Ground Beef One-Dish Meals: Quick and Easy Ideas

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Ground beef one dish meals are sometimes the easiest to prepare and store in the refrigerator or freezer for later consumption. These meals can be fun and flavorful. Any of your favorite recipes can be “healthier” as long as you opt for the leaner ground beef and cut back on the fat content of some of the other ingredients.

When planning your meals always purchase the leanest ground beef possible to make sure that you are getting the lowest saturated fat content. Anything over ninety percent lean ground beef is preferred. If prepared correctly the leaner ground beef can be just as flavorful as the higher fat ground beef. Another way to trim down on the fat content is to brown the meat and then drain the extra fat that drips to the bottom of the pan. The fat content of the meat is enough for browning - do not add more oil. Sometimes the biggest complaint about lean ground beef is that it is dry. Try preparing it with a low-fat beef broth to add in the moisture. Season the ground beef with salt, pepper, and/or garlic and onions for extra flavor.

Healthy Ground Beef One Dish Meals

  • Shepherd’s Pie
    • Prepare shepherd’s pie with lean ground beef and make the mashed potatoes with skim milk and light butter to cut the fat calories. Add in the vegetables and you have all the food groups in one healthy dish.
  • Beef Bolognese
    • A great sauce for your whole-wheat spaghetti. A healthy low fat, high fiber meal.
  • Pasta Fagioli
    • A tomato based soup that is loaded with beans, vegetables, and lean ground beef. Great for lunch or dinner.
  • Low- Fat Whole Wheat Lasagna
    • Prepare lasagna with whole-wheat lasagna noodles, low-fat ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and lean ground beef for a healthier version of an Italian favorite.
  • Burrito
    • Stuff a whole-wheat tortilla with lean ground beef, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, low fat cheese, and salsa.
  • Meatballs
    • Swedish or Italian style meatballs can be served over wheat pasta or in a wheat roll.
  • Meatloaf
    • Prepare your favorite meatloaf recipes with lean ground beef.
  • Mexican Beef Casserole
    • Brown lean ground beef with a packet of taco seasoning. Mix with one can tomato sauce, crushed red pepper, and black olives. Toss with whole-wheat pasta. Sprinkle with low fat cheese and bake.
  • Chili
    • Prepare your favorite chili recipe using lean ground beef.

A Message From Your RD

Ground beef one dish meals can be healthy and easy. Almost any of your favorite dishes can be made healthy just by choosing a leaner cut of ground beef. Remember to aim for the leanest cut possible- the higher the percentage the better. Use your favorite spices and sauces to flavor the ground beef and create your healthy one-dish meals.


This information is from my education and experience working at SHS Nutrition, LLC. in Piscataway, NJ.

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