16 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.

01 of 16

Skillet Taco Pie

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.

02 of 16

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

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).

03 of 16

Beef Lettuce Wraps with Miso-Yogurt Sauce

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.

04 of 16

Beef Tinga

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.

05 of 16

Peanut Butter Burger

Peanut Butter Burgers

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.

06 of 16

Asian Broccoli and Beef

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.

07 of 16

Beef Goulash Soup

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.

08 of 16

Italian-Style French Dips

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.

09 of 16

Salsa Verde Beef Taco Salad

Salsa Verde Beef Taco Salad, chips,Winter Slow Cooker, meat, lettuce

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.

10 of 16

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff with pasta on a white dish
Jason Donnelly. Jason Donnelly

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.

11 of 16

Gluten-Free Asian Beef and Noodle Bowl

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.

12 of 16

Meat Loaf Muffins

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.

13 of 16

Chili Mac and Cheese

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.

14 of 16

Beef and Blue Pizza

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.

15 of 16

Beef and Black Bean Chili

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.

16 of 16

Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper

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.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles