The Best Ground Beef Meals

Transform a package of ground beef into a mouthwatering meal packed with flavor. The results are budget friendly and oh so delicious.

  • Calzones with Italian Tomato Sauce

    Calzones with Italian Tomato Sauce

    Make your own portable dinner pockets by stuffing refrigerated pizza crust with ground beef, cheese, spinach, tomato and Italian seasonings. This meaty pizza-inspired favorite is great for on-the-go meals, or a fun family night in.
  • Chorizo-Beef Nachos
    Annabelle Breakey; Dan Becker

    Chorizo-Beef Nachos

    Beef up a traditional Mexican-inspired appetizer recipe by adding protein-packed black beans, fresh herbs, melty cheese, and lean ground beef. Make dinner time a party by serving the nachos on a large platter, or let everyone make their own stackers.
  • Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake
    Photo: Jan Smith

    Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake

    Trick the picky "noodles only" eaters at the table with this macaroni and cheese casserole. It's packed with lean sirloin, shredded veggies, and lots of calcium–each serving has 200 milligrams. Serve with a green veggie or side salad.
  • Chili-Topped Potatoes
    Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr

    Chili-Topped Potatoes

    Serve Mexican-style chili, flavored with dry Ranch dressing mix, on a cooked baked potato. Microwave the potatoes to save time and you'll have this dish on the table in about 20 minutes.
  • Mini-Cheeseburgers
    Photo: Tina Cornett; Styling: Leslie Byars Simpson


    Whether you're planning a party or just a festive night in, make mini-cheeseburgers using ground beef, party rolls, and slices of American cheese, cut into quarters. Serve with a side of baby carrots for a scaled-down meal that's fun to eat.
  • All-In-One Spaghetti
    Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Mary Lyn Hill Jenkins

    All-In-One Spaghetti

    Make clean-up a snap by serving a one-pot spaghetti dish. The liquid from the sauce cooks the pasta in the Dutch oven, infusing the noodles with the flavor of dried oregano and chili powder. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a slice of garlic bread.
  • French Market Meat Loaf

    French Market Meat Loaf

    Meatloaf has long been a dinner table favorite. Shelve your go-to recipe and try a new one packed with dried herbs and topped with smooth tomato gravy. Diced Cajun sausage links add extra meat to the loaf, along with a vibrant punch of flavor.
  • Richard's Sloppy Joes

    Richard's Sloppy Joes

    Serve a grown-up version of the kid-friendly favorite. This meaty sandwich gets its mild heat from Worcestershire and the liquid from pickled jalapeños. If you're serving younger palates, reduce or omit the juice and stick with the more traditional version. Toast hamburger buns before adding the meat mixture, and serve with a side of potato wedges or a green salad.
  • Stuffed Peppers
    Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Stuffed Peppers

    Bulk up the popular side dish, traditionally stuffed with rice, by adding ground sirloin to the hollowed red pepper. Use boil-in-a-bag rice to save preparation time, then cook for about 20 minutes for a dish that's a meal in itself.
  • Meatballs and Peppers
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Meatballs and Peppers

    Nothing beats homemade meatballs, so pick a recipe that keeps the number of ingredients low and the flavor content high. Serve with a bell pepper stir fry over mashed potatoes to absorb all the juices.
  • Hamburger Steak
    Photo: Tina Cornett; Styling: Mary Lyn Hill Jenkins

    Hamburger Steak

    Serve skillet hamburger steaks like grandma used to make. Worcestershire and dry mustard add a sharp bite to the ground chuck, while lightly sautéed onion and bell pepper add crisp texture. Plate with instant mashed potatoes and a fresh veggie for a home-style meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes.
  • Mediterranean Burgers
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker

    Mediterranean Burgers

    Greek meets the grill in this recipe that's perfect for summer. Add feta and fresh herbs to the ground beef for a savory kick, and when you're ready to serve on a toasted Kaiser roll, slather on a layer of olive spread made with kalamatas, lemon, and dill. For toppings, we recommend lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion.
  • Lean Green Lettuce Tacos
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Lean Green Lettuce Tacos

    Ready in less than 30 minutes, these tacos are lighter version their corn or flour cousins. Layer a mixture of ground beef, zucchini, yellow squash, cilantro, lime, and tomatoes with the toppings of your choice. Instead of Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, try queso fresco, a crumbly, mild Mexican cheese for an authentic touch. You can often find this cheese at larger grocery stores.
  • Thai-Style Ground Beef

