Ground Beef is a go to for us for easy weeknight dinners! It cooks quickly, and is perfect in recipes from Ground Beef Stroganoff to a good meaty Homemade Pasta Sauce. We prep a lot of ground beef ahead of time making life (and meal planning) even easier!
The uses are endless, below find our favorite ground beef recipes from soups and casseroles to snacks and appetizers!
What to Make with Ground Beef
Your family is hungry and you’ve got a pound of ground beef ready to go and you’re wondering what to make for dinner with ground beef! You’ve come to the right place. Below are my favorite ground beef recipes from cheesy and creamy to lean and healthy! Beef is great for more than just burgers and spaghetti!
How to Cook Ground Beef
Depending on the recipe, you may need to pre-cook (or brown) the ground beef. Regardless of the preparation method, cook ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160 °F to destroy harmful bacteria.
When browning ground beef, I prefer a medium-high temperature and a tiny bit of oil to get a nice brown on the meat. Always make sure there is no pink remaining and your beef is thoroughly cooked.
Ground Beef Safety
Raw Ground Beef can stay in the fridge for 1 to 2 days (cooked ground beef will last 3 to 4 days). Your package from the store should have a date on it. If you’re going to keep it longer than that, freeze it! Remember to always cook ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160 °F.
To Freeze Ground Beef
- Freeze ground beef in a donut shape, this allows it to defrost quickly and evenly.
- How Long Does Ground Beef Last in the Freezer? If your ground beef is well sealed, it should last just fine for 3 to 4 months in the freezer (either raw or cooked).
- How to Defrost Ground Beef: To prevent harmful bacteria from growing, the best way to thaw ground beef is by placing it in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
- To thaw ground beef quickly, place the beef in a sealed freezer bag and place the bag in a sink or bowl of cold water (never warm or hot). You can also defrost beef in the microwave (if you use this method, be sure to cook it immediately to keep it safe).
I’ve been asked How to Tell if Ground Beef is Bad. My friends, this is not a place to fool around. If you have to ask this, I’d say throw it out (or when in doubt…. throw it out). If you have ANY question about the age or safety of your food products, please don’t keep it. It’s not worth the risk.
This first group of ground beef recipes has been tried and tested and voted the best of the best… thousands of times by all of you! A perfect chili, a deliciously flavorful meatloaf, and a classic hamburger soup! All of these are family favorites time and again.
- The Best Chili Recipe – Simple and classic with beef and beans.
- Easy Hamburger Soup – AKA… vegetable soup, a childhood favorite.
- Easy Cabbage Rolls – Beef and pork with rice.
- Hobo Dinner Foil Packets – Hamburger & Potato for the oven or grill.
- Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole – Cheesy and crowd pleasing.
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak– Perfect over mashed potatoes.
- The Best Meatloaf Recipe – Simply the very best.
Comforting Casserole Recipes
Ground beef casseroles tend to be easy to make, inexpensive and totally satisfying! Most of the recipes below have a mixture of beef and pasta and can easily be made well ahead of time! Beef and pasta casseroles usually reheat and freeze well meaning cook less and eat more!
- Easy Homemade Lasagna – Simple and zesty.
- Beef Taco Casserole – Topped with crunchy corn chips!
- Cheesy Beef & Macaroni Casserole – Kids love this recipe!
- Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – Pure comfort food (easy to make).
- Hamburger Casserole – Filled with beef and vegetables.
- Baked Spaghetti – Amazing reviews, so flavorful!
Ground Beef Pasta Recipes
Ground beef is one of the best quick and easy ways to make an extraordinary pasta sauce in minutes. The best part is you can usually toss in whatever you want… onions, garlic, veggies. I tend to pair beef with a tomato base most often and either spoon it on top or mix it all in and bake with cheese of course!
- Baked Ziti – lasagna flavor only easier!
- American Goulash Recipe– Macaroni and beef with tomatoes. The best ever comfort food!
