Best Recipes Using Ground Beef

Ground beef

Ground beef, or mince as we call it here in the UK, is a very versatile ingredient. Here are some of the best recipes using ground beef.

Although this page is titled ‘ground beef recipes’ there are many different kinds of mince available now. Lamb, venison, chicken, turkey, pork, and even minced white fish. So if you don’t eat red meat but want chilli for dinner you could use turkey mince instead. Or use pork mince to make meatballs for a different flavour and texture.

Ground beef has the advantage of being relatively cheap too. It’s legendary as a favourite staple of college students; they can make easy meals like bolognese or chilli without overstretching their budget.

But there is so much more to mince than these basic dishes, delicious as they may be.

I’m going to show you some recipes to create great family meals, and also dishes good enough to serve to dinner guests. Mince also features in recipes for the barbecue; think burgers and kebabs. So it’s good for both indoor and al fresco eating.

Mince and Courgette Bake

This is a simple all-in-one-pot recipe using ground beef, courgettes and rice. It’s filling, tasty and very satisfying. Serves 4.

150g basmati rice
350g minced beef, 5% fat
A bunch of spring onions, sliced
150g mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
200g courgettes, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
150 ml soured cream or creme fraiche
1 tablespoon olive oil
A large pinch of chilli flakes
125g cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Cook the rice in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes until just tender. Meanwhile, dry fry the beef in a non-stick pan and break it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Cook until all traces of pink are gone. Tip the mince onto a plate and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in the same pan and fry the courgettes, red pepper, spring onions and mushrooms until softened. Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the soured cream, chilli flakes and half the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Drain the rice and rinse it under cold running water. Allow the water to drain away and tip the rice into the mince mixture. Stir well until combined. Tip into a baking dish, level the top with a spoon and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Cook in a preheated oven, gas mark 4/160C/350F for about 30 minutes until the cheese has formed a golden brown crust. Serve with a salad.

Classic Burger

If you love a burger you’ll really love these juicy, flavoursome home made ones. They taste equally good cooked indoors or on the barbecue. Feel free to change the suggested garnishes for whatever you fancy. Makes 4 burgers.

500g minced beef, 12% fat
1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon Dijon or grain mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
To serve:
4 soft white rolls or brioche buns
Rashers of crispy smoked bacon
Sliced cheese
Sliced red onions
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced gherkins

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion over a medium heat until softened. Allow to cool completely. In a large bowl, combine the beef, onions, garlic and mustard. Season generously and use your hands to scrunch the mixture together. Divide the mixture into 4 large rounds and flatten them into patties. Don’t worry if the edges are uneven, they don’t need to look perfect. Place the patties on a plate, cover with cling film and put in the fridge for at least an hour to allow them to firm up.

Remove the burgers from the fridge and rub them with a little more olive oil. Heat a griddle pan until very hot (or fire up your barbecue) and cook the burgers for 6 – 7 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Slice the buns in half, toast lightly (or place cut side down on the barbecue) and put on a serving plate. Sit a burger in each bun and add the toppings and extras of your choice. Lovely with an ice cold beer or coke.

Mince and Onion Pie

This is a traditional pie and a great favourite. Tender beef, carrots and onions cooked in a delicious gravy and topped with shortcrust pastry. You can be adventurous and make your own pastry but a sheet of ready-rolled shortcrust is a great time saver. Serves 6.

600g minced beef, 5% fat
Olive oil
2 large red onions, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 beef stock cube
Salt and pepper
Half a teaspoon of dried thyme
1 sheet ready rolled shortcrust pastry
Beaten egg to glaze

Heat a large non-stick pan and dry fry the mince until browned all the way through. Remove onto a plate and set aside. Heat the oil in the same pan and fry the onions and carrots over a medium heat until softened. Add the mustard, tomato puree and thyme, crumble in the stock cube then add 600 ml of hot water.

Stir well, season with salt and pepper and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes until the gravy has thickened and the meat and vegetables are soft. Allow to cool completely.

