Ground beef is one of the supporting pillars of mainstream American food in the latter half of the 20th century. It was cheap, readily available, and could be applies to all kinds of preparations. It was also an easy source of animal protein for a nation kind of obsessed about it. Fortunately, all that interest in ground beef has allowed us to be the beneficiaries of a great cache of great recipes. Here are 9 we can’t seem to stop making.
1. Red Curry Sloppy Banh Mi Sandwiches
After the burger, of course, the Sloppy Joe is the best sandwich ever devised around a pound of ground chuck. This sandwich, though: it combines everything good about Vietnamese banh mi, and fills it with a Sloppy Joe–adjacent mix of red curry and ground beef. Get our Red Curry Sloppy Banh Mi Sandwiches recipe.
2. Bacon and Black Bean Chili
We love meaty beef chili almost as much as we love black bean chili, just slightly less than we like bacon. Fortunately, this easy-to-batch-cook-and-freeze recipe combines three into one. Get our Bacon and Black Bean Chili recipe.
3. Italian-style Beef Ragu with Cheesy Polenta
Buttery, creamy polenta, rich with mascarpone and Parmesan, is the perfectly lush landing pad for a tomatoey, herb-scented Italian ragu. This is a dish that shows off ground beef’s implausibly worldly possibilities. Get our Italian-style Beef Ragu with Cheesy Polenta recipe.
4. Beef Empanadas
Ground beef allies with familiar Latin partners pimiento-filled green olives and dried currants in this classic handheld pie recipe. What’s more, oregano, hot sauce, onion, sweet peppers, and tomato puree tame the potential animal quality of beef. Get our Beef Empanadas recipe.
5. Ground Beef Gyros
You begin by making rustic, kofta-like meatballs out of the beef, then slicing and stuffing into pita halves. Their accompaniments: a cucumber-yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. Get our Ground Beef Gyros recipe.
6. Beef Taco Salad
The taco salad is a fine old American specialty built around versatile, inexpensive, and widely available ground beef. This version preserves the slightly over-the-top outlines of the original, while still managing to feel contemporary. Get our Beef Taco Salad recipe.
7. Beef Taco Soup
Everything you love about beef taco salad minus the things you’re kind of iffy about (this is a rather unveiled reference to shredded lettuce). Seriously, this soup offers a comforting concentration of Mexican flavor, built around ground beef. Get our Beef Taco Soup recipe.
8. Meatloaf Burgers
A bit of ground pork combines with ground chuck of a moisture-preserving 15- to 20-percent fat content for these burgers, a mashup of burger and meatloaf. Unlike regular burgers, there are breadcrumbs, which bind the patties and add density. Get our Meatloaf Burgers recipe.
9. Cheeseburger Pie
One of the most nostalgic American recipes we know, just like mom used to make. Begin by making a flavorful onion and ground beef sauté, then cover it with a simple batter and tons of cheese. A sojourn in the oven later, and you have a delicious weeknight meal. Get our Cheeseburger Pie recipe.