Ground Beef with Ginger Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

You know that feeling, it’s dinner time and you feel stuck on what to serve your family.  You and your family are tired of the same meals on repeat, but it’s hard to find something that is packed with flavor, easy to make and everyone will love.  We have all been there.  The simple ingredients in this dish are quickly transformed into a flavorful dinner that your whole family will love.  When you can put food on your dinner table in under 30 minutes and it checks the tasty recipe and easy dish boxes, that’s a total win!

If you have finicky eaters in your family, I suggest you serve this as a build-your-own-bowl type of meal.  You can do this by placing several glass bowls on the counter next to a skillet full of the cooked and seasoned beef but leave the creamy peanut sauce on the side, providing rice and/or cauliflower rice, setting out a few of the topping suggestions, and offering steamed or sauteed veggies like broccoli, green beans, zucchini and/or bell pepper.  Picky eaters will surely be able to find something they can eat and those with a refined palette will love the sauce filled with the Thai flavors so many of us love!

Simple Ingredients

  • Avocado Oil – Avocado oil has a neutral flavor and high smoke point and works well for this recipe.  Coconut oil would be a great substitute, but will give the dish a subtle sweetness, that will actually pair well with the Thai peanut sauce.  Olive oil or peanut oil can also be used.
  • Ground Beef – My family prefers the taste of ground beef.  We used lean ground beef for this recipe, but really any ground meat tastes great.  Ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork or even ground venison are all good options. 
  • Salt and pepper – Just a little bit goes a long way in enhancing the natural flavors of the dish.
  • Shallot – Fresh shallots add a subtle onion flavor to the dish.  If you don’t have these on hand, 2-3 TBS finely diced onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder works well.  Fresh is always best and preferred to powdered spices.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic will give this dish a more flavorful taste.  However, to save time, you may substitute with 1 teaspoon garlic powder.  
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger adds such a nice bright pop to the dish and is preferred over powdered.  To save time, 1 teaspoon of ginger powder may be substituted.
  • Honey – Maple syrup or agave syrup make nice substitutes.  You can also use brown sugar, but this dish would no longer be Whole30 compliant or paleo.
  • Nut Butter – My favorite nut butter for this recipe is actually a seed butter, sunflower butter.  Natural peanut butter is another solid choice, although not Whole30 compliant or paleo.  Almond butter is also a flavorful substitute.  I would not recommend crunchy peanut butter as that will change the texture of the dish.  The sauce is meant to be smooth and creamy.
  • Coconut aminos – Coconut aminos are typically the paleo substitute for soy sauce.  You can substitute one tablespoon of coconut aminos for one tablespoon soy sauce in just about any recipe.  Tip: I always add a splash of lemon or lime juice and a sprinkle of salt to fully mimic the taste of soy sauce.  That flavor profile is replicated through this recipe with the rice vinegar and lime juice.
  • Rice Vinegar – Rice vinegar will give this recipe an authentic Thai flavor.
  • Lime Juice – Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar are great substitutes.
  • Siracha – Siracha hot sauce is optional, but really does add a nice, subtle heat to the recipe as written.  You can omit or add more.  This is a matter of personal preference.  If gluten is not a concern, you can also serve with hoisin sauce on the sauce, but this contains soy sauce, which naturally contains gluten.  If you really want to amp up the heat, you can add 1-2 tsp of chili powder.
  • Sesame Oil – Sesame oil will give this recipe an authentic Thai flavor.
  • Optional – You may want to keep one cup water on hand to thin the sauce as needed once combined with the meat.  For extra flavor, beef, chicken or vegetable broth can also be used.

Serving Suggestions

  • Base Options – White rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice all make great options for the base.
  • Fresh herbs – Any combination of fresh mint leaves, cilantro, and/or Thai basil leaves.
  • Lime – Little wedges of lime make the perfect sour addition.
  • Sriracha Sauce – The recipe is intentionally written to be mild.  It’s always easier to add spice.  Depending on your preferred spice level, or making this dish for a crowd, you can always omit the Sriracha and keep it on the side so everyone can add enough, if any at all, for their personal heat preference.
  • Lettuce Wraps – If you prefer the idea of a wrap instead of a bowl, you can serve the beef with a mound of butter lettuce cups and let each person create their own wraps by sprinkling on fresh herbs.  If going this route, I would stir in the savory peanut sauce, but omit the base options and include everything else.
ground beef with ginger thai peanut sauce

Ground Beef with Ginger Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

Sarah Erickson
This recipe is quick and easy and packed full of flavor!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Thai


  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large shallot finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch knob ginger peeled and finely grated


  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1/3 cup nut butter I used SunButter
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 TBS siracha leave out if sensitive to spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil

Base and Toppings:

  • Rice or cauliflower rice
  • Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Fresh Thai Basil Leaves
  • Green onions thinly sliced
  • Fresh Cilantro Leaves


  • To a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add avocado oil and then ground meat to the hot oil. Brown ground beef using a spoon or meat masher to break the meat into smaller pieces.
  • Once the meat is fully cooked, add in the diced shallots, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Stir to evenly combine and heat for 30-60 seconds.
  • In a small saucepan, over low to medium heat, add all of the remaining ingredients (labeled sauce). Over low heat, slowly soften the nut butter and stir until fully combined, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce over the ground meat and stir to combine. If needed, add a little water or broth to thin the sauce, just 1-2 TBS at a time. Note: As suggested above, you can also serve the sauce on the side and allow everyone to build their bowl. If going this route, I suggest doubling or tripling the sauce part of the recipe. Everyone seems to be a little heavy-handed with their sauce pours.
  • Serve in lettuce cups or with rice or cauliflower rice in bowls. Top with desired herbs and enjoy!
Keyword dairy free, dinner, easy dinner, gluten free, groudn beef, peanut sauce, thai chicken

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