8 Ways the Slow Cooker Can Turn Ground Beef into Dinner

updated Jun 8, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

A slow cooker can work wonders for so many ingredients, but where it really shines is with inexpensive cuts of meat. It can turn a plain pound of ground beef into something that’s moist, juicy, and extra flavorful, thanks to its slow and steady cook time.

These eight recipes prove you can churn out a whole lot of crowd-pleasing dinners with the help of the trusty appliance.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

With a no-cook beef-and-rice filling and no-cook tomato sauce, these cabbage rolls are easy enough to throw together in the morning before you head to work.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

These meatballs can serve two purposes: Either put them out as part of an appetizer spread or serve them over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice for a satisfying main course.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

If you have a large-enough slow cooker, it’s worth making a double batch of this sauce, as it freezes very well. Divide it among airtight containers and you’ll have a handful of easy dinners on hand.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

For those who can’t choose between chili and macaroni and cheese, there’s this wonderful hybrid that’s comfort food at its very best. To get a head-start, you can cook the macaroni and brown the beef a day ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you need it.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

While ground beef with a higher fat content is ideal for burgers, here it can make for greasy sloppy Joes. Instead, opt for a 85 percent lean/15 percent fat blend, which will still stay nice and moist since it’s cooked right in the sauce.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This classic chili is just the kind of recipe to have in your back pocket. Just be sure to serve it with plenty of shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions, and crushed tortilla chips.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

The best meatballs are the ones that have been slowly simmering in a big pot of tomato sauce all day. Instead of carving out a Sunday, lean on the slow cooker to achieve equal results with less hands-on time.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Once you make this restaurant-favorite at home, you’ll want to put it on weekly rotation. Cooking the ground beef in the slow cooker makes it entirely hands-off, and frees up stovetop space. Use leftover beef to stuff into tortillas for tacos the next day.