Make dinner and affordable with this delicious list of cheap dinner ideas with ground beef. Ground beef does not need to be boring!
Original post: March 2020 | Updated: December 2021
Ground beef as a standalone ingredient might seem boring, but with a little help from other ingredients it can easily be transformed into a cheap and delicious meal. I have always been a huge fan of this unassuming variety of meat and it has been fun getting creative with it.
One of my favorite things about it, aside from it’s delicious flavor, is its affordability! There are so many filling, hearty, delicious ground beef recipes that are also affordable and easy to make.
Enjoy this collection of easy, beefy meals that is sure to satisfy the bellies around your table tonight!
FAQ About Ground Beef
The best ground beef to use when making burgers is 80/20 or 90/10 ground chuck, which is 80% lean meat and 20% fat. The more fat, the more flavorful and juicy the end result will be.
Ground beef can be refrozen if it has been frozen once and thawed in the fridge. It is not recommended to do this more than one time.
80/20 or 90/10 ground chuck is best when making tacos. The more fat, the more flavorful and juicy the end result will be.
70/30 or 80/20 ground chuck is best when making meatloaf. An even leaner meat such as ground turkey, ground chicken or venison can even be used to make this dish. Too much grease can ruin meatloaf and flavor will not diminish when a leaner variety is used.
Ground beef can turn brown when it has been exposed to air for an extended period of time, whether in the fridge or at room temperature. This does not necessarily mean the meat has gone bad, but can reduce the shelf life. Store ground beef properly in the fridge in airtight containers to reduce air exposure.
How To Add Flavor to Quick Ground Beef Recipes
Flavor in any recipe is important, but what do you do if you find yourself with a bland dish that has already been cooked? Check out this post for some tips about how to enhance the flavor in any type of food or dish!
Ground Beef and Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipes
Simplify dinner tonight! Create an easy, affordable and delicious meal using two hearty main ingredients. Click over for a handful of ground beef and cream of mushroom soup recipes!
Cheap Dinner Ideas With Ground Beef
Below you will find an extensive roundup of easy ground beef recipes that are both cheap and delicious. Any of the below recipes will be perfect for dinner tonight!
- Casserole such as Tater Tot Hotdish
- Add to mac and cheese
- Sloppy Joes
- Cheeseburger pasta
- Swedish meatballs
- Shepherd’s pie
- Stuffed bell peppers
- Cheeseburger soup
- Stuffed cabbage rolls
- Taco salad
Runza Casserole is inspired by a world-famous sandwich made with ground beef and cabbage. Load up a casserole dish with comfort food, creating a filling, delicious and affordable way to feed an entire family!
Homemade Ground Beef Taco Meat – Taco meat is super easy to make at home using ground beef and just a few other ingredients. Make a batch of homemade taco seasoning, too, in just a few minutes! Add the savory meat to tacos, burritos, casseroles or even a simple salad!
Ground Beef Casserole
Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole – Just like your mom’s recipe but so much more! This easy dinner recipe will quickly become a family favorite, complete with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, beef, tomatoes and green chiles.
Spaghetti Squash Boats
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Ground Beef and Cheese is the healthy version of spaghetti! They are SUPER easy to prepare, and are ready in less than 30 minutes. Add all the meat, cheese and spices you love to cater this recipe to your liking.
Once you make this spaghetti sauce recipe, you’ll never go store-bought again! Goes great on spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli and more. Save yourself a trip to the grocery store and make your own.
Oven Baked Beef Tacos – Make an entire batch of delicious beef tacos in under 20 minutes! A layer of refried beans and cheese are secretly hiding underneath a layer of tacos to make a complete meal in a single pan. Super easy meal for taco night!
Beef and Cheese Sandwiches
Baked Cheesy Beef Sandwiches – These hot sandwiches make the PERFECT easy dinner. They are always a hit!
Beefy Mac and Cheese
Delicious Beefy Shells and Cheese with Ranch is pure comfort food. Throw in some veggies for fun! With just the addition of Ranch dressing to the skillet, it took this simple recipe to the next level. It’s a delicious dinner any time of the year!
Slow Cooker Goulash
This slow cooker recipe is a delicious, filling and hearty meal that is super easy to prepare in your crockpot. Requiring mere minutes of prep time and a few simple ingredients, slow cooker goulash is the perfect family meal for a busy night!
Instant Pot Lasagna
Instant Pot Lasagna Recipe (no inner pot needed!) – Lasagna has never been so easy! No need to pre-cook noodles OR squeeze everything into a springform pan! Layer traditional lasagna ingredients right in the inner pot and dinner is ready in 30 minutes.
Instant Pot Meatloaf
Instant Pot Meatloaf is super quick and easy to make and it is SO delicious. It cooks so much more quickly than an oven-baked meatloaf. There is a secret ingredient hiding inside and the sauce that gets smothered over the top? OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS.
