beef stew

Nutrient-rich and full of iron, beef is a versatile meat that cooks quickly and is just as delicious in a winter stew as it is grilled outdoors in the summer. When purchasing, look for grass-fed beef, which means that the cows are pasture-fed and forage for grass. Grass-fed beef is arguably more nutritious than grain-fed beef and contains fewer calories, more omega-3 fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, but is often much more expensive. Try out these 17 beef recipes for a delicious dinner with more than enough protein to keep you full for the rest of the evening.

1. Beef Stew

Easy Beef Stew

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Our recipe for easy beef stew keeps the beef from getting mushy by first searing the cubed boneless chuck roast in hot oil and then braising the beef with red wine, broth, and onions until a luscious gravy forms. Serve as a traditional stew with a crusty loaf of bread, or over rice or wide egg noodles. Get our Easy Beef Stew recipe here.

2. Beef Stroganoff

Easy One-Pot Beef Stroganoff recipe

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Chuck roast cut into two-inch cubes forms the basis of this classic winter dish. Beef stock, Cognac, and a pound of mushrooms simmered together, with the addition of sour cream, Dijon mustard, and fresh thyme, makes a well-balanced dish that is delicious served on top of buttered egg noodles (or brown rice, if you’re trying to make it a little healthier). Get the Beef Stroganoff recipe. (Or try our non-traditional One-Pot Beef Stroganoff recipe.)

3. Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket recipe

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BBQ beef is amazing any way you make it, but this recipe is insanely easy to make in a slow cooker—all you have to do is add the ingredients and turn it on, no browning the beef ahead of time or any tricky steps (unless you count cutting the brisket in half and rubbing spices on it tricky). Combine ketchup, water, dark brown sugar, garlic powder, black pepper, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, a couple chipotles in adobo sauce, and onions with the dry-rubbed brisket and then let it go until you can break it apart gently with two forks (or tongs) after cooking. Get our Crock Pot BBQ Beef Brisket recipe.

Related Reading: How to Smoke BBQ Brisket Like a Pitmaster

4. Italian Meatballs

ricotta turkey meatball recipe

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Swedish meatballs are a close second, but Italian meatballs in red sauce roll up into first place for their versatility. These ground beef meatballs in tomato sauce are simple and satisfying. Make these as a passed appetizer or serve them with spaghetti or in a meatball sub—or make them smaller to top a pizza. They’re great to make in a big batch, and freeze well if you want to make them in advance. Get our Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recipe.

5. Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas

Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas recipe

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Fajitas are an easy crowd-pleaser. Marinate the skirt steak in a combination of soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and garlic and let the flavors meld for at least three hours (the longer the better)—but reserve a half cup of the marinade first! Use this marinade to flavor strips of red, yellow, and green bell peppers and onion slices. Grill the steak to your desired doneness and slice thin; serve with pico de gallo, guacamole, and hot tortillas for a perfect meal. Get our Grilled Skirt Steak Fajita recipe.

6. Easy Slow Cooker Chili

slow cooker chili recipe

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Whether or not you think beans belong in chili, beef is a must. This easy Crock Pot version keeps it simple with canned tomatoes, ground beef, kidney beans, and carefully selected spices and aromatics (i.e., it’s a great basic bowl, but look elsewhere for secret ingredient chili). This tastes even better on days two and three, so feel free to make it ahead, or even freeze it for up to a month. Get our Easy Crock Pot Chili recipe.

Related Reading: Great Make-Ahead Meals You Can Freeze for Later

7. Beef and Broccoli Takeout Noodles

beef and broccoli noodle recipe

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It’s finally time to learn how to make your favorite Chinese takeout dish, beef with broccoli. But if you’re the indecisive type who has trouble deciding between noodles and a stir-fry, you don’t have to. This takeout-style dish combines the best of both worlds, with a sweet-spicy-tangy sauce made from garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. It also packs in extra veggies (bell peppers and carrots to be exact). Get our Beef and Broccoli Takeout Noodles recipe.

8. Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie

ground beef shepherd's pie recipe

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True shepherd’s pie is made with lamb (hence the name), but ground beef versions are just as good. Ours is classically delicious, with a golden-brown cap of buttery mashed potatoes. This is a filling one-dish dinner that pairs well with a big glass of red wine (and maybe a salad). Get our Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie recipe.

