Brown up this kitchen staple to make quick ground beef recipes your family is sure to love.
Ground beef recipes are a weeknight favorite for so many reasons: ground beef is inexpensive, cooks up fast, and can be used in endless delicious ways. If you’re looking for a tasty new spin on classic ground beef recipes like meatloaf, hamburgers, chili, and lasagna, the Southern Living Test Kitchen has you covered. Or, if you’re in the mood for something different with ground beef, you’ll also find surprising new ways to use ground beef in stir frys, soups, calzones, kabobs, and more. Ground beef freezes well too, so stock up at the supermarket and bookmark this gallery as your go-to source for easy ground beef recipes.
San Antonio Beef Puffy Tacos
Recipe: San Antonio Beef Puffy Tacos
Original tacos were a little different than the U-shaped tortillas invented by entrepreneur Glen Bell of Taco Bell. The real deal begins with a ball of masa flattened into a thin round that's fried to a golden crispness. The masa puffs up a bit, which is how the moniker "puffy taco" came into play. Ours are stuffed with ground beef that has been seasoned with jalapeños, cumin, chili powder and—if you like—Mexican beer. Then fill it with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and enjoy.
Greek Baked Ziti
Recipe: Greek Baked Ziti
Inspired by the classic Greek comfort dish known as pastitsio, this pasta casserole uses fresh and flavorful ingredients. It mixes the classic flavors of ground beef, onion, and garlic, with oregano and two rich cheeses: Parmesan and mozzarella. So bake a dish of this comfort-food favorite, and in under 30 minutes you can settle in for a warm, delicious, family meal. For an easy weeknight dinner, you can even make this ahead and freeze it.
Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce
These zesty meatballs are a true taste of the Southwest, with poblano peppers, corn chips, lime juice, and red chile enchilada sauce. Prepared with ground chuck, these are a rich, delicious way to fill a tortilla full of flavor. Let guests doctor their own plates with crunchy, colorful toppings including Cotija cheese, radishes, and avocado. If you prefer to prepare early, these also freeze beautifully, so you can always have some on hand. Savor the sensations of Southwest flavors with these Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce.
Recipe: One-Pot Pasta
Making ravioli doesn’t have to be an all-day affair—it should just taste like it might have been. This recipe takes all the richness and flavor of ground beef and makes it the star of a simple dinner classic that you’ll be able to make any day of the week. Sautéed with onions and mushrooms, this dish helps you get the homemade pasta taste without all the fuss! A jar of your favorite store-bought pasta sauce—we used tomato-basil—and refrigerated ravioli are mixed with plenty of fresh veggies and garlic to make this pasta a speedy and delicious quick-fix dinner.
Sloppy Joe Carolina-Style Burgers
These fantastic burgers—made with ground sirloin—get that little something extra, Carolina-style, from a delicious scoop of chili on top. We don’t call them sloppy for nothing, so you’ll want to eat these over-the-top burgers with a knife and fork, or set out a pile of napkins. Add fresh crisp texture and flavor by mounding slaw atop the burgers. Serve extra slaw on the side to sop up that chili, or save it for another day.
Pepper Relish Mini Meatloaves
Recipe: Pepper Relish Mini Meatloaves
This mini meatloaf recipe blends the savory flavor of a top-quality ground round with the zest of a spicy-hot vegetable juice. Pair that with a sweet onion and a Dijon mustard and you have an incredible combination that tastes great. A Pepper Relish Mini Meatloaf is also perfect for single-serving portions since your family and friends can take what they want. Back for seconds? Of course! You'll never feel like you're eating too much with the Pepper Relish Mini Meatloaves. These look—and taste—just right.
