Beef & Zucchini Stir Fry

grain free ground beef skillet

This delicious zucchini stir fry can be made in under 30 minutes. It’s a healthy version of “Hamburger Helper” that your kids will love!

You can add pasta sauce for a spaghetti like dish or peel the zucchini to sneak past picky kids (or spouses!). It’s an easy meal on a busy night!

4.8 from 4 reviews
Beef and Zucchini Skillet
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy stir fry that has a texture similar to pasta and kids love it!
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 onions
  • 3-4 medium zucchini
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic or garlic powder
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder, basil, oregano and thyme to taste (I used about 1 tsp of each)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • toppings: Pasta sauce, parmesan cheese, grated cheese (all optional)
  1. Heat skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Thinly slice onions and add to skillet.
  3. Using a peeler or food processor that can julienne, slice the zucchini into "noodles" and add to skillet.
  4. Cook until starting to soften.
  5. Remove from the skillet and place in a baking dish.
  6. Put under the broiler and cook about 7-10 minutes until desired crispness.
  7. While cooking, brown the ground beef and add spices of choice.
  8. Add onions/zucchini back to the skillet, mix and serve.
  9. Top with any desired toppings and enjoy!

What is your favorite easy dinner idea? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Looks delicious to me! I still have to hide the zucchini from some of my kids.  They’ll eat it shredded in fritters.

  2. What type of onion did you use? Red? White? Vidalia? My mom says I worry too much about being specific in recipes, but I’m a novice cook and details help! Thanks!

      • We made it tonight for dinner and it was a big hit! The yellow onions were perfect and it came together so easy! My 20 month old twins were eating it by the fist-full! They both asked for seconds! My four year old was a little skeptical, but she’s having a harder time adjusting to our new eating habits. Thank you so much for the easy and kid-friendly recipe! I love your site! : )

  3. This was yummy!  Made it yesterday — we were outside longer than anticipated and I needed to ditch what I had planned to make for something quicker.  I didn’t have any onions left, so made it without, and I imagine it would have been better with the onions :)   No one complained about the zucchini, and I usually have at least a couple of snorts and eye rolls there.

  4. I use zucchini for my spaghetti noodles all the time!  This recipe looks easy and I’ll definitely be trying it later!

  5. Can anyone comment on how they prepare their zucchini into “noodles”? I’m thinking of investing in a mandoline just for this purpose, but does anyone have success using a vegetable peeler (after slicing lengthwise maybe?) or just a knife? I can guess the size I’m going for based on the photos, but any comments on what the ideal size of zucchini noodle is?

    • I actually just slice the zucchini lengthwise into very thin strips and then peel with a peeler or sharp cheese slicer. I wish I had a mandoline, as I’ve see one work great for making more of a “noodle” size.

    • I use the vegetable spiraler from World Cusiine and it works great……I got mine on Amazon a few years ago.  

    • The new “Veggetti” is amazing and made just for this purpose. I got mine at CVS in the “As Seen on TV” section. I have also seen them at Walmart and Walgreens.

      Great lil invention for us pastaless folks!

  6. You avoid grains because you say they are unhealthy but you don’t have a problem eating meat which is way more unhealthy! Most meat (esp. that purchased at a grocery store) contains steroids, hormones, antibiotics that were pumped into the animals in the factory farms. There’s also been tests done on the chicken at the stores that shows it contains fecal matter… yes, POOP!!! Not only that studies show the  relationship between the consumption of animal products and illnesses such as breast & prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, and more. It concludes that people who eat a plant-based diet and reduce their intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates will escape, reduce, or reverse the development of chronic diseases.

    • It is not true that meat is more unhealthy than grains… There are essential amino acids in meat that the body needs and can’t make while there is no dietary need for anything in grains that can’t be found in greater amounts in vegetables… I agree on conventional meat though… We buy ours grass fed and organic from local farmers and which has been tested to have extremely high levels of cla and healthy fats… All the studies done on red meat were done on conventional meat with grains still on the diet… And grains have been linked to higher autoimmune issues and other problems…

      • Do you mean “there are essential amino acids in GRAINS that the body needs” or “there are essential amino acids in MEAT that the body needs”? And further along in the same sentence, by “grabs” do you mean “grains”?

        Just a bit confused, thanks.

  7. Made this tonight.  I added 1/2 C leftover cooked quinoa and used a bit less ground beef.  It was delicious!

  8. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter, but I don’t see where it’s used. Is that just for cooking the onions and zucchini? Can’t wait to cook this up for dinner tomorrow!

  9. I just made this for my three boys (and myself tonight). It went over better than expected. I used the smallest julienne blade on my mandolin for the squash (which was fresh from our garden). I used coconut oil instead of butter since all four of us are allergic to cow milk. My five year old usually fights any and all veggies and he has just finished whole bowl I have him. My two year old is on his third helping. Awesome! Thank you for this recipe.

  10. This was so great! I made it like you said and just topped it with parm cheese. It’s so good, I’ll add it to my weekly rotation. Thanks for this one!

  11. I am so thankful for yours and others websites. Learning to recook is hard enough wirhout blatching it and wasting food or eating as is.

  12. This was pretty good, and I put some of the leftovers in my eggs the next day. I didn’t get the spices quite right, but that’s easily fixed.

  13. my husband and I both really enjoyed this! I added some diced tomatoes and green chili’s (as I didn’t have crushed red pepper) – it was nice to find something my husband would eat with ground beef!!

  14. I made this for lunch today, and my four year old loved it! I added in some mushrooms while sauteing the beef and garlic. When I combined all the ingredients I sprinkled cheddar cheese on top and broiled it. Very yummy dish!

  15. I made this today for the first time — halved the amount of meat and butter, everything else the same, topped with a dollop of tomato paste — excellent! Hamburger Helper never tasted this good! I’m so glad I found your site — Thank you!

  16. Just made this last night and it was delicious! We all had the leftovers for lunch today. My boys requested it :)

  17. We tried this tonight, but left out the Italian herbs and used chilli powder instead. It was a huge hit with my 4 kids! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Made this tonight – the first of your recipes I’ve tried and it was so good! Exactly what I was craving, super easy and fast. I used a TB of both chili and cumin powder and threw in some pickled jalapeños (I live in TX so bear with me). Served with hot sauce and a Dollop of sour cream. I’m seriously looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow.

  19. I made this, then sautéed some mushrooms and added 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (made a double batch). Poured it on top of the zuchinni and meat mix in a casserole dish, typed with cheese, then into the oven to melt. …yumm! My kids couldn’t get enough! Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Made this tonight and it was good! Do you do anything to get the water out of the zucchini before cooking it? I broiled the zucchini and onions for at least 15 mins and it was still a watery skillet when I added the beef. Nice flavor though so I’ll see if I can drain/squeeze the water out next time.

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