9. Chicken Fried Steak with Country Gravy

chicken fried steak recipe

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A well-seared steak made on the grill or in a skillet is one of life’s great pleasures, but sometimes you want to switch it up. Enter: down-home diner favorite chicken-fried steak, with a crackly crust and creamy, peppery country gravy. It’s not filet mignon, and that’s the point. Plus, you don’t even have to go to Cracker Barrel. Get our Chicken Fried Steak recipe.

10. Beef Wellington

beef wellington recipe

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Although this isn’t a simple dish, our recipe for beef wellington is a classic. The center-cut beef tenderloin roast serves as the center of this delightful pastry package. Layers of pâté, mushroom duxelles, thinly sliced prosciutto, and puff pastry are a rich and tempting combination fit for a special occasion. Be sure not to overcook the meat, and serve in one-inch slices for an elegant ode to excess. Get our Beef Wellington recipe.

11. Mustard-Peppercorn Rib Roast

beef rib roast recipe

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A less complex but equally show-stopping centerpiece, prime rib roast is worth mastering for any meat lover. This version adds Dijon mustard to the equation for extra zest. Get our Mustard-Peppercorn Rib Roast recipe. (And make fancy French Dip sandwiches with the leftover meat.)

12. Easy Meatloaf

easy meatloaf recipe

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Meatloaf is not a pleasant memory for everyone, but the right recipe turns out a thing of beauty. If you want to get a little highbrow, try our Mushroom and Red Wine Meatloaf recipe, or keep it more down-to-earth (and relatively kid-friendly) with this easy version. It mixed Italian sausage with the ground beef and spices it up with pickle relish, onions, and spices, with a sweet-spicy glaze of ketchup, Tabasco, and Worcestershire. You can subtract a few of the more objectionable ingredients if your kids won’t go for them, but this is truly delicious meatloaf. Get our Easy Meatloaf recipe.

13. Beef Kalbi

Korean BBQ beef galbi (or beef kalbi) with gochujang, banchan, and soju cocktail

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Fall-apart tender short ribs are fantastic, but Korean style short ribs (kalbi or galbi) are also worth knowing how to make at home. This classic Korean BBQ staple is marinated in pineapple juice, soy, garlic, sesame oil, soju, and Korean malt syrup (if you can’t find the latter, while the flavor won’t be quite the same, you can substitute half the amount of maple syrup or honey). With a nice char from the grill, these pair perfectly with rice and your favorite banchan. Get our Beef Kalbi recipe.

14. Garlicky Pot Roast

garlicky pot roast recipe

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A good pot roast recipe is a Sunday night staple, and this version is incredibly flavorful, thanks to the whole head of roasted garlic in the pot (it takes a wile to roast the garlic at such a low temp, but it’s hands-off time so you can tend to chores, read a book, or just binge Netflix in the meanwhile; this recipe also has you make eight heads at once to maximize the task’s efficiency, and the excess garlic is easily stored in the freezer for future use). The other flavorings for the roast are pretty simple, with one surprise addition: tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, and…gingersnaps! They add amazing flavor and help thicken the luscious sauce. Get our Garlicky Pot Roast recipe.

15.  Frito Pie


This Frito pie adapted from “The Homesick Texan” cookbook is a winner—and feel free to call it by its other name: walking taco, so-called for its obvious portability. Two pounds of ground beef, along with seasonings including cumin, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, and lime juice, make for a classic beef chili that is absolutely fantastic served on a bed of crunchy Fritos. Topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped pickled jalapeño, and fresh diced tomatoes, this dish tastes just as good served in individual Frito bags for bowls as it does on a real plate. Try it with Doritos too! Get the Frito Pie recipe.

16. Juicy Lucy Burger

Juicy Lucy cheeseburger recipe

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Hamburger recipes seem so simple, yet they vary so widely (as does personal opinion on what they should be like), it’s hard to say which one is the absolute best. However, when you stuff a thick, juicy beef patty with gooey, melted cheese, it’s a clear front runner. Get our Juicy Lucy Burger recipe.

17. Vietnamese Shaking Beef with Filet Mignon

Vietnamese shaking beef

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You may be used to seeing filet mignon wrapped in bacon, but try it in this super-simple recipe inspired by San Francisco’s The Slanted Door for a change. Besides the beef, all you need is soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper—plus the application of high heat—to make this incredibly easy and delicious dinner. Add steamed white rice and fresh garnishes (we use watercress, lime wedges, and thinly sliced red onion, but add whatever herbs or crisp greens you have). Get the Vietnamese Shaking Beef recipe.

Header image courtesy of rudisill / E+ / Getty Images

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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