Light and flavorful with a Thai-inspired dressing, this easy beef salad recipe is made with ground meat that’s grilled – or can be pan fried or oven roasted – and seasonal vegetables. It’s simple enough to make for any weeknight and nice enough to serve to guests for a casual cookout. Here’s one more to add to your Quick Healthy Recipes list.
I came up with this delicious take on the more traditional Thai beef salad (that uses a cut of beef) one day when I had ground beef to use, it was hot, and I wanted something cool, quick, and flavorful. This checked all the boxes and didn’t require any long marinating yet still results in beef soaked with Thai flavors.
I find the flavors of Thai food – often lime, vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, and a bit of honey and spice – to really be the opposite of sauces and dressings Americans often use like ranch, French, or honey mustard (though obviously, I love those at times, too!) or even the thicker sauces of Chinese stir fries.
Instead of heavy dressings or sauces, Thai dressings just lightly coat the vegetables, letting them shine while also imparting just the right amount of spice, tang, and sweetness.
And you get all of this in this quick, healthy, one dish dinner salad that you can make as shown when it’s warm, but also use different cooking methods if you’d like this without grilling. It’s pretty versatile!
Let’s get to it, then.
Thai Beef Salad Recipe Ingredients
This is one of those recipes that does contain a number of ingredients – but they are either in your pantry or easy to find, so don’t let that put you off!
Sometimes those “3-Ingredient” recipes everyone shares are simply using packaged mixes that all contain a LOT more ingredients – and more ingredients doesn’t necessarily make for a complicated meal. #soapbox
This recipe is a case in point. You will need:
- 1 lime
- peanut (or olive) oil
- rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- sesame oil
- fish sauce
- Sriracha sauce (or red pepper flakes)
- ground beef
- garlic powder
- bell pepper
- sesame seeds (optional for garnish)
While not everyone has fish sauce or rice vinegar, they are easy to find in most grocery stores and if you’re like me and enjoy Thai flavors, they are something to add to your pantry for sure. The remaining ingredients are usually things we have or buy regularly – it’s just a matter of getting them out of the fridge and cupboards.
How to Make This Easy Beef Salad
This is a simple three-step recipe:
- Whisk together the dressing.
- Mix and shape the beef patties. Grill or cook using another method.
- While the meat is cooking, add all the vegetables to individual plates (or mix in a large bowl – it’s up to you), add the cooked patties, drizzle with dressing and you’re done.
This is easily done in less than 30 minutes and you’ll be sitting down to a one-dish meal that definitely hits the spot!
Other Serving Idea:
Sometimes I’ll add some pan fried noodles, too. I simply start the noodles to boil before starting the dressing, stir fry them in peanut and sesame oil while the meat cooks, and add them to the plates to the side of the vegetables. The dressing gets drizzled over everything and it’s SO good.
Other Cooking Ideas:
I’ve included alternative cooking methods for the beef in the printable recipe below, but I think the most fun variation is probably the Thai “taco salad” idea – mix up the beef with the ingredients but crumble it and cook it like taco meat. Then mix it all together with the vegetables. I think this would be a great way to serve the salad to a crowd or take on a picnic, don’t you?
Be sure to let me know if you try this and what method you used!
Click the arrow for the full Thai Beef Salad recipe (with print options)!
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