10 Surprising Things to Do with Ground Beef

Bean and Beef Enchilada Casserole
Burgers and chili, beef tacos and enchiladas -- the list of weeknight-friendly ground beef recipes goes on and on, and for good reason. Rather than replacing the classics, we added delicious twists to your favorite ground beef recipes for another week's worth of meals.

Ground Beef, Reinvented

Break the ground beef routine with tasty twists on your favorite weeknight dinners. First up: Bet you've never eaten a cheeseburger with a spoon!

#1: Transform the Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger-lovers, listen up. It's all here: spicy mustard, fresh tomato, juicy ground beef, and lots and lots of melty cheddar cheese. Garnish this soup like a burger with pickles, fresh onion, and lettuce.

#2: Make Meat Loaf They'll Actually Love

Elegant and artful, rustic and delicious. That’s right: It's meat loaf. Add Italian favorites, like tomatoes, roasted peppers, and fresh herbs, to give the classic ground beef recipe the upgrade it deserves. Did we mention it cooks in your slow cooker?

#3: Spike Your Sloppy Joes

Bring some class to weeknight sloppy joes. The rich additions of roasted sweet peppers and deep porter beer prove sloppy is the new chic.

#4: Make Tacos That Won't Fall Apart

The last thing your hearty ground beef taco needs is a shell that falls apart after one bite. Solution? Wrap the hard shell in a tortilla for added heartiness and less mess.

#5: Revamp Classic Chili

Chocolate isn't just for dessert anymore. Try it in your chili for dinner tonight. A pinch of cocoa deepens the savory flavor of ground beef and highlights spiciness.

#6: Revamp Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Give spaghetti the makeover of its life. A clever ground beef "crust" stays moist and flavorful, thanks to the addition of sauce and Italian herbs. It also leaves room for swirls of saucy, cheesy pasta in the center. Slice and enjoy, friends.

#7: Wrap Up an Easy Dinner

Calling all kitchen amateurs! With just six ingredients (most of them in your pantry already), you can totally handle this saucy ground beef recipe. With the bold contrast of crispy fresh slaw and barbecue beef, you might even impress your friends.

#8: Add Protein to Veggie Spaghetti

Part chili, part spaghetti Bolognese, this meaty ground beef recipe is all parts delicious. With spaghetti squash masquerading as pasta, it's also low in calories and loaded with vitamins.

#9: Flip Tamales Inside Out

Deconstruct the tamale for a rock-star dinner that won't take all night to prepare. Typical tamale filling -- spiced ground beef, tomatoes, and olives -- fills the dish, and a wholesome scoop of corn muffin mix tops it off.  

#10: Create a Sandwich Mash-Up

Burger getting boring? Meet the Reuben burger. Mix corned beef, cabbage, and zippy caraway seeds with the ground beef for a taste of the classic sandwich in every juicy bite.

Bonus Idea: Simplify Beef Enchiladas

Combine the saucy, cheesy, and spicy flavors of beef enchiladas with the ingenious layering technique of lasagna to make this stellar Mexican casserole. Rather than wrapping individual enchiladas, alternate layers of filling and tortillas.

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