Recipes

5 Healthy Meals With Ground Beef

Written by Emily Fawcett
8 Minute Read
Published on Dec 28, 2022

Do you have a pound or two of ground beef in your fridge or freezer, a house full of hungry family members, and no idea what to cook for your weeknight meal? Trust us — we’ve been there! 

In this post, we have compiled a list of some delicious, healthy, and easy recipes using ground beef that we hope you’ll love.

Meatloaf: An Easy Meal for Busy Weeknights

A classic in most midwestern households, meatloaf recipes vary from family to family. Still, there’s one thing we know is true: Meatloaf is delicious and full of all that warm, beefy goodness we all know and love.

A healthy version of meatloaf might not be what you imagine when you think of comfort, but trust us: This recipe is healthy, comforting, and oh-so-tasty. 

What You’ll Need

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 diced bell pepper (any color)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb lean (85%) ground beef
  • ¾ cup shredded carrot
  • ¾ cup shredded zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper to tastev
  • ¼ cup ketchup, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. (A 9x5-inch pan works best.)
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat; cook bell pepper and onion in the oil until onion is transparent and bell pepper is soft for five to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one to two minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. Combine ground beef, whole wheat bread crumbs, shredded carrot, shredded zucchini, eggs, salt, pepper, and the pepper and onion mixture in a large bowl and mix well. Put the meat mixture into the prepared loaf pan, and press it down so that it touches all the sides.
  4. Bake in the oven until that tasty loaf is fully cooked, 35 to 45 minutes. Put ketchup on top of the meatloaf and spread it. Continue to bake until bubbling, about five more minutes.

Serve with a side of veggies or mashed potatoes, and dig in! You can also add some ground turkey to your meat mixture to add another layer of flavor.

Spaghetti: A Healthy Dinner Featuring Ground Beef

Everyone loves a big bowl of spaghetti! It’s like a blank canvas for delicious meaty Italian bolognese and oh-so-tasty meatballs. With so many healthier noodle options out there, spaghetti is an easy healthy meal to serve!

So, what about that rich tomato sauce everyone loves? Well, follow this recipe, and you’ll be serving up a healthy low-carb sauce no one will ever forget.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 29 oz cans of tomato puree 
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoesv
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper or chili powder (or more if you’re feeling spicy)

     

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook ground beef and garlic until the meat is brown, then drain.
  2. Add all of your other ingredients into the pan and bring it to a low boil, stirring often.
  3. Once the sauce is heated and at a low boil, turn down the burners and simmer the sauce uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes.

Serve over any noodle version you’d like; we love to use gluten-free spaghetti squash and even sprinkle on a bit of parmesan cheese if you’re feeling fancy. You can also use this sauce in lasagna or over a nice piece of parmesan chicken.

This recipe beats take-out, that’s for sure. It'll be a family favorite in no time! 

Stuffed Peppers: Paleo-Friendly and Packed With Protein

Cheesy, meaty, and full of fiber and protein, stuffed peppers are a filling, yummy, and easy dinner anyone will love! 

What You’ll Need

  • 7 bell peppers of any color (with the top and core removed)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice 
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can of black beans 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 375 Fahrenheit and put pepper (cut side up) onto a baking dish and set aside.
  2. Saute onions in oil in a large pan over medium heat until soft, then stir in garlic and cook for one more minute.
  3. Add ground beef to the same pan and cook for five to six minutes or until brown, breaking it up as you cook. Mix in the cooked rice, diced tomatoes, black beans, tomato paste, oregano, and paprika.
  4. Cook until the sauce slightly reduces for four to five minutes, then taste, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Stuff each pepper with the meat mixture and cook until the peppers are tender 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle the stuffed peppers with cheese and bake for five to seven more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with the freshly chopped parsley and serve it up with a dollop of sour cream on top!

A yummy, versatile meal, stuffed peppers are great for lunch or dinner and super easy to store for later! To make this healthy dish even more healthy, try some healthy rice substitutes, like cauliflower rice, to add even more to this meal. 

Lettuce Wraps: Low-Carbohydrate With Minimal Prep Time

There are so many different things you can do with lettuce and ground beef. You can make Mexican beef tacos, teriyaki beef, or our favorite, Asian-inspired lettuce wraps! If you want, you can use tortillas instead of lettuce.

What You’ll Need

  • 16 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced pickled ginger
  • 1 8 oz can of drained and finely cut water chestnuts
  • 1 bunch of chopped green onions 
  • 2 teaspoons Asian dark sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Wash whole leaves of lettuce and pat them dry. Make sure not to tear them!
  2. Heat oil in a large put over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the beef until brown for five to seven minutes. Drain (getting rid of the grease) and transfer the meat to a bowl. Add chopped onion into the same pan and cook until tender for five to seven minutes.
  3. Mix in hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger until combined. Add water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and beef. Cook until the onions wilt or for about two minutes.
  4. Spoon the mixture evenly into the center of the lettuce leaves and serve

Serve with a side of soy sauce or maybe some delicious homemade spicy sweet chili sauce, and you have a healthy and tasty meal for yourself and your family.

Shepherd's Pie: A British Classic

This one-dish ground beef dinner recipe is a true comfort food. It’s warm and hearty, full of yummy vegetables and even yummier ground beef. And with cheese sprinkled on top? What more could you ask for?

What You’ll Need

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 8 oz cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of low-fat milk
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For the filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large diced onion 
  • 2 large diced carrots
  • 1 large diced celery stalk
  • 2 large cloves of minced garlic 
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsps kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine 
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put potatoes into a pan and cover with cold water. Add two tsp of salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. After three minutes of boiling, add cauliflower and cook until tender for four to six minutes. Drain and return to pot.
  4. Add olive oil, milk, salt, and black pepper to the potato and cauliflower mixture. Blend until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  5. Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until they begin to soften, for four minutes or so.
  6. Add garlic, thyme, beef, salt, and black pepper, and cook until the meat is brown and crumbly. Add peas, tomato paste, wine, chicken broth, and Worcestershire sauce and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Put the meat and vegetable mixture into a baking dish and spoon the potato and cauliflower mash evenly on top. Scatter the cheese over the mash. 
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and bubbly, remove from the oven and serve.

Stand-alone or with a side, this shepherd's pie is sure to get even the pickiest of eaters asking for more.

What Are You Cooking Tonight?

We love these tried and true ground beef meals, and we know you will too! The versatility of ground beef is never-ending. Try out these five recipes then get even more adventurous! Try out some other dinner ideas like enchiladas, stir-fries, ground beef casserole, and even taco salad.

Fill your home with the amazing smells of delicious food and fill your tummies with healthy ground beef meals. 

Sources:

Six health benefits of eating beef | AHDB 

Low-carb, healthy alternatives to pasta | Medical News Today 

11 Healthy Rice Substitutes | Healthline

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