Easy Crock Pot Ravioli requires only 6 ingredients, 1 slow cooker and 3 hours of your time. Enjoy a yummy plate of cheesy pasta covered in tasty Italian sauce! Dinner is on the table with virtually no effort on your end.
Instant Pot Meatballs
Best Ever Instant Pot Meatballs – This is the easiest, quickest, most delicious way to cook meatballs and sauce to top pasta with! Done in 30 minutes, your pasta will be happy to have this delicious perfection sitting atop it. Dinner made easy for you and your family!
Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are hearty and delicious! Make them in your Instant Pot for a super quick and easy dinner, with a sweet and savory sauce and using a few simple ingredients.
Easy 5-Ingredient Chili
5 Ingredient Easy Chili requires only 5 ingredients! Packed with flavor, this comforting recipe takes only 30 minutes to make. You don’t miss out on anything with this dish perfect for feeding a large group.
Best Juicy Salsa Burgers – Incorporate salsa into the meat for zesty, super juicy burgers that everyone will fall in love with. Use spicy salsa for burgers with a kick or go mild for a less spicy option.
Best Baked Ziti is one of my favorite comforting pasta dishes of ALL TIME! Packed with flavorful meat sauce and layers of cheesy goodness, you will enjoy each flavorful bite. This delicious dinner feeds a lot of people and is super filling and hearty.
Easy Taco Cups – Introducing a different way to enjoy Taco Tuesday! Done in under 30 minutes, this finger food is savory and delicious. Load taco cups up with picante flavored meat, beans and cheese, then toppings of your choice, such as lettuce tomatoes, sour cream and cilantro!
Instant Pot Goulash
Instant Pot Goulash – Make comforting, hearty Goulash in your Instant Pot! This American version of Goulash could not be easier or more delicious. It cooks perfectly every time and is done in only 30 minutes. Perfect easy dinner any night of the week!
Instant Pot Chili
Best Instant Pot Chili – Chili made easy in your pressure cooker is THE BEST! This recipe is the absolute perfect comfort food, packed with flavor, texture, color and a tiny bit of spice. Perfect dinner or party food!
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Best Homemade Hamburger Helper – Make your own version of the comforting childhood meal that we all know and love. This easy dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes and it is more affordable than the boxed variety!
Burgers with Grilled Peaches, Brie and Cherry Jam – Spruce up your burger with a touch of sweetness! Brie cheese, cherry jam, grilled peaches and bacon will transform dinner into a sweet and savory treat!
Easy Baked Spaghetti is easy to make and packed with crunchy peppers and mushrooms plus all the cheesy goodness. This classic dish is transformed into a delicious and comforting casserole perfect for any weeknight meal!
Best Chili Recipe Ever is a contest winner, total crowd pleaser and the best chili you’ll find. It is packed with flavor, texture and color. Make it for your next gathering, large or small, and you will get rave reviews.
Top with tortilla chips, red pepper flakes, cilantro, green onions, sour cream and shredded cheddar!
Healthy Burgers with Sweet Potato Buns – These delicious burgers are made healthy by using sweet potatoes instead of buns! They are Whole30 compliant and will satisfy your every dinner-table desire.
Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food and such an easy classic meal. This is my mother’s delicious recipe with an added touch of delicious sauce. Add this to your dinner rotation. I promise it’ll quickly become a favorite family meal!
Best Classic Shepherd’s Pie will leave everyone, big and small, wanting more. A ground beef, veggie-packed layer is covered by creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes and topped with melty cheese for good measure!
Chili Macaroni and Cheese is the marriage of two of the most comforting comfort foods of all time! This Chili Macaroni and Cheese Recipe combo is a great dinner and a delicious way to use up leftover Chili in a one-pan recipe.
How To Make Homemade Classic Lasagna – Meet your new favorite Classic Lasagna recipe! This truly is the most delicious lasagna. The hearty layers of meat, cheese and pasta are filling and so flavorful. Make one pan for tonight and freeze one for next week!
Tater Tot Hotdish
Classic Tater Tot Hotdish is a classic Midwestern comfort food. Whether it’s the main dish or a side, everyone at the table will be satisfied. This Minnesota staple recipe is loaded with tater tots, cream of mushroom soup and other comforting ingredients. Great for your Thanksgiving table or any time of the year!
Meaty Cast-Iron Calzone takes less than an hour of your time to make. Adding your favorite pizza ingredients and lots of cheese is DELICIOUS and your entire family will love it. Cater the filling ingredients to those eating is easy and makes for the perfect meal!
Easy Three Cheese Manicotti is a GREAT easy weeknight dinner! Stuff your favorite Italian flavors and three kinds of cheese into a large piece of pasta for a comforting and delicious meal.
Easy Baked Meatballs are super easy to make and extremely delicious. Serve them as a main dish or set them atop a heaping plate of spaghetti!
Salisbury Steak is the perfect meal to throw into your crock pot! Tender beef patties and mushrooms are smothered in a flavorful and comforting brown gravy. Serve this beef recipe over a pile of mashed potatoes for an added bit of comfort!