Ground Beef Recipes

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30 Best Ground Beef Recipes

Ground beef has to be one of the most versatile meats out there. You can turn it into so many different dishes, from ethnic (Mexican, Italian, Asian) to pasta-filled and even meals without any pasta at all. You can use just a few ingredients, or load a recipe up with sauces, veggies, and more. Truly, ground beef is one of the best ways to fix easy, healthy meals–and most recipes are quick, as well!

You can control the nutrition factor, as well, when you choose the ground beef you use. Check the protein-to-fat ratio for a guide, keeping in mind that while fat contributes calories and cholesterol, it also provides flavor and juiciness. A 96/4 blend is only 4% fat, so it will be a bit tougher and drier. 80/20 is considered average, and the higher fat content makes it a great choice for grilling, where drying out is a concern. Many of the recipes included here specify a certain fat ratio, but many times you can substitute your preferred blend with very little difference. You can even use ground turkey if you like! Just remember that ground turkey uses those same protein-to-fat ratios, so if you’re looking for ultra-lean turkey, keep an eye out for something with the numbers to back it up–anything 90% protein or higher will fit the bill.

5-Star Ground Beef Recipes

Here are some of the ground beef recipes that have earned five-star ratings on our website. You’ll see the variety here, so you can fix all of them and nobody will ever say, “This again?” Are your favorites on this list? Be sure to leave us a rating and a comment!

Images of the best ground beef recipes

1. Goulash

Hearty and comforting Goulash is an easy and delicious pasta and ground beef meal. This meal is packed with flavor and can be ready in under 40 minutes.

One reader said: “This was outstanding, and simple to prepare. This recipe can’t get any better than it already is if you follow it, I guarantee your family will be asking for more and it’s plenty. You nailed it. Thanks for sharing.”

2. Ground Beef Ramen

Our viral Ground Beef Ramen makes for an unforgettable 30-minute meal the whole family will love!

One reader said: “THIS DISH IS NEXT LEVEL! I always know if I need a good week-night dinner that everyone loves I have this one in my back pocket…..Thanks for your delicious recipes, Chelsea!”

3. Sloppy Joes

Forget everything you know about Sloppy Joes because these tangy, sweet, and savory Sloppy Joes are on a whole different level.

One reader said: “Chelsea, I made your Sloppy Joe recipe, and it was a big hit with my husband and I! Well worth the extra effort to add the veg mixture. Definitely a keeper!”

4. Pasta e Fagioli {Olive Garden Copycat}

This 5-Star Pasta e Fagioli is the perfect heartwarming soup. It’s healthy, filling, and the perfect meal on a chilly day!

One reader said: “Made this last night and it was so so delicious!!!! A big hit with my entire family!!! Thank you!!”

5. Teriyaki Burger

This burger recipe includes a sweet pineapple teriyaki sauce, grilled pineapple, plenty of veggies, Swiss cheese, and lightly toasted brioche buns.

One reader said: “Yum! I LOVE this burger! It’s one of my husband and I’s favorites. Thanks!”

 

Simple Ground Beef Recipes

Sometimes simple is good. Whether you’re a beginner or a busy cook, there are days when the more uncomplicated a recipe is, the better. Simple doesn’t have to be boring, though. Easy recipes can be just as scrumptious as one that takes hours to fix, and we have the recipes to prove it!

5 images of quick and easy meals

6.Mongolian Ground Beef

This insanely flavorful Mongolian Ground Beef recipe can be on the table in 20 minutes or less. 

One reader said: “I just made this last night! It was soooo good and loaded with flavor. I am looking forward to the leftovers today and will definitely be making this again!”

7. Creamy Beef and Shells

Creamy Beef and Shells are the ultimate upgrade from your childhood Hamburger Helper. It’s flavorful, family-friendly, and can be ready in 30 minutes or less with minimal prep.

One reader said: “Wow this dish is incredible. I can’t believe how big of a hit this was with the whole family. It’ll be on regular rotation for our family from here on out! Thanks for your amazing recipes!”

8. One-Pot Spaghetti

This dish is insanely simple with the help of a few store-bought shortcuts and minimal ingredients. With “hidden” veggies this dish is packed with nutrients. (Replace the ground turkey with equal amounts of ground beef!)

One reader said: “I used veggie noodles and this was the most vegetables my toddlers have eaten ever. I was soo happy…”

9. Texas Toast Pizza

Texas Toast Pizza starts with saucy ground beef, garlic-y Texas Toast, mini pepperonis, and melty mozzarella. It’s beyond simple and the kids love to pitch in and help make them!

One reader said: “So easy and fun! These are my daughter’s favorite meal!”

10. Ground Beef Naan Tacos

Easy Ground Beef Naan Tacos start with a charred naan and are topped with seasoned ground beef, a quick veggie salad, and a simple herb sauce.

One reader said: “This one was a big hit with my family and super simple to make! Thanks for teaching me how to cook!”

