We can’t get over how much we love the sauce for Thai Basil Beef! It’s deeply savory and smoky-sweet, with a citrus tang and just the right amount of spice. Combined with aromatic basil and garlic flavors, this sauce isn’t just a coating for perfectly browned beef—it’s practically a tuxedo! Thai Basil Beef takes less than half an hour to make, but you’ll savor every minute it’s on your plate.

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For the beef:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup loosely-packed, fresh basil leaves

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

For serving:

  • cooked rice, optional
  • fresh basil leaves, optional
  • cilantro, optional


Step 1 –Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a large pan or skillet.

Step 2 –Add the ground beef and stir, with your choice of a spoon, until broken apart and browned.

Step 3 –Add the bell pepper and sweet onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Step 4 –Add the garlic cloves, cooking until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 5 –To prepare the sauce, using a separate bowl, mix the chili paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice until fully incorporated.

Step 6 –Then add the sauce into the pan with the beef, pepper, and onion.

Step 7 –Add the cup of fresh basil and cook until the basil wilts, about 3 minutes.

Step 8 –Ladle the fully sauced beef onto your cooked rice, if desired.

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Step 9 –Garnish with basil and cilantro to taste.