Beef Recipes Under $3

Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper
A juicy steak. A piled-high burger. A hearty stew. Few meals satisfy as much as a rich beef recipe, and luckily, you don't have to be rich to enjoy them. All of these budget-friendly beef meals cost less than $3 per serving.

Cumin-Red Pepper French Dips with Apples

Budget dinner price: $1.68 per serving

Like it fast? Prep these moist and tender chuck roast sandwiches in a pressure cooker. Prefer to take your time? Toss the same ingredients in your slow cooker and simmer on low for 12 hours. Either way, you'll end up with the same dunkable and delicious results.

Skillet Taco Pie

Budget dinner price: $2.20 per serving

Less than 25 minutes, less than $2.25 per serving, less dishes than nearly any other entree...there are fewer and fewer reasons not to make this Mexican meal for dinner tonight. Feel free to use ground turkey, lean ground beef, or ground chicken depending on what's on sale at your grocery store.

Grilled Meat Loaf Burgers

Budget dinner price: $1.62 per serving

Cut down on clean-up time by serving a slice of meat loaf tucked inside a bun—that way no silverware is required to enjoy the saucy beef and pork patties! Use the extra $1.38 in your dinner budget to add a side of spuds.

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

Budget dinner price: $1.88 per serving

Calling for a splash of red wine and flavor-concentrated ingredients like tomato paste and fresh herbs, this ground beef-topped Italian pasta recipe tastes much more expensive than it actually is. Enjoy with a green salad and garlic bread (and maybe the rest of that bottle of wine).

Beef Lettuce Wraps with Miso-Yogurt Sauce

Budget dinner price: $2.70 per serving

Cook onion, pot roast, and Chinese five-spice powder low and slow, tuck inside lettuce leaves, then top with tomatoes, mango, and a creamy miso-yogurt. That's a wrap! Literally.

Slow Cooker Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

Budget dinner price: $1.75 per serving

This cheesy, cheap recipe will leave you in awe about (at least) three things: 1. You can make pizza in your slow cooker. 2. Pizza can taste just like a fast-food burger. 3. All those who say "bacon makes everything better" may actually be right.

Beef Tinga

Budget dinner price: $2.43 per serving

Pound for pound, chuck roast is one of the cheapest red meat options around—even more so than ground beef! Simmer a hearty roast for an hour for uber-tender results, shred the meat into bite-size pieces, then combine with spicy chorizo and a variety of veggies and spices for this stick-to-your-ribs Mexican meal.

Peanut Butter Burger

Budget dinner price: $2.98 per serving

Sounds crazy; tastes crazy-amazing. Add two tablespoons of melted peanut butter to seasoned ground beef for moist meat and a delightful nutty touch. Then spread a tablespoon-per-bun of extra PB as the "sauce" for each 6-ounce bacon-topped burger.

Asian Broccoli and Beef

Budget dinner price: $2.18 per serving

A ginger-scented soy and citrus mixture works overtime as the beef roast's braising liquid in the slow cooker, then gets reduced down into a thick and bubbly stir-fry sauce as the beef rests. Top with cashews and serve over rice noodles for a better-than-takeout bargain meal.

Beef Nachos with Blender Salsa

Budget dinner price: $2.31 per serving

Make the most of three-quarters of a pound of beef by tossing it with a cup of kidney beans and serving the mix on a layer of crunchy tortilla chips. Then, for a simple and cost-savvy taco or nacho topper, try our blender salsa that begins with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes.

Beef Goulash Soup

Budget dinner price: $1.78 per serving

Goulash, a classic Hungarian beef stew featuring lots of paprika, is traditionally served over noodles. We take that scrumptious concept and morph it into a simple soup to make each bite of sirloin steak go further.

Italian-Style French Dips

Budget dinner price: $2.70 per serving

Tender shredded beef, crunchy baguettes, savory, drippy dipping sauce; there's a lot to love about these classic French dip sandwiches. The inexpensive grocery tab is just one more item to add to the positive column.

Salsa Verde Beef Taco Salad

Budget dinner price: $2.00 per serving

Start with pantry staples like canned corn, pinto beans, and a jar of salsa and you'll have plenty of dough to splurge on extra-lean ground beef, a bounty of leafy greens, and a variety of tasty toppings like tortilla chips, jalapeno slices, and fresh tomatoes.

Beef Stroganoff

Budget dinner price: $2.35 per serving

Yes, 12 ounces of sirloin steak can be plenty to feed a family of four. Trim it into bite-sized strips and simmer in a creamy mushroom sauce. Spoon over a pile of noodles for a comforting—and surprisingly cost-effective—meal.

Gluten-Free Asian Beef and Noodle Bowl

Budget dinner price: $2.50 per serving

Cozy up to a warm and low-calorie bowl for a fraction of the cost of a takeout one-bowl meal. Loaded with beef chuck roast, rice noodles, shiitake mushrooms, broth, and cups and cups of fresh veggies, this is one soup that's good to the very last slurp.

Meat Loaf Muffins

Budget dinner price: $1.18 per serving

Meat and potatoes rarely come in such an adorable and affordable package. Bake the ground beef mini meat loaves in a muffin tin, then top with an ice cream scoop of sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and plenty of shredded cheese to please kids and adults alike.

Chili Mac and Cheese

Budget dinner price: $1.75 per serving

One pound of ground beef, one box of pasta, one jar of queso and you're well on your way to a delicious, budget-friendly dinner. Toss it all in your slow cooker with a few spices and some extra cheese and the appliance does the rest of the work for this upgraded mac.

Beef and Blue Pizza

Budget dinner price: $2.90 per serving

Seven ingredients and 18 minutes are all that's required to create a steakhouse-inspired pizza. If you're not a fan of blue cheese, try feta or goat cheese crumbles instead.

Beef and Black Bean Chili

Budget dinner price: $1.38 per serving

Spice is nice. Chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cocoa powder (yes, really!) add layers of flavor to this slow-cooked beef and bean stew without adding a lot to the price tag. Scoop up every last drop with tortilla chips or baguette slices.

Pasta Pizza

Budget dinner price: $1.25 per serving

Skip delivery tonight—this easy pasta-crusted pie costs just $7.50 total! With a full cup of mozzarella and a mix of mushrooms and ground beef for plenty of meaty goodness, you won't miss a thing about the standard pepperoni pie.

Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper

Budget dinner price: $2.18 per serving

This soup offers a tasty serving of sirloin steak for a steal. Combine the nice cut of beef with broth, lentils, and veggies and slow cook for a comforting dinner that practically cooks itself.  

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