60 Easy Weeknight Dinners That Start with Ground Beef

published May 4, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Quick! What’s the first meal that comes to mind when you think of ground beef? For me it’s burgers, or maybe tacos that I used to eat as a kid. But those two foods barely scratch the surface of all the different dinners you can cook up with some ground beef.

Arm yourself with a pack of ground beef and the sky’s the limit when it comes to dinner possibilities. This is precisely why you’ll find a pound or two stashed in my freezer at all times (and remember: to defrost ground beef faster, freeze it flat). It’s a budget-friendly choice, and worth stocking up on when it’s on sale.

Shape it into burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf to really make it the star of the meal. Or on nights when you need to stretch a pound or less into a meal to feed the whole table, bulk it up into a hearty casserole, skillet dinner, or slow cooker dish. No matter what you’re in the mood for, we’ve got 60 ground beef recipes to cook up tonight.

Meatballs and Meatloaf

It is impossible to think about turning ground beef into dinner without considering meatballs and meatloaf. There are so many variations, and it’s one of my favorite ways to make ground beef shine on the dinner table.

1 / 28
Classic Meatloaf
The next time you have a craving for a super classic meatloaf with a sticky ketchup topping, this is the recipe to cook up.
Go to Recipe
2 / 28
Italian Meatloaf
Marinara and cheese set this recipe apart from traditional meatloaf.
Go to Recipe
3 / 28
Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
Upgrade this weeknight dinnner classic with loads of bacon.
Go to Recipe
4 / 28
Oatmeal Meatloaf
You’ll never know the oats are in there, but they act as a perfect binder and won’t dry out the meat.
Go to Recipe
5 / 28
French Onion Meatloaf
Inspired by a cozy crock of French onion soup, this meatloaf is loaded with velvety caramelized onions, then blanketed with a bubbling layer of Gruyère.
Go to Recipe
6 / 28
Mom's Easy Meatloaf
Trent Pheifer, the Instagrammer behind @Storeboughtisfine, thinks his mom's meatloaf recipe is superior to Ina's — and we got the recipe.
Go to Recipe
7 / 28
Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
Here's how to use your Instant Pot to cook meatloaf and mashed potatoes at the same time in less than an hour.
Go to Recipe
8 / 28
Stuffed Meatloaf

Oozing with melty mozzarella, this stuffed meatloaf is a fun and cheesy twist on the old school version you know.

Go to Recipe
9 / 28
50/50 Meatloaf
This meatloaf is 50% meat, 50% vegetables rounded out by three umami powerhouses.
Go to Recipe
10 / 28
Easy Skillet Meatloaf
This savory mixture of beef and pork flavored with slowly browned onion and pressed into a cast iron skillet and brushed with a sticky barbecue glaze.
Go to Recipe
11 / 28
Keto Meatloaf
This tender, juicy meatloaf is low-carb and keto-friendly, but most importantly it’s downright delicious.
Go to Recipe
12 / 28
Gochujang Meatloaf
Gochujang gives classic meatloaf a deeper, more savory element along with a spicy kick.
Go to Recipe
13 / 28
Traditional Meatloaf
Inside a classic meatloaf is a kaleidoscope of flavors: savory seasonings, cooked aromatics, Worcestershire sauce & ketchup, brown sugar, and a hearty amount of ground meat.
Go to Recipe
14 / 28
Air Fryer Meatloaf
This classic savory mix of onion, garlic, Worcestershire, and beef is air fried until juicy in the middle with delightfully crispy crust.
Go to Recipe
15 / 28
The "Loaf" (Bev's Famous Meatloaf)
Miranda Lambert shares her mother’s legendary meatloaf recipe, made with a mix of breakfast sausage and ground beef and smothered in gravy.
Go to Recipe
16 / 28
Italian Meatballs
If you’re on the hunt for a trusty, foolproof meatball recipe, look no further — these are classic Italian meatballs at their finest.
Go to Recipe
17 / 28
French Onion Meatballs
Inspired by the iconic French onion soup, this skillet dinner has it all — caramelized onions, juicy meatballs, and gooey, browned Gruyère cheese.
Go to Recipe
18 / 28
Spaghetti and Meatballs
When it comes to meatballs, skip the fussy frying and bake them instead for equally satisfying results.
Go to Recipe
19 / 28
Easy Herby Meatballs
Cut back on meatball prep by letting your blender do all the work. Purée herbs and aromatics into a flavorful base before combining with ground beef and breadcrumbs.
Go to Recipe
20 / 28
Porcupine Meatballs
These retro beef meatballs are made with uncooked rice, which cooks as the meatballs bake in the oven. The result is a saucy, satisfying weeknight dinner.
Go to Recipe
21 / 28
Air Fryer Meatballs
These quick and easy air fryer meatballs are as moist and flavorful as they come, thanks to a combination of ground meat and the addition of ricotta.
Go to Recipe
22 / 28
Whole30 Italian Meatballs with Marinara
Inspired by the classic, these Whole30 Italian meatballs are packed with fragrant herbs, but skip the grains and dairy.
Go to Recipe
23 / 28
Easy Oven-Baked Meatballs