 

Healthy Ground Beef Recipes

When you’re fixing healthy recipes for your family, ground beef can play a starring role. With many low-fat varieties available, beef paired with veggies and sauces shows that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive.

Images of the healthy ground beef recipes

11. Beef Lettuce Wraps

Healthy, 30-minute, Beef Lettuce wraps are the perfect low-carb, well-rounded dinner!

One reader said: “Hi there, I love these, what a nice late summer meal that fills you up without loading you up with carbs.”

12. Beef Larb

Beef Larb is the perfect meal prep or healthy weeknight meal. It’s packed with fresh herbs and veggies. You’re going to love this one!

One reader said: “This was the first time I have ever tried Larb. It was delicious!!! And the addition of zucchini was fantastic.”

13. Navajo Taco Bowls

Ditch the fry bread and serve these ground beef Navajo Tacos over rice. It’s a healthier, 30-minute simple dinner!

One reader said: “What a lovely idea cooking everything in the same pan with great attention! I made this for my lunch for the week and today I tried it for the first time. It was amazing! Thanks for the idea. This will definitely be my go-to from now on.”

14. Stuffed Pepper Soup

All the best components of your traditional Stuffed Peppers come together in this amazing Stuffed Pepper Soup. It’s loaded with veggies and lean ground beef.

One reader said: “My whole family loved this soup! It’s perfect on a snowy day, after playing outside!”

15. Taco Chili (Stovetop, Instant Pot, Crockpot!)

This well-rounded dinner has everything you need to feel healthy and satisfied.

One reader said: “Super delicious chili. Whole family loved it. Super easy to make. Thanks for the recipe. Yum!!!!”

Mexican Ground Beef Recipes

Latin-American flavors reign supreme in my house, and they’re probably popular with your family, too. I’m a taco fanatic, I can’t lie, but when you take those flavors and blend them into other recipes, a whole new group of meals opens up. Take a look at these Mexican-inspired ground beef recipes and let me know which ones make you smile!

5 images of Mexican style dinners

16. Taco Lasagna

Mexican-inspired lasagna. Saucy taco meat layered between lasagna noodles and it’s all baked to cheesy perfection.

One reader said: “This is exactly my favorite kind of dinner. The husband and kids will eat just about anything if it includes pasta and it’s a good way for me to sneak extra Mexican into the rotation without getting shouted at for always making Mexican. 😉 Love this!”

17. Beef Tacos

These are our favorite Beef Tacos! They’re kid friendly, simple, and easy to customize! Basically the perfect weeknight dinner!

One reader said: “Oh my word!!! Love it!!! What a great alternative to those nasty taco packets. I have tried several of your recipes & love them all. Yum!!!”

18. Beef & Potato Tacos

We’re channeling the flavors of empanadas into these easy Beef and Potato Tacos! 

One reader said: “This was such a delicious and easy meal. The potatoes really added a lot to it.”

19. Loaded Taco Fries

The perfect game day appetizer or weeknight dinner recipe! Sweet potato fries form the base and are topped with taco meat and all the taco toppings you love. (Replace ground turkey with ground beef)

One reader said: “Wow, I love sweet potatoes but then, I also love every other ingredient, so perfect, and thank you!”

20. Taco Lettuce Wraps

Low-carb Taco lettuce wraps are filled with taco-seasoned ground beef, black beans, cheddar cheese, and all your other favorite taco toppings!

One reader said: “Yum! We eat these tacos all the time, and I love this is a healthier alternative!”

Ground Beef Recipes Without Pasta

Everybody loves a good ground beef and pasta meal–myself included! But there are times when you want something a little lighter–whether it’s because you’re low carbing it, or wanting to explore something different. Give these ground beef recipes without pasta a try–you’ll never miss the macaroni.

Images of the ground beef recipes without pasta

21. Crockpot Chili

This 5-star chili is award winning! It’s packed with spice and flavor and sure to be a hit wherever you bring it!

One reader said: “You are *officially* my favorite person because this recipe helped me win a chili cook-off! Hooray! It really is the best though. and didn’t change a thing. Thank you Chelsea!”

22. Shepherd’s Pie

The ultimate comfort food: Shepherd’s Pie! It’s made with a rich gravy, ground beef, and vegetables!

One reader said: “INSANELY good! Best I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of shepherd’s pie in my day 🙂”

23. Porcupine Meatballs

Weird name, but stay with me here, these Porcupine Meatballs are made with ground beef, and use minimal ingredients. Little prep time and impressive results!

One reader said: “Love this recipe! The canned soup in other porcupine meatball recipes is always a downer – too acid for my liking. This sauce is easy and super tasty. Totally lifts this meal!”

24. Burger Recipe

The best burger recipe out there. Trust me on this one, you’ll be craving these for the rest of forever!

One reader said: “WOW!! That burger is absolutely amazing!! My family LOVES it!”

