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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