35+ Ground Beef Recipe Ideas {Easy Meals}

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If you’ve ever asked yourself: What can I make with ground beef tonight? you’ve hit the jackpot with this list! Here’s my handpicked collection of recipes–each promising to be not only tasty–but most are fast and easy to make too. I’ve separated them into two groups for convenient browsing, the first lists assorted dishes and ideas while the second group is casseroles.

SkilletFirst, here’s a quick skillet dish you can try:

Brown 1 lb of ground beef, drain off fat then add a chopped onion and minced garlic (2 or 3 cloves), salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes (crushed canned tomatoes–28 oz), 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 3 cups of macaroni, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (stir occasionally). Once pasta is cooked, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of shredded Cheddar (depending on how cheesy you like it), heat until melted then serve.

Tip: If you’re interested in cooking up big batches of hamburger and freezing it for future use (cuts down cooking time on busy work nights), you’ll find instructions at the bottom of the page for boiling it. Be warned though, it doesn’t have as much flavor when boiled (though it does get rid of much of the fat), you’ll want to cook it with spices, onions and flavorings.

  1. Not Your Average Joe – Sloppy Joes!: Ingredients include french fried onions, buns, shredded Cheddar and a can of manwich sloppy joe sauce. From Southern Plate. (you’ll find more sloppy joes on this page)
  2. Slow Cooker Italian Stuffed Peppers: Ingredients include uncooked white rice, mozzarella cheese, diced onion, salt, pepper, minced fresh parsley, minced garlic, large red bell peppers, crushed tomatoes (canned), broth and grated Parmesan. From Delish. (you’ll find more stuffed pepper dishes here)
  3. Potato Topped Bowl: Made with a package of frozen mixed vegetables, shredded Cheddar, fresh Italian parsley, salt, black pepper, mashed potato flakes and melted butter. From Better Homes And Gardens.
  4. Filled Biscuits: Made with green and red peppers (finely chopped), barbecue sauce, a can of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, 2% milk and finely shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese. From Kraft Foods.
  5. Lean & Spicy Taco Meat: A combination of lean ground beef and ultra-lean ground turkey breast makes a less-greasy filling. Bypass taco-seasoning packets in favor of making your own full-flavored filling. From Eating Well.
  6. Lasagna Rolls: Made with lasagna noodles, spaghetti sauce, fennel seed (optional) and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. From Taste Of Home.
  7. Chili: Makes 8 servings, ingredients include vegetable oil, chopped onions, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, dried oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (optional), plum tomatoes (canned), bottled strained tomatoes, water and kidney beans. From Canadian Living.
  8. Hamburger Buddy: Made with crushed garlic, carrots, white mushrooms, onion, dried thyme, salt, pepper, water, reduced-sodium broth, whole-wheat elbow noodles, Worcestershire sauce, all-purpose flour, reduced-fat sour cream and chopped fresh parsley or chives (for garnish). From Disney’s Family.com.
  9. Old-Fashioned Meatloaf: Ingredients include quick-cooking oats, canned diced tomatoes (without juice), a lightly beaten egg, chopped bell pepper, chopped onion, black pepper, salt. From Paula Deen. You’ll find more meatloaves here.
  10. Open-Face Lone Star Burgers: Made with chopped onion, minced garlic, dried thyme, shredded Colby Jack, frozen garlic Texas toast, canned tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and steak sauce. From Gooseberry Patch. You’ll find dozens of burger ideas on this page.
  11. Sweet & Sour Meatballs: Serves 4 to 6, made with quick oats, slightly beaten eggs, finely chopped onion, milk, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Sweet & Sour ingredients: brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce. From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. You’ll find more meatball versions here.
  12. Taco Skillet: Made with condensed tomato soup, picante sauce, water, flour tortillas and shredded Cheddar. From Campbell’s Kitchen.
  13. Salisbury Steak With Mushroom Gravy: Made with chopped onion, saltine cracker crumbs, egg white (slightly beaten), milk, prepared horseradish, salt, pepper, brown gravy (jar), sliced mushrooms and water. From Texas Beef Council.
  14. Salsa Skillet: Ingredients include water, chunky salsa, macaroni & cheese dinner, frozen corn, milk, shredded four cheese and chopped green onion. From Kraft Foods.
  15. Homemade Hamburger Helper: Made with hot water, milk, elbow macaroni, corn starch, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, sugar, paprika and shredded Cheddar cheese. From Chickens In The Road.
  16. Salisbury Steak: Served with caramelized onion gravy. From One Perfect Bite.


