24 Quick and Easy Ground Beef Recipes

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Easy ground beef recipes for when you need to feed your hungry family fast. Great make ahead dinner ideas and quick fixes for busy weeknights: all the ideas for what to make with ground beef you need.

The photo collage shows ground beef cooking in a large dutch oven next to photos of three easy ground beef recipes for dinner.

My husband suggested we kick off grilling season with fresh hamburgers to use up a couple packages of ground beef I bought on sale at the grocery store.

I started to think about all the ground beef recipes we rotate through in our family.

Some are easy weeknight dinners while others are make ahead meals for the freezer.

Most of these dishes are huge hits with my kids, so I thought it would be helpful to share some of my ground beef recipe ideas with you!

How to Cook with Ground Beef

My favorite way to cook ground beef is to brown it and season it before freezing.

I just love my ground beef meal prep packets for the freezer.

I cooked up 6 pounds of ground beef one Sunday afternoon and mixed in a bunch of hearty veggies.

I portioned the huge batch out into 1 - 2 cup servings for the freezer. 

This allowed me to use those prepared beef packets to make easy and quick dinners for the kids with a lot less mess and hassle. 

Ground Beef Meal Prep Packets
Make this giant batch of browned ground beef and then freeze it into 1 – 2 cup portions for a easy meal prep on busy weeknights.
5 from 2 votes
Batches of browned ground beef and vegetables are stored in plastic bags for the freezer.

24 Easy Ground Beef Recipes

If you don't have time to prep the beef for the freezer, many of these easy ground beef recipes include instructions for cooking it up fresh during your dinner prep.

Here are all of our favorites:

Ground Beef Lasagna Roll-Ups

Use a ground beef meal prep packet to make this easy lasagna go even faster.

Easy Lasagna Roll-Ups
This easy lasagna roll-up recipe is filled with a delicious spinach and cheese filling and rich meaty tomato sauce. It's the perfect make-ahead meal for busy families since you can assemble and freeze it for an easy dinner later.
5 from 49 votes
A serving of beef lasagna rollups is next to a simple green salad with a fork.

Ground Beef Enchiladas

My chicken enchiladas recipe could easily be tweaked to use a ground beef meal prep packet instead of the rotisserie chicken.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken enchiladas are always a hit with kids who love Mexican food but they usually take a lot of time to prepare. This fast and easy recipe comes together quickly with several busy-parent shortcuts.
4.97 from 51 votes
A baking pan filled with tomato sauce covered chicken enchiladas.

Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole

Whether you call it a casserole or a hotdish, families love this easy Minnesota tater tot hotdish recipe.

Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish
This old fashioned hamburger tater tot casserole has been a family favorite in Minnesota for generations because it is so easy to prep and is a hearty dinner for a cold night. You can make it ahead and freeze it to get prepared for a busy night.
4.96 from 44 votes
The tater tot casserole has a spoon scooping a serving, you can see the ground beef, green beans, and corn with golden brown tater tots on top.

Ground Beef Stir Fry

My easy ground beef stir fry uses ramen noodles for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Easy Beef Stir Fry with Noodles
Easy weeknight dinner recipe for busy families. This 6-ingredient beef stir fry with noodles is always a hit with kids. Swap the veggies for a custom dish they'll love.
5 from 2 votes
A white bowl of ramen noodles and ground beef with red peppers and broccoli.

Ground Beef Bolognese Sauce

Make a big batch of this beef bolognese for the freezer and you can use it for delicious pasta or gnocchi dinners in a pinch.

Bologonese Sauce
This stovetop classic bolognese sauce features ground beef with fresh vegetables cooked slowly to enhance the flavor. A hearty meat sauce for serving over pasta, this recipe can be split and frozen for future meal prep.
4.41 from 5 votes
Bolognese Meat Sauce has been served over large rigatoni noodles and a fork is stirring them together.

Easy Ground Beef Taco Skillet

A fun new way to serve tacos on Tuesday nights. Cook the ground beef in the skillet and let everyone dunk tortilla chips into this filling.

Easy Taco Skillet
This easy taco skillet will be your new favorite way to enjoy tacos with the kids. Serve the delicious filling in the skillet nad let everyone go dunking with tortilla chips.
5 from 1 vote
A cast iron skillet holds ground turkey taco skillet with melted cheese and fresh green onions sprinkled over the top.

Crockpot Tortellini Soup with Ground Beef

Brown the ground beef and add to a slowcooker for this tomato-based Crockpot tortellini soup.

