Fastest/Easiest/Tastiest Thai Beef with Basil

You can fuss around with recipes from Thai cookbooks to make the sauce more authentic, but if you just want to eat something delicious, and it needs to be ready to shovel into your pie hole as quickly as possible, this recipe will do it. Very tastily. This recipe will take you from just-walked-in-the-door-sweaty to eating-and-happy in about 10 minutes.


Fastest/Easiest/Tastiest Thai Beef with Basil

  • 1 tablespoon cooking fat: extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, lard, etc.

  • 1 pound green beans

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • a handful of fresh basil leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • juice of 1 lime

  • coconut aminos or homemade substitute


Heat the fat in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high. I like coconut oil.


Sprinkle the ground beef with the salt and pepper, then add to the pan and brown, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon.


When the meat is browned, add the green beans and crushed garlic. Stir-fry until the beans are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.


When the beans are cooked to your liking, add a few splashes of coconut aminos and stir-fry another minute. Drop in the basil and stir-fry until wilted.


Pile on a plate and squeeze the lime juice over the top.

You can earn bonus points by garnishing with a few curls of carrot (scrape a carrot with a veg peeler) or a sprinkling of finely-chopped scallions.

Now… make it fancy:

To make it spicy: Add some chili-garlic paste.

To add more veg: Toss slices of Japanese eggplant or slivers of red bell pepper into the stir-fry step.

To make it sweeter: Replace green beans with snow peas or snap peas.

To make it souper: Throw it in a bowl and add beef broth and chopped fresh scallions.

To make it seem exotic: Cut a hard-boiled egg in half and use as garnish on the plate. (Also delicious dropped into the soup version.)

To incorporate more healthy fats: Sprinkle the top with crushed cashews.

To make it fusion: Skip the nuts and add fat with slices of fresh avocado.

To make it a complete meal: Add fruit for dessert. Strawberries, raspberries, and pineapple are a great complement.

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  • Marc Majcher says:

    I just made this with some hot rooster sauce and ground bison from Central Market, and it was super tasty. More!

  • Jessica says:

    I made this tonight and it was a big hit! The only change I made was to whisk up a quick sauce of coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, fish sauce, and tamari. I just made a small amount of sauce, enough for flavor but not enough to soupify, and stir-fried it in at the end. Yum! Thanks for posting this.

    • abby says:

      Can you provide amounts for your sauce? Sounds good and I am not really a fly by the seat of your pants cook so would not do well with estimates.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Delish! Thanks for sharing, Jessica.

  • Sonya says:

    Oh so good! Will definitely be making this again! 😀

  • Jed says:

    This is great with moose. But then again what isn’t.

  • Kay says:

    Great recipe! I make it often. :)

  • STaylor says:

    I had a pound of grassfed ground beef calling my name, and I usually don’t really like ground beef unless in burger form with plenty of accouterment. I decided to see what recipes you had, and was pleasantly surprised to realize I had all these ingredients on hand! It is SO GOOD that I just grabbed my iPhone to comment while I’m eating. Amazing. I love it. Wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe be a bit more generous on the basil front next time – it’s growing like crazy in the garden! Thank you!

  • KP says:

    Another home run! I always seem to fall of the wagon when I get home from work and don’t have the energy to cook. This was so simple and amazingly flavorful. Can’t wait to play with some of the variations.

  • Sonya says:

    It’s been over a year and I’m still loving this recipe!

    Sending a friend with thyroid issues over here to learn from you about how to take care of herself better. :)

    Yay you! Thanks for blogging!

  • Mari says:

    So, I made this. Added mushrooms, snow peas, chili paste, beef broth, boiled eggs, carrot slivers and green onions… YUMMOOOOO!!!

    Also while browning the beef I added my sofrito (blend of red, yellow, orange, green peppers, onions, and garlic my Cuban mother uses to cook everything in)

    So Good!! Thanks for all the recipes!! I want MORE!!!

  • Shelda says:

    Oh, yum!! I had red pepper, green beans, and bok choy. Steamed them first, then sauteed the beef, and used Jessica’s coconut milk sauce. Fabulous. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Cara says:

    Just made this for a quick dinner after work and it was delicious!

  • Jennifer says:

    This was SO good and easy, thank you so much for sharing your brilliance with the www. I made tonight & served over cauliflower “rice” that I learned from your amazing herb rice salad recipe (just put salt, olive oil and lime instead of the lemon). Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • Jessica says:

    My family LOVED this meal. I was told this could be placed in heavy rotation. Thanks for the 5 Paleo meals to cook emails. I’m loving them.


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