Ground beef is a great start to simple and filling homemade meals. It's affordable and cooks quickly in a hot oven or on the stove. Keep packages of ground beef in the freezer and you'll always have the starting ingredient for a satisfying family meal ready to go.
Hamburgers are a classic meal made with ground beef. Prepare super simple homemade burgers by making patties with plain ground beef, cooking them on the grill or stove top, and serving them on buns, with or without cheese. Or punch things up by adding your family's favorite spices to the meat. Stir salsa or ranch dressing mix straight into the beef for a spicy burger. Mix diced sun-dried tomatoes in for a tasty, tangy burger.
Ground beef turns into a delicious meatloaf with minimal effort. Mix chopped veggies with ground beef and add some tomato sauce and any seasonings you enjoy. Add eggs, milk and breadcrumbs to help the meatloaf hold together. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese to give the dish extra flavor. Get the meatloaf ready early in the day when you have more time, then just pop it in a hot oven for an hour or so -- while you're getting caught up with your kids -- and dinner will be ready to go.
Add ground beef to any pasta dish to add protein and make the meal more filling. Brown the beef and toss it with pasta, tomato sauce, vegetables and cheese for a hearty homemade meal. Or combine ground beef with sauce and vegetables and layer the mixture with lasagna noodles. Bake the beef-filled lasagna in the oven for a substantial dinner with minimal effort. Serve hearty pasta with a generous green salad with light dressing.
Make a homemade shepherd's pie by layering browned ground beef in the bottom of an oven-safe dish. Pour frozen peas and carrots over the meat and top the pie with prepared or leftover mashed potatoes. Bake the mixture until the top is golden brown for an impressive-looking homemade dinner. Or make an Italian-style casserole by filling a pie dish with prepared polenta and scooping browned ground beef combined with tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle the pie with cheese and bake until it's hot in the middle and golden on top.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images