Easy 30-Minute Healthy Thai Basil Beef comes together lightning fast yet is powerfully flavorful! This simple healthy dinner recipe is a classic Thai dish, best served with steamed rice or fried rice. Make it any night of the week for a meal the whole family will enjoy!
Quick and easy healthy 30-Minute Thai Basil Beef is one of those heavy hitters when it comes to delicious, healthy, and easy weeknight meals!
It checks all of the boxes!
Delicious juicy ground beef with sweet onion, bell peppers, and fresh basil in a sweet, savory and tangy sauce gives us a protein-rich meal that can be served with your favorite side dishes for a complete meal to meet your macronutrient needs.
In case you’ve never tried it, Thai Basil Beef, also known as Pad Gra Prow, is a classic in Thai cuisine.
Just like Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai), Thai Basil Beef is otherworldly with its sweet, umami saucy flair infused with fresh basil, and all of the delicious flavors come together to make the taste buds swoon.
The way I see it, this healthy Thai Basil Beef recipe is perfect any time you’re craving takeout and is also a marvelous meal prep recipe.
Trust me, you’ll want to double the recipe to have plenty of leftovers!
What Makes This Recipe Different:
There are many recipes on the internet for authentic, amazing Thai Basil Beef; however, I’ve taken a slightly different approach.
Traditional authentic Thai Basil Beef includes soy sauce for umami flavor, cane sugar for sweetness, all-purpose flour for thickening the sauce, and oyster sauce for additional richness and umami flavor.
To keep the recipe gluten-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free, I use coconut aminos for the umami flavor and increase the fish sauce and rice vinegar slightly.
I leave out the sugar (or additional sweetener) because coconut aminos is already very sweet.
In place of all-purpose flour for thickening the sauce, we use tapioca flour, which is naturally gluten-free and works marvelously as a thickener.
The end result is the same authentic Thai flavors, with the added benefit of catering to certain dietary specifications.
If you love the concept of cleaner saucy Asian style recipes like this, also try my Paleo General Chicken, Easy 30-Minute Paleo Mongolian Beef, Sesame Ginger Cashew Chicken, and Sweet and Sour Pork.
Let’s discuss the clean ingredient list for this Thai basil recipe.
Ingredients for Thai Basil Beef:
For the Sauce: Coconut aminos (or liquid aminos or soy sauce), fish sauce, sriracha (or sambal oelek or red chili paste), toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, and tapioca flour for thickening.
This combination of flavors gives us that sweet, tangy, savory sauce that is common in Thai cooking with just the slightest kick.
Because fish sauce is so salty, be sure to taste the beef before adding any additional salt.
For the Stir Fry: Ground beef, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and fresh basil are all you need for the bulk of this easy beef stir fry. For a spicier version, add the optional jalapeno and leave the seeds in and for a mild version, omit the jalapeno.
When the sauce is added to the stir fry and everything cooks together, we’re left with a meaty main dish that is just teeming with flavor.
Recipe Notes and Substitutions:
For paleo or Whole30 Thai Basil Beef, stick with coconut aminos instead of liquid aminos or soy sauce. If you aren’t soy-free, you can replace the coconut aminos with liquid aminos or soy sauce and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or pure maple syrup for sweetness.
I use lean ground beef (90/10 or higher) so that the dish doesn’t turn out overly greasy, but you can pick your favorite meat to fat ratio.
You can find Thai basil leaves at Asian grocery stores, but if you aren’t able to get your hands on it, regular basil does work too.
If you prefer flank steak, skirt steak, chuck steak, or a different ground meat over ground beef, you can easily make the swap!
Mix in your favorite veggies for added nutrients and fiber.
If you’d like, you can serve pad gra prow with fried egg and green onions alongside coconut milk rice with a drizzle of fresh lime juice for an epic meal.
How to Make Thai Basil Ground Beef:
Stir together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup until everything is well-combined.
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the sliced onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sides of the onion begin showing some color.
Scoot the onion off to the side and place the ground beef in the center of the skillet. Allow it to brown for 2 minutes before breaking it up into smaller pieces using a spatula or wooden spoon.
Stir in the bell pepper, garlic, and jalapenos until well-incorporated and the garlic is fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir well. Bring everything to a full boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables have reached your desired level of doneness, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the fresh basil.
Serve the Thai Basil Ground Beef over steamed white rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, rice noodles, stir fry noodles, or cauliflower rice for a low carb option.
You can also serve it with fried rice like my Vegetable Fried Rice, Red Curry Fried Rice, or Basil Fried Rice. Try my Coconut Rice for a creamy and delightful pairing, or my Thai Cauliflower Rice to keep it grain-free.
Store any leftover Thai basil beef stir fry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you love this Thai basil recipe or Thai food in general, also try out these favorites!
More Thai Recipes:
- Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables
- 30-Minute Thai Curry Noodles
- Drunken Noodles with Ground Turkey
- Chicken Pad Thai
- 30-Minute Green Thai Curry with Avocado
I hope you love this healthy Paleo Thai Basil Beef as much as I do!
Healthy Thai Basil Beef
A paleo friendly healthy version of classic Thai Basil Beef (Pad Gra Prow) made gluten-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free. Easy to whip up any night of the week in 30 minutes or less!
For the Thai Basil Sauce
- ¼ cup coconut aminos*
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sriracha, to taste
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp tapioca flour**
For the Basil Beef:
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- ½ medium-sized yellow onion, sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 1 pound ground beef***
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large jalapeno, sliced, optional****
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1. Stir together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup until everything is well-combined.
2. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the sliced onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sides of the onion begin showing some color.
3. Scoot the onion off to the side and place the ground beef in the center of the skillet. Allow it to brown for 2 minutes before breaking it up into smaller pieces using a spatula or wooden spoon.
4. Stir in the bell pepper, garlic, and jalapenos until well-incorporated and the garlic is fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir well. Bring everything to a full boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables have reached your desired level of doneness, about 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Stir in the fresh basil.
7. Serve the Thai Basil Ground Beef over steamed white rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, rice noodles, stir fry noodles, or cauliflower rice for a low carb option.
*If you aren’t soy-free, use 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or liquid aminos plus 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or pure maple syrup to replace the coconut aminos.
**You can also use gluten-free all-purpose flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot flour.
***I use lean ground beef that has 10% fat or less. If you prefer your food less greasy like me, stick with 10% or lower fat content. If you love rich foods, feel free to use 85/15 or 80/20.
****Remove the seeds of the jalapeno for a mild dish, or omit it altogether. To make spicy Thai Basil Beef, include the jalapeno seeds, use 2 jalapenos, or add more red chili paste to the sauce.
Nutrition InformationYield 3 Serving Size 1 (of 3)
Amount Per Serving Calories 421Total Fat 23gCarbohydrates 18gFiber 3gSugar 13gProtein 32g
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