Cheesy Kimchi Beef and Veggie Bowls


This recipe came from a clean out the fridge dinner I made one night and instantly fell in love. Beef gets cooked, followed by the veggies, and then they join forces and get topped with plenty of cheese that melts over everything and becomes crispy in spots. Tangy, spicy, pungent kimchi goes on top with scallions and sesame seeds for a super simple skillet dinner that packs in the veggies, protein, and flavor! This is one of those recipes that I could eat every night because it’s extremely adaptable, quick to throw together, and so satisfying. 

Ingredient highlight

Kimchi! is a traditional fermented Korean food composed of various vegetables and seasonings. It often contains napa cabbage, chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings. It varies in taste and spice level, but has a distinct funky, spicy flavor that cannot be replicated!

Like other fermented products, it is a great source of probiotics (good bacteria) to promote gut-health. Fermentation increases the bioavailability and absorption of many nutrients, so by fermenting cabbage, you’re getting an extra high dose of vitamin A and C.

Look for it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store where you would find other fermented products like sauerkraut (I know you can find it at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods!). Or order my favorite local brand Choi’s Kimchi online!

Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 8 cups chopped or thinly sliced veggies (cabbage, leeks, mushrooms, carrot, broccoli, etc…)*
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • Kimchi, for topping**
  • Sliced scallions, for topping
  • Sesame seeds, for topping
  • *I used a whole leek, 8 oz mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots. Use whatever you have on hand!
  • **If you can’t find kimchi, you could also top with sauerkraut. If nothing else, top with spicy chili sauce like sriracha and a dash of rice vinegar.
  • Note: ~ you could totally riff on this recipe by adding some spices towards the end and topping with any cheese, sauce/salsa/yogurt, herbs, etc…


  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the beef, break into chunks, then sprinkle all over with ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, undisturbed, for 3-5 minutes or until deeply browned. Continue to break into smaller chunks and cook until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Use a slotted spatula to transfer to a plate.
  • If the skillet looks dry, add some more olive oil or if there is a lot of oil, spoon some off (this will really depend on your meat – you want about 1 tablespoon oil in there). Add the veggies and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and cook until the veggies are cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beef back into the skillet and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and top evenly with cheese. Let that cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted (you can cover the skillet to help speed this along).
  • Serve topped with kimchi, scallions, and sesame seeds. You can serve this on its own or bulk it up by adding rice and topping with a fried egg.

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Thinly slice or chop 8 cups veggies 
  • Grate 2 cups cheese


  • To make vegetarian, use tofu in place of beef. Crumble it up, press it, and pan-fry it until golden.
  • To make vegan, see above + use vegan cheese.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Warm up leftover beef/veg in the microwave or in a covered skillet until warmed through and cheese is melted. Top with scallions, kimchi, and sesame seeds.
  • Serve it over rice and top with a fried egg.
  • Put it in a tortilla – cheesy beef and veggie tacos with kimchi.

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