12 Easy Ground Beef Recipes (Cheap Weeknight Dinner Ideas!)

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child eating easy beef stroganoff

Why do they always want dinner? 😫

If you’re like me, at the end of a long work day, the last thing you want to hear from your kiddos is “Hey Mommmmmmm (or Dad!) what’s for dinner? Oh how those three words crush my soul, didn’t I just feed y’all yesterday? 🙄

So you head to the fridge to figure out what to make, you’ve got ground beef but have made tacos so many times that the kids are giving side-eye and you’ve run out of dinner recipe ideas.

Friends, today I’m here to rescue you with 12 easy to make dinner ideas using ground beef! You may even impress your family by changing it up.

I mean, I could eat tacos ALL DAY, EVERY DAY and never get tired, but these teenagers over here at my house have opinions and they just aren’t always on the taco train with me. So grab your ground beef and make one of these yummy recipes for dinner tonight!

Here are 12 delicious and easy ways to use ground beef in your cooking!

spinach and cheese stuffed shells on a white plate

1. Instant Pot Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

You’ve gotta check out these insanely delicious cheesy stuffed shells with meat sauce that you can make entirely in an Instant Pot! Yep, there’s no boiling the noodles first, which saves a step and makes this meal super smart and efficient.

plate of baked ziti

2. Easy Four Cheese Baked Ziti

Sometimes you just need a cheesy, gooey, comforting pasta casserole type dish to dive into at the end of a long day, and this easy four-cheese baked ziti recipe will not disappoint! From your favorite spaghetti sauce to the creamy cheese throughout every bite, everyone in your family will be asking for seconds — it is THAT good!

meatloaf on a plate with potatoes and green beans

3. Instant Pot Meat Loaf & Mashed Potatoes 

Meatloaf and mashed potatoes have always been one of my family’s favorite combos and this is a genius way to cook both foods together at the same time using an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Want to keep it low carb? Try this Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf recipe from our sister site Hip2Keto.

enchiladas in dish

4. Easy Week Night Enchiladas

If you’re in the mood for enchiladas on a busy weeknight, check out these easy and delicious red enchiladas that are full of flavor and sure to please your family. Or, check out this yummy low carb beef enchilada recipe from Hip2Keto.

easy slider recipe

5. Hamburger Sliders

Ground beef often means burgers, but that’s not a bad thing! I love the concept of hamburger sliders since you can cook up all of the patties in a baking dish to create enough mini cheeseburgers to feed the whole fam! Um, brilliant! 😄

instant pot beef stroganoff

6. Instant Pot Hamburger Stroganoff

Looking for comfort food? This Instant Pot Hamburger Stroganoff recipe is IT. The sautéed ground beef and creamy mushroom sauce blend together to create the ultimate savory pasta dish.

plate with ikea meatballs and mashed potatoes

7. Homemade IKEA Swedish Meatballs

You can now make the famous IKEA Swedish Meatballs in your kitchen at home because our beloved furniture chain released their actual Swedish Meatballs recipe via Twitter, complete with those iconic illustrated instructions! YUMMO!

taco soup in crockpot

8. Taco Soup

You’ve gotta make this delicious and oh so creamy Keto Taco Soup in your Crockpot! It has all the bold flavors of tacos in a comforting, hearty soup, and is super convenient to make any day of the week using your slow cooker.

Everyone in your family – keto and non-keto eaters, will LOVE this recipe because it’s that YUMMY!

sloppy joe sandwich on a plate with bun

9. 10-Minute Kid-Approved Sloppy Joes

Try this yummy no-fuss homemade Sloppy Joe recipe that’s a favorite in our house! It’s a simple, last-minute meal that’s easy to throw together in a rush and uses common pantry ingredients. Want to make a keto version? Check out this Sloppy Joe recipe from Hip2Keto.

air fryer empanadas on a tray

10. Easy Air Fryer Empanadas

Try making these quick and simple air fryer ground beef empanadas as a delicious snack or main dish recipe using your air fryer!

taco casserole in a pan

11. Taco Rice & Beans One-Skillet Casserole

If your hungry crew loves Mexican inspired meals, make this family favorite Taco Rice and Beans One-Skillet Casserole. If you want to keep it low carb, give this Keto Tex-Mex Hamburger Casserole a try!

Wendy's Copycat Chili Recipe - bowl of chili with cheese and onions

12. Wendy’s Copycat Chili

If you’re a Wendy’s chili fan, you’re in luck as this killer knock-off recipe really hits the spot! We even hopped in our Hip2Keto test kitchen and whipped up a low carb version for all of you out there living the keto life!

If you’re eating keto, be sure to browse all of our low-carb ground beef recipes at Hip2Keto!

About the writer:

Angela graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and has 25+ years of experience as a writer and photographer with her work being featured in US Weekly Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, and more.

Join The Discussion

Comments 16

  1. Mendy

    With all the ground beef recalls it’s so easy to switch beef to ground turkey or chicken. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh yes! I’ve done that switch before too! You’re welcome, Mendy! Thank YOU for the suggestion!

  2. Sherry

    We live in the midwest where beef is raised and 80% hamburger is $6.99lb. Hamburger used to be inexpensive but not anymore.

    • Jackie

      Same here! We are in Kansas…a beef state and it’s crazy how expensive ground beef is right now. Ours is actually over $8.00/lbs right now. When I was used to getting it on sale for $2.00. Crazy, I can’t see myself spending that much for ground beef right now.

      • Lisa

        I’m in Kansas too, I hear ya about the price. I’ve had better luck with a local butcher/meat market. It’s processed local and has been several dollars a pound cheaper than at the grocery stores. A tip for taco meat, I finely chop carrots and sauté in with burger and the taco seasoning to sneak in veggies and make the mixture go further with less of the burger.

      • jennifer

        We’re in New England, ground beef is $9 a pound right now for 85%. We’re eating a lot of fish instead.

    • Lori

      Im in the south and 73% ground beef is $12/lb. Steak is more affordable than ground beef!

  3. LaDonna

    I have a recipe for sloppy Joe’s that uses very finely chopped up cabbage in it, my kids love it, they have no idea there’s cabbage in there and it can stretch the meat farther I would assume you could probably throw some chopped cabbage in any recipe for sloppy Joe’s

    • Mendy

      Sounds interesting! Please share the recipe if you can!

    • Lisa

      With the cabbage in there it’s probably a Runza recipe or German bierock. Very good!

  4. Emily

    I’ve cut out red meat except for on very special occasions (health reasons), but I think most of these would be great with ground turkey!

  5. Kat9919

    This week, Aldi has 10 fresh hamburger patties for $10 (2.5lbs) – chop them up and makes for cheap ground beef about $4 a pound. We are in PA where beef prices have skyrocketed!

  6. Kate

    We haven’t eaten ground beef for a while now because it’s out of our budget! Packages just A smidge over a lb were nearly $11. $11 for the protein for a meal is out of the question 🙁

  7. janette

    Feeling very blessed with my Kroger here in Houston. I can get 3 lbs for 9.99 for Schweid Bro. Kroger ground beef is 5.99 for 80/20. So it’s high, but not crazy high.

  8. Patricia Lavenz

    Thanks. I can use the recipes without tomatoes in them. This is awesome. Thank you.

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