28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (2024)

28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (1)

By: Jessie ShaferUpdated: 4/24/23

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Got a pound of ground beef? We’ve got tons of delicious healthy ground beef recipes to give you breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for any size crowd. We love ground beef as a base for healthy meals, from stovetop casseroles, crockpot options, and skillet dinners to soups, chilis, meatballs, and meatloaf. Whatever mood you’re in, we’ve got a ground beef recipe for it!

This post was created in partnership with the Minnesota Beef Council.

28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (2)

28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (3)

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Korean-Inspired Ground Beef Bowls

This dish offers a perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors for a mouthwatering meal. Inspired by traditional Korean beef bulgogi, this recipe is an ideal choice for a satisfying and healthy weeknight dinner or weekend meal prep.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Dairy-Free

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Crockpot Hamburger Soup Recipe

Packed to the max with veggies and full of flavor, this delicious hamburger soup is a hearty and healthy recipe you’ll be glad you added to your menu! It’s perfect for make-ahead prep and makes for a tasty cook-once-eat-twice ground beef meal.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Easy Beef Taco Bowls

This taco bowl is a healthy ground beef recipe that’s simple, nourishing, and delicious. An easy way to get a meal on the table when time isn’t on your side, and because it’s perfect for customization, you can use what you’ve got on hand.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

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Beef Skillet Enchiladas

Our naturally gluten-free beef skillet enchiladas take half the time of typical enchilada recipes! You’ll love this low-carb meal that’s great as a healthy dinner for the family. And did we mention it only takes 15 minutes of prep time before a 25-minute cook time?

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

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Saucy Beef and Lentil Meatballs

We love this super-easy meatball recipe for the whole family. You can meal prep them, make them as an appetizer, or prepare them as a quick, one-pan weeknight meal. These beef and lentil meatballs are perfect for a protein and fiber punch with savory, tender meatballs and a dairy-free tomato sauce.

Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Sheet Pan Mini Meatloaf

Think: Sunday dinner, only much simpler and with far fewer dishes to wash! Shaping the barbecue sauce-infused ground beef into mini meatloaves shortens the cooking time so you’ll be able to get this dinner on the table faster.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Taco Casserole

This delicious and budget-friendly meal takes all of the best flavors of one of our favorite handheld foods and combines them into one cozy hot dish (that’s Midwestern speak for ‘casserole’, dontcha know?). This one-dish meal features lean ground beef, plenty of veg, tender rice, taco seasonings, and black beans.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

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Teriyaki Meatballs

These homemade teriyaki meatballs require fewer than 10 ingredients. Plus, we include a delicious and cleaned-up homemade teriyaki sauce recipe with the iconic sweet-salty and gooey-delicious glaze that teriyaki dishes are known for. Serve them as a party appetizer or as a meal on their own over rice, rice noodles, or greens.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

This is a chili for chili lovers. It’s thick, chunky, spicy, packed with fiber, and packed with all the right chili flavorings. Nutritious ground beef combines with 3 types of beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and 2 secret spices that bring out all the flavor (hint: ground cinnamon and cocoa powder for the win).

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Ultimate Meal Prep Meatballs

For nutritious, high-protein, easy dinners ready to go, turn to this simple and healthy ground beef recipe. It’s perfect for doubling or tripling and making ahead. Just reheat and serve them in a variety of ways (seriously, the possibilities are endless).

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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5-Ingredient Baked Ziti

With just a handful of ingredients, you can enjoy a classic Italian meal that’s one of our favorite ground beef dinner recipes. Not only that, but this recipe is easy to prep ahead of time for a delicious, well-balanced meal you can freeze and bake to sizzling perfection later!

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

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Burger Bowl with Special Sauce

These infinitely customizable burger bowls mean you don’t even have to own a grill to enjoy everything you love about a burger! We think these are delicious paired with sweet potato wedges for an ultimate healthy dinner.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Stovetop Sloppy Joes

Forget the salty, sugary, canned Sloppy Joe mix and make your own tasty, veggie-filled sloppy Joes tonight from lean ground beef, bell pepper, onion, and just the right spices. Serve it in buns, between cooked sweet potato slices, or as a salad (for a gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 option).

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Easy Skillet Lasagna

For busy weeknights, consider this hearty skillet lasagna. With jumbled-up ‘layers’ of lean ground beef, curly lasagna noodles, vegetables, and cheese, it’s an easy ground beef meal the entire family will love.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

This crowd-pleasing chili incorporates canned pumpkin for a touch of sweetness, fiber, and vitamin A. Not only does it hit the spot when you’re craving a big bowl of chili, but it’s also a great way to sneak more veggies into your diet.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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BBQ Meatloaf Muffins with Sweet Potato Topping

These adorable meatloaf muffins are almost too cute to eat! But once you taste one, you’ll scarf them down without remorse. The perfectly seasoned ground beef mixture bakes in muffin cups before getting topped with creamy sweet potatoes and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

This updated twist on traditional shepherd’s pie is hearty, healthy, comfort food at its finest. It’s one of our favorite healthy ground beef recipes that can be made ahead and also easy enough for a busy weeknight. It’s complete with ground beef, sneaky veggies, dried herbs, and a touch of chili powder, topped with a smooth layer of creamy, mashed sweet potatoes.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Easy Grilled Pizza Burger

Want a pizza, but also kind of want a burger? This recipe does it all! Our kid-friendly grilled pizza burger will leave your memories of a boring old cheeseburger in the dust. And it takes just 20 minutes!

