8 Cheap Ground Beef Recipes

Karen Frazier
ground beef

Cooking with ground beef is a great way to stretch your budget. Using this affordable form of beef provides plenty of protein, and the recipes taste great.

Hamburger Gravy

Using inexpensive ingredients like ground beef and potatoes makes this recipe a real budget stretcher. Since gravy needs fat to form a roux with the flour, you can use a less expensive, fattier ground beef such as 75 or 80 percent lean.

Ground beef gravy

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk plus 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling until potatoes soften.
  2. While potatoes cook, brown ground beef in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, breaking beef apart as it cooks.
  3. When beef is browned, add onion and cook until softened, about three minutes.
  4. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, two minutes.
  5. Stir in milk, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  6. Stirring constantly, bring gravy to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until gravy thickens.
  7. Taste gravy and season with salt and pepper.
  8. When potatoes are done, drain them and return to the pot.
  9. Add milk and butter, and mash potatoes until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve hamburger gravy over hot mashed potatoes.

Ground Beef Soup

Soup is a great way to stretch your budget. This ground beef soup has a number of affordable and healthy ingredients.

Ground Beef Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes with juices, approximately 24 to 28 ounces
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups roughly chopped cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, brown ground beef over medium-high heat, crumbling beef as you cook it.
  2. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables soften, about five minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and chicken broth, using the side of the spoon to scrape any browned bits of meat and vegetables off the bottom of the pot.
  5. Stir in cabbage and thyme.
  6. Bring soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper.

Creamy Hamburger Casserole

Hamburger, mushroom soup, and pasta are the main ingredients in this easy and inexpensive casserole.

Creamy Ground Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 package rotini, cooked according to package instructions and drained

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large frying pan, brown ground beef over medium-high heat, crumbling as you cook.
  3. Leaving fat from hamburger in the pan, remove hamburger with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl.
  4. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until vegetables are soft, about four to five minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Remove vegetables from heat and add to the bowl.
  7. Stir in mushroom soup, cream, one cup of cheddar cheese, and rotini.
  8. Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.
  9. Bake, uncovered, until cheese melts and casserole is bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Stretched Sloppy Joes

Stretch the beef in these sloppy Joes with affordable canned beans.

sloppy joe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can red beans, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large frying pan, cook ground beef over medium high heat until browned, crumbling the beef as you cook.
  2. Remove beef from fat with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Add onion, red pepper, and jalapeño to the remaining hamburger fat in the pan and cook until softened and starting to brown, about four to five minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomato paste and cook until it begins to brown, stirring constantly, about three minutes.
  6. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon, salt, pepper, and reserved ground beef.
  7. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for five minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  8. Serve hot over hamburger buns.

Taco Soup

This soup stretches your dollars with beef, beans, and taco seasoning.

taco soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes with juices
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 tablespoons chili power
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook hamburger in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until it browns, crumbling as it cooks.
  2. Add onion and green pepper to pot and cook until vegetables soften and brown slightly, about four to five minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, chicken broth, taco seasoning and chili powder.
  5. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Hamburger Stroganoff

Hamburger makes this traditional Russian dish more affordable. Serve over the top of hot egg noodles. The recipe calls for a little bit of white wine, but you can use an inexpensive white wine such as a boxed wine to keep the recipe affordable. Don't use cooking wine, which contains added salt.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounce package egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown hamburger, crumbling as you cook.
  2. Remove hamburger from fat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. In fat that remains in the pan (add some oil or butter to get to two tablespoons if not enough remains), cook mushrooms and onions, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and begin to brown, about five minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add wine. Scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with the side of the spoon.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until wine reduces by half, about four to five minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and paprika until well mixed.
  8. Return the hamburger to the pan and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Combine cooked egg noodles with parsley and butter, stirring to melt butter.
  10. Serve stroganoff over parsleyed noodles.

Ground Beef and Cabbage Hash

Potatoes and onions stretch your hamburger in this delicious hash that comes together so quickly you can have it for breakfast or dinner.

Ground Beef and Cabbage Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown hamburger, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
  2. Drain all but two tablespoons of the fat from the hamburger.
  3. Add potatoes, cabbage, onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cover and cook until potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 10 minutes.

Tamale Pie

This quick and easy tamale pie is topped with a cheesy cornbread mix.

Tamale Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can corn, drained, approximately 10 to 11 ounces
  • 1 can black beans, drained, approximately 10 to 11 ounces
  • 1 12-ounce package cornbread or corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large fry pan, brown ground beef over medium-high heat, crumbling as it cooks.
  3. Add onion and green pepper and cook until it softens, about three to four minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in tomato soup, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, corn, and black beans until well combined.
  6. Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well combined.
  8. Place muffin mix in another small bowl.
  9. Add eggs and milk to muffin mix and stir until just combined.
  10. Stir in cheese.
  11. Spoon the mixture over the top of the ground beef mixture.
  12. Bake, uncovered, until the cornbread is golden, about 30 minutes.

Affordable Ingredients

Hamburger is one of the most affordable meat ingredients you can find, so cooking with it makes sense if you are trying to stretch your budget. All of the above recipes taste good, are easy to prepare, and make for affordable family meals.

8 Cheap Ground Beef Recipes