Ground beef is one of the most inexpensive and widely used proteins that we all know and love, but it can be easy to get stuck in a food rut and make the same few recipes on rotation.
So, we’ve rounded up 25 of the best, easiest, and most delicious ground beef recipes to inspire you, add to your cooking repertoire and impress your family and loved ones.
Whether you’re looking for comforting classics like goulash, barbeque meatloaf or shepherd’s pie, or something to inject a bit of fun and spice to your weeknight dinners in the form of empanadas, noodles, and taco pasta, keep scrolling for 25 of our favorites and let us know which recipes you’ll be adding to your menus!
1. One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
It’s a universally accepted fact that tacos are one of the greatest meals. Still, they often require preparation with various toppings made from lots of different and fresh ingredients.
This one-pot taco pasta provides all the delicious, savory flavors of a taco but can be ready from stove to table in around half an hour.
Even better, there’s hardly any washing up to do afterward, making this the perfect family-friendly weeknight dinner.
2. Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a quesadilla with that crunchy exterior, gooey center, and salty ground beef.
It’s like an amped-up version of grilled cheese, and we’re here for it!
This is quite rich, and so to cut through that slightly with a little acidity and sweetness, you could serve these alongside some guacamole or pico de gallo.
Top tip: choose a cheese that melts well for these quesadillas, such as Monterey Jack, cheddar, or shredded mozzarella.
3. Beef Goulash
Sometimes, a comforting and simple classic as all you want for dinner and goulash are exactly both of those things.
A muddle of macaroni noodles, canned tomatoes, ground beef, cheddar cheese, and a few seasonings come together to create this warming and comforting classic.
This Americanized goulash is great as it is, but if you want your goulash to be closer to the Hungarian goulash, add in some chopped vegetables, paprika, and sour cream to finish.
4. Creamy Beef and Shells
This hearty pasta dish is a quick ground beef dinner idea that will be a hit with the kids.
It’s a really easy recipe that is made up of just a few simple ingredients. Still, the additions of heavy cream, sour cream, and lots of seasonings such as smoked paprika, oregano, parsley, and Italian seasoning make this really aromatic and flavorful.
If you’re a fan of heat and spice, try adding a dash of hot buffalo sauce!
5. Mini BBQ Meatloaf
If you find yourself craving this childhood classic but don’t have the time or energy to prepare a large meatloaf traditionally, try making this miniature meatloaf recipe!
The mixture is divided and pressed into muffin tray cups to help shape the meatloaf bites and keep them from falling apart. Genius, right?
This is one of our favorite ground beef meal ideas as it’s a taste of home while being easy and quick to prepare.
6. One Pot Taco Spaghetti
If you’re ever wondering ‘what to make with ground beef?’ and only have your pantry or food cupboards to rely on, as well as the pack of ground beef in the fridge, this recipe is for you.
Ground beef, onions, spaghetti, canned tomatoes, taco seasoning, and garlic are cooked in one pot together, meaning that you can have yourself a delicious dinner without much effort or time washing up afterward!
To bring some freshness, be generous with fresh herbs when serving this. Basil or fresh parsley would work perfectly!
7. Easy Cheesy Beef Enchiladas
With just 4 ingredients needed, we weren’t joking when we said this was easy.
These enchiladas are sure to become a family favorite and are one of the best things to make with ground beef as they require so little time or effort but are completely delicious.
The only ingredients you’ll need are mild shredded cheddar, canned enchilada sauce, ground beef, and flour tortillas.
Serve with a green salad on the side, and you have yourself a delicious and ridiculously easy dinner idea!
8. Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice (Instant Pot)
Loaded with cheese, beef, corn, and rice, this ground beef meal is quick, easy, fuss-free, and really versatile.
As you have the carb, protein, and fat content covered, this is a great stand-alone meal, but you could also serve it with tortilla chips or in burritos if you made a large batch of it and wanted to enjoy it in different ways.
If you want to add heat, we recommend throwing in some chopped jalapenos at the end, too.
9. Big Mac Sloppy Joes
We guarantee that after trying this recipe, you’ll find yourself craving this over the drive-thru anytime.