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free

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Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans

A southwestern twist on traditional baked beans, this recipe makes for a great barbecue side dish or an entire meal. We combined ground beef with 3 types of beans and our reduced-sugar sauce for the ultimate experience.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Instant Pot Lasagna Soup

Lasagna lovers, meet soup lovers. Two comfort foods converge to create a warm and cozy soup that’s easy to make and has big lasagna flavors. This easy soup brings together Italian seasoning, soft lasagna noodles, and ground beef in a base of tomato-basil marinara topped with dollops of creamy ricotta and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash

Make good use of leftover taco meat by giving this easy, one-skillet recipe a try. A tasty and hearty breakfast or weeknight dinner option, this healthy ground beef recipe is meal-prep friendly and makes for a delicious reheat-and-eat meal throughout the week.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Grain-Free Spaghetti Pie

This Italian-inspired comfort meal combines strands of spaghetti squash, nutritious veggies, spices, and marinara sauce for a grain-free pasta dish that’s easy to make in an oven-safe skillet.

Whole30 | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free | Dairy-Free

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Taco Stuffed Peppers

Our southwest take on traditional stuffed peppers is a yummy, gluten-free, and veg-heavy meal that will have you coming back for more. It’s also a special recipe for us, as it’s the very first one we ever published (though it’s been updated through the years).

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

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Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup with Bacon

We think this is the perfect soup recipe to enjoy on a chilly day. It has the rich flavor of a perfect cheeseburger with the comfort and creaminess of a perfect soup. And if you love this cheeseburger soup as much as we do, you’ll be glad to know it’s a perfect prep-and-freeze meal!

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

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Zucchini Lasagna

Got some zucchini? Love lasagna? Great! This dish is a noodle-free, healthy ground beef recipe. Plus, it’s our favorite way to infuse family-favorite lasagna with a veggie boost, upping the nutrition and making a pleasing weeknight meal that will be enjoyed by all.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

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Egg Roll In A Bowl

Traditionally, this dish is made with ground turkey or chicken, but it’s also fantastic with ground beef! This one-dish meal fits in almost any dietary plan and is a fresh, nutrient-dense meal good for any night of the week. We use coconut aminos to lower the sodium and we also provide instructions for how to use soy sauce or tamari, if that’s what you have on hand.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

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Instant Pot Taco Soup

Ready to up-level your Taco Tuesday? This veggie-loaded, wholesome, hearty, and full-flavor Mexican-inspired soup is a quick, tasty, and healthy ground beef recipe with endless topping possibilities. It’s meal prep and freezer-friendly, making this a delicious reheat-and-eat meal that you can enjoy in the days and weeks to come.

Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Grain-Free

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili

It’s a comforting, cozy chili recipe that nourishes you with great flavor and nutritious ingredients. High-quality protein and vitamin-loaded sweet potatoes make the base of this flavorful, easy chili that fits into many special diets and contains no beans or added sugars.

Whole30 | Egg-Free | Gluten-Free | Nut-Free | Dairy-Free

See the Recipe

28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (32)

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28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (33)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ground beef healthy?

Ground beef is a healthy, low-cost, and high-quality protein food, although some sources recommend balancing red meat consumption with leaner choices. Ground beef is an excellent source of iron to help prevent anemia, rich in zinc for immunity, high in protein, and offered in leaner cuts.

How long is ground beef good in the fridge?

Raw, uncooked ground beef can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking. The same goes for pre-cooked and crumbled ground beef that is cooled and then stored in the fridge – you can safely store it there for up to 3 days. If frozen, raw, or cooked, it will keep at good quality for up to 3 months. Here are our tips on how to choose quality beef.

How do I know my beef is “healthy?”

Typically, “healthy” beef refers to leaner cuts with no more than 5-10% fat content. We also love to reap the benefits of grass-fed beef (when budget allows) — it tends to be lower in sodium and fat but higher in a few key vitamins than grain-fed varieties.

Depending on your preferences, you may want to buy ground beef that’s certified organic or labeled hormone- and antibiotic-free. A local meat locker could be a good option to supply high-quality beef from your area. As another option, you could source high-quality beef from a delivery service, such as Butcher Box (read our full review).

What is the best way to defrost ground beef?

We prefer to thaw ground beef overnight by placing it in the refrigerator 12-24 hours in advance. It provides the most ideal results when it comes to flavor.
However, if you’re in more of a hurry or simply want to know your options, any of these methods will work:

Thaw overnight: Place the frozen ground beef package on a plate (to catch any thawing liquid) and place it in the refrigerator to thaw for 12 to 24 hours.
Defrost in 1 hour: Fill a bowl with cold water and submerge the frozen package of ground beef. Refill the bowl with cold water every 20-30 minutes. The beef should be thawed in about 1 hour and cooked right away.
Thaw in 5 minutes: Remove the frozen ground beef from the packaging and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave it at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, rotating and flipping the ground beef every 30 seconds. You can then use the ground beef right away.

