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There are countless ways to use ground beef to make delicious, creative, and satisfying meals. If you’re looking for ground beef dinner ideas, read on! We’ll cover 27 recipes, all with a unique twist on classic favorites. From casseroles to tacos to soups, there’s something for everyone!
If you’re tired of making the same classic version, try out one of these ground beef dinner ideas — they’re a simple way to take your meatloaf to the next level.
1. Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
Take your favorite meatloaf recipe and add a twist—wrap it with bacon slices before baking. As the bacon cooks, its juices will run off and infuse the ground beef with a delicious smoky flavor. The end result is a juicy meatloaf in a crispy, perfectly browned shell.
2. Old-Fashioned Southern Meatloaf
Traditional meatloaf consists of mainly ground beef, seasonings, and breadcrumbs or eggs to bind it. This Southern-style meatloaf recipe adds chopped onions and green peppers, which help give it even more moisture and flavor. Serve it with mashed potatoes for the ultimate comfort food dinner.
3. Stuffed Meatloaf
Give your plain old meatloaf an upgrade by adding a layer of stuffing. Simply roll the ground beef mixture in the shape of a rectangle, spread your favorite stuffing on top, and roll it up. This recipe also includes a creamy mushroom gravy to pour over the meatloaf when it’s ready.
Traditional beef Stroganoff is made with strips of steak, but there’s nothing that says you can’t use ground beef. For a simpler and much more budget-friendly version, try one of these delicious variations.
4. Ground Beef Stroganoff With Greek Yogurt
Authentic beef Stroganoff involves a rich sauce made with sour cream, heavy cream, or canned mushroom soup. For this slightly healthier version, try using Greek yogurt instead. Simply stir it in at the very end to give the dish a creamy consistency and flavor.
5. One Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff
Typically, the meat and mushrooms are cooked in a skillet, while the side dish—rice, potatoes, or pasta—is cooked separately. To save time and make clean-up a breeze, why not make everything in the same pot? Simply add enough beef broth to cook the pasta together with the meat. When it’s done, you can thicken the remaining broth and stir in the sour cream.
6. Instant Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff
For an even more hands-off beef Stroganoff, use an Instant Pot. Start by sauteéing the ground beef in the Instant Pot until it browns. Add in onions, garlic, cream of mushroom soup, beef broth, and pasta, close the lid, and cook on high for just three minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, stir in sour cream, and enjoy!
A casserole is any dish that involves layering ingredients in a deep oven-safe pan and baking them to let the flavors meld together (there’s usually loads of melted cheese—yum!). Lasagna is probably the most popular example of a ground beef casserole, but there are countless other options. Below are just a few.
7. Shepherd’s Pie
Authentic shepherd’s pie uses minced or ground lamb, though ground beef makes an excellent substitute. It actually started out as a casserole made from leftovers, but don’t be fooled—it certainly deserves a spotlight of its own. To prepare the bottom layer, sauté ground beef together with onions, carrots, celery, and peas. Spread this mixture at the bottom of a casserole dish, add a generous layer of mashed potatoes, and bake until golden.
8. Greek Moussaka
Moussaka is a traditional Mediterranean eggplant casserole. It takes a few steps to make, but it’s well worth it! Start by boiling slices of potatoes and frying slices of eggplant—they will make up the first two layers. For the next layer, sauté ground beef with onions, galic, crushed tomatoes, and red wine. The final layer is a Bechamel sauce mixed with egg yolks and Parmesan cheese, which allows it to thicken and hold its shape when the Moussaka is sliced.
9. Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Who doesn’t love stuffed peppers? They look fancy and taste delicious. They’re also a bit laborious to make. When you’re short on time, skip stuffing each individual pepper, chop them up instead, and make an “unstuffed pepper casserole”. It brings all the same flavors and cheesy goodness, but without the work!
Taco Tuesdays don’t all have to be the same! There are countless options you can try if the classic taco seasoning and toppings have been in your dinner rotation for a little too long.
10. Korean Beef Tacos
These Korean beef tacos are like having Korean BBQ in a tortilla. Cook the ground beef in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Serve it in a warm flour tortilla and top it with caramelized kimchi, red onions, and sriracha mayonnaise.
11. Double Decker Tacos
Are you a soft shell or hard shell person? With this recipe, you don’t have to choose! Start with a soft tortilla, spread it with a generous layer of refried beans, nestle a hard shell inside, and fill it with seasoned ground beef and your favorite toppings. No more hard shell pieces awkwardly breaking off every time you take a bite!
12. Navajo Tacos
To enjoy Navajo tacos, simply replace your classic flour or corn tortillas with homemade Navajo frybread. Make a simple bread dough, roll it out into flat discs, and deep fry it. You may not be able to fold the frybread like you would a tortilla because it’s quite a bit thicker, so feel free to use a fork and knife.
The word “enchilada” is Spanish for “seasoned with chili”—not surprisingly, enchilada sauce is bursting with authentic Mexican flavor. Check out the recipes below to learn how to make traditional enchiladas, as well as a couple of unique variations.
