Ground Beef Dinner
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Having some ground beef dinner ideas in your back pocket can help make weeknight cooking much easier. Always available at relatively reasonable prices and as versatile as an ingredient can get, this meat has rightfully earned its spot as a mealtime staple. At the end of the day, it’s an easy and convenient protein-rich option for many home cooks.

How to cook ground beef

From hot and fast to slow and low, there are tons of cooking methods that work with this ingredient. The higher the fat content in your ground beef, the more room there is for error, since it becomes much harder to dry out.

There’s only one major rule of thumb to remember when you’re wondering how to cook ground beef: Never let it sit at a high temp over a long period of time. As long as you don’t do that, you can usually expect all your burgers, meatloaves, and Bolognese sauces to be tender and juicy rather than dry and chewy.

Letting ground beef come to room temperature before putting it into a skillet will help the meat cook more evenly, but it’s not completely essential, especially if the recipe doesn’t call for browning or cooking stovetop.

A quick note about plant-based ground beef alternatives

If you’re trying to cut back on red meat for whatever reason, you can still keep these recipes in your regular rotation. There are now so many plant-based meat alternatives that mimic the same texture and have a very similar taste, which make them pretty legit substitutes for the real thing in any ground beef recipe.

Whether you’re opting for a vegetarian substitute or keeping it traditional, there are infinite ways to use ground beef and its plant-based counterparts.

30 ground beef dinner ideas

With all that in mind, the ground beef dinner ideas below will show you just how much the humble ingredient is capable of. They include all the classics we know and love—like meatballs and hamburger recipes—as well as a handful of unexpected ideas that showcase the best dinner recipes with ground beef.

Many of them are suitable for weekly meal prep (and freezing to eat way later on), but just as many can be made in a matter of minutes on stressful weeknights. Whatever kind of time constraint you’re working under, these recipes will help you figure out what to make for dinner with ground beef.

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1. Taco Salad from Well Plated

This taco salad is twice as satisfying thanks to a high-protein Greek yogurt dressing, a triple serving of vegetables, and plenty of meat, beans, and cheese to boot.

Get the recipe here.

2. Thai Green Curry Beef and Veggie Bowls from Cotter Crunch

This bright and crunchy veggie and beef bowl is just as tasty as delivery and ready in half the time. The spice level is entirely up to your discretion and depends completely upon how many red chili peppers you use.

Get the recipe here.

3. Farm Stand Meatballs from Dishing Up the Dirt

These herby meatballs taste great over a bed of vegetables (as pictured here), with a grain like rice or orzo, or even between a loaf of bread for a hearty sandwich.

Get the recipe here.

4. Ground Beef Zucchini and Sweet Potato Skillet from Primavera Kitchen

This skillet also makes a great brunch recipe: Simply throw a few fried eggs on top, and serve the whole thing with a side of crunchy toast.

Get the recipe here.

5. Thai Beef Kofta Recipe With Coconut Sauce from Sweet Peas and Saffron

This recipe uses a mix of coconut milk and red curry paste to infuse the meat with Thai-inspired flavors. Eat the meatballs with flatbread or a side of freshly cooked rice for a full and satisfying meal.

Get the recipe here.

6. Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Chili from Cotter Crunch

Beef chili is a classic dish that you can easily make in a slow-cooker with the right recipe. The sweet potatoes in this one make it even heartier and add a little sweetness to the mix.

Get the recipe here.

7. Easy Bolognese from Krisp x Kristin

Aside from fresh or frozen ground beef, pantry staples like tomato paste and garlic are all you need to make this easy Bolognese.

Get the recipe here.

8. Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls from My Korean Kitchen

These bulgogi-inspired meat and veggie rice bowls are budget-friendly and packed with a range of textures and flavors. Fresh vegetables like cucumbers and radish add a nice contrast to the rich flavors of the beef and kimchi.

Get the recipe here.

9. Salisbury Steak With Mushroom Gravy from My Forking Life

The difference between Salisbury and regular steak is the use of ground beef rather than whole, un-cut meat. The result is a dish that’s somewhere between a burger and a filet mignon, and just as good as the two.

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Get the recipe here.

10. Instant Pot American Goulash from Rosalynn Daniels

Packed with flavor from bell peppers, herbs like oregano, and seasonings like Worcestershire sauce, this meaty American goulash definitely won’t leave you wanting.

Get the recipe here.

11. Egg Roll in a Bowl from Primavera Kitchen

This deconstructed beef egg roll is basically a bowl full of the flavorful, meat- and veggie-packed filling we all know and love. Add a hard- or soft-boiled egg for a bit of extra protein.

Get the recipe here.

12. Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers from Simply LaKita

Thanks to an Instant Pot, these ground beef stuffed peppers are ready to eat in half the time they would normally take. Don’t let the veggie shell fool you: Packed with meat and rice, these babies make for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Get the recipe here.

13. Curry Beef Rice Bowls from The Woks of Life

This Hong Kong-style beef curry is packed with plenty of additional nutrients from peas and potatoes. Be sure to serve it with fresh rice so you have a perfect vehicle to soak up all that extra, delicious sauce.

Get the recipe here.

14. Taco Pinwheels from Oh Sweet Basil 

These beef-packed puff pastry wheels are intended for appetizer-hour, but they can just as easily be a whole and satisfying meal when paired with a vegetable side dish.

Get the recipe here.

15. Make-Ahead Freezer Burritos from Fit Foodie Finds

A nice thing about this freezer-friendly burrito recipe (besides the convenience factor) is that you can easily swap out the ground beef for another protein source, whether that’s a plant-based alternative or ground chicken or turkey.

Get the recipe here.

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