This is a sponsored post. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating high-quality recipes and content for you.

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (35)

Jessie Shafer

Jessie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living near Denver, CO where she splits her time among nearby playgrounds, typing away at her trusty laptop, and heating up her home kitchen with delicious experiments. Her best taste tester is her husband, a Denver firefighter with a well-trained palate. A former magazine editor-in-chief, Jessie has a long career in food publishing and health writing. While she once played centerfield for the Northwestern University softball team, Jessie now prefers her fitness in the way of biking up mountain passes and chasing three little kiddos (the latter proving to be the more exhausting activity).


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28 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes (2024)


How to make ground beef healthier? ›

There's a simple and, in my opinion, quite profound way to reduce the fat content in ground beef by 50 percent! Just rinse the fat off. The other awesome thing — rinsing and draining ground beef washes away the fat without decreasing the vitamins and minerals or messing up the flavor.

Is ground beef healthy for weight loss? ›

Aids in weight management: Consuming lean ground beef as a source of protein can help you feel fuller for longer, potentially aiding in weight management. Supports bone health: Ground beef contains phosphorus, which works alongside calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth.

Is 73 27 ground beef healthy? ›

4 oz. of ground beef, 73/27 (73/27, Fresh Meat) contains 350 Calories. The macronutrient breakdown is 0% carbs, 78% fat, and 22% protein. This is a good source of protein (34% of your Daily Value).

Is 85-15 ground beef good for weight loss? ›

Losing Weight

To be fair, though, there is some saturated fat and monounsaturated fat in even lean ground beef, whether you're cooking with 80/20, 85/15, or even a lean 90/10. Nevertheless, the high amount of protein that ground beef offers still makes it ideal for your meal plan, even if your goal is to lose weight.

What is the healthiest ground beef option? ›

Ground sirloin is the leanest type of ground beef, which makes it appealing as a healthy protein option.

What does adding milk to ground beef do? ›

The calcium-rich properties of milk react with enzymes in the meat to gently soften the proteins. Whole milk (not reduced fat), buttermilk, and yogurt all get the job done – with a special nod to buttermilk and yogurt for their optimal tenderizing acidity levels.

What to do with 73/27 ground beef? ›

Ground Beef that is not less than 70% lean (usually a 73/27 or 75/25 lean-to-fat ratio) is used for burgers and in recipes calling for browning (crumbles) and pouring off drippings, such as chili, tacos and spaghetti sauce. When properly cooked, it is moist and juicy.

What does 93 7 mean on ground beef? ›

the percentage of fat. For example, “93/7” means 93 percent lean meat and 7 percent fat. The lower the fat content, the less saturated fat you'll consume. To help reduce consuming extra fat from both ground turkey and ground beef, Hueschen recommends these options: Drain grease from the pan.

Is 96% lean ground beef good for you? ›

Laura's 96% Lean Ground Beef is certified Heart-Healthy by the American Heart Association®.

What meat to eat to lose belly fat? ›

Lean meats include skinless chicken breast, the white meat part of the turkey, and lean cuts of beef. Leafy greens, green tea, and bright vegetables can help reduce swelling and turn off fat-storage genes. Bright, colorful vegetables also add color and crunch to the meal plan.

Is it bad to eat lean ground beef every day? ›

Everything in moderation

Even if you choose lean or extra-lean cuts of beef, don't eat too much. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults eat no more than a total of 26 ounces of meat, poultry and eggs per week. One portion of cooked meat is three ounces.

Is white rice good for weight loss? ›

In short, white rice appears to be neither detrimental nor favorable for weight loss. However, eating diets high in whole grains like brown rice have more consistently been shown to aid weight loss and help maintain a healthy body weight ( 24 , 25 , 26 ).

What is the healthiest way to eat beef? ›

From a health standpoint, the best ways to cook meat are slow cooking, pressure cooking and sous vide. However, all methods of cooking meat have advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular types, including grilling and deep-frying, are concerning due to the high levels of toxic by-products they create.

How can you make a hamburger healthier? ›

Lighten the layers of your hamburger by wrapping its contents in carb-less ingredients rather than between buns. Place the patty of your choice, toppings, and sauce between large pieces of iceberg or romaine lettuce to completely cut out carbs and add a source of vitamins.

How do you reduce the fat in ground beef? ›

Nutrition researchers found that a simple rinsing process reduced the fat content of cooked ground beef crumbles by as much as 50 percent. Blotting of cooked burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf also helps reduce the fat. advantage of lower priced higher fat ground beef and still enjoy less fat.

Does rinsing ground beef make it healthier? ›

Protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B-12 were well retained during rinsing. We conclude that consumers can achieve a significant reduction in fat content, without substantial losses in protein, iron, zinc, or vitamin B-12, if they water rinse cooked ground beef crumbles.


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