This recipe also contains a breakdown of how to replicate the famous McDonald’s secret sauce and spoiler: it’s amazing.
This may not be light on the calorie front, but it’s certainly not light on the flavor front.
The secret ingredient for the burger patties is the Worcestershire sauce which adds a delicious umami flavor.
If you’re wondering what to serve with sloppy joes, check this post out.
10. Ground Beef Casserole
If you’re searching for things to make with ground beef when you’re following a keto diet, try this casserole dish.
Finding comfort in food without carbs can be difficult, but this casserole is really comforting, hearty and you’ll find yourself wanting seconds every time.
This recipe calls for mozzarella and cheddar cheese, but if you want to add more flavor and variance, pepper jack, Monterey jack, or a spicy Mexican cheese would also work really well.
11. Beef Stroganoff
This stroganoff is the perfect weeknight ground beef dinner idea as it’s a humble dish that is inexpensive but comforting and delicious.
Butter, onions, garlic, beef, sour cream, mushroom soup, and egg noodles come together to create this hug of a dish.
Budget-friendly and family-friendly, this recipe is worth a save.
If you need inspiration for what to serve with beef stroganoff, check this post out.
12. Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe
This taco meat and homemade seasoning recipe is a great one to have for your kitchen basics repertoire that you’ll come back to time and time again.
The secret ingredient that keeps the meat moist and juicy is ½ cup of tomato sauce which can’t be missed!
Top with guacamole, cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and shredded lettuce and serve alongside Mexican rice, street corn, or refried beans for a fully satisfying and nourishing dinner idea.
13. Ground Beef Empanadas
Flaky pie crust stuffed with seasoned cheesy beef? Yes, please.
This recipe calls for a store-bought pie crust, and so while these empanadas look and taste impressive, they require very little time and effort.
These empanadas are the perfect appetizer but if you want to enjoy them as part of a dinner, serve them with rice and beans or a light green salad.
14. The Pioneer Woman Chili
This is one of our favorite pioneer woman recipes. It is a great basic chili recipe that tastes delicious but can easily be adapted depending on your or your crowds’ preferences.
Add in chopped peppers, mushrooms, celery, and carrots if you like your chili to be on the healthier side. If you like heat, try adding a jar of chopped jalapenos or a dollop of chipotle paste.
15. Easy Hamburger Casserole Recipe
This 4-ingredient casserole is one of the most budget-friendly things to make with ground beef.
Pasta, beef, tomato soup, and mozzarella are combined to make this oozy, comforting dinner.
Even better, it requires just two pots, and if we all love anything more than a quick and easy dinner, it’s minimal washing up afterward, right?
If you can spare a couple more ingredients, dried Italian herbs and garlic would work well within this casserole!
16. Homemade Shepherd’s Pie
Is shepherd’s pie the ultimate comfort food? We think so!
Salty beef in a savory gravy, topped with a fluffy layer of creamy mashed potatoes, sounds heavenly to us right now.
It’s simple and a crowd favorite that can be made in large batches and frozen.
The secret ingredient here is the Merlot, which adds a delicious depth of flavor to the gravy. You could use any red wine but try to use one that you would be happy to drink as well.
17. Mongolian Ground Beef Noodles
This 15-minute dinner recipe is as delicious as it is simple and quick to make.
Noodles and ground beef are mixed with a sauce made with ginger-garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, green onion, and beef broth to make this salty, flavor-packed dish.
If you don’t have noodles in, you could serve this over white rice instead.
Whatever you choose to serve this beef with, it’s a great pantry meal that feels like take-out but without the cost or calories!
18. Best meatloaf
Claiming this to be the best meatloaf is a big statement, but with hundreds of 5-star ratings, we think we’re justified!
The seasoned ground beef is delicious, but the element that put the ‘best’ before the meatloaf here is the zesty topping, made up of ketchup, chili sauce, and brown sugar, which is brushed over the top and caramelizes when baked.
Our top tip with this one is to wait for at least 10-15 minutes before you slice this meatloaf as it allows it to rest and the juices to redistribute and will ensure that it doesn’t crumble apart.
19. John Wayne Casserole
Earning its name for its western flavors, this casserole is surprisingly easy to make and very moreish – we warned you.
Diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, cheese, and corn give this casserole so much richness and flavor, and the Bisquick and chive cream cheese topping is really easy and quick to whip up.
Serve with steamed vegetables and tortilla chips or crusty bread for dipping into the saucy casserole.
20. The Easiest Burrito Recipe
If you’re a Chipotle fan but need to cut back on your carry-out expenses, this recipe is for you!
They’re freezer friendly and so are great for whenever that burrito craving hits.
The filling is fairly simple and comprises ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning, cooked rice, corn, refried beans, and shredded cheddar cheese.
If you’re cooking from frozen, make or use a store-bought salsa or guacamole for dipping for some added flavor and freshness.
21. Mexican Beef & Rice Skillet
Nothing says ‘weeknight dinner’ quite like a one-skillet dish.
This really easy recipe with ground beef is filling, flavorful, and budget-friendly. What’s not to love?
You’ll need all the usual suspects for a Mexican rice dish: peppers, onion, garlic, taco seasoning, rice, salsa, and black beans, which are all added to the ground beef and simmered in beef broth until the rice is soft.
Serve with a salad dressed in lime and chili flavored dressing, and you have yourself a super easy and tasty dinner idea.
22. One Pot Lasagna Soup Recipe
In just 30 minutes and with a few staple kitchen ingredients, you can whip up this lasagna soup in no time.
This is another recipe that’s great for home freezing or making in bulk and storing in the fridge for a couple of days as the flavors improve over time.
If you want to make a healthier version of this, replace the beef broth with vegetable broth and the cheese with a low-fat variety.
23. The Best Swedish Meatballs
Smothered in a creamy gravy flavored with Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce, these meatballs are absolutely delicious, and the only difficult part about them is trying not to eat the contents of the entire skillet.
Seasonings such as parsley, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion, and allspice really help lift the flavor of the meatballs and, once cooked in the creamy sauce, are best served with creamy mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles.
And additional bread for mopping up the juices, of course.
24. Instant Pot Burrito Bowls
The only thing that needs to be said about this recipe is that it takes 10 minutes to cook. You read that right.
Cooking this in an instant pot makes this a family-friendly dinner idea for when you’re short on time, but the kids need feeding.
When it takes for the beef, rice, corn, and black bean mixture to cook in the instant pot, you can put together a few toppings, such as lime wedges, avocado, chopped cilantro, and sour cream.
25. Beefy Potato Taco Casserole
This is a great, easy recipe for if you’re fancying the flavors of taco night but the comfort of potatoes over taco shells.
It’s basically a hybrid of a casserole and a taco! Sounds good, right?
You can also enjoy this whether you have time to spare or want something as soon as you get in the door from work as it’s cooked in the slow cooker.
Serve with steamed veggies or a side salad.
25 Best Ground Beef Recipes
- 1. One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
- 2. Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas
- 3. Beef Goulash
- 4. Creamy Beef and Shells
- 5. Mini BBQ Meatloaf
- 6. One Pot Taco Spaghetti
- 7. Easy Cheesy Beef Enchiladas
- 8. Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice (Instant Pot)
- 9. Big Mac Sloppy Joes
- 10. Ground Beef Casserole
- 11. Beef Stroganoff
- 12. Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe
- 13. Ground Beef Empanadas
- 14. The Pioneer Woman Chili
- 15. Easy Hamburger Casserole Recipe
- 16. Homemade Shepherd’s Pie
- 17. Mongolian Ground Beef Noodles
- 18. Best meatloaf
- 19. John Wayne Casserole
- 20. The Easiest Burrito Recipe
- 21. Mexican Beef & Rice Skillet
- 22. One Pot Lasagna Soup Recipe
- 23. The Best Swedish Meatballs
- 24. Instant Pot Burrito Bowls
- 25. Beefy Potato Taco Casserole
- Choose your favorite Ground Beef dish!
- Prepare ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready in 30 minutes or less!