Each of these 20+ healthy ground beef recipes is easy to make, hearty, satisfying, and will help you steer clear of the dreaded dinner rut. From effortless weeknight recipes to fancy dinners, you’ll never run out of options!
We probably cook ground beef more in my house than any other protein. That’s because not only is it affordable and easy to find, but it’s relatively foolproof and versatile. It absorbs whatever flavors it’s cooked with and takes well to a variety of cooking methods, from the stovetop to the grill, oven, or air fryer.
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What are the different types of ground beef?
This may surprise you, but there are a few options when it comes to buying ground beef. It mostly comes down to the cut of beef, its cost, and fat content. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Ground beef (70% lean/30% fat)- Anything that’s labeled simply “ground beef” or “ground hamburger” usually comes from random trimmings or from the shank. This cut has the highest fat content, so it will cook down the most. It’s best used for hamburgers.
- Ground chuck (80/20)- Also known as “lean ground beef,” this cut comes from the shoulder and neck. This cut is best used for hamburgers or meatballs.
- Ground round (85/15)- From the rump and hip area of the cow. Since there’s less fat, this cut can dry out quickly if overcooked. It’s best used for taco meat, stews, or as meatloaf.
- Ground sirloin (90/10)- The leanest cut, coming from the same cut as tri-tip, top sirloin, or tenderloin. This will be the priciest cut for ground beef but also the healthiest option. Ground sirloin is best reserved for chilis, meat sauces, and lasagna.
Soups and stews
Nothing says comfort food more than a bowl of warm, hearty soup, especially when the weather gets cooler. Lucky for us, this is where ground beef shines.
- No bean chili– An all-in-one, easy dinner recipe that is totally bean-free but still packed with protein and satisfying flavor. Plus, the leftovers taste even better the next day.
- Stuffed pepper soup– An easy one-pot meal that turns classic stuffed peppers into a rich and warming soup. Stovetop and crockpot options included.
- Albondigas soup– AKA perfectly seasoned Mexican-inspired meatballs cooked with carrots and potatoes in a light and subtle broth.
- Keto taco soup– Craving tacos? This taco soup combines your favorite taco flavors and transforms them into a steaming bowl of deeply flavorful soup. A little cream cheese goes a long way to make this soup creamy and rich.
Italian ground beef recipes
Coming up with healthy Italian recipes is always a fun challenge for me since it’s a cuisine that naturally gets carried away with copious amounts of cheese, heavy cream, and pasta. Each of these recipes steer clear of ultra-processed ingredients, yet they’re every bit as decadent and tasty.
- Air fryer meatballs– Tender, juicy, and versatile meatballs made in just 10 minutes using your air fryer. Serve them with gravy over cauliflower mashed potatoes, or simmer them in Pomodoro sauce or sugo and serve over pasta. The options are endless.
- Eggplant lasagna– Swap the lasagna noodles for tender eggplant layered between savory meat sauce, tender spinach, and plenty of melty cheese. Plus, it makes for an amazing freezer meal.
- Lasagna with cottage cheese– Instead of ricotta, cottage cheese is used to lower the calories and fat without sacrificing the flavor. It may seem like a big change, but trust me, no one you share it with will be any the wiser.
- Protein pasta– High protein pasta baked in meat sauce and covered in a creamy cottage cheese and Greek yogurt sauce. It’s decadent, deceptively healthy, and packs over 35 grams of protein per serving.
- Zucchini lasagna– A surprisingly easy, low-carb, healthy alternative to traditional lasagna, made with tender zucchini stacked between layers of marinara, juicy ground beef, and gooey melted cheese.
- Air fryer stuffed peppers– Quick, easy, and super satisfying, these stuffed peppers make the best wholesome dinner.
- Italian stuffed peppers– A well balanced meal! Thanks to the combination of protein, fat, and healthy carbs, these are a meal in themselves.
Healthy comfort food recipes
Ground beef is the heart of some of our favorite comfort foods. From nostalgic childhood dishes to weeknight staples, these recipes are a delicious yet healthy take on the classics.
- Healthy meatloaf– If you grew up eating meatloaf, you will love this recipe. It has all the same classic flavors but is made with wholesome, good-for-you ingredients you can feel good about sharing with your family.
- Healthy burgers– Living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to giant, juicy hamburgers. This recipe is the best of both worlds, with all the flavor of a burger but none of the unnecessary ingredients.
- Healthy stuffed peppers– The perfect weeknight dinner that adults and kids alike are guaranteed to love. It comes together in minutes, and the oven does most of the work.
- Keto tacos– Hands down a family favorite. Ground beef is cooked with the perfect balance of taco seasonings and served on keto tortillas (or whatever tortillas you prefer) with an assortment of your favorite taco toppings.
- Air fryer hamburgers– The best healthy fast food fix comes in the form of these juicy hamburgers minus the excess oil or butter.
- Taco meat recipe– The tried and true classic that is perfect over baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, or any Mexican dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Minced beef and ground beef are the same thing. The former is the term used in commonwealth countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In some countries, ground beef is often referred to as hamburger.
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20+ Healthy Ground Beef Recipes
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Using your hands, shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Reduce the heat to low and cook until they reach an internal temperature of 160F.
- Toss them through your favorite marinara sauce.
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