What’s for dinner? Beef. Whether you like casserole, Mexican, burgers, or pasta, we’ve got you covered with over 30 easy Ground Beef Recipes.
My ideal freezer would feature a stack of frozen vegetables, a stack of ice cream pints, and a stack of ground beef. What can I say? I know what’s important in life.
At least one of those things is usually a reality, thanks to our annual purchase of a side of beef. You can learn all about buying a side of beef here, but suffice it to say, our freezer is usually happily stuffed with beef. We love having steaks, roasts, and short ribs on hand, but the biggest portion of our beef side is reserved for ground beef.
Easy Ground Beef Recipes for Busy Families
Ground beef recipes are a staple in our family. Ground beef is budget friendly, quick cooking, and easy to freeze and thaw for busy weeknights. It’s also incredibly versatile. Whether we’re craving Mexican, Korean, Italian, or a classic American dinner, there are thousands of different ways we can turn a pound of ground beef into a quick dinner all of us will enjoy.
Today, I’m going to be sharing some of my absolute favorite easy ground beef recipes including ground beef casseroles, burgers, and skillet meals. I’ve intentionally picked recipes that use simple ingredients and require little prep time. These are the recipes we depend on during the busiest seasons, and I hope they’ll become regulars in your homes too.
Before we start, we’ll do a quick run down on how to store and freeze ground beef, so you can also have a stash ready to go whenever you need it!
How do you freeze ground beef?
If you bought a side of beef, your ground beef is likely already packaged in freezer safe paper or plastic bags. All you have to do is date it (if it’s not already dated), and pop it in the freezer.
If you’re buying ground beef from the grocery store, I recommend removing the beef from its original packaging and portioning it into 1 or 1.5 pound sections. Most of my go-to recipes call for 1 pound of meat, but 1.5 pounds is the perfect amount for four hamburgers.
To save space and thawing time, place the meat in a freezer safe ziplock bag, then use your hands to pat it flat, squeezing out the air and pushing the beef almost all the way up to the zipper. Label the bags, then lay them flat in the freezer.
After the beef is frozen it can easily be stored upright or stacked flat. The thinner meat will also thaw quicker than a big roll or chunk.
How to defrost ground beef
Ground beef can be placed on a bowl or plate and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.
For a quick thaw, I recommend placing ground beef in a bowl and running cold water over it. Let it sit in the bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes, then drain and repeat if needed. As mentioned above, a flattened, thin piece of ground beef will thaw much faster, usually only taking 10-15 minutes.
How long does ground beef last?
Fresh ground beef should be refrigerated and used within 2 days. Frozen ground beef will last indefinitely, but the quality will suffer over time. I recommend using frozen ground beef within 4-5 months.
I hope this helps! Now, onto the recipes!
--- Ground Beef Casseroles ---
Ground Beef Casseroles are one of my favorite busy mom dinner hacks. They usually only require a few minutes of prep time and are perfect for making ahead of time.
I love that I can throw together the casserole in the morning, pop it in the fridge, and be ready to go when the dinner time panic sets in at 4:30 PM.
Many of these ground beef casseroles are a meal in themselves, with veggies and a starch all in one pan. We usually pair casseroles with a simple salad or applesauce for a really easy dinner.
Ground beef casseroles also freeze well, so it never hurts to double the recipe and save one in the freezer for later!
--- Simple Ground Beef Recipes ---
The quick and easy ground beef recipes in this section earned their spot by being either:
1) Ground Beef Recipes with Few Ingredients or
2) Ground Beef Recipes made in less than 30 minutes or
3) My personal favorite: BOTH!
These are the recipes you'll want to make for dinner on busy school nights. Most of them only require a few minutes of prep and a skillet to get a delicious ground beef dinner on the table.
--- Ground Beef Sandwiches and Burger Recipes ---
Sandwich night is always a hit at our house, whether it's the sloppiest of sloppy joes, a cheesy burger, or a Greek gyro.
Some of these sandwich recipes are made in the slow cooker, while others can be fried up in a skillet in minutes. Either way, these recipes make for a quick, family pleasing dinner.
--- Healthy Ground Beef Recipes ---
Looking for healthier ground beef dinner ideas? These recipes pair ground beef with plenty of fresh vegetables for hearty, filling, and nourishing main dishes.