Easy Ground Beef Recipes

by Beth - Budget Bytes
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Ground beef is an easy dinner favorite. Not only is hamburger easy to incorporate into any recipe, it’s hearty and always a winner. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite easy ground beef recipes so the next time someone asks, “what’s for dinner?” or you catch a killer sale on ground beef, you’ve got a short list of easy go-to recipes. And let us know what your favorite is in the comments below!

Collage of ground beef recipe images with title text in the center.

Making Ground Beef Budget-Friendly

Ground beef can be on the expensive side, so here’s how we stretch our dollar when using ground beef in recipes. Mix and match these tips to get the most servings for your dollar:

  • Buy ground beef in bulk to get a better price per pound, divide it into one or one half pound portions, and freeze for later.
  • Replace half of the ground beef in a recipe with black beans or lentils.
  • Add extra vegetables to the dish to bulk it up and make more servings for less money. Shredded or minced vegetables often mix seamlessly into ground beef.
  • Serve your ground beef dish over rice or pasta to make each serving extra filling.
  • Watch for sales and stock up when prices are good. Stock your freezer with sale priced meat for later!

Favorite Ground Beef Recipes for Dinner

1. Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

A sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.
This sloppy joes recipe is a weeknight dinner classic with juicy ground beef and a tangy homemade sauce. They're kid approved!
4.60 from 15 votes
$10.20 recipe / $2.04 serving Get the Recipe

Sloppy Joes are always a family favorite and making them from scratch is surprisingly easy! So toss the canned sauce and whip up these incredibly flavorful homemade sloppy joes instead!

2. Homemade Chili

Homemade Chili Recipe

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili with toppings and a spoon in the center.
This is the BEST homemade chili recipe is the ultimate comfort food and is made with simple ingredients like ground beef, beans, and tomatoes.
4.90 from 156 votes
$9.28 recipe / $1.55 serving Get the Recipe

I know everyone has their own chili recipe, but THIS chili recipe has won awards. Plus we’ve got a ton of ideas and suggestions for modifying the recipe to make it your own.

3. Homemade Meatloaf

Classic Meatloaf

Side view of sliced meatloaf on a platter
This classic meatloaf recipe is just like the traditional meatloaf grandma used to make. Tender and juicy with the perfect tomato glaze!
4.79 from 136 votes
$9.56 recipe / $0.96 per slice Get the Recipe

Homemade Meatloaf is a dinnertime classic for a reason. It’s savory and delicious, totally nostalgic, and that tangy tomato glaze on top is to die for. Plus, the leftovers make great meatloaf sandwiches the next day!

4. Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Overhead view of a bowl full of mashed potatoes topped with Swedish meatballs.
This cozy and delicious recipe for homemade Swedish Meatballs features tender and flavorful meatballs simmered in an easy cream sauce.
4.92 from 24 votes
$5.83 recipe / $1.46 serving Get the Recipe

Swedish Meatballs are hard to resist with their ultra creamy sauce and bed of fluffy mashed potatoes! No trip to Ikea needed to get a plate of this goodness!

5. American Goulash

Easy American Goulash

close up of american goulash in the pot
This easy one pot version of American Goulash cooks the pasta and beef in the same pot with a homemade red wine tomato sauce for extra flavor. 
4.72 from 77 votes
$10.96 recipe / $1.83 serving Get the Recipe

This dish goes by many names depending on where you live: American Goulash, Chop Suey, Beef and Mac, and more. No matter what you call it, it’s a super cozy ground beef and pasta dish that lands somewhere between chili and a traditional red meat sauce, and it’s absolutely divine.

6. Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

A plate full of Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy, mashed potatoes, and green peas.
Homemade Salisbury Steak with a rich mushroom gravy is a quick, simple, and hearty weeknight dinner that will fill even the biggest of appetites!
4.84 from 54 votes
$8.34 recipe / $2.09 serving Get the Recipe

If you grew up on TV dinners in the 70s or 80s, you know about Salisbury Steak. It’s no surprise that homemade Salisbury Steak is 100x better, so it’s definitely worth trying. Put it on your dinner menu this week!

7. Homemade Meatballs

Easy Homemade Meatballs

Meatballs in a pot of red sauce with a spoon holding two meatballs
These easy homemade meatballs are freezer-friendly and versatile. Keep a batch in the freezer for quick weeknight dinners later!
4.91 from 43 votes
$10.92 recipe / $1.82 serving Get the Recipe

Take your spaghetti night up a notch with these easy homemade meatballs. I promise they’re not difficult and worth the few extra minutes of prep! Plus, you can freeze some for later. ;)

8. Bolognese

Bolognese

Overhead shot of bolognese in a beige Dutch oven with a wood spoon in it.
Bolognese, the dreamy (and easy) Italian meat sauce, pairs with more than pasta. Work it into baked potatoes, bell peppers, rice, or nachos!
4.67 from 6 votes
$10.28 recipe / $1.29 serving Get the Recipe

Bolognese sauce is one of those recipes that you want to let sit and simmer away all afternoon so that your whole house smells amazing and the flavors develop into something truly epic. Put this one down for your next weekend and enjoy the best Sunday dinner ever!