Crockpot Tortellini Soup
This hearty slowcooker tortellini soup is the perfect vegetable soup to keep simmering on a busy day. Rich tomato broth, savory ground beef, and fluffy cheese tortellini make a satisfying dinner with fresh bread or a side salad.
5 from 2 votes
A crockpot has tortellini soup with a tomato broth base.

Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Use ground beef for these easy freezer-friendly meatballs. I love to serve them in tomato sauce over spaghetti or in my favorite baked meatball subs recipe.

Italian Meatballs
Make a batch of these easy Italian meatballs and you'll have enough to serve over pasta with tomato sauce one night and make a batch of Italian wedding soup on another night. The meatballs can be prepped and stored in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for later.
5 from 1 vote
A skillet filled with meatballs and tomato sauce sprinkled with Italian herbs.

Easy Ground Beef Taco Bites

Make a batch of ground beef taco filling and turn it into this fun bite-sized appetizer for a party or family game night.

Easy Taco Bites
This is the easiest taco bites recipe ever because it uses prepared phyllo cups and an easy beef taco filling. Prep it ahead of time and bake just before serving for a mess-free appetizer.
5 from 1 vote
Bite-sized taco phyllo dough cups with melted cheese on top.

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

This classic sloppy joe mixture keeps warm for hours in a slowcooker. This makes a perfect busy night dinner when your family may not be eating all at the same time.

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
Prepare this Crock Pot Sloppy Joes recipe for a make ahead dinner on a busy night or freezer meal for dinner down the road. Serve it on hamburger buns, over a baked potato, or with tater tots for a family-friendly dinner.
4.41 from 5 votes
A sloppy joe sandwich on a soft bun has some filling dripping onto the plate and potato chips on the side.

Instant Pot Ground Beef Soup

My favorite Italian style ground turkey soup could very easily be made with ground beef instead. Just substitute the same amount of beef for the turkey it calls for.

Instant Pot Ground Turkey Soup
This rich and hearty ground turkey soup is filled with tender vegetables and tastes like it has been slowcooked all day but takes less than an hour with your Instant Pot. Serve with fresh bread.
4.92 from 50 votes
The finished ground turkey soup is ready to be served from the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup

With a hearty dose of chunky bell peppers and tender white rice, ground beef is the perfect base for this savory stuffed pepper soup.

Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
Cozy stuffed pepper soup comes together quickly in the Instant Pot for a fast family dinner on a busy weeknight. Savory ground beef in a tomato-based soup broth with hearty chunks of bell peppers is delicious served with fresh bread or biscuits on the side.
5 from 2 votes
A white bowl with a spoon is filled with the tomato-based stuffed pepper soup.

Ground Beef Taquitos

I used ground turkey in my taquitos to keep them lighter, but you could absolutely use ground beef in these crispy tortilla roll-ups instead.

Baked Turkey Taquitos
These baked turkey taquitos are a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Light ground turkey seasoned with taco spices is rolled up with diced tomatoes, peppers, and shredded cheese. Baked to a crisp in minutes, they are perfect for dunking in sour cream and salsa.
5 from 4 votes
A platter of rolled-up turkey taquitos sits next to a bowl of sour cream and a bowl of salsa.

Creamy Taco Pasta Skillet

This homemade hamburger helper suggests ground turkey but ground beef is the easiest substitute ever.

Creamy Taco Pasta Skillet
This lightened up one pot recipe is the perfect family-friendly comfort food. Made with lightened up ground turkey, diced tomatoes, and your family's favorite taco seasoning, this easy skillet dinner is always a huge hit.
4.50 from 6 votes
A bowl of elbow noodles coated in a creamy taco mac sauce with ground turkey.

Baked Ground Beef Tortellini Skillet

Savory ground beef would taste amazing in this skillet tortellini recipe.

Baked Cheese Tortellini
This easy skillet pasta recipe combines refrigerated cheese tortellini with light ground turkey and a seasoned tomato sauce. Top it with crispy panko bread crumbs and bake it in the oven for a quick take on lasagna.
5 from 1 vote
A bowl of baked tortellini with a slice of garlic bread on the side.

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles with Ground Beef

My husband's favorite dish calls for ground pork but I've definitely used ground beef when I had it on hand.

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles with Pork
This super easy 20-min meal is perfect for a busy weeknight. The creamy  Chinese pork with spicy peanut butter noodles is delicious with rice noodles or regular pasta. Whatever you have on hand!
4.39 from 21 votes
A serving of Chinese noodles with ground pork has green onions sprinkled over the top.