When frying seems out of reach, these simple baked meatballs are here for you. And the bonus is you get an easy homemade tomato sauce at the same time.

Go to Recipe
24 / 28
Instant Pot Meatballs
These easy meatballs use a combination of beef and sausage for a fast and flavorful dinner from the Instant Pot.
Go to Recipe
25 / 28
BBQ Meatballs
Bring the life to the party with these BBQ sauce-smothered cocktail meatballs.
Go to Recipe
26 / 28
Orecchiette with Mini Meatballs
This recipe embraces the more traditional serving style of red sauce meatballs and pasta, only with an eye on making it practical for the home cook.
Go to Recipe
27 / 28
Sweet Chili Party Meatballs
These cocktail meatballs celebrate the sweet-and-spicy flavors of sweet chili sauce.
Go to Recipe
28 / 28
Cheesy Meatball Casserole
A quick and easy meatball casserole topped with melted cheese.
Go to Recipe

Ground Beef Casserole Recipes

Take your pick between partnering meat with rice, pasta, beans, veggies, or even tater tots to make it a casserole. This is such a great easy and budget-friendly way to stretch a pack of ground beef into a meal that easily feeds the whole table.

1 / 9
Cheeseburger Casserole
A one-pot wonder with ground beef and cheddar cheese that channels all the Hamburger Helper vibes.
Go to Recipe
2 / 9
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
All the flavors of the classic dish without the fussiness.
Go to Recipe
3 / 9
Cowboy Casserole
This ultra-comforting casserole is packed with lots of melty cheddar and topped with a crispy layer of tater tots.
Go to Recipe
4 / 9
Sloppy Joe Casserole
A casserole with the flavors of a classic sloppy joe but with none of the messy eating.
Go to Recipe
5 / 9
Cheesy Baked Rigatoni with Beef
This easy, cheesy crowd-pleasing casserole made with savory ground beef and baked with tender rigatoni noodles.
Go to Recipe
6 / 9
Ground Beef Taco Casserole
This recipe is everything you love about classic ground beef tacos baked into an easy casserole, then topped with lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheddar.
Go to Recipe
7 / 9
Baked Spaghetti
Baked spaghetti is pretty much a mash-up of all the best qualities of classic spaghetti and a cheesy baked lasagna.
Go to Recipe
8 / 9
Tater Tot Casserole
Tater tot casserole is the best family meal you aren’t making yet. The Midwestern casserole provides the unbeatable satisfaction of crispy tater tots layered over a creamy, beefy filling studded with sweet and tender vegetables.
Go to Recipe
9 / 9
Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole
The all-American cheeseburger served casserole-style with all the fixings is a weeknight wonder.
Go to Recipe

One-Pot Dinners

Trade your casserole dish for your Dutch oven or favorite skillet, and you’re on your way to bulking up ground meat into an easy weeknight meal for the whole family.

