Ground beef recipes are a staple in our house. Ground beef is easy to make, delicious and often helps stretch our budget too. You can make classic ground beef dishes as well as fancier recipes, because it is so versatile.
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite ground beef recipes as well as your most frequently asked questions about cooking and storing ground beef.
These easy recipes use ground beef but you can certainly use ground turkey, ground pork or ground chicken as a replacement.
What to Can I Make with Ground Beef?
A pound of ground beef has endless possibilities. From tacos to chilies and meatloaf and pasta sauce recipes – they are all great with ground beef.
Taco Meat Recipes
We love a Taco Tuesday in our house; they are the perfect weeknight dinner. Try them with my Instant Pot Pinto Beans I would recommend making your own taco seasoning to avoid all the junk in the pre-made options.
See my Taco Seasoning Recipe.
We love making Taco Salads too! All the taco fixings on top of a bed of lettuce and other salad veggies.
How to Cook Ground Beef
Traditionally I like to prepare my ground beef in my cast iron pan on medium-high heat. I tend to go for a fattier cut so I don’t add any extra fats or oils.
Your ground beef needs to reach a temp of at least 160 °F to ensure any bacteria is killed. Basically, cook until very little or no pink shows but a food thermometer is safest way to check the temp.
How to Cook Ground Beef in the Oven
If you have a busy week coming up you can prepare your ground beef ahead of time and it will be ready for your ground beef recipes when you get home. I like to cook a large amount of ground beef in my oven at 400°F.
How to Cook Ground Beef in a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
You can use your crock pot or slow cooker to cook ground beef! Depending on the size of your crock pot you can cook 3 – 5 pounds at a time.
- Add your ground beef to the slow cooker and break it up; I like to use this ground meat chopper tool.
- Next add 1/2 cup of water or broth per pound of beef (so 3 lbs beef, 1.5 cups liquid).
- Cook low for 4 – 6 hours or high 2 – 3 hours (more meat, more time). You want to make sure the beef is cooked through and has reached an internal temperature of 160 °F.
- If you are able to stir the meat during cooking 1 or 2 times, this will help the cooking process.
- Once the ground beef is cooked you can use it in a recipe immediately or freeze (per instructions above) or refrigerate up to 3 days.
How to Cook Ground Beef in an Instant Pot
You can also prepare your ground beef in an Instant Pot. This a quick an easy way to get your ground beef cooked, completely hands off.
- Add 1 cup of water or broth to your Instant Pot.
- Place the trivet that came with your Instant Pot into the pot.
- Add 1 – 2 pounds of ground beef to your trivet (do not break up).
- Seal the vent.
- Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Do a quick release.
- Make sure the internal temperature has reached 160 °F
- Remove your meat and break up in a bowl to use in your recipes.
- Discard any liquid and fat at the bottom of your Instant Pot.
Can I cook ground beef in a microwave?
Yes you can but this is not the best way to get your ground beef cooked. I would not recommend it. However there are some good tips on cooking raw ground beef in the microwave on Thrifty Fun.
Can I Freeze Cooked Ground Beef?
Yes, you can freeze ground beef after you cook it. It is a great way to meal prep for busing weeks. Here’s how you want to freeze cooked ground beef:
- Fully cook your ground beef, drain liquid.
- Place in a bow and allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator.
- Once the ground beef has cooled you can use a Food Saver or reusable freezer bags to make one large bag to use in a big recipe or weigh and separate into smaller portions. If you aren’t using a Food Saver make sure you get all the air out of your bag!
- Make sure to label your ground beef – it will be good to use up to 4 months in the freezer according to the USDA.
- To thaw your cooked ground beef you’ll want to take it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What Are Some Simple Ground Beef Recipes?
There are countless simple ground beef recipes. Many are fast and can be made ahead of time for convenience. I’ve included some of my favorites below.
Comfort Food Ground Beef Recipes
Family favorites that are great all year.
Ground Beef Casserole Recipes
These make easy dinner dishes.
- Easy Cheesy Hamburger Casserole Recipe
- Easy Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie
(like pot pie but topped with mashed potatoes)
- Keto / Low Carb Ground Beef Casserole
Ground Beef Stir Fry Recipes
A ground beef stir fry is a great way to change up your ground beef game! Here are a few recipes to get you started!