Ground Beef Taco Chili Potato Toppers

My Crockpot chicken taco chili is made with ground chicken but it would taste amazing with ground beef instead.

Pair it with a baked potato, fresh corn, and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili
This quick and easy crockpot chicken chili is perfect for stuffing a baked potato or assembling a homemade burrito bowl with leftover rice.
5 from 1 vote
A baked potato is stuffed with crockpot chicken taco chili and then topped with corn and a dollop of sour cream.

Classic Cheeseburgers

Our classic grilled cheeseburger, this is our family recipe we've cooked for years.

Our House Cheeseburgers
If you're eating on our backyard patio, these are the cheeseburgers we're grilling up! Slightly seasoned with a hint of Dijon mustard in the patty keeps the beef burgers nice and juicy.
5 from 1 vote
A simple hamburger with provolone cheese and a sliced tomato on a blue plate.

Bacon and Basil Cheese Burgers

Take your hamburger to the next level with candied bacon, fresh basil, and slices of cheddar cheese.

Candied Bacon and Basil Cheeseburgers
Take your burger game to the next level with this easy set of amazing cheeseburger toppings. Candied bacon, fresh basil, and summer-ripe tomato slices make a mouthwatering cheeseburger you'll love.
5 from 1 vote
A bacon cheddar burger has layers of fresh tomato and fresh basil and sits next to a serving of potato chips.

Irish Beef Hand Pies

These delicious Irish beef hand pies are a single serving version of my even easier Irish beef pot pie.

Irish Beef Hand Pies
These Irish Beef handpies are perfect for making ahead of time and freezing for St. Patrick's Day dinner. Filled with a rich and savory beef, potato, and cabbage filling and wrapped in easy pie crust, your family will love baking these for the holiday.
5 from 42 votes
A serving of Irish Beef Hand Pies on a white platter.

Ground Beef Chili Bowls

This thick ground beef chili tastes great with easy toppings in a bowl or you could even use it to make chili dogs.

Ground Beef Chili Bowls
This super-thick ground beef chili bowl recipe is delicious served with Frito chips for dunking but also makes an excellent chili dog topping or baked potato filling.
5 from 50 votes
A white soup bowl filled with thick ground beef chili topped with shredded cheese and sliced green onions. There's a spoon and a pile of potato chips on the side.

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Savory ground beef, onions, and bell peppers make a unique spin on the classic sloppy joes mix.

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
The perfect busy night family dinner: these delicious philly cheesesteak sloppy joes come together in a pinch and have lots of chopped veggies in the mix.
4.50 from 6 votes
A blue plate has a sloppy joe sandwich next to baked french fries with fresh veggies in the back.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

You could use frozen meatballs to make this easy recipe or you could start with a homemade ground beef meatball.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs in the Crockpot
Classic cocktail meatballs keep warm on your buffet table for hours in the slowcooker. This wildly popular sweet and sour sauce is made from ketchup and grape jam but is elevated by a dash of hot sauce to keep it from being too sweet.
5 from 46 votes
The white serving bowl is filled with sweet and sour meatballs in a rich glaze.

Easy Ground Beef Recipes for Kids

Ground beef is usually really popular with kids because the small bits of meat are so much easier for them to chew and there is no cutting involved.

Our pediatrician once recommended it as an excellent protein source for picky eaters because the texture is more palatable for small children.

I think the most common use for ground beef is to brown it up for tacos. My kids could eat that every night of the week with no complaints.

My cookbook, The Totally Awesome Ultimate Kids' Cookbook, contains several ground beef recipes that kids will love to make and eat with their families.

I have an entire section that teaches kids the right way to brown ground beef with instructions written just for them.

You'll find our very favorite recipes for:

  • Cozy Country Potato Pie
  • Ooey Gooey Cheesy Beef Lasagna Soup
  • Not Just for Tuesday Tacos
  • Old World Beef Tomato Stew
  • Mini Meatball Skillet
  • Hearty Italian Ragu Meat Sauce
  • Teeny-Weeny Cheeseburger Sliders
  • Swedish Meatballs

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24 ground beef recipes for busy families


  1. I so enjoy your site and your recipes. Would you please consider adding a print option so we can enjoy your recipes a little more easily. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Easy lasagna roll ups to make ahead and save your time
  3. Pingback: Chinese noodles with pork and spicy peanut sauce

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