Looking for dinner ideas using ground beef? Ground beef is a staple for many fast and easy weeknight meals. It is abundant in protein, iron, vitamins B6 and 12, and other essential vitamins and minerals making it a healthy choice for family meals. Here you will find a variety of recipes you can easily make in your Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, on the stovetop, and in the oven. We also share our best tips on how to cook ground beef to use in your favorite recipes.
Tips on How to Cook Ground Beef
- Cook your ground beef in a cast iron skillet to get that perfect brown appearance, texture, and flavor.
- You want BROWN beef, not gray. To avoid this, don’t let it “boil” or “steam” in its own juices. If you beef starts to look like it is drowning, drain off excess liquid.
- If your recipe calls for onion, add it along with the beef or just before you add if you want the onion to soften more.
- Use a flat-edged spatula to break apart the ground beef.
- Avoid stirring constantly. Let it have time to brown up. Break it into pieces and then leave it alone.
- Try to season your ground beef throughout the cooking process.
- When browning beef that is extra lean, you may want to add a little more oil to get the flavor you want.
- See our recipe below for “How to Cook Ground Beef.”
Dinner Ideas with Ground Beef
When it comes to ground beef, the dinner possibilities are endless! You can make anything from soups, to casseroles, to meatballs and meatloaf. Whether you prefer cooking in the oven, on the stovetop, with a slow cooker, or with an Instant pot, you are sure to find a recipe here that will become a new favorite!
Instant Pot Ground Beef Recipes
I LOVE making ground beef recipes in the Instant Pot because you can cook the beef righ in the pot! No cooking and transferring to another dish. You can sauté, cook, and simmer all in one place!
- Instant Pot Meatballs
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot Korean Beef and Rice
- Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Cheese
- Instant Pot Hamburger Soup
Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)
If you prefer taking it slow when you are cooking, you are going to love these crock pot ground beef recipes! Use the tips above to brown your beef and them add it to the recipes below. Did you know that you can also brown your beef in the Crock Pot? Just break up the beef in the bottom of the Crock Pot, season like you normally would, and 1/4 cup water per pound (up to 3 pounds). Cook on high for 2-3 hours (or low for 5-6 hours). Perfect for taco meat, sloppy Joes, or to freeze for future recipes.
- Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
- Crock Pot BBQ Baked Beans
- Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup
- Crock Pot Taco Meat
Ground Beef Skillet Recipes
If you are in a hurry, skillet recipes are the way to go when using ground beef. You can easily brown the beef and cook the rest of your meal all on one big skillet or quickly serve over noodles or rice. Be sure to use the tips above when browning your beef!
- 15-Minute Beef and Noodles Skillet
- Cheesy Beef and Rice Skillet
- Cowboy Spaghetti
- Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Easy Beef Burrito Skillet
Ground Beef Casserole Recipes
When feeding a family, an easy baked casserole is a great way to go! You have everything you need all in one dish. Casseroles make for hearty and delicious dinner for any night of the week, especially those nights when you are in a hurry or don’t have a lot of ingredients on hand.
- Southwestern Chili Frito Pie
- Easy Mexican Lasagna
- The BEST Baked Tater Tot Casserole
- Easy Shepherd’s Pie
- Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole
How to Cook Ground Beef
- Remove ground beef from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (about 20-30 minutes).
- In a medium or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat (a little closer to the "high" side than the "medium" side).
- Add ground beef to pan and press down to cover the bottom of the pan (like you are making a big hamburger), then break into large pieces (A wooden spatula with a big flat edge works best for this).
- Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes without stirring or breaking up more. Try to break that habit of adding the beef to the pan and immediately chopping up into little tiny pieces right off the bat.
- Flip the ground beef over, season with salt (or any other seasonings your particular recipe calls for) and cook on the other side for another couple minutes.
- After a couple minutes, start breaking into smaller pieces. Resist the urge to stir constantly or the beef won't get "browned". Continue to brown by stirring, then waiting a minute or so, then stirring again until the ground beef is brown and cooked through.
- For more tips on cooking ground beef, see notes above.
Recipe tips on how to cook ground beef inspired by Alton Brown