Quick Beef Chili
Recipe: Quick Beef Chili
Hearty chili like this has chunks of meat cooked to perfection in a Dutch oven before being combined with its other ingredients. For our Quick Beef Chili we suggest using petite tender. This quick-cooking foundation for this dish is supermarket steak that is cut from the shoulder. It looks and tastes like tenderloin but costs a third of the price. If you can't find it, try chuck-eye steak, which also has great flavor but may need more trimming. Whatever your choice, this quick, spicy, delicious chili will have you filling your bowl for seconds. Smother it in great toppings: think green onions, sour cream, or many others.
Recipe: Party-Perfect Meatballs
These meatballs can be your ground beef go-to finger food at any time of year. That’s the reason we call them our Party-Perfect Meatballs. To make ahead, prepare meatballs through Step 2, and freeze in zip-top plastic freezer bags for up to 1 month. To reheat from frozen, pick up with Step 3 and warm the meatballs in the sauce over low heat. The sauce can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days if making ahead. For serving, keep them warm in your slow cooker, in a Dutch oven over low heat, or in a fondue pot.
Bacon, Peach, and Basil Burgers
Recipe: Bacon, Peach, and Basil Burgers
Nothing says summer in the South quite like peaches, and of course we think everything goes better with bacon, so the Bacon, Peach, and Basil Burgers are a fresh-off-the-fire sensation. We recommend ground sirloin here because it's lean, which causes fewer flare-ups on the grill. Chopped pickled jalapeños and their juice ramp up the flavor, while bacon, and tangy-sweet chutney balance the heat. Soft and creamy goat cheese, an unexpected addition, adds just the right amount of smooth flavor to these amazingly balanced burgers.
Recipe: Southwestern Meatloaf
Use crushed whole grain tortilla chips instead of plain breadcrumbs to flavor this juicy meatloaf and help it hold its shape as it bakes. We love chipotle salsa for its medium heat and smoky notes, but any salsa and heat level will give the meatloaf fantastic south-of-the-border flavor. Mixing in cheddar cheese also gives this meatloaf extra bite, so be prepared for sensational flavors. Make a tasty meatloaf sandwich, or serve a slice alongside Tex-Mex Mashers.
Salsa Verde Corn Chip Pie
Recipe: Salsa Verde Corn Chip Pie
The green chiles and the pepper Jack cheese are sure to bring the heat, so you’d better be ready to dig in to this fantastic Salsa Verde Corn Chip Pie. You’ll love the way the fresh, tart lime cuts right through it all, and you’ll be devouring the garlic pork sausage smothered in sweet onions so enthusiastically that you could be called for a penalty. Make this Texas Friday-night-football favorite your Tuesday supper—or enjoy it any night of the week, in any season.
Swiss Burgers in Tomato Gravy
Recipe: Swiss Burgers in Tomato Gravy
You’ll love how the flavors of fire-roasted tomatoes and the richness of Swiss cheese pair in this incredible burger. We’re using ground sirloin here, so when you sit down you’ll be devouring ground steak on a plate. Once you’ve simmered your onions in the pan, you’ll be slathering your ground sirloin patties with a rich tomato gravy to create luscious fork-tender burgers. Pile your plate high with golden-brown potatoes, and enjoy. Serve with steamed green beans.
Beef-and-Black-eyed Pea Chili
Recipe: Beef-and-Black-eyed Pea Chili
Pull some cornbread fresh out of the skillet and savor the aroma of our Beef-and-Black-Eyed Pea Chili. You can fill a Dutch oven with chili meat, sweet onion, black-eyed peas, beer, and more, and in under an hour sit down to a delicious bowl of chili. Serve it with jalapeño pepper slices, Cheddar cheese, or pico de gallo, or just enjoy it as it comes. However you prefer it, you won't go wrong. Pick up your spoon and enjoy this chili now.
Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs
Recipe: Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs
Think of having Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs as a delicious and convenient way to enjoy making a mess. Our Test Kitchen couldn't get enough of these new sloppy Joes enlivened with a splash of cola, which gives the ground beef a sweet boost that plays well off the filling's spices. Try these with traditional or split-top hot dog buns, or hoagie rolls. You’ll love these even more when you add your favorite coleslaw for crunch and color.
