Over the course of the last few months, we have perfected our Sweet Orange Beef Meal Prep that we’ve been having for lunch during the week. This recipe might seem daunting, but we’ve found a way to really make it easy for us. The sauce is super easy to make and can be adjusted to fit your pantry and your palette. Check out the recipe below, and then keep reading for tips on how to make this recipe your own.
- 9 tbsp Soy sauce
- 6 tbsp water
- 6 tbsp ginger (your favorite kind)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 6 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
- 4 tbsp agave (or other liquid sweetener)
- juice of 1 orange
- zest of 1 orange
- 3 tbsp arrowroot starch (or other thickening agent)
- 5 lb lean ground beef
Do This in This Order
- Whisk all sauce ingredients together except for the arrowroot starch.
- Once sauce ingredients are evenly mixed, slowly add the arrowroot starch, whisking as you go to keep it from clumping.
- Add sauce to saucepan and heat slowly on medium, frequently stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Once the sauce is thick, turn heat to low.
- Start preparing the beef. We use 1 tbsp of coconut oil per pan, and 5 lbs usually takes 2.
- Cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink.
- Strain beef in a colander and return to pan over low heat.
- Create a hole in the middle of your beef pan.
- Slowly distribute your sauce into your pans—doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Combine sauce and beef until it is evenly coated.
- Transfer all beef to one giant bowl or divide evenly into meal prep containers.
The Perfect Sweet Orange Beef Meal Prep Recipe
We originally found this recipe on FitMenCook, one of our favorite meal prep idea machines. Most of their recipes are typically over-complicated for us, and while we do love their app, the recipes don’t really scale. So we took their recipe as a base, and then we spent 3 months making it perfect for us. That’s basically our entire approach to meal prep anyway: find a recipe that sounds good, and then adapt it to fit our diets, budget, and schedule.
Making this recipe work for you
As we tested out this meal prep recipe for sweet orange beef, we had many trials and many errors.
We typically switch up our meats a lot so we don’t get bored. The sauce as written is pretty thick, which pairs perfectly with the beef. This recipe would also work great with ground chicken or turkey, but I would suggest using less of your thickening agent (we use arrowroot starch). You could even cut it out entirely.
While we never tried it on grilled chicken or anything not-ground, this sauce would surely add a sweet orange flavor to any meat (or meatless) of your choosing.
The sauce: tips & tricks we learned
We are two grown men who eat a LOT and OFTEN. We’ve found that 5lbs of meat typically gets us through 10 total meals (5 each), and Patrick typically gets a bigger portion because he is so tall. The amount of sauce in this recipe is what works for us. It may not be culinarily perfect, but we like it like this. I also like these proportions because it is easily to scale in 3rds. I also tried different quantities of just about every item in the recipe, and you can’t really mess it up. So play around with the proportions of the sauce to make it better for you! Maybe throw in more sriracha or don’t even use it. Try adding more sesame oil for that smoky flavor. Hell, juice 2 oranges or use orange peels instead of the zest (Patrick liked that version best). The sauce is yours to perfect!
The meal prep
Because we both work from home, we typically skip portioning things out ahead of time. We keep this sweet orange beef in a giant bowl in the fridge, and it lasts an entire week for us.
Our meal prepping always consists of a protein, a carb, and a veggie. Our protein for this meal prep recipe is obviously this sweet orange beef. The carb is typically a noodle of some kind, whatever we’re feeling for the week. The veggie pairing is typically Trader Joe’s frozen broccoli which tastes super good with the sweet orange sauce all up on it. Honestly, it really all just depends on what we have around and what we feel like making.
We portion out our noodles, beef, and broccoli into large bowls, throw a paper towel on top, and microwave this lunch for 1:30. Easy peasy. This honestly tastes the same for us on Day 5 as it does on Day 1. No complaints!