9. Curried ground Beef with Potatoes

Curried Ground Beef with Peas and Potatoes

curried ground beef with peas and potatoes in a skillet with a serving spoon
Meat and potatoes come together with savory curry powder in this super simple weeknight curried ground beef skillet.
4.74 from 72 votes
$6.99 recipe / $1.17 serving Get the Recipe

The simplicity of this Curried Ground Beef with Potatoes juxtaposes the incredible flavor, making it one of my all-time favorite dinner recipes. Trust me on this one, you WANT to try it.

Simple Ground Beef Recipes

10. Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

This fast and easy Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry is a filling low carb dinner with big flavor and endless possibilities for customization. 
4.84 from 376 votes
$7.14 recipe / $1.79 serving Get the Recipe

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry (also known as cabbage roll in a bowl) is one of the most viral recipes on our website. So if you haven’t tried this one yet, you’re missing out!

11. Beef and Tomato Rice Bowls

Beef and Tomato Rice Bowl

Overhead shot of Beef and Tomato Rice Bowl with fork in it.
This budget-friendly, easy Beef Tomato Rice Bowl is lip-smackingly good, endlessly adaptable, and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!
4.74 from 15 votes
$7.78 recipe / $1.95 serving Get the Recipe

When you just need something simple and GOOD that uses pantry staples, this Beef and Tomato Rice Bowl is it.

12. Beef and Taco Skillet

Beef Taco Skillet

Close up overhead shot of beef taco skillet
This Beef Taco Skillet can repurpose your leftover ingredients into a fast, easy, and hearty weeknight dinner.
4.94 from 33 votes
$6.30 recipe / $1.58 serving Get the Recipe

Beef Taco Skillet is kind of like beef nachos, but different. Everything is sautéed together in a skillet and topped with shredded cheese for an extra gooey finish. Talk about quick comfort food!

13. Weeknight Pasta Sauce

The Best Weeknight Pasta Sauce

This rich and subtle pasta sauce is incredibly easy, which has earned it the title of The Best Weeknight Pasta Sauce in my house! BudgetBytes.com
This rich and subtle pasta sauce is incredibly easy, which has earned it the title of The Best Weeknight Pasta Sauce in my house!
4.91 from 32 votes
$4.35 recipe / $1.09 serving Get the Recipe

If you want to level up your pasta game, give this Weeknight Pasta Sauce a try. It’s easy enough to make on a busy weeknight, but still a hundred times better than store-bought jarred sauce!

14. Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner

Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner

Make an entire dinner for two at one time with this fast and easy Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner. Perfect for meal prep! BudgetBytes.com
Make an entire dinner for two at one time with this fast and easy Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner. Perfect for meal prep! 
4.90 from 74 votes
$6.27 recipe / $3.14 serving Get the Recipe

Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner is an easy dinner where you cook your main and two sides all together on one single sheet pan. Talk about easy!

15. Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli

Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli

Close up of a fork twirling some Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli on a black plate
Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli is a quick and easy all-in-one bowl dinner recipe with a rich, buttery, salty, and sweet sauce.
4.71 from 51 votes
$6.55 recipe / $1.63 serving Get the Recipe

Skip the take out tonight and make these Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli. It’s super quick, so filling, and totally craveable!

Ground Beef Soup Recipes

16. Taco Soup

Easy Taco Soup

One bowl of taco soup with toppings.
This easy Taco Soup recipe is a simple yet flavorful meal in a bowl featuring ground beef, beans, vegetables, and tons of tasty toppings!
4.88 from 8 votes
$11.84 recipe / $1.97 serving Get the Recipe

Taco Soup is one of the easiest soup recipes you’ll ever make! Just dump everything in the pot, let it simmer, and you end up with a super flavorful and hearty bowl that is ready for your favorite toppings. P.S. The leftovers are awesome, too!

17. Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup

Overhead view of a bowl of vegetable beef soup.
This super easy vegetable beef soup is a filling and flavorful option for lunch, dinner, or your weekly meal prep!
4.74 from 26 votes
$11.13 recipe / $1.86 serving Get the Recipe

Vegetable Beef Soup is a childhood favorite, but trust me when I say you want to make this from scratch instead of buying the sad little cans. The homemade version is extra hearty with big chunks of vegetables and plenty of beef in every bite!

18. Beef and Cabbage SOup

Beef and Cabbage Soup

Light, but filling, this Beef and Cabbage Soup will fill you up without weighing you down, and will keep you warm from the inside out. BudgetBytes.com
Light, but filling, this Beef and Cabbage Soup will fill you up without weighing you down, and will keep you warm from the inside out. 
4.95 from 50 votes
$9.63 recipe / $1.61 serving Get the Recipe

If you want even MORE vegetables (and fewer carbs), go for this Beef and Cabbage Soup. I love this soup so much that I make it at least once a month, year round!

