Ground beef chow mein with yellow squash noodles is a Whole30 meal made with savory ground beef and plenty of veggies. This easy one pot meal is in constant rotation in my home as a quick, healthy weeknight dinner option.
Ground Beef Chow Mein
There really is no other way to describe this dish, other than it is one giant delicious stir-fry. When this is on the menu you will be eating in no time! Although this recipe is closer to lo mein than chow mein, it is called chow mein because it looks so much like Guyanese Style Chow Mein.
Why You’ll Love This Beef Chow Mein Recipe
- Quick & Easy: I cook the ground beef first, then toss in all my veggies and sauté for a few minutes until it all comes together. Then remove from the heat and add the squash noodles. Toss together and serve. It really is that simple!
- Healthy: This recipe uses yellow squash in place of regular noodles. It’s a Whole30-compliant, paleo-friendly meal. So skip the takeout because this tastes amazing and it’s also better for you.
- Family Favorite: My children don’t know the noodles are made with squash so it is a plus for me!
What is Chow Mein?
Chow mein means fried noodles. This is a traditional Chinese dish that includes egg noodles and stir-fried vegetables.
- Ground Beef Chow Mein
- Why You’ll Love This Beef Chow Mein Recipe
- What is Chow Mein?
- Ingredients for Ground Beef Chow Mein
- The Yellow Squash Noodles
- How to Make Beef Chow Mein
- Tips for the Best Beef Chow Mein Recipe
- Recipe Variations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ground Beef Chow Mein (Whole30, Paleo)
Ingredients for Ground Beef Chow Mein
What I love most about this dish is how much fresh veggies you can pack into it. It is technically one giant stir-fry!
- Ground beef: Also known as beef mince, you can use whichever fat percentage you prefer. For fewer calories, use lean ground beef but the fat won’t render enough grease to caramelize.
- Seasoning: I use a medley of garlic powder, ground Ginger, and Chinese five spice.
- Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce: This soy sauce substitute provides umami flavor.
- Vegetables: I use a mix of green onions, baby bell peppers (or one large bell pepper), carrots, yellow squash, bok choy, and Chinese long beans (or green beans).
- Toasted Sesame Oil: This is an optional ingredient for garnish.
See recipe card for quantities.
The Yellow Squash Noodles
The only vegetable I don’t recommend substituting is yellow squash noodles. The brightness and color of these noodles make it really hard to distinguish between this chow mein and traditional chow mein. I’ve tried it with zucchini noodles and it is just not the same. It is totally worth the effort to track down the yellow squash if you need to.
How to Make Beef Chow Mein
Cook & Season Ground Beef
Add ground beef to a hot wok or sauté pan on medium heat and cook until all of the visible pink color of the meat is gone. Then add salt, garlic powder, ground ginger, coconut aminos teriyaki sauce and Chinese Five Spice and continue to Sauté for about 2 minutes or until all the spices mix well with the ground beef.
Then increase to high heat and add the green onions and sauté for a minute, adding the remaining vegetables (except for the squash noodles) in the order of toughest to cook. For instance, I add the green beans first and sauté for a few minutes. Then I add the pepper and carrots. Bok choy goes in last.
Toss with Squash Noodles
Once your vegetables are sautéed to your liking remove from the heat, then add the squash noodles and mix together well. Finally, serve with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tips for the Best Beef Chow Mein Recipe
- You don’t need oil to for this stir fry because the fat from the beef is more than enough.
- Do not sauté the squash noodles or it will become mushy and your beautiful stir-fry will become soggy.
- Keep it fresh and colorful and don’t overcook the veggies. Keep a little crunch to give the dish some texture.
- Veggies: Use the veggies I share here or feel free to mix it up any way you like. Add mushrooms, and swap the Chinese long beans for string/green beans (if you like). You may also add cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, and veggies that typically work well with stir-fries would be fabulous in this dish.
- Protein: I love using ground beef for chow mein because it’s so easy to prepare. However, you can use steak instead (skirt steak or sliced sirloin).
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe lasts up to 3 days when stored correctly.
Authentic beef chow mein is made with egg noodles, marinated beef, vegetables, stir fry sauce, and cornstarch (for thickening).
The main difference between chow Mein and lo Mein is the way that it is prepared. Lo Mein is made by tossing noodles in a sauce, whereas in chow mein the noodles are pan-fried, sometimes separately, before adding stir-fried meat and veggies. Click here to learn more about Chow Mein and Lo Mein.
Ground Beef Chow Mein (Whole30, Paleo)
- Wok or sauté pan
- 1 lb of Ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt or salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- 1/4 cup of Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce
- 4 Green Onions
- 5 Baby Bell Peppers may sub with 1 large bell pepper, julienned
- 1 large Carrot julienned
- 3-4 yellow squash cut into noodles
- 3 Bok Choy may substitute with Baby Bok Choy, roughly chopped
- 1 cup of Chinese long beans about 5 beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
- Other veggies as desired
- Drizzle of Toasted Sesame Oil for garnish optional
- Add ground beef to a hot wok or sauté pan on medium heat and cook until all of the visible pink color of the meat is gone
- Then add salt, garlic powder, ground ginger, coconut aminos teriyaki sauce and Chinese Five Spice and continue to Sauté for about 2 minutes or until all the spices mix well with the ground beef
- Next increase to high heat and add the green onions and sauté for a minute, then add the remaining vegetables (except for the squash noodles) in the order of toughest to cook. For instance, I add the green beans first sauté for a few minutes, next I add the pepper and carrots, then the bok choy is added last
- Once your vegetables are sautéed to your liking remove from the heat, then add the squash noodles and mix together well
- Serve with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil
You may substitute the Chinese Long Bean for Green Bean
You may substitute the Bok Choy for Shredded Green Cabbage
Mix it up by adding your own vegetable combinations, mushrooms are a great addition to this dish
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.