1 / 10
Creamy One-Pot Beef Orzo
Everything you love about spaghetti and meatballs made so much easier in this one-pot, no-chop dinner.
Go to Recipe
2 / 10
Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Skillet
Meet your new dinner favorite — a one-pot pasta riff on a Philly cheesesteak sandwich.
Go to Recipe
3 / 10
One-Pot Weeknight Beef Stroganoff
This riff on beef stroganoff starts with a pack of ground beef and hits all the same notes as the classic, but is decidedly much more weeknight- and budget-friendly.
Go to Recipe
4 / 10
Easy One-Pot Beef Goulash
From the sauce-slicked macaroni to the crumbles of ground beef and generous pockets of melted cheddar, one-pot beef goulash is as comforting as it is easy to get on the table.
Go to Recipe
5 / 10
Creamy Beef and Shells
If you grew up loving Hamburger Helper, you're going to love this quick and easy from-scratch version of cheesy beef and shells.
Go to Recipe
6 / 10
Easy Skillet Tamale Pie
This family-friendly tamale pie cooks all in one skillet, making for easy prep and clean-up.
Go to Recipe
7 / 10
Quick & Easy Sloppy Joes
A family dinner classic, these easy sloppy Joes are ideal for any night of the week.
Go to Recipe
8 / 10
One-Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
With smoky seasoned ground beef, spicy salsa, and gooey cheese, this one-pot pasta dinner is everything you love about the classic ground beef taco without the tortilla.
Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Southwest Skillet Ragu
Chewy pasta and gooey cheese are balanced out by a big helping of veggies with a little ground meat for protein in this one-pan meal.
Go to Recipe
10 / 10
One-Skillet Lasagna
Lasagna meets Hamburger Helper in this easy one-skillet pasta dinner.
Go to Recipe

Ground Beef Slow Cooker Recipes

When you’ve got some ground beef to use up but it feels like you don’t have any time to stand over the stove, go ahead and pull out your slow cooker. From chili to meat sauce to sloppy Joes, there are a lot of delicious choices.

1 / 10
Slow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese
Ultra-comforting slow-cooker chili mac is the love child of macaroni and cheese and chili — perfect for the person who just can’t choose.
Go to Recipe
2 / 10
Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
This easy slow cooker lasagna soup is everything you love about the classic Italian casserole, but it's so much easier to make.
Go to Recipe
3 / 10
Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
With a no-cook beef-and-rice filling and no-cook tomato sauce, these cabbage rolls are easy to throw together in the morning so that dinner’s cooking away while you’re at work.
Go to Recipe
4 / 10
Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
The low, steady heat of the slow cooker makes for a bolognese that's unbelievably tender.
Go to Recipe
5 / 10
Slow Cooker Chili
Invest your prep time in chili powder from scratch and you'll have the best bowls of simple, tasty chili waiting in the slow cooker when you get home.
Go to Recipe
6 / 10
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Slow cooker sweet and sour meatballs are cooked and served straight from the the slow cooker, and are a potluck favorite.
Go to Recipe
7 / 10
Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
When you'd rather not stand at the stove, reach for your slow cooker for an even easier way to get this family favorite on the table tonight.
Go to Recipe
8 / 10
Slow Cooker Taco-Stuffed Potatoes
This weeknight wonder is inspired by classic ground beef tacos, and best of all, the beef and potatoes cook together all day in the slow cooker
Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Slow Cooker Meatloaf
Slow-cooked meatloaf is tender, juicy, and packed with flavor.
Go to Recipe
10 / 10
Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili
You only need six ingredients for this Cincinnati-style chili recipe, which will satisfy any Skyline Chili cravings. Just don't forget to top it with a mountain of shredded cheese.
Go to Recipe


Whether you go for basic burgers on the stovetop or one that’s totally decked out, you can never go wrong with adding a burger night to your meal plan.

