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4 Easy ground beef recipes for quick weeknight dinners

Grab some hamburger meat out of the fridge or freezer, and you’re halfway done when it comes to making these quick and easy meals.

I’m always up for getting more time back in my day. How about you? One way to do that is to spend less time in the kitchen by making simple meals. Here are four meal ideas that will simplify your day so you can get some of it back. Oh, and by the way, they taste good too, which is a big plus. The one thing these dishes have in common is that they’re all made with ground beef.

1 hamburger and black bean rice bowl

It’s these kinds of meals that motivate me to keep small Ziploc bags of cooked ground beef in the freezer. Then all I have to do is give the meat a quick thaw and make one of these dishes for a simple dinner in minutes.

2 hamburger and black bean rice bowl

Ground beef and black bean rice bowl recipe

This easy layered meal in a bowl, with white or brown rice, black beans and ground beef, topped with pico de gallo or your favorite salsa, can be on the table in just 30 minutes.

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 2 cups cooked and seasoned ground beef
  • 1 cup pico de gallo or your favorite salsa
  • 1/2 a lime, quartered


  1. In microwave-safe serving bowls, add a layer of cooked rice, then black beans and lastly ground beef.
  2. Warm in the microwave.
  3. Top with pico de gallo or salsa. Squeeze a lime wedge over the entire dish, and serve while warm.

1 Salt crusted baked potato

Salt-crusted baked potatoes make the house smell great while they’re baking. They’re filled to the brim with ground beef and melted cheese, then topped with a dollop of sour cream and some green onions. If you’re a salt lover like me, it’s really hard to resist yanking off the skin and eating it as it comes out of the oven.

2 salt crusted baked potato

Salt-crusted baked potato with ground beef recipe

A salt-crusted baked potato topped with ground beef, melted cheese, sour cream and green onions makes a perfectly hearty one-dish dinner.

Serves 2

Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 45 minutes | Total time: 1 hour


  • 2 large russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup cooked ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (more may be needed, depending on the size of potatoes)
  • 2 large dollops sour cream
  • 1 green onion, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rinse the potatoes, and cut out any bruises.
  3. Rub olive oil over the skins of the potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle kosher salt over all sides of the potatoes.
  5. Lay the potatoes on a rack that is sitting on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes (may take longer, depending on the size of potatoes)
  7. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Cut a slit lengthwise into each potato.
  9. Fluff the meat of the potatoes with a fork, and add butter.
  10. To a small bowl, add the ground beef and Worcestershire sauce. Mix together, and warm in the microwave.
  11. Add the meat on top of the potatoes. Top with cheese, and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds to quickly melt the cheese.
  12. Just before serving, top with sour cream and green onions.

1 skillet casserole bow tie pasta

Bow tie pasta is so pretty that no matter how many different pastas I have in my pantry, I always seem to reach for it when making a pasta dish. This is one of my fave go-to dinners that I’ve made over the years. I’m partial to using small, baby canned peas, but feel free to add your favorite peas to this dish. This pasta is made with just a few main ingredients and is seasoned with thyme.

3 skillet casserole bow tie pasta

Skillet casserole with bow tie pasta recipe

This one-skillet comfort food meal, made with a white sauce, pasta, peas and ground beef, is the best kind of dish for weeknight cooking.

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups cooked bow tie pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked ground beef
  • 1/2 cup baby peas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add the butter, half-and-half, milk and thyme. Stir as it simmers.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon at a time of cornstarch to the mixture, and whisk after each one. If the mixture is thickening with just 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, then there’s no need to use the second tablespoon.
  3. Once the milk mixture has reduced and thickened up a bit (about 15 minutes), add the pasta, thyme, salt and pepper. Continue to stir. Taste to see if more salt is needed.
  4. Top with Parmesan cheese, and serve warm.

1 hamburger soft tacos

Soft tacos are so good and easy to make. Just have some soft corn tortillas on hand along with ground beef, cheese and lettuce, and dinner will be ready in no time flat. I like to warm my corn tortillas with the meat in them in the microwave between 2 large glass plates so they get slightly steamed. This recipe uses shredded lettuce, but feel free to use shredded cabbage instead if you have it on hand. It’s certainly healthy and tastes delish in the taco too.

2 hamburger soft tacos

Soft tacos with ground beef recipe

Soft tacos are my go-to dinner when I’m drawing a blank on what to cook. All that is needed are fresh corn tortillas, meat, cheese and lettuce, and you’re practically done. Top with your favorite salsa, and you have yourself a no-fuss and delicious meal.

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked ground beef
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup salsa


  1. Warm the cooked ground beef in the microwave, and set it aside for a moment.
  2. On a large plate, lay a batch of 2 to 3 tortillas if they’ll fit.
  3. Add ground beef to the middles of the tortillas.
  4. Warm the tortillas between 2 large plates (the one on top turned upside down) for about 20 seconds to slightly steam them. They’ll need to be done in batches.
  5. Top the soft taco with cheese, lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoes and salsa.
  6. Serve while warm.
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More recipes with ground beef

Ground beef nachos
Beef orzo skillet
Curried beef rice bowl

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