5-Ingredient Ground Beef Dinners So Easy They Practically Make Themselves

Cast-Iron Skillet Burgers
Photo: photographer: Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

As much as we love intricately layered gratins and time-intensive roasts, sometimes a quick, five-ingredient dinner sounds just about right. We're not Julia Child, after all. Pairing a quick-fix recipe with budget-friendly ground beef might not come off glamorous, but it's simple and easy enough to make us not care a single bit. Because when you have a pound of ground chuck in the fridge and a pantry full of staples, the possibilities are wonderfully endless.

Odds are, you'll also have at least a couple of the game-changing ingredients used in each of these easy ground beef dishes before even heading to the grocery. So, if you see an ingredient list that's slightly longer, don't fret. Staples like spaghetti noodles, panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and other simple seasonings are no brainers. In case you're not already sold, check out these deliciously easy dinners with ground beef and just a handful of ingredients.

01 of 29

Hamburger Steak With Sweet Onion-Mushroom Gravy

Ground Beef Recipes: Hamburger Steak With Sweet Onion-Mushroom Gravy
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Hamburger Steak With Sweet Onion-Mushroom Gravy

This hamburger steak is a quick-fix Southern supper recipe we always keep on deck. Make some extra patties, which can be frozen for up to three months, so you'll have a backup plan on busy weeknights.

02 of 29

Serrano Pepper Burgers

Serrano Pepper Burgers
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Serrano Pepper Burgers

Skip the boring sliced tomatoes and iceberg lettuce this time. Grill-roasted peppers add spicy heat, as well as a touch of sweetness and smoke, to these juicy burgers.

03 of 29

Taco Dinner Mac and Cheese

Taco Dinner Mac and Cheese
Southern Living

Recipe: Taco Dinner Mac and Cheese

When the family is debating Mexican or macaroni and cheese, consider this dish the perfect compromise. Ground beef and taco seasoning give some major flavor to an already very simple, delicious macaroni and cheese recipe.

04 of 29

Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Bake

Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Bake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Bake

Serve it up in individual ramekins, or spread it out in your trusty 9-by-13 baking dish. Either way, just make sure to whip up this tasty ground beef recipe that's ready in under an hour.

05 of 29

Extra-Easy Lasagna

Extra-Easy Lasagna
Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Martin

Recipe: Extra-Easy Lasagna

Lasagna is a forever family favorite, and this simple recipe might be our most-used. When we say extra easy, we mean it.

06 of 29

Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes

Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes

We know you have some Texas toast in the freezer, and luckily it makes the perfect vessel for these cheesy barbecue Sloppy Joes. This comforting dinner will definitely be a forever favorite among the kids.

07 of 29

Swiss Burgers in Tomato Gravy

Swiss Burgers in Tomato Gravy
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Swiss Burgers in Tomato Gravy

This juicy, cheese-topped meal looks fancy and indulgent, but takes minimal effort and few ingredients outside the blend of amazing seasonings. (That's the trick to next-level burgers.) Quick tomato gravy will make you leave that ketchup in the kitchen.

08 of 29

Spaghetti Casserole

Spaghetti Casserole
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Spaghetti Casserole

This slow-cooker version of our crowd-favorite spaghetti casserole makes it even more simple to throw together for supper. The hearty sauce with ground beef will ensure no one leaves the table hungry.

09 of 29

Super Quick Chili

Super Quick Chili
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Super Quick Chili

We've never seen anything quite as cute as these quick chili bites. Served in hollowed-out dinner rolls, this chili makes plenty of appearances at our tailgates, barbecues, and family suppers.

10 of 29

Bev's Famous Meatloaf

Bev's Famous Meatloaf
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Bev's Famous Meatloaf

Skip the breadcrumbs and put one of those sleeves of saltine crackers (that we know you have in the pantry) to work in this home-style meatloaf recipe. Just a few key ingredients, like onions, green bell pepper, and a sweet tomato topping go to work to make one simply satisfying main dish.

11 of 29

Sloppy Joe Carolina-Style Burgers

Sloppy Joe Carolina-Style Burgers
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Sloppy Joe Carolina-Style Burgers

These over-the-top burgers might need a knife and fork—because we don't call them sloppy for nothing. A pile of cole slaw and a scoop of Sloppy Joe-style chili give amazing flavor and texture.

12 of 29

Southwestern Meatloaf

Southwestern Meatloaf Recipe
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Southwestern Meatloaf

Get that Tex-Mex flair from using crushed whole grain tortilla chips instead of plain breadcrumbs to flavor this juicy meatloaf. Make with chipotle salsa for its spicy kick and smoky notes, then serve as a tasty meatloaf sandwich or alongside Tex-Mex sides.