Spiced Beef Kabobs with Herbed Cucumber and Tomato Salad
This recipe is all about how to take premium ground beef, flavor it with subtle herbs and spices, and create a delicious dish. These Spiced Beef Kabobs are delicately seasoned with cumin, coriander, allspice, parsley, and cilantro, then hand-formed on skewers. Grilled to golden-brown perfection, the ground beef remains moist and juicy, to be complemented by creamy toppings like our Yogurt-Tahini Sauce. Serve this zesty beef with warm pita bread and a tangy herb salad.
Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta
Traditionally, Bolognese sauce requires hours of babysitting as it simmers on the stove, but our recipe is virtually hands-off. The lean ground beef is flavored with red wine, and onions, garlic, and Italian seasonings really add fullness and depth. A little cream goes a long way to make the sauce rich, and it comes into its own in the slow cooker. Once everything is together, the best approach is to simply leave it alone, to check it occasionally, to make sure its consistency is just right,—and to be ready to spoon it onto your pappardelle and cover it in Parmesan cheese. Serve it hot, and enjoy!
Recipe: Cocktail Meatballs
Cocktail meatballs hold a special place in the canon of Southern party appetizers, in part because they are a study in ground-beef perfection and simplicity. While we love the ones our mamas made with chili sauce and grape jelly, this recipe is the one we still pull out for company. This recipe mixes ground beef with the sweet, the tart, and the unexpected: brown sugar, lemon juice, and horseradish, to make a cocktail-fork temptation that should grace every Southern party table or tray. So grab a bottle of wine—for the recipe—get ready to party, and enjoy making these delicious cocktail meatballs.
Shepherd’s Pie with Potato Crust
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie with Potato Crust
You might call yourself a shepherd too if it meant you would get a dinner this good. Our version of a Shepherd’s Pie is certainly a Southern dinner classic. Instead of mashed potatoes we use scalloped potatoes for the crust, cut with a mandolin slicer—but a knife will work just as well. For the filling, lean ground chuck is perfect, while red wine will add flavors that are rich and bold. Our Shepherd’s Pie has a dash of Worcestershire Sauce, as well as a hearty measure of English peas. This dish will keep you warm on a cool night, but it is fresh and delicious at any time. Round up your appetite and enjoy our Shepherd’s Pie.
Recipe: 30-Minute Chili
Do you want delicious chili but you don't want to wait all day? Our 30-Minute Chili recipe will have you enjoying one of our quick-fix suppers in no time. This simple-to-make chili recipe only has six ingredients, but you'll marvel at its slow-cooked flavor. Simmering the ground beef is probably the hardest part; once you've finished that, you just pour everything else in, and stir. If you prefer an Italian-style take on 30-Minute Chili, spice this up and use 1 pound of ground sausage and 1 pound of ground beef. Whether you prefer a traditional chili or you would like to enjoy some Italian-infused flavors, this easy-to-make chili will always be ready when you are.
Cooking Video: Quick-Fix Chili
Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes
Recipe: Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes
Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes take the traditional sloppy joe and kick them up a notch. At its most basic, the recipe for these adds barbecue sauce to the ground beef, and tells you to grab your grater and get ready for later. But for a true Texas kick, we suggest you add in all the options, and for this recipe that means stepping out of the box and into the heat with chopped picked jalapeños and some pickled jalapeño juice. If that seems a bit too spicy, simply brown your ground beef, slop a heaping helping on some Texas toast, and pile on some Cheddar cheese. That’ll give you a Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joe you will love. Grab some napkins and dig in.
Cooking Video: Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes
Hamburger Steak With Sweet Onion-Mushroom Gravy
This ground beef recipe helps you make the most of your busy weeknights. You can make the patties ahead, then simply thaw them in the fridge overnight before using. You’ll love how the gravy keeps these moist and tender, while the onion adds just the right hint of sweetness and the garlic adds that little bit of spice. Mushrooms make this burger even richer, and sop up that gravy to make your burger even better. We love ground round for this burger. So get your skillet ready to brown this burger and cover it in sweet onion-mushroom gravy. You’ll love how good this burger tastes.
Easy Skillet Tacos
Recipe: Easy Skillet Tacos
Tacos are a great go-to weeknight meal, and these fantastic tacos make family dinners easy. We'll have you mixing up your own simple taco seasoning—these tacos get their flavor from cumin and chili powder without the additional sodium often found in packaged seasoning mixes—and you'll love the full, rich flavor of it with your ground beef. For these skillet tacos, we suggest you cover them with Cheddar cheese and cilantro, making every bite a cheesy, gooey, delicious sensation. Then, top off your crunchy tacos with any of our delicious toppings: try shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, or sour cream—or even better, just pile them all on.
Savory Meat Base
Having a great ground beef go-to as a base means that you can have a lot of recipes ready to go. This means your quick-fix dinners are always just minutes away from being on the table, and delicious dinners are fresh out of the oven. This seven-ingredient beefy mixture completes the first step of many recipes, including Spaghetti With Meat Sauce, Sloppy Joes, and Easy Beef and Macaroni. The other great thing about the Savory Meat Base is that it freezes well, so you can make several batches and always have some on-hand and in the pan in an instant. Simple to make, it mixes ground beef, marinara sauce, garlic, and more, and tastes fantastic any way you serve it.
Recipe: Old-fashioned Meatloaf
Meatloaf may be one of the ultimate comfort foods, so a classic meatloaf recipe is always a reader favorite. Beginning with lean ground beef, this Southern meatloaf recipe features Creole and Greek seasonings and a hint of garlic. Celery, breadcrumbs, onion, and tomato paste all add flavor, richness, and depth to this delicious delight. A few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce—that's the fantastic taste you're trying to figure out—spice up the traditional ketchup topping which keeps this meatloaf moist, tender, and juicy. This may be called the Old-Fashioned Meatloaf, but it is one of the best-tasting meatloaves you will eat today.
Red Bean Chili
Recipe: Red Bean Chili
Chili is always a great, simple, go-to meal, and this Red Bean Chili may only have a few ingredients but it is packed full of flavor. It starts with ground beef—we suggest you use lean ground beef in this recipe—seasoned with the flavors of tomatoes and chili powder. Kidney beans round out this beefy chili. Just brown ground beef with onion, stir in five additional ingredients, and let it simmer. To really let the flavors come together we suggest you prepare it in a slow cooker during the day. It will be ready in the evening for super-fast mealtime prep.
Recipe: All-In-One Spaghetti
Only 15 minutes of prep and just one pan to clean makes this homemade pasta sauce labor-light, but it tastes like it was made with a secret recipe handed down in your family for generations. It has the basics: ground beef, onions, and garlic, but also has a hint of sugar for sweetness and a touch of chili powder for spice. That makes everything nice, and you'll think so to as you devour this delicious sauce on plate after plate of pasta. Top it with grated Parmesan cheese, and garnish it with fresh parsley for even more subtle, delicate flavors. Now eat!
Lean Green Lettuce Tacos
Recipe: Lean Green Lettuce Tacos
Go green with Lean Green Lettuce Tacos. You’ll be ditching the shell for a leaf of cool, crisp, fresh lettuce instead. Fill it with a fantastic mix of flavors, starting with our spicily seasoned lean ground beef. You’ll love the flavors of right-from-the farm zucchini, squash, and cilantro, making this a great farm-to-table meal. Dress up your tacos with salsa and with queso fresco. Queso fresco is Spanish for "fresh cheese" It has a soft and crumbly texture (similar to feta) with a mild flavor. You can find it in the dairy section of larger supermarkets. So leave the shell behind and enjoy these delicious lean green tacos.