Remove the pastry from the fridge 20 – 30 minutes before you want to use it. Unroll it from the wrapping onto a floured surface and place an empty pie dish upside down on the pastry. Cut around the dish with a sharp knife, allowing 2.5cm extra for the edges of the pie crust.

Pour the meat mixture into the pie dish then wet the edges of the dish with water. Lay the pastry on top and press down firmly to create a seal. Use a fork to mark the edges and cut 3 slits in the top with a sharp knife. Brush all over with beaten egg or milk. This will give your pastry a lovely shine and colour.

Bake in a preheated oven, gas mark 4/160C/350F for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving. This is good with some mashed potatoes and green vegetables.

Meat Loaf with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Meat loaf is not as popular here in the UK as it is over in America but properly made, it can be absolutely delicious. This recipe comes with a tangy, spicy tomato sauce which makes the meat loaf moist and full of flavour. Serve in slices like a Sunday roast. Serves 6.

500g minced beef, 12% fat
100g stale white bread, crusts removed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten
75g cheddar cheese, grated
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
700 ml of passata (sieved tomatoes)
1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely sliced
Half a teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
A pinch of sugar

Blitz the bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. Put the mince in a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, half the oregano, the rosemary, beaten egg and half the grated cheese. Season well with salt and pepper and use your hands to scrunch everything together. Form into a large ball and pat down slightly with your hand to flatten the top.

Place the meat loaf in a roasting tin and cook in a preheated oven, gas mark 6/200C/400F for about 25 – 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until softened and golden brown. Lower the heat and add the garlic and chilli. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the passata, season and add the sugar, remaining oregano, fennel seeds and curry powder. Stir, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until thickened.

Remove the meat loaf from the oven and pour the tomato sauce over and around it. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and pop back into the oven for another 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

Serve the meat loaf in thick slices with the sauce spooned over. This goes well with pasta or mashed potatoes.

Shepherds Pie

A traditional British dish, this is usually made with minced lamb (hence the name) but made with beef it’s just as good. It’s also known as cottage pie. We always had this for dinner on a Monday to use up the leftovers from the previous day’s roast. Serves 4 – 6.

1 tablespoon oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
750g beef mince, 5% fat
1 dried bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
200 ml beef stock
Salt and pepper
1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
70 ml single cream
75g butter
75g grated mature cheddar cheese

Put the potatoes into a large pan, cover with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft all the way through. Drain in a colander and leave to dry out a bit.

Meanwhile, dry fry the mince in a large non-stick pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no trace of pink remains. Tip the mince into a bowl and set aside. Heat the oil in the same pan and fry the onion and carrot for about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf and rosemary and tip the mince back into the pan.

Mix the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce with the beef stock and pour over the mince mixture. Season and stir well then allow to cook, uncovered, for about 25 minutes until the gravy has reduced and thickened. Pour into a large ovenproof dish and allow to cool slightly.

Mash the potatoes with the cream and butter and season to taste. Pile on top of the mince mixture and level off with a fork. Use the prongs of the fork to roughen up the surface of the potato (this ensures you get all those lovely crispy bits on top) then sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven, gas mark 4/180C/350F for 20 – 30 minutes until the top is tinged with brown and the gravy is bubbling up around the edges of the dish. All this needs is some green vegetables or some peas to go with it.

*To make this dish quicker and easier, you can use frozen mashed potatoes. Defrost and use as for fresh potatoes.

Chilli con Carne

This Mexican dish is, like spaghetti bolognese, popular with students on a budget. But you don’t have to be a student to enjoy it! Tender minced beef, tomatoes, garlic, beans and spices, slow cooked for maximum flavour. Adjust the amount of chilli according to personal taste. I’ve used black beans here rather than the usual red kidney beans but use whatever beans you prefer. Serves 4 – 6.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, seeds removed and diced
750g minced beef, 5% fat
400g can of chopped tomatoes
150 ml beef stock
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes or 2 whole red chillies, deseeded and sliced
1 carton or tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
Half a teaspoon of sugar

Heat a large non-stick pan until very hot and fry the cumin seeds until they release their aroma. Tip into a pestle and mortar and crush finely. Dry fry the mince in the same pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go until there are no more pink bits left. Tip the mince onto a plate and set aside.

