Growing up we ate a lot of ground beef. It was inexpensive and could be stretched, which fit with our budget. I still cook with it for the same reasons. Another reason I like cooking with it is because there are so many different meals that can be made. Here are my ground beef recipes that help me make easy weeknight meals.
1. Spaghetti – One jar of sauce, one pound of ground meat, and pasta. Brown the meat, add the sauce, cook the pasta. Everyone loves it.
2. Italian Pie – This is a recipe that I got from Jodi. She said her mom came up with it when they were growing up and that it has always been a family favorite. All you need is a roll out pie crust, two pounds of ground beef, one can of tomato sauce, a spaghetti seasoning packet, onion, garlic, bell pepper, and cheese (I used the Italian blend). Saute the garlic, bell pepper, and onion in a little bit of olive oil, add the ground meat and brown it. Once cooked add the tomato sauce and seasoning packet and mix well. Place the pie shell in a pan and layer a small amount of cheese in the bottom, meat, cheese, meat, cheese until filled. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
3. Tacos – These can be made several different ways, but they are always delicious.
4. Taco Soup – This is another recipe you can find pretty much everywhere on the internet. I like that it makes enough for leftovers that can be frozen or taken in lunches.
5. Mexican Cornbread – This is a recipe that my mom has been making since I was a little girl. You need one pound of ground beef, a half a can of cream style corn, two cornbread packets, two eggs, milk, taco seasoning, and cheese. Brown the meat and season as you would for tacos. Mix the cornbread packets according to the directions and stir in the half can of cream style corn. Layer half the cornbread mixture in the bottom of an iron skillet, add all the meat on top of the cornbread, cover with cheese, and add the rest of the cornbread. Cook at about 375 for about 45 minutes. You’ll have to watch this to make sure it gets done without burning. I always mess up the timing. This is also great served with leftover pinto beans.
6. Meatballs with Gravy – This is has always been one of my favorite home-cooked meals. You need one pound of ground beef, your favorite seasoning, bread crumbs, an egg, flour, and oil. Season your meat, add a 1/4 cup of bread crumbs, and the egg and mix well together. Form into meatballs and roll in flour. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the meatballs. Brown the outside and add water to almost cover the meatballs. Turn down the heat and cover to cook while you prepare rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.
7. Shepard’s Pie – Use the leftover mashed potatoes from your meatballs with gravy to make Shepard’s Pie. This isn’t something we ate a lot growing up, but I know that it is a family favorite for a lot of people. Here is a great recipe for cottage pie. Substitute the lamb for beef, and *poof*, you’ve got Shepard’s pie.
8. Meatloaf – Or you can take those mashed potatoes and serve them with meatloaf. If you don’t have a special family recipe, you can still make a delicious meatloaf. I use a seasoning packet and two pounds of ground meat. Follow the instructions on the packet. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, I top with tomato sauce.
9. Cheeseburgers – Let’s not forget the classic. You really can’t beat a good cheeseburger. I like to use the Weber hamburger seasoning, and for this burger James asked me to add “secret sauce”. He declared it delicious.
10. Pizza – And if you don’t want a cheeseburger, then how about a cheeseburger pizza, or just a regular beef pizza. I used this recipe for super fast pizza crust from Co-Pilot Mom. I browned the meat and added a half teaspoon of basil and oregano each. I used jarred sauce and topped with Italian blend pre-shredded cheese. My family was so excited to see this come out of the oven. James yelled, “Peets-ZAH!!!!”
11. Sloppy Joes – I’ll admit that these weren’t my favorites growing up, but my kids LOVE THEM. I’m shocked how much they like them. Cady ate 2 1/2 when I made these. She never eats that much of anything at a meal. I used a pound of meat, a seasoning packet, and tomato sauce. I will definitely be making these again soon.
12. Sunday Special – Lastly, I want to share another family favorite. My mom has made “Sunday Special” for as long as I can remember. I asked her where it came from once, and she said it is something her older sister used to prepare for all the kids when my grandmother was working. You need one pound of ground beef, a large can of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder, elbow macaroni, and water. Brown the meat and add the remaining ingredients. Cook until the pasta is done. We almost always serve this with cornbread.
These are my favorite ground beef recipes. What are yours?
For another one of my easy ground beef recipes be sure to check out my recipe for Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas that is featured on Today’s Work at Home Mom.