10 Inventive Ground Beef Recipes

Where’s the beef? It’s all over these fun, fresh recipes. Don’t expect the basic tacos, burgers, chili, enchiladas... When you feel like you’ve overused the classics, turn to our smart, delicious ideas for utilizing one of the kitchen’s top workhorses: ground beef. Rather than a plain old cheeseburger, we’ve got a patty topped with Monterey jack, avocado and salsa. Expected meat sauce over spaghetti? Nope, our version boasts a chunky tomato-beef sauce ladled over parrapadelle noodles. And we don’t stop there. Read on for smart tricks for stuffing bell peppers with browned ground beef and grains; rolling the beef into sweet-and-sour meatballs that’ll get snapped up at the start of any party; and modern twists on beefy standbys, from meat loaf to cottage pie. As a general rule, it’s safe to use lean ground beef (say, 80 percent and up) for dishes that don’t require a bit of fat to stick together. Go for fattier ground beef when you’re planning to make meatballs, burgers, and meatloaf. If you’re buying ground beef in bulk, separate the meat into different baggies or containers to freeze each pound on its own, so you’ll only need to thaw one nights’ worth of protein at a time.

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