Tex-Mex meets tater tots in this easy, inexpensive, and all-around comforting one-dish dinner. Our spicy twist on the classic tater tot casserole consists of a succulent ground beef filling—featuring creamy black beans, crisp-sweet corn, cheese, and mild green chiles for a kick—topped with crispy tater tots, and finished with a drizzle of an addictively spicy and tangy sour cream sauce. Top this fiesta of a casserole with fresh garnishes, such as avocado, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro, and it’s as perfect to serve at your next football feast as it is for a casual weeknight meal. We use 85/15 lean ground beef for this recipe and recommend that you do not go with anything leaner, as the higher fat percentage both contributes to the filling’s rich flavor and keeps it from drying out while baking.
Pan-Fried Beef and Scallion Dumplings
These easy beef dumplings are an excellent use for extra-lean ground beef, and are great served as an appetizer or as a simple entree alongside a couple of vegetable sides, like Sesame-Soy Green Beans or Mixed Mushrooms with Fish Sauce. It’s important to use a leaner ratio of ground beef for this recipe in order to avoid excessive grease releasing during the steaming process .(If your beef is too fatty, you’ll end up with soup dumplings filled with beef grease.) The dumplings can be made a few hours in advance, simply cover with a damp paper towel and hold in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole
This casserole is perfect for your busy week when getting in and out of the kitchen needs to be a snap. With very simple prep work, it will become a weeknight staple in your household.
Quick and Easy Nachos
This platter of goodness represents the lowest-effort end of the nacho spectrum. That said, “low-effort”—by no stretch of the imagination—means a low YUM-factor here. Although this game day-perfect platter of beefy, cheesy nachos comes together quickly and relies largely on store-bought shortcuts, it delivers the classic meld of flavors and textures that you want from everyone’s favorite appetizer. For this recipe, we combine the meat and cheese elements to create a Ro*Tel Dip-inspired, beefy cheese sauce to pour over the nachos. Not only does this guarantee an even distribution of the hearty toppings, but it keeps you from having to crank up the oven. However, if you prefer melted, shredded cheese over a sauce, simply cook your ground beef in a skillet on the stovetop, drain, and distribute over the nachos on a sheet pan. Then, top the platter with shredded cheese and pop it under the broiler until melty and glorious (omitting the can of Ro*Tel).
Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake
Burger Patty Salad
We love the richness that a little ground lamb offers, but you can use all beef or even ground turkey instead.
Green Chile Tamale Pie
The Cheeseburger Salad
Classic burger elements become a fast, fun salad--a deconstructed take on a diner favorite. Instead of four burger patties, we cook just two, then chop and sprinkle them over the top. A handful of crushed potato chips adds crunch. Kick up the dressing with a pinch of ground red pepper.
Cowboy-Style Beef and Vegetable Ragout
Think of this savory meat sauce as a cross between beef stew and sloppy joe filling. Add pearl onions to soups and stir-fries, or saute in a skillet with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sugar. The perfect pairing for this ragout is our Cauliflower Polenta. While the stock mixture for the polenta comes to a boil, begin cooking the beef mixture. As your finish the ragout, the polenta will be cooking away. The addition of cauliflower to traditional polenta lightens the recipe. To add more vegetables to this ragout, add carrots and parsnips during the fall.
Sheet Pan Beef and Black Bean Nachos
Load up the nachos on a baking sheet, then bring straight to the table for easy serving and a great presentation. While we love melted shredded cheese, we found that it makes the nachos a bit unwieldy. Instead, a creamy cheese sauce coats each chip and makes it easier to separate from the pack. Topping potential is endless, but we like sliced avocado and jalapeño.
Super Fast Upside-Down Shepherd's Pie
Meatball and Ziti Bake
Whole-wheat pasta holds up well in this cheesy, saucy pasta bake.
Quinoa Bibimbop Bowls
Bibimbop is a Korean dish that means "mixed rice." For this version, we took a hearty grain like quinoa and served it with crunchy vegetables and a fried egg. Jalapeño seeds add heat to the spicy-sweet beef mixture; remove the seeds and membranes before mincing for sensitive palates. Let the family build their own bowls, so this way, everyone's happy.
Spiced Beef Tostadas with Cilantro-Lime Rice
These tostadas are inspired by classic taco night toppers and sides. Our version amps up the spice while keeping sodium numbers in check.
Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis
We add white cheddar cheese to this comfort-food favorite making it seem more indulgent than it actually is at less than 300 calories per serving (no joke!).
The ultimate crowd-pleaser, nachos were invented in 1943 by a maître d' in Piedras Negras, Mexico (just south of the Texas border). Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, working a solo shift at the Victory Club restaurant, cobbled together a pile of tortilla chips topped with melted cheese and pickled jalapeños for a group of U.S. military wives in for a snack. His creation became hugely popular, paving the way for massive concession-stand revenues across America.
These meatballs are made with onion, minced garlic, corn tortilla, egg, ground sirloin, and chipotle chile.
Chili for a Crowd
Speedy Shepherd's Pie
Making the most of supermarket convenience items gets this family favorite on the table in a flash. Precut matchstick carrots are easier to chop into small pieces quickly, and using prepared mashed potatoes for the topping is a good trick for when you don't have leftover mashed potatoes on hand.
When we say easy, we mean easy. You don't even have to cook the noodles for this speedy yet impressive lasagna that always gets rave reviews. Lasagna is a family favorite, but this version is extra-special because it only requires 5 quick ingredients: ground beef, pasta sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, and shredded mozzarella (we don’t count the water!). It’s rated 5 stars for a reason. Pro tip: Make a double batch: Enjoy one now and freeze one for a quick meal on a busy weeknight.
Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta
Traditionally, Bolognese sauce requires hours of babysitting as it simmers on the stove, but our recipe is virtually hands-off.
Greek Baked Ziti (Pastitsio)
In the Greek version of baked ziti, the noodles are mixed with two sauces: a lamb-and-tomato sauce and a milk-and-cheese sauce. I lightened the cream sauce by using 2% milk and fewer eggs. The casserole keeps for days in the refrigerator and cuts into neat little squares for reheating.
Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust
Roasted Vegetable and Mini Meatball Pappardelle
Although it's pricier than ordinary ground beef, grass-fed (which is what you usually find at farmers' markets) goes a long way when rolled into mini meatballs.
Meatballs in White Wine Sauce with Rustic Bread
Meatballs in White Wine Sauce with Rustic Bread gives new life to an ingredient staple--lean ground beef. These meatballs are pumped with flavor with the addtion of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, ricotta cheese, and sundried tomatoes--and then simmered in white wine.
Up your grilling game this summer with a burger that’s sure to impress—i.e. a Gyro Burger. Inspired by the classic Greek sandwich, we’ve upgraded ground beef with bold seasoning and a new home inside of a pita pocket, rather than typical sesame bun, with lettuce, tomato, red onion, feta cheese, and generous drizzle of toasty tahini sauce. Before assembling, wrap your pita rounds in a foil packet and throw them on the grill for a couple of minutes if you’d like a warm pocket for your burger and toppings. And if you are a lamb fan, we’d highly recommend substituting ground lamb for half of the beef called for here. Serve these beauties up with fresh grilled veggies like eggplant and zucchini.
Burger With Mushrooms and Radicchio
Thai Beef Cabbage Cups
In Thailand, the spicy ground beef mixture is called larb. Serve with lime wedges.