25. Greek Meatballs

Perfectly seasoned and flavored Greek Meatballs served in a pita with fresh vegetables and the best lemon-herb sauce.

One reader said: “love meatballs and oyster sauce is such a nice tweak, great flavors with all of these ingredients, thank you!”

Ground Beef Pasta Dishes

Ground beef and pasta go together like….well, we can’t think of a better example! It pairs perfectly with macaroni to create family favorites that have stood the test of time. Just check out these dishes here–you won’t be sorry!

Images of 5 different pasta dishes

26. Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

A delicious take on the flavors from the famous Philly Cheesesteak sandwich — transformed into a pasta dish! This Philly cheesesteak pasta is sure to be a hit!

One reader said: “My family & I LOVED it! So delicious; it tastes exactly like a Philly cheese steak without the bread.”

27. Taco Pasta Salad

This easy Taco Pasta Salad combines pasta, taco-seasoned meat, iceberg lettuce, black beans, and veggies. A homemade creamy chili-lime dressing is the perfect complement to this salad.

One reader said: “This recipe is so delicious and easy to make. Instead of a side dish, we ate it for our main course. I used spiral pasta, it turned out great. I’m sure it will be a repeated favorite.”

28. Baked Ziti

Comfort food at its finest — Baked Ziti made with tender pasta noodles, irresistible ground beef and tomato sauce, and a combination of three different kinds of cheese! 

One reader said: “This was a huge hit with my family. From the 7-year-old to the 17! The kids and my husband all had seconds. Thank you.”

29. Taco Pasta

Look at this cheesy Taco Pasta with taco-seasoned ground beef, taco sauce, pasta, corn, and of course, lots of cheese. This meal comes together in one pan – even the pasta gets cooked in the same pot.

One reader said: “Been making this for about a year. I have this page bookmarked on my phone for every time I make it. My fiancé loves it. We call it taco mac. Thanks for the recipe 🙂”

30. Spaghetti Bolognese

Hearty and delicious, veggie-packed Spaghetti Bolognese is made in the slow cooker. It’s the perfect, quick, weeknight dinner!

One reader said: “Just made it for dinner tonight and everybody loved it! In fact I had leftovers and two people asked if they could bring the sauce home with them so all in all it was a huge success! Also using the food processor to mince the onion, celery and carrots was a huge time saver!”

More ground beef recipes from our files and around the web:

Ground Beef FAQs

1What is ground beef?

Ground beef is trimmings from primal cuts of beef–whole muscle, without cartilage or heavy connective tissue– that has been trimmed from steaks and roasts.

Ground beef is labeled according to its fat content. 70/30 used to be the standard for ground beef, with 70% beef and 30% fat. Now you’ll find 80/20, 90/10, 97/3, and even 99/01 types of ground beef.

Ground beef is named by the cut of beef it’s taken from. Ground round and ground sirloin, for example, are much leaner than generic ground beef.

Legends about ground beef containing unidentified body parts from cows is just that: a legend. Government inspections monitor the production carefully and if organs or other parts are used, that must be disclosed.

Keep in mind, though, that fat contributes to juicy, flavorful meat. The lower the fat content, the less flavor the beef.

2How long does ground beef stay fresh?

Use refrigerated ground beef within 3 days or so. Frozen, ground beef will stay fresh for 3 or 4 months.

3What are the healthiest ways to prepare ground beef?

Grilling, broiling, and roasting are methods that add little fat or other ingredients–so they’re generally the healthiest. If you add in sauces, marinades, pasta, and other ingredients, though, that can change things significantly!

4How do you season ground beef?

It all depends on the dish. A savory seasoning blend includes onion, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add a Mexican flair with chili and cumin. Asian recipes often use soy sauce, vinegar, turmeric and ginger. Italian cuisine features oregano, basil and pepper.

5How can you tell if ground beef is no longer good to use?

Besides using the guideline of 3 to 4 days, consider the appearance of the meat. It’s very common for the surface of ground beef to turn brown with exposure to air, but if the entire piece of meat is brown, that would be cause for dismissal.

When in doubt, it’s best to play it safe and throw it away.

6How do you cook ground beef?

Cook over medium heat in a skillet, adding a tablespoon of oil if the meat is extra lean. Stir and break up into crumbles as it cooks. Ground beef is done when it reaches 160 degrees F.

Drain (if needed) in a collander, taking care not to let the grease go down the drain. Drain over a bowl or other container.

 

7Can you freeze ground beef?

Ground beef freezes well, whether raw or cooked.

Raw ground beef can be put in a plastic freezer bag and flattened into a donut shape. The hole in the center will allow it to thaw faster.

After cooking, ground beef crumbles freeze easily. Use a plastic freezer bag and spread the beef crumbles out so that there isn’t a solid clump of meat. You can remove as many crumbles as needed for any given recipe.

 
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