Many of us have a favorite, tried-and-true casserole in our back pocket but there’s always room for more! Here’s a bunch you can try, some quick ‘n easy, some cheesy, while others are tweaked so they’re a little less fat and a little more healthy…each promises to please. Enjoy!

  1. Spanish Noodles: Budget-friendly at just 87 cents per serving, ingredients include chopped green pepper, onion, medium egg noodles, diced tomatoes (canned, undrained), water, chili sauce, salt, pepper and bacon. From Taste Of Home.
  2. Casserole: Made with egg noodles, diced celery, onion, tomato soup, cream of chicken condensed soup, cream of mushroom soup. From Cocoa And Cheese.
  3. Mexican Rice: Ingredients include white rice, olive oil, diced sweet yellow onion, minced garlic, paprika, chili powder, dried cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, black beans (can, drained & rinsed), tomato sauce, fresh cilantro, shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and guacamole (for topping). From For The Love Of Cooking.
  4. Stroganoff: Made with chopped onion, mushroom gravy mix, water, sliced mushrooms (jar, drained), sour cream, Bisquick, milk, egg and a small bell pepper cut into rings. Found at Tablespoon.
  5. Crafty Crescent Lasagna: Made with bulk pork sausage, lean ground beef, chopped onions, dried parsley flakes, dried basil leaves, dried oregano leaves, finely chopped garlic, a dash of pepper, tomato paste, grated Parmesan, small-curd cottage cheese, an egg, cans of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, mozzarella cheese, milk, and sesame seeds. From Pillsbury. (you’ll find more lasagnas listed here)
  6. With Baked Beans: Ingredients include chopped onion, cans of baked beans, fresh tomatoes, light brown sugar, bacon and seasonings. From Paula Deen.
  7. Zesty Italian Crescent Top Crust: Ingredients include chopped onion, tomato pasta sauce, shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, can of Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls, grated Parmesan cheese. From Pillsbury.
  8. Creamy With Noodles: Ingredients include scallions, bulgur, minced garlic, tomato sauce whole-wheat egg noodles, low-fat cottage cheese, reduced-fat sour cream and shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. From Eating Well.
  9. Layered Fiesta Style: Ingredients include green and red peppers, salsa, canned diced tomatoes, frozen corn, corn tortillas and sharp cheddar cheese. From Kraft Recipes.
  10. Shipwreck: Ingredients include frozen tater tots, diced onion, frozen sliced carrots and canned tomato soup. From Southern Plate.
  11. Mile High Salsa Pie: Made with Old El Paso Soft Taco Bake dinner kit, can kidney beans, jar of salsa and Monterey Jack cheese. From Betty Crocker.
  12. Cheddar & Potato Pie: Made with ground beef or turkey, carrots, onion, celery, garlic cloves, baking potato, dark beer, sharp cheddar cheese and frozen puff pastry. From Stylish Cuisine.
  13. Enchilada: Ingredients include taco seasoning, can refried beans, hard corn taco shells, can tomato soup, can cream of mushroom soup, can red enchilada sauce and Mexican blend cheese. From Cooking With Krista.
  14. With Chili & Corn Chips: Made with tomato sauce, can chili con carne, fritos, chopped jalapeno, and grated cheddar cheese. From The Open Pantry.
  15. With Noodles: Made with wheat egg noodles, chopped fresh mushrooms, minced garlic, tomato sauce, reduced-fat cream cheese, reduced-fat ricotta cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, green onions and reduced-fat fiesta blend cheese. From Pots & Plots.
  16. Green Chili Cheeseburger French Fry: Ingredients include diced onion, seasonings, can diced mild green chiles, can Garacias Nacho Cheese Mexican Cheese Sauce, shredded chipotle cheddar cheese and Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Fast Food Fries. From The Cooking Photographer.
  17. Taco Pie: No taco shells are needed for enjoying the great taco flavor of this easy main-dish pie. Ingredients include chopped onion, taco seasoning mix, chopped green chiles (canned, drained), milk, eggs, Bisquick mix, shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar, salsa and sour cream (if desired). From Betty Crocker.
  18. Spiral Pepperoni Pizza Bake: Uses a pound each of hamburger and sausage. From Going Jane.
  19. Meat Pie: Topped with mashed potatoes, ingredients include, chopped onion, frozen green beans (thawed), canned tomato soup and shredded process American cheese. From Better Homes and Gardens.
  20. Swedish Meatball Casserole: Uses frozen precooked meatballs to speed up prep time, ingredients include uncooked egg noodles, water, dried gravy mix, sour cream, nutmeg, fresh parsley (chopped) and mushrooms (jar, drained). From Land O’Lakes.
  21. With Macaroni: A hearty cumin-scented dish with a cheesy-crisp topping. Ingredients include: elbow macaroni, extra-virgin olive oil, chopped onion, green bell pepper, cumin, all-purpose flour, crushed tomatoes (can), chicken stock or low-sodium broth, heavy cream, parsley, sharp cheddar cheese (shredded), panko and scallions. From Food & Wine.
  22. Mexicali: Covered with corn bread for a bake that’s homey and quick. Ingredients include Mexican-style diced tomatoes, frozen whole kernel corn (thawed), finely shredded Mexican cheese blend, all-purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, beaten egg, milk, cooking oil and a fresh tomato toss. From Recipe.com.
  23. With Biscuits: Promises to be both family and budget pleasing, ingredients include chopped celery, onion, all-purpose flour, salt, dried oregano, pepper, tomato sauce, frozen peas, refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, shredded cheddar. From Taste of Home.


