Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps

Overhead photo of Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

Foods I never need to add to my grocery list because they end up in my cart each week no matter what:

  • Applesauce. Because kids.
  • Wine. See above.
  • Eggs. Egg Salad for president.
  • Applegate Farms Salami. Can’t stop / won’t stop.
  • Ground beef.

Even if I don’t have a concrete plan in mind for using ground beef, I buy it anyway. It’s an inexpensive protein option, super versatile, and most importantly, Lincoln loves it. And if you have a toddler then you know you gotta ride that “foods we don’t complain about eating” train as far as humanly possible before its inevitable derailment.

While ground beef is spaghetti-bound at least once a week, I also frequently use it to make Skillet Tater Tot Casserole, Taco Chili, and Incredible Italian Meatballs (here are all my ground beef recipes in case you need some inspiration!) My newest creation though, Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps, is rising to the top of my ground beef faves list!

Korean Beef over rice

Watch How to Make It!

What is Korean Beef?

If you’ve never tasted the flavors of Bulgogi, a Korean beef dish that inspired these lettuce wraps, you’re in for a real treat. Thinly sliced beef is flavored with soy sauce (we’re going with gluten-free Tamari here,) sugar, sesame, garlic, and green onion then grilled or stir fried. The beef has that savory/sweet flavor that keeps you going back for bite after bite.

Further reading:  Discover the Delightful Selection of Bone Broth at Trader Joe's

Well, I decided to make this traditional dish weeknight friendly by using ground beef instead of sliced steak! All you do is brown ground beef with green onions and garlic then simmer for a minute with a 5 ingredient sauce. Scoop over fresh lettuce cups filled with cooked rice for a 3-bite taco-type dish. 15 minutes + fridge and pantry staples = total home run!

Kid Friendly and Low Carb Options

To make this meal toddler-friendly, I turned the Korean ground beef into Korean Beef Bowls by scooping the meat mixture over rice. If you want to go the low carb route, you could swap the white rice for cauliflower rice which I think would be super tasty sauteed in either sesame or garlic-flavored wok oil. Or scoop the meat mixture into lettuce cups as shown, minus the rice. Whichever way you go, this gluten-free dinner recipe couldn’t be easier nor more delicious. Go give it a try!

Hand holding Korean Beef lettuce cup made with ground beef

How to Make Korean Ground Beef

Start by heating 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a large, 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1lb ground beef, the chopped white and light green parts of 2 green onions, and a dash of white pepper (or black pepper if that’s all you have on hand) then saute until cooked through. Add 2 cloves minced garlic then saute for 30 seconds.

Next, drizzle in a mixture of 1/4 cup LOW-SODIUM gluten-free Tamari, 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar (could sub in white sugar or honey,) 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or more or less), 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds then saute for 1 more minute.

Further reading:  The Perfect Ribeye Steak: A Delicious Air Fryer Recipe

That’s all she wrote! Scoop white rice into lettuce cups then top with the green parts of the chopped green onions, plus more toasted sesame seeds, and dive in. I hope you love this craveable, seriously simple weeknight dinner recipe! Enjoy!

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps on a platter with rice

More Quick and Easy Ground Beef Recipes

  • Cheeseburger Quesadillas
  • Beef Taco Bowls
  • Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper
  • OMG-Good Goulash
  • Beef and Veggie Enchilada Skillet