Ground Beef Casseroles

19. Cheesy Cottage Pie

Cheesy Cottage Pie

Overhead view of a wooden spoon scooping out a portion of Cheesy Cottage Pie from the casserole dish
This Cheesy Cottage Pie is chock-full of vegetables in a rich beef gravy, and topped with a layer of super smooth and creamy cheddar mashed potatoes. 
4.93 from 28 votes
$6.59 recipe / $1.10 serving Get the Recipe

Cottage Pie is just a Shepherd’s Pie but made with ground beef instead of lamb. To make this cottage pie extra luscious, we also mixed in a healthy dose of cheese into the mashed potatoes. YUM.

20. Beef and Mushroom Country Casserole

Beef & Mushroom Country Casserole

Beef & Mushroom Country Casserole is a filling and flavorful hot meal that the whole family will love, and with NO cream of soups! 
4.79 from 23 votes
$12.09 recipe / $2.02 serving Get the Recipe

Pasta, hamburger meat, and a cheesy, creamy red sauce make this Beef and Mushroom Country Casserole absolutely irresistible!

21. Beef Burrito Casserole

Beef Burrito Casserole

This Beef Burrito Casserole is totally customizable and can include all your favorite burrito or nacho toppings. Leftovers reheat great for lunch!
4.66 from 46 votes
$8.10 recipe / $1.35 serving Get the Recipe

Beef Burrito Casserole has all of the delicious ingredients of a beef burrito, but in casserole form! Ground beef, beans, cheese, plenty of spices, and rice instead of a tortilla.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Recipes

22. Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the background.
These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are extra tender and flavorful thanks to a low and slow simmer in marinara sauce.
5 from 14 votes
$19.43 recipe / $2.43 each Get the Recipe

These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are one of the best things I made in 2022. They’re so easy, the meatballs so tender, and the subs are better than anything you’ll get a restaurant. 🙌

23. Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew

Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker hamburger stew with bread and a spoon on the side
This super easy Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is simple, comforting food at its best. And the leftovers are even better the next day!
4.48 from 34 votes
$9.88 recipe / $1.65 serving Get the Recipe

Also known as “poor man’s stew”, this Slow Cooker Hamburger Stew is a simple combination of ground beef, vegetables, and broth. Not fancy, but oh so satisfying!

24. Giant Slow Cooker Meatballs

Giant Slow Cooker Meatballs

A plate with spaghetti, marinara, and a giant slow cooker meatball.
As easy as 1-2-3, these Giant Slow Cooker Meatballs are a fun, easy, and effortless answer to weeknight dinner. 
4.92 from 12 votes
$8.00 recipe / $2.00 serving Get the Recipe

These big and juicy Slow Cooker Meatballs cook right in the red sauce over slow and low heat so you get the MOST flavor possible and not a drop goes to waste.

One Pot Ground Beef Recipes

25. One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

Close up of cheeseburger pasta skillet being scooped out with a spoon
Cheeseburger Pasta is a fast and easy homemade version of hamburger helper that cooks all in one pot for easy cleanup!
4.50 from 102 votes
$5.03 recipe / $1.26 serving Get the Recipe

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta is an all-time Budget Bytes reader favorite recipe. You get all the flavor of your favorite cheese burger in an easy one pot pasta and that ground beef is stretched over several servings!

26. Beef Taco Pasta

One Pot Beef Taco Pasta

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet
This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of hamburger helper with a southwest flavor spin. Hearty, delicious, and comforting!
4.77 from 72 votes
$10.33 recipe / $1.72 serving Get the Recipe

Another easy one pot meal, this Beef Taco Pasta has all your favorite southwest flavors in pasta form. You can’t go wrong!

27. One Pot Beef Stroganoff

One Pot Beef Stroganoff

Overhead view of a bowl full of beef and mushroom stroganoff
This one pot Beef Stroganoff is a delicious and comforting weeknight dinner and is easy like hamburger helper, but homemade!
4.68 from 197 votes
$5.54 recipe / $1.39 serving Get the Recipe

Who doesn’t love a rich and creamy stroganoff? We made this One Pot Beef Stroganoff a little more budget-friendly by adding some mushrooms and cooked it all in one pot to make it as quick and easy as possible!

28. One Pot Chili Mac

One Pot Chili Mac

Close up overhead view of a bowl of chili mac.
This super filling comfort food classic, One Pot Chili Mac, is like the hamburger helper of your childhood but all grown up and 100% from scratch!
4.82 from 127 votes
$9.79 recipe / $1.63 serving Get the Recipe

If you grew up on Hamburger Helper, you’re going to love this One Pot Chili Mac! It’s like the grown-up version, made from scratch, and I promise it is soooo much better but still just as easy. ;)

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