    Thai-Style Ground Beef

    Transport yourself to Southeast Asia with this Thai-inspired one-pot dish. Simmer ground beef in a sauce made from Thai red curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, coconut milk, and fresh lime juice. Serve in lettuce leaves for a cool addition to the spicy beef, and add a side of rice and tropical fruit to round out the meal.
  • Smoky Beef-and-Bacon Chili
    Photo: Peden & Munk; Styling: Amy Wilson  

    Smoky Beef-and-Bacon Chili

    Bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes, and smoked Spanish paprika update traditional beef and bean chili with a smoky, complex flavor. Serve with cornbread, and try to save some for later—it's even better the next day!
  • Sweet-and-Sour Muffin Meat Loaves

    Sweet-and-Sour Muffin Meat Loaves

    Even a well-loved staple needs an update now and then. Instead of using a loaf pan, roll this meat loaf mixture into balls and bake in a muffin pan. Adding brown sugar and vinegar to ketchup makes a delicious sweet-and-sour sauce that kids and grownups will love. Serve with mashed new potatoes and peas.
  • Lime-and-Cilantro Beef Salad

    Lime-and-Cilantro Beef Salad

    This recipe mixes rice and ground beef together over romaine lettuce. Toss the rice, beef, and lettuce with a dressing of cilantro, ginger, soy sauce, honey, and fresh lime juice. Garnish your salad with chopped roasted peanuts and sliced red onion.
  • Fettucine with Bolognese Sauce
    Photo: Sang An

    Fettuccine with Bolognese Sauce

    Nothing beats a rich and savory pasta sauce like this bolgonese. Start with ground beef, vegetables, and tomatoes, then build the flavor with pancetta, a little whole milk, and nutmeg. Serve with slices of garlic bread and a salad to complete your meal. One reviewer says, "This recipe is boyfriend thinks it's so good because I'm Italian and I learned how to make it from my mom (ha!)."
  • Spicy Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers

    Spicy Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers

    No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you—these burgers are extra large because they're stuffed with Cheddar cheese. Pureed chipotle peppers add a delicious kick to the beef, and you can adjust the amount of spice to your family's liking. Balance that heat with classic toppings like fresh tomatoes, lettuce, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, and cold sides like coleslaw and fruit salad.
  • Shepherd's Pie
    Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

    Shepherd's Pie

    This hearty dish pairs ground beef with earthy veggies like carrots, peas, mushrooms with flavorful, cheesy mashed potatoes. You can even make this dish ahead and refrigerate for an easy weeknight meal.
  • Meaty Cheese Manicotti

    Meaty Cheese Manicotti

    Ground beef is just the base of this manicotti stuffing. Add hot Italian sausage, cheese, and tomatoes to the mix and stuff into prepared manicotti shells. Cover in a cream sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake until the cheese is browned. Serve with a salad and garlic bread for a complete meal.
  • Chili for a Crowd
    Photo: Rob Howard; Styling: Marcus Hay

    Chili for a Crowd

    This simple chili can simmer for as little as half an hour before you dig in, and it only takes 25 minutes to prep. It has traditional ingredients like beef, garlic, bell pepper, cumin, and chile powder, but you'll also add lager-style beer, which gives this chili more flavor. Set out everyone's favorite toppings in small bowls so they can customize their chili.
  • Grilled Sourdough Cheddar Melt
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Grilled Sourdough Cheddar Melt

    This cheddar melt is inspired by those yummy patty melts you find at a diner, but comes out lighter by using lean beef and reduced-fat cheese. Caramelized onions add even more flavor, and you can serve with your favorite diner-inspired sides.
  • Meat, Bulgur, and Rice Dolmades
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

    Meat, Bulgur, and Rice Dolmades

    This dish is found across the Mediterranean region, and now you can try it in your own home. Wrap a mixture of beef, grains, and tomatoes in grape leaves and braise the rolls in a lemon broth. When the dolmades are finished cooking, thicken the broth with cornstarch to make a dipping sauce—or use Greek yogurt. You can find the grape leaves in the Mediterranean section of larger grocery stores.
  • Not-So-Sloppy Joes
    Photo: Hector Sanchez

    Not-So-Sloppy Joes

    This dish may seem like a typical sloppy joe recipe, but there's a secret ingredient here. Cinnamon gives these joes a unique, warm flavor that's sure to please your family. And you'll be glad to know it takes only about 30 minutes to prepare! Serve your joes on toasted bread with cheese, sweet pickles, and sour cream. You can even use the leftovers for tacos the next night!
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