5 Quick Dinners That Start with a Pound of Ground Beef

This snapshot will give you five quick ground beef dinners that are anything but boring and will satisfy even the pickiest eaters among us.

5 Snapshot Recipes That Start with Ground Beef

  • The beef: Ground beef is either sold as generic ground beef — meaning it includes several cuts that are both fat and lean — or in specific cuts like ground sirloin or chuck. For this snapshot, lean ground beef works well.
  • Other kitchen staples: Each of these recipes uses a combination of pantry staples and smart shortcuts, and most clock in under seven ingredients in addition to the ground beef.

Read more: How To Cook & Brown Ground Beef

Sheet Pan Beef Totchos

Heat oven to 400ºF. Place 1 (32-ounce) package frozen tater tots on a rimmed baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound lean ground beef, season with 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, and cook until cooked through and browned. Stir in 1 cup frozen corn kernels; remove from heat. Spoon beef and corn over tots, sprinkle with 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Continue baking until cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 minutes. Top with chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, and sour cream.

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Get the recipe: Sheet Pan Beef Totchos

Cowboy Skillet

Heat oven to 400ºF. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 pound lean ground beef, and cook until browned. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices, 1 (15-ounce) can drained kidney beans, 1 tablespoon chili powder1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder. Place 1 (7-ounce) box Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1 large egg, and 1/3 cup milk in a large bowl; stir until combined. Scoop cornbread mixture onto chili. Bake until cornbread is cooked through, 15 minutes. 

Stuffed Pepper in a Bowl

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound lean ground beef, and cook until browned and cooked through. Add 2 sliced large bell peppers and 1 large thinly sliced yellow onion and cook until starting to soften, 7 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup water or broth, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for 2 minutes more. Top with 2 cups shredded provolone cheese. Serve over rice. 

Creamy Beef and Shells

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound lean ground beef, and cook until cooked through and browned. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in 2 cups beef broth, 8 ounces dried pasta shells, and 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce. Cover and cook until shells are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half and 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar until cheese is melted.

Get the recipe: Creamy Beef and Shells

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheeses

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound lean ground beef, and cook until cooked through and browned. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce; cook until saucy. Remove from heat. 

Butter one side of 8 slices sourdough bread, you’ll need about 4 tablespoons softened butter. Flip 4 slices over and build sandwiches: Sprinkle each with 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, top with 1/2 cup sloppy Joe mixture, and sprinkle with another 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Close sandwiches with remaining bread slices buttered-side up. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 2 sandwiches at a time until golden-brown and cheese is melted, 4 minutes per side. Slice and serve immediately. 

Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn’s easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.

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