Heat the oil, again using the same pan, and fry the onion for about 10 minutes until softened and light golden in colour. Lower the heat, add the garlic, crushed cumin seeds and red pepper and fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the fresh chilli at this stage (if using.)

Tip in the tomatoes and beef stock. Add the chilli flakes (if you’re not using fresh chilli) sugar, salt and pepper and beans. Return the cooked mince to the pan. Stir well and lower the heat to a simmer. Leave to cook for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes the sauce should have reduced down and darkened in colour. Serve with plain rice and accompaniments such as guacamole, grated cheese, soured cream or salad. This can also be served in flour tortilla wraps or taco shells. Or piled on top of a plate of nachos.

Quick Guacamole


This is so easy to make and tastes much nicer than the ready-made variety that you buy in tubs. Adjust the amount of chilli to suit your taste.

Take 1 large, ripe avocado. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl, making sure you get the bits closest to the skin as these add a lovely bright green colour to your guacamole. Mash roughly with a fork and add 2 finely chopped tomatoes, half a small red onion, finely chopped, and a small red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced.

Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and add about a tablespoon of fresh chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed. Tip – bury the avocado stone in the centre of the mixture as this helps to stop it from becoming discoloured. Serves 4 – 6.

Chinese Style Meatballs

These little meatballs have a distinctively oriental flavour and are a nice change from the usual meatballs in tomato sauce. The sauce should be sticky, almost like a glaze. Serves 4.

1 green pepper
450g beef or pork mince
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
75g walnuts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons of soy sauce
6 tablespoons of water
3 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
A bunch of spring onions, finely sliced

Cut the green pepper in half and remove the stem and seeds. Put it into a pan of boiling water and cook for 7 – 8 minutes until soft. Drain off the water and finely chop the pepper. Put the mince in a large bowl and add the pepper, garlic, walnuts, tomato puree and soy sauce. Mix briefly then add the ginger, chilli flakes and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, scrunching the mixture in your hands to blend everything together.

Tip the mixture out onto a board, break off small pieces, and use your hands to roll them into meatballs, about the size of a walnut. Put the meatballs on a plate, cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Heat a large non-stick pan until very hot and tip in the meatballs. Lower the heat to medium and cook the meatballs for 15 – 20 minutes, until browned on the outside and cooked through to the centre. You can cut one in half to test if it’s done.

In the same pan, add the sauce ingredients, stir well, and allow to bubble away over a medium heat until you have a glossy, dark sauce. Add the spring onions and heat for a few minutes, then serve the meatballs with the sauce spooned over. These are lovely with some egg fried rice.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post and that it’s given you some ideas for cooking with ground beef. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

Do you enjoy cooking with meat? Visit quick easy steak recipes for inspiration. Or how about making your own burgers? See how to make your own burgers

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4 thoughts on “Best Recipes Using Ground Beef”

  1. i love using beef mince in my cooking, its easy to use and cheap as you said. Just wondering what makes the chinese meatballs chinese? Is it the ingredients or just the way that its cooked? 

    I Love making Chile but have been looking to find a new recipe and i think im going to try this one next time I Make it. Thanks for the article, very interesting!

    • Hi Harvey, the meatballs have some oriental ingredients, the sauce is kind of sweet and sour too. They are very tasty, especially served with fried rice. I hope you enjoy the chilli recipe, I’ve been making it this way for many years and it works. Thanks for your positive comments, have fun trying these recipes!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I have not tried out these recipes before except shepherd pie. I prepare beef mince with only one method. I wanted to try out more but I feelt may not turn out well. When I was pregnant craved so much shepherd’s pie. I ate it a lot at work but when I tried to make it myself it did turn out well.

     With these recipes, I will try out varieties this holiday. I hope my kids will love it. 

    I found this article, very helpful. 

    • Hi Bethel, thanks for your feedback. I hope you and your family will enjoy these recipes, they are all very tasty. Please let me know what you think!


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