13 of 29

Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs

Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs
Melina Hammer

Recipe: Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs

Go ahead, and plan on a delicious mess with these Sloppy Joe-topped hotdogs. They're livened up with a splash of cola, which gives the ground beef a sweet boost. Top with sliced pepperoncini peppers and coleslaw if you want some heat and crunch.

14 of 29

30-Minute Chili

Ground Beef Recipes: 30-Minute Chili
Southern Living

Recipe: 30-Minute Chili

This deliciously easy chili comes with a short ingredient list, can be made in one pot, and is ready in 30 minutes. Simmering the ground beef might be the hardest part, which says it all. Once you've finished that, you just pour everything else in, and stir.

15 of 29

Richard's Sloppy Joes

Richard's Sloppy Joes
Southern Living

Recipe: Richard's Sloppy Joes

You just can't beat a homemade meal that's both incredibly simple and crowd-pleasing. The short ingredient list works hard to give a hearty dinner that adults and kids alike love.

16 of 29

Pepper Relish Mini Meatloaves

Pepper Relish Mini Meatloaves
Photo: Melina Hammer

Recipe: Pepper Relish Mini Meatloaves

Get dinner on the table even faster with these mini meatloaves. With fewer ingredients and a shorter cooking time, this recipe makes for a better weeknight supper.

17 of 29

Lean Green Lettuce Tacos

Lean Green Lettuce Tacos
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Lean Green Lettuce Tacos

Who needs taco shells? With some zucchini, yellow squash, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, you turn lettuce cups into a leveled-up taco.

18 of 29

Red Bean Chili

red bean chili
Southern Living

Recipe: Red Bean Chili

Pull an onion, can of beans, tomato juice, and soup out of your pantry to make this simple—but delicious—chili on a busy evening.

19 of 29

Chili in a Biscuit Bowl

Ground Beef Recipes: Chili in a Biscuit Bowl
Tina Cornett

Recipe: Chili in a Biscuit Bowl

If there's two things we love around here, it's biscuits and chili. Now, you can have both at the same time, and most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry right now.

20 of 29

Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust

Tomato ‘n’ Beef Casserole with Polenta Crust
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust

This is a one-dish deal with a cheesy Polenta Crust. Sharp Cheddar, fresh veggies, and ground beef create a winning combination.

21 of 29

Smothered Enchiladas

Smothered Enchiladas
Southern Living

Recipe: Smothered Enchiladas

It doesn't take much to throw together these enchiladas, but the end result tastes like you spent all day making it.

22 of 29

Chili-Topped Potatoes

Ground Beef Recipes: Chili-Topped Potatoes
William Dickey

Recipe: Chili-Topped Potatoes

Chili meets the baked potato in a divine mashup that calls for things you probably already have, like canned beans and tomatoes, taco seasoning, and onions. You'll only need to run out to stock up on garnishes like the green onions.

23 of 29

Bacon, Peach, and Basil Burgers

Bacon, Peach, and Basil Burgers
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Bacon, Peach, and Basil Burgers

Summer called, and it needs these burgers. Sweet peach slices and peach chutney get a punch from the chopped pickled jalapeño peppers.

24 of 29

Bacon Cheeseburger

Homemade Onion Dip
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Bacon Cheeseburger

The key to this burger? Smashing it on the grill for an irresistibly crispy edge. Add a little extra bacon and you won't have to ask us twice.

25 of 29

Texas-Style Beef Enchilada Casserole

Texas-Style Beef Enchiladas Casserole
Photo William Dickey / Styling Katherine Eckert / Food Styling Alyssa Porubcan

Recipe: Texas-Style Beef Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada, meet the easy everyday casserole bake. It's a Taco Tuesday replacement that'll garner no complaints—watch everyone come around for seconds.

26 of 29

Easy Chili

Easy Chili
Lee Harrelson

Recipe: Easy Chili

There are a lot of chili recipes out there, but we think this one reigns supreme. It's not frilly, but that's part of the charm. With a handful of simple ingredients, you've got dinner or the perfect potluck dish.

27 of 29

Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup

Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup

Recipe: Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup

Hearty, comforting, warm—what more could you want from a soup? Serve with a side of crunchy saltines for a cozy winter meal.

28 of 29

Doritos Casserole

Dorito Casserole
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Doritos Casserole

Up your casserole game with a sprinkling of Doritos—after all, it's an acceptable way to eat some chips for dinner. A can of chopped green chilies gives the whole dish a kick, and some cream of chicken adds a little richness.

29 of 29

Cast-Iron Skillet Burgers

Cast-Iron Skillet Burgers
photographer: Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Cast-Iron Skillet Burgers

Break out your trusty cast-iron skillet and prepare to be amazed by this one-dish wonder. With onions caramelized in bacon fat accompanied by juicy patties, these burgers are one for the books.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles