Back to Basics: 12 Ways to Prepare Ground Beef

Back to Basics: 12 Ways to Prepare Ground Beef

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Kelli Foster
Oct 3, 2017
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Add ground beef to your shopping list and you can be sure easy, filling weeknight meals are well within your reach. It's a humble, hard-working ingredient that is always worth having on hand and keeping stashed in the freezer. It's packed with rich flavor and it's versatile enough to be turned into everything from tacos and bolognese to stuffed peppers and chili.

1. Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

This version of classic bolognese leans on the slow cooker for an even easier pasta night. Start with a humble package of ground beef and the low, slow cooking transforms it into a rich and flavorful sauce. Consider making extra and stashing it in the freezer.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

2. Weeknight Cabbage Rolls

To make this recipe totally weeknight-friendly, all you need is a single skillet to bring these cabbage rolls to the table. The traditional preparation of savory meat-and-rice filling is rolled up in tender cabbage that's slow-baked in a sweet-sour tomato sauce.

(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

3. How To Make Stuffed Peppers

While stuffed peppers can be piled high with just about any filling, browned ground beef and tender grains of white rice are a classic combo.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

4. How To Make Meatballs in the Slow Cooker

When meatballs are gently simmered in the slow cooker, you can always be sure they'll be totally tender every time. Serve them up over pasta, pile them into a sandwich, or use them as a topping for your next pizza Friday.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. How To Make Burgers on the Stovetop

Imagine biting into a juicy burger of your own on a Wednesday night. All that's possible when you add ground beef to the shopping list. This recipe will show you how to make them on the stovetop.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

6. Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes aren't just for kids, although they yield the same results for adults: full tummies and happy smiles.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

7. Beef and Broccoli Fried Rice

This two-for-one dinner is a beef-and-broccoli-meets-fried-rice mash-up that's so much better than takeout. Crisp, tender broccoli, savory ground beef, and fragrant, garlicky rice are combined for an easy one-pan weeknight dinner.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

8. Freezer Taco Kits

Savory, crumbled ground beef tacos are always a good idea when you need a little inspiration to use up a package of meat. Make them after you get home from work, or prep your meal in advance and stash it in the freezer for busy nights.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

9. How To Make Meatloaf from Scratch

The best recipes are ones that can be made in advance for dinner, eaten the next day for lunch, and still have the ability to be frozen as leftovers for later. A pan of homey, comforting meatloaf is just that.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

10. Southwestern Skillet Ragu

Essentially a riff on DIY Hamburger Helper, this meal takes no time at all and is a great one to have in your arsenal when ground beef is on the menu. It's perfect for a busy weeknight at home.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

11. Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Leave the pasta in the pantry. This recipe takes all the meaty, cheesy goodness you love about lasagna and stuffs it inside a tender spaghetti squash. It's guaranteed to be a crowd favorite.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

12. Chili with Pasta and Cheddar

This is just one of the many reasons you'll want to keep a pack of ground beef handy all throughout the fall and winter. This extra-hearty chili, filled with a mess of spices, ground beef, and beans, can be served on its own or spooned over a bowl of your favorite pasta.

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