1 / 11
Juicy Lucy Burgers
You can't say no to this classic Midwest dish of a burger patty stuffed with melty cheese.
Go to Recipe
2 / 11
Meatloaf Burgers
Craving meatloaf but are short on time? Make meatloaf burgers. Shaping into patties means is a fasttrack solution to getting extra crispyness in every bite!
Go to Recipe
3 / 11
Smash Burgers
These no-frills burgers are exactly what they sound like: ground beef that's cooked in a skillet and smashed with a spatula to create rough, craggly little patties. Here's how to master the technique at home.
Go to Recipe
4 / 11
Easy Stovetop Burgers
No grill, no problem! Here's how to make juicy, totally tender burgers on the stove top, start to finish.
Go to Recipe
5 / 11
Burgers in the Oven
For a perfectly juicy burger without the burden of standing over a smokey grill, take it to the oven.
Go to Recipe
6 / 11
How To Make the Juiciest Burger Patties
Just one ingredient will make your burgers infinitely juicier this summer, and it's already in your kitchen: butter!
Go to Recipe
7 / 11
Spinach and Blue Cheese Burgers
Blue cheese, spinach, and caramelized onions transform a juicy beef burger into a French-inspired dinner.
Go to Recipe
8 / 11
French Onion Burgers
These grilled hamburgers are piled high with caramelized onions and melty Gruyère cheese.
Go to Recipe
9 / 11
Teriyaki Burgers
Partnered with a simple slaw, sliced jalapeño, and a splash of teriyaki, these 5-ingredient burgers are anything but basic.
Go to Recipe
10 / 11
Beef Burgers with Cabernet Onion Jam
A sweet, rich onion topping enhances the savoriness of these beef burgers.
Go to Recipe
11 / 11
Open-Faced Pizza Burgers
If you grew up eating English muffin pizzas, these cheesy burgers will be right up your alley. They taste like a beefed-up version of the childhood favorite.
Go to Recipe

Other Easy Ground Beef Recipes

But it doesn’t stop there. Ground beef is also the start of tacos, easy weeknight stir-fries, one-bowl meals, and stuffed peppers.

1 / 16
Classic Beef Chili
Mixed with ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and warm spices, this classic recipe is a winter staple.
Go to Recipe
2 / 16
Easy Ground Beef Tacos
These easy ground beef tacos are a winning weeknight dinner loaded with moist, flavorful beef and your favorite toppings.
Go to Recipe
3 / 16
Lasagna Roll-Ups
Everything you love about classic layered lasagna, only way easier.
Go to Recipe
4 / 16
Cheesy Gordita Crunch-Inspired Beef Tacos
These Taco Bell-inspired tacos feature a double taco shell stuffed with a beef-and-bean filling.
Go to Recipe
5 / 16
Homemade Hamburger Helper
This one-pot casserole channels the nostalgic favorite with ground beef and pasta in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce.
Go to Recipe
6 / 16
Weeknight Cabbage Rolls
To make this comforting dinner more weeknight-friendly, a single skillet is all your need to take them from start to finish.
Go to Recipe
7 / 16
Cincinnati Chili
This Midwestern specialty has no beans (unless you want beans as a topping) and is typically served over a bed of spaghetti.
Go to Recipe
8 / 16
Beef and Broccoli Bowls
Inspired the takeout favorite, this wholesome bowl starts with a pack of ground beef and broccoli rice.
Go to Recipe
9 / 16
Copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
The legendary Taco Bell crunchwrap that's filled with cheesy beef and crispy tortilla shells can now be made at home.
Go to Recipe
10 / 16
Hamburger Steak
Similar to Salisbury steak, this recipe shapes ground beef into steak-like patties blanketed in rich mushroom gravy.
Go to Recipe
11 / 16
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Not only is this one-pot meal a total breeze, but it will remind you of something you might order at a restaurant.
Go to Recipe
12 / 16
Mapo Tofu

Cubes of tofu are braised in an almost too-hot-to-handle sauce flavored with fermented black beans and chili paste, and dotted with pieces of crispy ground beef.

Go to Recipe
13 / 16
Stuffed Peppers
Any time you need to stretch a pack of ground beef to feed a whole lot of mouths, stuffed peppers are a good idea.
Go to Recipe
14 / 16
Taco Tortellini
Combine the best parts of taco night with quick-cooking cheese tortellini and you have a weeknight dinner that wins.
Go to Recipe
15 / 16
Dan Dan Noodles
The secret to these dan dan noodles is in the savory, spicy, and nutty sauce.
Go to Recipe
16 / 16
Loco Moco
Make this Hawaiian comfort food favorite in less than 30 minutes.
Go to Recipe

This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: 60 Easy Dinners That Start with Ground Beef