21 Easy Ground Beef Recipes That Are Sure to Become a Weeknight Favorite

Soboro Donburi
Photo: Greg DuPree

From baked pasta to fragrant curries, F&W has terrific ideas for easy ground beef recipes. Laab, a fast and easy dish, is a traditional Thai meat salad that can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Adding thin noodles is a simple way to turn it into a pasta salad, but the meat mixture is also great on its own. Click through to find more amazing recipes for ground beef, including the best meatloaf and Sicilian-style meatballs made with pine nuts.

01 of 21

Cuban Beef Casserole with Corn-Scallion Biscuit Topping

Cuban Beef Casserole with Corn-Scallion Biscuit Topping

Inspired by a Cuban picadillo, this recipe perfectly balances savory and sweet with warm aromatic spices, sweet raisins, and tangy green olives.

02 of 21

Macaroni-and-Beef Casserole

Macaroni-and-Beef Casserole
© Alexandra Rowley

This hearty cumin-scented casserole has an irresistible cheesy-crisp topping.

03 of 21

Beef Chili with Beans

Beef Chili with Beans

The smoky, spicy chili here is a slightly modified version of Grant Achatz's mother's chili, made with ancho, pasilla, and chipotle powders, plus a homemade blend of seasonings and fresh herbs.

04 of 21

Beef Keema

Beef Keema
© Andrew Purcell

Although this ground-meat curry is often made with lamb, we've found that the distinctive combination of spices tastes just as good with beef. Serve the thick, chili-like keema with warm naan (Indian flatbread), if available, or pita.

05 of 21

Thai-style Beef Salad over Angel-Hair Pasta

Thai-style Beef Salad over Angel-Hair Pasta

Laab—ground beef seasoned with chiles, lime juice, fish sauce, and mint—is a traditional Thai meat salad eaten warm or at room temperature. We've added thin noodles to turn it into a pasta salad, but you can always eat the meat mixture by itself; just cut down on the fish sauce, or the beef may be too salty.

06 of 21

Grandma's Lasagna

Grandma's Lasagna

Although we tested three different Bolognese-style lasagnas with creamy béchamel sauce, we decided that the definitive lasagna had to have tomato sauce, chunks of meat, shredded mozzarella, and creamy ricotta cheese.

07 of 21

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Slow Cooker Meatballs

These meatballs are served in a bowl, but they are equally delicious with spaghetti or on a hoagie roll.

08 of 21

Meat Loaf with Creamy Onion Gravy

Meat Loaf with Creamy Onion Gravy

"This is a culmination of all the meat loaves I've ever eaten," says Andrew Curren. "My mom always made a good meat loaf—it never had the tomato goo on top of it. Then I tasted a meat loaf that had cheese in it; that was a good idea. In Italy, I was introduced to soffritto, and realized the importance of cooking with carrots, onion, celery." Curren serves the meat loaf with creamy gravy, which is also excellent on lunchtime meat loaf sandwiches.

09 of 21

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic Spaghetti with Meatballs
© Fredrika Stjärne

Spaghetti and meatballs is a crowd-pleasing classic Italian-American dish. The mixture of beef, veal, and pork makes the meatballs really flavorful.

10 of 21

Moussaka with Yogurt Béchamel

Moussaka with Yogurt Béchamel

You can order ras el hanout, a wonderful Moroccan spice blend, from specialty and Middle Eastern markets.

11 of 21

Meat-Stuffed Poblanos with Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Meat-Stuffed Poblanos with Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Use any blend of ground meat you like in this perfectly spicy, bright dinner.

12 of 21

Pasta Bolognese

Pasta Bolognese
© Fredrika Stjärne

Grace Parisi's pasta Bolognese features a traditional combination of ground beef, pork, veal, and tomato enriched by smoky pancetta.

13 of 21

Sicilian-Style Meatballs


Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli say that dried currants and pine nuts make these meatballs distinctly Sicilian.

14 of 21

Beef-and-Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits

Beef-and-Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits

"I have a hard time getting excited by beef," Kristin Kimball confesses. "We do a lot of ground meat, and I get tired of coming up with new ideas for it." This luscious potpie—with its buttery cheddar crust and filling mixed with parsnips, carrots, and peas—would be a perfect addition to her repertoire.

15 of 21

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce
© Bree Hester

Here's a true crowd pleaser: pasta shells in a simple sauce of ground beef, tomatoes, and pesto, layered with mozzarella and Parmesan, and baked until bubbly. Fusilli or orecchiette would work well here, too.

16 of 21

Mini Panamanian Beef Empanadas

New Mexico: Empanadas

Chef Tip: For a flakier empanada, use leaf lard instead of butter.

17 of 21

Gingery Ground Beef with Peas over Rice

Soboro Donburi
Greg DuPree

This hearty Japanese rice bowl features soboro (finely ground meat simmered in soy sauce, dashi, and sake) served over rice to make a hearty meal. To simplify the recipe, Elizabeth Andoh suggests using water instead of dashi.

18 of 21

Ground Beef Lasagna

ground beef lasgana
Ian Knauer

Cheesy, beefy lasagna is one of our all-time favorite dinners.

19 of 21

Garlic Beef and Onion Congee


Savory and hearty, this Chinese congee is cooked with flavorful garlic beef, and sautéed onions.

20 of 21

Hungarian Beef and Potato Stew

Hungarian Beef-and-Potato Soup

Traditionally, this soup would be made with cubes of beef, but when you want a quick weeknight dinner, who can wait for meat to braise? We use ground beef instead.

21 of 21

Beef-and-Fonio Meatballs with Sweet Potato Stew

Beef and Fonio Meatballs with Sweet Potato Stew
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Fonio, the couscous-like grain that's beloved in a wide swath of West Africa, does double duty here, imparting a nuttiness to the meatballs while keeping them light and tender.

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