We’ve all been there: the mid-week, mid-work, mid-busy moment when you realize you have no plan for dinner. The panic is real. Fortunately, if you’ve got a package of ground beef on hand, the possibilities go on and on … and on. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways that freezer-friendly ground beef can help jump-start mealtime. The best part: Pretty much all of these recipes are kid-approved! Ready? Here are 25 of our favorite easy ground beef dinners.
Burger night? Pizza night? You can have both at once with this family-favorite mashup of a cheeseburger (with all the fixings!) served on a pizza. Fun fact: This recipe recently went viral among parents at a New York City school.
Get the recipe: Cheeseburger Pizza
Chili Relleno Casserole
Restaurant-style chili rellenos gets a 5-ingredient makeover in this easy baked casserole. Mild poblano peppers and cheddar cheese baked in a savory crust come together with just 15 minutes of prep, thanks to the help of boxed baking mix.
Get the recipe: Chili Relleno Casserole
Ragu Nachos with Pickled Onions
Think you’ve tried it all when it comes to nachos? This Italian-inspired twist, with meaty ragu and spicy arrabbiata sauce, will blow your mind. Baked crackers stand in for tortilla chips and there’s a tangy, salty finish of pickled onions and nutty pecorino cheese.
Get the recipe: Ragu Nachos with Pickled Onions
Salsa Verde Beef Enchiladas
These weeknight-easy green beef enchiladas don’t skimp on flavor. The key is getting some help from the store (a jar of salsa verde!) and cranking up the flavor with fresh cilantro, jalapenos, and smoky cumin.
Get the recipe: Salsa Verde Beef Enchiladas
Skillet Tamale Pie
Meaty Mexican tamales are even easier to make when they’re baked in a skillet. Ground beef, beans, fresh scallions, and cheese cook together in a tender crust fast-tracked thanks to boxed cornbread mix.
Get the recipe: Skillet Tamale Pie
Tater Bite Nachos
Never underestimate the power of a tater tot! The family-friendly freezer staple makes an irresistible swap for tortilla chips in these hearty beef nachos topped with gooey cheese and mango-pineapple salsa.
Get the recipe: Tater Bite Nachos
Beef ‘n Bean Chili
This easy chili recipe has just fie ingredients, and it only takes half an hour to make. For an even bolder flavor, you can also simmer it in a slowcooker.
Get the recipe: Beef ‘n Bean Chili
Grilled French Onion Burger
This umami-rich burger takes its cues from French onion soup. Caramelized onions and dry soup mix deliver a double dose of onion flavor to grilled beef patties topped with melted Swiss.
Get the recipe: Grilled French Onion Burger
Swedish Meatballs with Noodles
When it comes to belly-warming comfort food, nothing beats a plate of creamy Swedish meatballs. This recipe captures the distinctive, sweet-savory flavor and features fluffy egg noodles with a trio of allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Get the recipe: Swedish Meatballs with Noodles
Beef and Quinoa Shepherd’s Pie
This veggie-loaded take on classic shepherd’s pie sneaks in extra nutrients (frozen spinach!) with a crispy crust kids can’t resist. Hint: It’s made with golden tater tots.
Get the recipe: Beef and Quinoa Shepherd’s Pie
This spoon-ready take on lasagna is faster and lighter than the original, but every bit as satisfying. The traditional combo of ruffly noodles, tomato sauce, and two kinds of cheese gets an extra dose of flavor from jarred pesto.
Get the recipe: Lasagna Soup
One-Pot Spaghetti with Meat and Mushroom Ragu
Speed up spaghetti night—and the cleanup afterward—with this one-pot pasta and meaty ragu. Earthy baby bella mushrooms sauteed with garlic and ground beef create a hearty, chunky tomato sauce that cooks with the noodles.
Get the recipe: One-Pot Spaghetti with Meat and Mushroom Ragu
Rice and Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers
These gluten-free, protein-packed peppers are a complete all-in-one-meal the whole family will love. Shortcut ingredients—like a shredded cheese blend and microwave-ready basmati rice—help get them on the table as quickly as possible.
Get the recipe: Rice and Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers
Baked Beef Chimichangas
The crispy exterior of these restaurant-style chimichangas comes from the oven, not the deep fryer. The combo of seasoned ground beef, corn, and melty cheese, wrapped neatly in a tortilla, makes an easy dinner that also works as a packable lunch the next day.
Get the recipe: Baked Beef Chimichangas
Russel up the whole family for these stick-to-your-ribs beans that work as a main course or hearty side. The protein power of beef and two kinds of beans gets an extra kick of flavor from jalapeno, mustard, barbecue sauce, and a secret ingredient: coffee.
Get the recipe: Cowboy Beans
Spaghetti with Sautéed Beets and Beef
The grated beets probably sound like a curious addition, but they combine with the ground beef for an earthy, slightly sweet sauce that kids will gobble up. Extra veggies for everyone!
Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Sautéed Beets and Beef
Instant Pot Greek-style Meatballs with Feta
Take an easy-breezy trip to the Greek Isles—by way of the Instant Pot. Hearty meatballs studded with tangy feta, oregano, and garlic cook together with tomato sauce is less than 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: Instant Pot Greek-style Meatballs with Feta
BBQ Cheddar Meatloaf
This tasty twist on traditional meatloaf cooks hands-free in the slow cooker. Ranch seasoning, bell pepper, and barbecue sauce add a boost of flavor to a cheddar-topped loaf inspired by cheeseburgers.
Get the recipe: BBQ Cheddar Meatloaf
Basil-Beef Stir Fry
This better-for-you take on a classic Thai dish comes together faster than a takeout order. Fresh basil, lime juice, and fish sauce add big flavor to ground beef, brown rice, and carrots for a nutrient-packed meal-in-one.
Get the recipe: Basil-Beef Stir Fry
American-Style Beef Tacos
You can’t go wrong with tacos on a Tuesday—especially when you cut down on the sodium and preservatives. An easy DIY spice blend replaces packaged taco seasoning for next-level ground beef tacos with all your favorite fixings.
Get the recipe: American-Style Beef Tacos
Tandoori Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Traditional Indian flavors shine in this meatball curry that’s delicious when served with bread or over basmati rice. Garam masala-spiced meatballs stewed in tomato sauce with chickpeas and eggplant can be prepped ahead on the weekend for a 15-minute winner dinner anytime.
Get the recipe: Tandoori Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Grilled Beef Patties with Orzo Salad
One part slider, one part Greek salad, these palm-sized beef patties with orzo are 100 percent delicious. Garlic, onion, and fresh mint amp up the flavor of lightly charred ground beef served over tomato-studded orzo with a dollop of creamy tzatziki.
Get the recipe: Grilled Beef Patties with Orzo Salad
Beef Kabobs with Yogurt Dip
Dinner! On a stick! Even the pickiest eater might be willing to give these a try. There’s even a dip to add to the excitement.
Get the recipe: Beef Kabobs with Yogurt Dip
Jamaican-Style Beef Patties
This street food favorite (both in Jamaica and the U.S.) is easy to whip up for parties, thanks to frozen discs of empanada dough. The hearty meat filling gets its distinctive flavor from a blend of green onions, allspice, and curry powder.
Get the recipe: Jamaican-Style Beef Patties
Spiced Chickpeas and Beef Over Couscous
Add some North African inspiration to your weekday dinner routine with these one-of-a-kind beef and couscous bowls. The bold flavors of cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and paprika add a warm, savory spice to ground beef sauteed with chickpeas. Serve the mixture over fluffy couscous.
Get the recipe: Spiced Chickpeas and Beef Over Couscous