Need to get a healthy dinner on the table quickly? We’ve done all of the work for you with this round-up of healthy ground beef recipes. Pick the one that catches your eye, get to cooking, and have dinner for the family ready in no time!

Ground beef is one of the most common proteins used to create quick, easy dinners. It browns in a matter of minutes, is batch-cook friendly, and takes on the flavor profile of whatever recipe you’re using it in.

A large, yellow, enameled cast iron pot filled with Mexican picadillo. Next to the pot: cilantro, a kitchen towel, a wooden serving spoon, a small bowl of white onions, a small bowl of tomatoes, a plate of charred tortillas.
A plate of Moroccan-inspired meatballs on a bed of greek yogurt and garnished with parsley, lemon, and sauce on a white and black marble surface. There are basil leaves, pita breads, a linen, and another plate of meatballs on the table.
221130_Sloppy Joe Casserole-40
221102_Cheesy Gordita Crunch-17

Oftentimes, ground beef gets a bad rap in the health department when in reality, it is chock full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, not to mention protein and some good healthy fat. When we think about whether or not ground beef is actually healthy, we have to consider the quality of the beef itself. When you’re choosing to eat grass-fed beef, you’re avoiding trace hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, and you’re gaining a ton of nutrients: a good profile of saturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and a much higher amount of vitamins and minerals than available in conventional meat.

So, what’s the healthiest beef? We say looking for grass-fed beef makes a bigger impact on health than focusing on the fat content. Pick the fat content that works best for your taste preference, and buy grass-fed as often as you can!

Want to learn more? Check out our article on why we prefer grass-fed ground beef to conventional.

  • The grocery store – super convenient and accessible, but will cost you the most if you’re truly purchasing grass-fed. Ask the butcher lots of questions so you aren’t tricked into buying meat that isn’t actually grass-fed.
  • Your local rancher – such a great option that can save you dollars in the long run, but often isn’t a practical solution if you aren’t buying in bulk, or if you’re living in the middle of a metropolis.
  • ButcherBox – consistent delivery of grass-fed, pastured, humanely-raised meat that ensures you’re getting the highest quality for a great price (less than $6 per meal).
A person's hands using a metal potato masher to cook and crumble ground beef in an enameled cast iron pot.

How to Cook Ground Beef

It’s so simple! All you need is a stovetop, pan, and a spatula! Put the ground beef in a pan over medium heat, and use a spatula to break the meat apart as it browns. Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes or until no pink remains.

How important is a meat thermometer when cooking ground beef?

While we think meat thermometers are GREAT for a lot of things, ground beef just isn’t one of them. You’ll want to cook your ground beef until no pink remains, and if you do this, no meat thermometer is necessary!

How can I tell if the ground beef I want to cook with has gone bad?

Generally, raw ground beef is bright red on the outside and may have some brown on the inside. If the outside of your ground beef is totally brown (or even grey), or if your ground beef has a funky smell (trust me, you’ll know it when you smell it!), it’s probably best to toss it.

Can I batch-cook, and then freeze ground beef for later?

Absolutely! This is a fantastic idea that makes getting a healthy meal on the table in record time. Brown the meat, drain any excess fat, wait for it to cool completely, and then portion it into Ziplock bags to stack in the freezer. We recommend a pound per bag, so that you can pull out exactly what you need when you need it! Your ground beef will keep for 4 months in the freezer.

Now let’s get to the good stuff: our FAVORITE ground beef recipes! From casseroles to burgers, and flavors from around the globe, we’ve got your dinner covered!

We hope these recipes help inspire you with new ways to use ground beef in your everyday cooking!

About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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