13. The Ultimate Easy Beef Enchilada Recipe
To make traditional enchiladas, start by sauteéing ground beef with onions, garlic, and spices. Fill the bottom of a casserole dish with homemade or store-bought red enchilada sauce. Fill 8-10 tortillas with the beef mixture and a bit of shredded cheese before nestling them in the sauce. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle on some more cheese.
14. Green Chile Beef Enchiladas With Cilantro Cream Sauce
What’s different about this recipe is the sauce. Instead of the traditional red enchilada sauce, it calls for a green chile sour cream sauce. To make it, start with a roux (cooked melted butter and flour), add chicken broth, shredded cheese, sour cream, green chiles, lime juice, and cilantro. The sour cream perfectly balances out the spiciness of the chiles and complements the meat-filled tortillas.
15. Cream Cheese Beef Enchiladas
This recipe uses salsa in place of the traditional enchilada sauce—much easier but just as delicious! It also calls for cream cheese added to the ground beef mixture as it cooks, because you can never have too much cheese!
Empanadas get their name from the Galician verb “empanar,” which means to wrap in bread. Similar to turnovers, they’re fried or baked pastries that can contain a wide variety of fillings. Below are a few variations of meat-filled empanadas, which are often served as a main course.
16. Cheesy Ground Beef Empanadas
These empanadas are so easy to make, since you can use store-bought pie crust. Simply roll out the dough and cut it out into circles. Stuff each empanada with browned and seasoned ground beef and a sprinkle of cheese, before folding them up and baking. They’re perfect for little hands!
17. Beef & Sweet Potato Empanadas With Avocado Cream Sauce
The addition of sweet potato in these empanadas perfectly complements the ground beef and adds a little sweetness. To make the dipping sauce, mash up an avocado and mix it with sound cream or Greek yogurt, lime juice, and cilantro.
18. Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino
Popular in Chile, empanadas de pino are much larger and more generously stuffed than traditional Spanish ones. This recipe calls for a homemade pastry dough and an elaborate filling that includes ground beef, raisins, black olives, and hard-boiled eggs. They’re absolutely worth the effort, though!
Soups made with ground beef are quick and easy to make, budget-friendly, and incredibly comforting! You can use just about anything you can find in your kitchen, but here are some tried and true combinations.
19. Taco Soup Recipe
If you love tacos and soup, you’ll love this recipe. The hearty soup combines the best Mexican flavors—taco seasoning, chile peppers, pinto beans, and tomatoes. You can also add any vegetables you have on hand—peppers, zucchini, corn— and, of course, sprinkle in some crushed tortilla chips.
20. Easy Hamburger Soup
Ground beef is often called “hamburger meat,” hence the name of this soup. It uses simple ingredients like browned beef, beef broth, onions, garlic, celery, diced tomatoes, and potatoes. You can make it on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot in less than 30 minutes.
21. Beefy Tomato Soup
This ground beef soup is perfect for the night before grocery day, because you can use whatever non-perishables are left in the pantry. Use crushed tomatoes or a jar of spaghetti sauce to create a rich tomato base. Cook your favorite pasta right in the broth and let it soak up all the flavors. Last but definitely not least, make your soup irresistibly creamy by stirring in some cream cheese.
There’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of stew to warm up your body and soul on a chilly, gloomy day. If you’re getting a bit tired of the usual chunky beef stew, try one of these recipes instead.
22. Hearty Italian Meatball Stew
Meatballs can be so much more than a topping to your spaghetti—you can make them into a delicious stew! Simply roll a ground beef mixture into meatballs and brown them in a skillet. In a separate pot, combine garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, spices, water, and meatballs, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle on a bit of Parmesan cheese to make it a truly Italian meatball stew.
23. Poor Man’s Stew
Ground beef is considered a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive cuts of meat, but don’t let the name deceive you—this stew is just as rich and hearty as any other. It’s full of vegetables like onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes, and has a thick tomato soup as its base.
24. Cuban Beef Picadillo
Picadillo is a traditional Cuban stew made with ground beef, tomato sauce, white wine, bell peppers, raisins, olives, and capers. The raisins bring a sweetness to the dish, while the olives and capers, along with the warm spices, give it an intense savory flavor. It can be enjoyed on its own or served over rice.
Chili is a classic Mexican stew, but there’s more than one way to make it. Check out these variations to find your new favorite.
25. Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati chili brings a unique blend of traditional Mexican seasonings and Mediterranean spices inspired by Greek moussaka. It’s incredibly easy to make—you don’t even need to brown the meat first. Simply throw all the ingredients into a pot and let it simmer. Cincinnati chili is typically served over spaghetti or hot dog buns.
26. Texas No Beans Chili
Beans are often thought of as a must-have ingredient in chili, but you might be surprised to learn that Texans prefer their chili without them! Complemented by intense seasonings and a rich tomato sauce, the ground beef truly shines in this recipe.
27. Beef Chili With Bacon & Black Beans
If you do choose to include beans in chili, any type of bean will do. This particular recipe calls for canned black beans, but you can also use any other canned beans or par-cook dry ones before throwing them in. What makes this recipe unique is the addition of crispy bacon bits, both in the chili and sprinkled on top when served. They give the chili a nice crunch and smoky flavor.
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