown into 1-inch florets (about 3 cups). Mince 2 garlic cloves, and peel and mince 1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger (about 1 tablespoon). Place the garlic, ginger, 3/4 cup of the low-sodium chicken broth or water, 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound lean ground beef and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat into medium pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Add the broccoli and remaining 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water. Stir to combine, cover, and cook until the broccoli is vibrant in color and barely crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Whisk the sauce once more to combine. Add the sauce and the noodles to the skillet and cook, tossing regularly, until the sauce is thickened and coats the noodles well, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The sauce can be mixed together up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Rewhisk before using.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.