These Spicy Szechuan Beef and Noodles are a homemade version of a takeout classic! Chinese noodles, tender beef, and stir-fried veggies are tossed in a sweet and spicy Szechuan sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes!
This down and dirty weeknight stir fry packs a serious flavor punch and doesn’t require anything too fancy from the market. Sure, you might have to hunt down a spicy pepper or two but after that most of the ingredients are already in your pantry or can be substituted on the fly!
What are Szechuan noodles?
Szechuan noodles are a classic dish served in many Indian or Chinese restaurants. They’re made up of stir-fried veggies and Chinese noodles tossed in a bold, flavorful, sweet, and spicy sauce that’s made with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, red chili paste, vinegar, and Sichuan peppercorn!
What is the difference between Szechuan beef and Mongolian beef?
Both dishes are rooted in Chinese cuisine, but they are different! Mongolian beef is milder in flavor, has more texture, and focuses more on the preparation of the meat and veggies.
Szechuan beef, on the other hand, has a more complex flavor and is much spicier thanks to the Szechuan peppercorns. Szechuan beef dishes typically contain fewer veggies and have more of a focus on the flavor of the sauce.
What you need to make this recipe
- Salt and Dried Chinese Noodles – cook the pasta in salted water to add extra flavor.
- Vegetable Oil – used to cook the beef and veggies.
- Ground Beef – classic Szechuan beef noodles are made with thinly sliced flank steak, but we’re using ground beef to keep it easy.
- Onion, Red Pepper, Green Beans, and Scallions – this is the blend of veggies we’re using in the stir fry, but feel free to add whatever veggies you like!
- Red Chile Pepper – I use fresno. Make sure to de-seed, then mince.
- Garlic and Ginger – use freshly minced for the best flavor.
- Szechuan Pepper – you can also use red pepper flakes if that’s what you have.
- Chinese Five-Spice Powder – a blend of Szechuan peppercorns, cloves, fennel, cinnamon, and star anise that adds that authentic sweet and spicy flavor.
- Tamari – you can also use dark soy sauce for a similar flavor.
- Sriracha – for serving and an extra kick of heat.
How to make spicy Szechuan beef noodles
This quick and easy dinner comes together in just 30 minutes!
Cook the noodles in salted boiling water according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat oil over high heat until smoking. Add the beef and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the onion, chile, garlic, ginger, Szechuan pepper, and five-spice powder. Cook until the onion is soft and the beef is cooked through. Add the red pepper and green beans and continue to cook.
Stir in the cooked noodles and tamari, then remove from the heat and toss with scallions.
Serve with sriracha for a kick of heat!
What pasta to use
I use dried Chinese noodles to keep this dish authentic, but any flat pasta will work. Try it with egg noodles, tagliatelle, linguine, or fettuccine.
Tips, tricks, and notes for this recipe
- Add more veggies. You can mix any veggies you like into the stir fry. Try adding broccoli, snap peas, water chestnuts, sliced carrots, mushrooms, you name it. Make sure to cut them all small enough that they cook all the way through.
- Swap the protein. Feel free to swap the ground beef for the classic thinly sliced flank steak or for another meat entirely. Pork, chicken, or even shrimp would work.
- If you don’t love spice, you can omit the chile pepper. I don’t recommend omitting the Szechuan peppercorns. They give the dish that authentic flavor.
- If you love the heat, add red pepper flakes and a drizzle of Sriracha for serving.
- Use a different base. You can easily make the Szechuan sauce and serve it over a white or brown rice or egg noodles if preferred. Or make another favorite noodle dish with this easy beef yakisoba recipe.
How to store
Leftovers will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or warm on the stove until heated all the way through.
More easy stir-fry ideas
- Sesame Steak Stir Fry
- Paleo Sesame Tuna Bowls
- Moo Shu Pork
- Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Korean Beef Bowls
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Spicy Szechuan Beef Noodles
- 1 lbs dried Chinese noodles or a flat pasta
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lbs ground beef
- 1 onion minced
- 1 small red chile pepper such as fresno, seeded and minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 2 tspn szechuan pepper or red pepper flakes
- 1 tspn Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup tamari or dark soy sauce
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1 bunch green beans
- 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced on an angle
- Sriracha for serving
- Cook the noodles in salted boiling water according to direction on package. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Turn to coat pan.
- Add the beef, and cook, breaking up into smaller chunks, for 3 minutes.
- Add the onion, chile, garlic, ginger, Szechuan pepper, and five-spice powder to the beef.
- Cook until onion is softened and beef is cooked through, about 2 to 4 minutes longer. Add the red pepper and green beans and cook until crunchy.
- Add the noodles to the beef and veggie mixture. Stir in the tamari sauce.
- Remove from heat and toss with the scallions.
- Serve with additional chili sauce on the side.