- Spaghetti Pie – A fun twist on a favorite recipe!
- Baked Rigatoni Pasta – Easy, cheesy and beefy. So good!
- Pizza Pasta Bake – Pizza and spaghetti inspired smashup!
- Homemade One Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni – You’ll never buy boxed again!
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – Easy and all purpose. Freezes well and everyone loves it!
Tex Mex and Mexican Inspired Dishes
Ground beef is the perfect filling for all things inspired south of the border! From tacos and enchiladas to stuffed peppers and more. A little bit of Taco Seasoning transforms ground beef into a flavorful addition to almost anything!
- Easy Ground Beef Tacos – From scratch! My daughter’s favorite meal!
- Beef Enchilada Casserole – Cheesy comfort food!
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers – A twist on classic stuffed peppers!
- Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells – Top with your favorite taco toppings!
- Taco Tater Tot Casserole – Loaded with seasoned beef, veggies and of course cheese!
- Ground Beef Enchiladas – An easy family meal.
Easy Soup Recipes
Ground beef stands up well in soups adding tender morsels of beef to every bite! It pairs well with cuisines from Italian to Mexican and beyond. Soups are great meals for families. They can be made in batches, freeze and reheat well and warm the belly from the inside out.
- Taco Soup – Beef, beans and veggies in a deliciously seasoned broth.
- Italian Wedding Soup – Classic Italian made easy.
- Stuffed Pepper Soup – A comforting soup version of everyone’s favorite casserole.
- Meatball Soup – This easy favorite can be made with homemade or frozen meatballs.
- Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe – Another great Italian favorite. Pasta, beans and beef for a belly warming recipe.
- Bacon Cheeseburger Soup – Creamy and cheesy. This is the ultimate comforting soup.
- Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe – A soup version of my Grandma’s classic recipe.
Instant Pot/Slow Cooker Ground Beef Recipes
Ground beef holds up well in the slow cooker and adds great flavor and protein to sauces, soups and more! Most recipes require the ground beef to be cooked and drained before adding the the slow cooker. This helps eliminate excess fats/oils in the recipe.
- Instant Pot Salisbury Steak – Reader favorite (so good)!
- CrockPot Lasagna Soup – A soup version of a classic Italian.
- Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes – Can easily be doubled for parties and potlucks.
- Instant Pot Chili – Quick and easy but tastes like you’ve been cooking all day long!
- Crockpot Meatloaf – Made with stuffing mix for lots of flavor!
- Crockpot Meatballs – No need to pre-cook the beef for this recipe!
- Easy CrockPot Chili Recipe – The perfect meal to come home to.
- Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna (Ravioli) – Lasagna flavor without lasagna work.
10 More Easy Ways to Use Ground Beef
Ground beef is such an easy protein to add to recipes so let your imagination guide you! You can use it in countless recipes to replace chicken or stir it into casseroles, soups, stews or rice!
- Use leftover burgers or ground beef to make a Homemade Patty Melt
- Add it in place of chicken to your favorite quick fried rice recipe
- Toss it with your favorite salads to make a Dorito Taco Salad
- Mix ground beef with pizza sauce and top your fave pizza dough for a beefy bite.
- Mix ground beef with tomato sauce and place in a bun with cheese for a quickie cheater “Meatball Sub“.
- Mix it with Taco Seasoning and top baked potatoes with sour cream, cheddar and salsa for an easy meal!
- Replace the sausage in your favorite sausage gravy recipe (add spices and seasonings) and serve over biscuits.
- Add it to mashed potato cakes and top with sharp cheddar cheese.
- Stir it into leftover soups or stews.
- Make a meal of mac and cheese by adding ground beef and peas.
How to Brown Ground Beef
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- Place oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add beef salt, pepper.
- Cook over medium-high heat breaking up meat stirring only occasionally. Don't stir too much.
- Continue cooking until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)