Chili in a Biscuit Bowl
Recipe: Chili in a Biscuit Bowl
Chili is one of our favorite dishes, and few things are more Southern than biscuits, so you can only imagine how delicous it is to taste the two sensations together. If you want to bring the two together on the table, try serving chili in a biscuit bowl for a new presentation of an old favorite. This recipe has ground beef spiced with red pepper, flavored with onion and bell pepper, and stewed with kidney beans: in short, a delicious chili ready to soak that biscuit bowl with fantastic tastes. This recipe even creates edible dishes that you devour when you're done—and few things could be better than that.
Recipe: Mexican Lasagna
Making Mexican lasagna means you are getting the best of both flavor worlds on your table at one time, and this delicious ground beef recipe shows you how to put it all together. To let your lasagna go Mexican you’ll be layering ground beef and sausage with corn tortillas, tomatoes, green chiles, enchilada sauce, and cheese. It tastes even more delicious than it sounds! And since this is a one of our favorite quick-fix suppers, this ground beef sensation is a convenient weeknight dinner that the kids will love as much as the grownups. So take your pasta south of the border and start layering your Mexican lasagna now.
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is a classic Southern staple, and when you see how simple it is to make this meal you’ll understand why. It is one of our favorite ground beef quick-fix dinners, and this recipe makes it even easier to get that Shepherd’s Pie on the table. Begin with ground round—we think its flavor is perfect for this dish. Next, put the pie together. This potato-topped delight gets extra flavor from the cheese and carrots that are added to the mashed potato crust. And you can take a shortcut with the crust because the recipe calls for frozen mashed potatoes. Fresh out of the oven you will enjoy this fantastic dish. Shepherd’s Pie is a mainstay on Southern tables because it is easy to make, but even easier to eat. Enjoy!
Meaty Cheesy Manicotti
Recipe: Meaty Cheesy Manicotti
Manicotti is a delicious way to enjoy pasta, meat, and cheese in a single bite without having to twirl it on a fork. This recipe mixes ground round with hot Italian sausage, making for a rich, spicy, meaty base. The wine and Parmesan cheese sauce is creamy, velvety and, thanks to the wine, just a little tart—a nice counterpoint to the boldness of the ground beef and sausage combination which was already made just a little gooey by the mozzarella blended in. An 8-ounce package of manicotti shells has 14 shells; a couple may break, so we count on using 12 shells in this recipe.
Richard’s Sloppy Joes
Recipe: Richard’s Sloppy Joes
Few things are as delicious—or as decadent—as perfectly flavored, saucy ground beef slathered on a bun: otherwise known as a sloppy joe. This is our recipe for Richard’s Sloppy Joes, and he certainly makes them good enough to make us want to share them with you. Lean ground beef, diced tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce get blended together with ketchup, barbecue sauce, and jalapeños—plus jalapeño juice. The result is a mouthwatering blend of spicy ground beef that is precisely how it is described: delectable? Sloppy. Make Richard’s recipe and enjoy these tasty treats packed with punch. Our adult taste-testers described this dish as mildly hot. If your family prefers less kick, adjust the amount of pickled jalapeños (and liquid from the jar) to suit their tastes.
Tomato ’n’ Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust
Casseroles are fantastic one-dish dinners, and our Tomato ’n’ Beef Casserole with Polenta Crust brings together a range of delicious flavors in a single mouthful. You’ll love the cornmeal crust, with its secret ingredients—steak seasoning that adds extra spice to every bite, and Cheddar cheese. Tomato paste adds richness to this casserole. So lightly grease a baking dish and get ready to prepare what is sure to become one of your favorite casseroles of all time. Once you’ve had your first taste, we’re sure that the mouthwatering combination of beef and tomato sauce on a hearty cornmeal crust will make this your ultimate comfort food.