Did you know you can boil hamburger? It doesn’t sound that appealing does it but it’s actually pretty good (at least my family thinks so) and there are many benefits to preparing big batches at a time. Here’s the scoop…

  • This is super fast and easy to do! Just bring a pot of water to a boil and crumble the raw ground beef into the water. If the meat is frozen, you can still plop it in and give it more time to cook. Keep the water at a rolling boil, stirring apart the clumps. When there’s no more pink to the meat–it’s done. It takes just a few minutes!
  • Boiling the meat removes much of the fat. After straining you could also rinse again with hot water to remove the trace of fat left on the surface.
  • The amount of water needed has no rules other than using enough to keep the meat covered.
  • Note: This won’t be as flavorful as fried, so you’ll want to add things like celery, onion, garlic, peppers, bouillon, seasonings to the water (whatever you like). Or you could just make sure to add more zip to the dishes you’ll be using the meat in.
  • Once it’s cooked, strain the meat with a colander placed over a pail or large pot and allow to cool (you don’t want to drain the water in the sink because of the grease). Portion the meat in freezer bags in one pound batches. Space saver tip: flatten the meat in the bags and stack them on top of each other in the freezer.
  • You can cook meatballs this way too! Don’t make them too big and they’ll float to the top when they’re cooked through (test one first by cutting in half). Freeze on a cookie sheet then bag portions in freezer bags.
  • Some choose to use the strained water as a broth for homemade soups, but I chuck it. If you want to use it as broth, refrigerate the water first so you can remove as much as the fat as possible when it solidifies at the top.
  • Use the meat for fast meals. Take a bag out of the freezer, thaw and whip up anything you like that calls for hamburger (meat sauces, taco filling, chili, sloppy joes, casseroles, lasagna, etc.). Cooking time is cut drastically because the meat is already done.

If this cooking method seems a tad odd to you, try one little batch and see how it turns out. The texture is fine and crumbly and can be on the tasteless side if not seasoned well, but when you can prepare 10 pounds in minutes and have a freezer full of quick fixins for hectic nights–you might find yourself easily converted ;).

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What Readers Are Saying:
4 Comments to “35+ Ground Beef Recipe Ideas {Easy Meals}”
  1. Susan M Lynch says:

    Thanks for sharing all of your recipes with me they are truly amazing. love making them all.

  2. dearcat from Maine says:

    I am 76 yrs. and am so glad I found this site. Love it. I have been cooking for more than 60 yrs. and am amazed that I have found so many new things that are delish.

  3. Sherri says:

    Amazing recipes and so easy to make. The boil meat thing really does save alot of time, I just spice it up when I use the meat in a dish. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Satina Ballard says:

    I’ve never heard of boiling hamburger meat in my life! But it sounds great with having every night busy with three small boys under the age of five. Thank you so much. Trying this tonight!

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