Italian-Style Beef-and-Pepperoni Soup
This fantastic soup blends delicious tastes including extra-lean ground beef and turkey pepperoni for a healthy but full-bodied broth. It is filled with hearty vegetables including tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and spiced with basil, oregano, pepper, and garlic. It is a true Italian classic, full of flavor without being loaded with fat, so you can enjoy the hearty essence of Italy that you love without the guilt! This low-calorie soup is best when topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. So put a pot on the stove, let this incredible, healthy soup simmer, and get ready to slurp up every drop from your bowl.
Recipe: Smothered Enchiladas
Enchiladas are wraps for when your appetite means business. These Smothered Enchiladas are ground beef-filled tortillas that you will enjoy served over Spanish rice and covered in a rich, creamy sauce. You can expect just the right amount of heat from a single small can of chopped green chiles-half of which you’ll mix in with the ground beef. The other half will be part of that delicious sauce. Since these are so simple to make, they are a great addition to your quick-fix suppers. They make a filling and delicious weeknight dinner. Eat them fresh out of the oven, garnished with salsa and sour cream.
You may call these sliders, but whatever you call them these bite-size ground beef delights will have you piling your plate high. These use lean ground beef, which works well since you’ll be baking these little burgers in your oven. In less than 20 minutes you’ll have 20 patties, making this the perfect quick, go-to party food. Ours are served on party rolls, making them the perfect mouthful. Whether you're planning for pint-size palates or simply desire to serve appetizer-sized portions of the American classic, these mini burgers are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. So start planning now, and get ready for the weekend: these freeze well too, so you can always have some on hand.
Recipe: Chili-Topped Potatoes
Eating a stuffed potato is like bringing an edible dish to the table, and this recipe for Chili-Topped Potatoes, with its delicious ground chuck, is so good you'll look at that bag of potatoes like it is a place setting for twelve. This recipe packs meat, corn, beans, and onions into a hearty spud. These will also have a little heat thanks to a can of diced green chiles. You'll be able to cut the heat a little by dousing your potato in some cool ranch dressing. Whatever you like on your spud, it will only take this great dish and make it better, so be sure to finish off this one-dish meal with your favorite potato toppings.
Gyro Burgers With Tahini Sauce
Recipe: Gyro Burgers With Tahini Sauce
You may have your own special name for this delightful dish, but all you really need to know is that you are going to be eating a delicious ground beef patty smothered in an amazingly creamy, spicy sauce. Wrapped inside a warm pita, and surrounded by crunchy lettuce, thick, juicy slices of fresh tomatoes, and rings of red onion, your mouth will literally be watering before you take the first bite. If you’ve never made this before, don’t worry. All the ingredients are easy to find. You can find tahini paste on the imported food aisle of large supermarkets or in Mediterranean markets.
Recipe: Fiesta Salad
The Fiesta Salad begins with lean ground beef and adds in every possible delicious delight to create your favorite Mexican-inspired supper. Our recipe even includes ground pork for a little extra zest. You can build your salad with mixed salad greens, fresh avocado, and a choice of cheeses including pico de gallo and sharp Cheddar cheese. So ditch the shell for some tortilla chips instead, and enjoy these taco ingredients with a fork―salad style. If you’d like to serve this party-style, you can even save time by setting up a fix-your-own buffet for this delicious, quick-fix supper ground beef recipe.
Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Bake
Recipe: Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Bake
You simply can’t get any easier than this casserole recipe. This 5-ingredient casserole features convenient, frozen hash brown potatoes, a can of Sloppy Joe sauce, and can of chili. But it is not what it is, it is what you do with it, and this recipe takes those simple ingredients and turns them into a delicious bake. You can choose between ground beef or ground turkey—the recipe works equally well, and tastes just as delicious, with both. For an even easier one-dish meal, we turned this into the ultimate quick-fix supper: these are baked in individual ramekins, allowing your family to just eat grab-and-go style. Or, you can eat what you need and freeze the rest. However you prefer it, this Cheesy Hash Brown Chili Bake is a great meal.