21 Ways to Cook with Ground Beef Beyond Burgers

Think outside the bun

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on January 24, 2019

Ground beef just might be the ingredient heard around the world. Although it's essential for building burgers, packing patty is hardly the only thing to do with hamburger meat.

You can fold fatty ground beef into little dumplings (pro-tip: consult our guide to homemade dumplings), or crumble lean ground beef into an egg or potato hash to up your weekend breakfast game. When it comes to meals to make with ground beef, the recipe possibilities are endless. From Italian meat sauce to Chinese dumplings to homemade chili, here are some of our best ground beef recipes and ideas to try any time of year.

Grilled Beef Kebabs with Pickled Persimmons
Grilled Beef Kebabs with Pickled Persimmons

Minimally-spiced Romanian beef kebabs are grilled until lightly charred and served with intense, bright pickled persimmons in this take on Israeli street food. Get the recipe for Grilled Beef Kebabs with Pickled Persimmons »

Spiced khinkali
Meat-Filled Khinkali Dumplings

Spiced khinkali, or pork and beef dumplings, from Tasting Georgia

Tagliatelle Bolognese
Classic Ragù alla Bolognese

On October 17, 1982, the Bolognese chapter of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, “after having carried out long and laborious investigations and conducted studies and research”, decreed the following recipe to be the official one for classic ragu alla bolognese. We’re not necessarily convinced of that, but it’s a fantastic recipe nonetheless. Get the recipe for Classic Ragù alla Bolognese »

Kill City Chili
Kill City Chili

This chili of beef and red kidney beans is flavored with dark chile powder and curry powder. Get the recipe for Kill City Chili »

Simple Weeknight Meal, Summer bolognese
Summer Bolognese

This recipe for summer bolognese has the classic comfort of bolognese, but without the heaviness of a red sauce, instead embracing the summer’s bounty of gorgeous tomatoes and fresh basil.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and Meatballs

Lou Di Palo shared his grandmother’s recipe for the meatballs that he sells at his family’s store, Di Palo’s Fine Foods, in New York City; they’re composed of pork, beef, and veal and flavored with four kinds of cheese. Get the recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs »

Crystal Palace Hunan Pork and Peanut Dumplings
Crystal Palace's Hunan Dumplings with Peanut Sauce

The now-shuttered Crystal Palace of Montreal used to serve these beef dumplings as an homage to the Quebecois favorite, peanut butter dumplings. Get the recipe for Crystal Palace’s Hunan Dumplings with Peanut Sauce »

pan-fried spicy beef dumplings
Pan-Fried Spicy Beef Dumplings

In these delightfully rich dumplings, homemade or store-bought chile oil is balanced by freshness from scallions and ginger and sweetness from oyster sauce. To maximize the crispy surface area, stretch and arc the shape of the raw dumpling slightly. Get the recipe for Pan-Fried Spicy Beef Dumplings »

Japanese Hamburger Steak
Japanese Hamburger Steak

At Ethel’s Grill on Oahu, Hawaii, juicy pork-and-beef patties are served over salty-sweet ponzu sauce and crisp cabbage, and topped with grated daikon and spicy sprouts.

American Chop Suey

This delicious dish known as “American chop” in diner-ese is similar to the all-American classic chili mac.

Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce (Mapo Tofu)
Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce (Mapo Tofu)

This spicy braise, garnished with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns, is one of the region’s most well-known dishes. Get the recipe for Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce (Mapo Tofu) »

Beef and Lamb Koftas with Mustard
Beef and Lamb Koftas with Mustard

Beef and Lamb Koftas with Mustard

Spiced Ground Beef Patties (Shami Kebabs)
Spiced Ground Beef Patties (Shami Kebabs)

The recipe for these kebabs, which can also be made with lamb, is adapted from Charmaine O’Brien’s Recipes from an Urban Village (The Hope Project, 2003).

Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf

The secret to making a light meat loaf is to handle it as little as possible. Get the recipe for Meat Loaf »

Classic Easy Lasagna

Lasagna gets a bad rap for being a labor-intensive dish, but with a few shortcuts, like starting with store-bought lasagna sheets, you can make a great cheesy version any night of the week. Get the recipe Classic Easy Lasagna »

Chiles Rellenos con Picadillo
Chiles Rellenos con Picadillo (Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Spiced Beef)

This stuffed, fried chile, a specialty of Julin Contreras of Restaurante Pueblo Mio in the town of Tehuantepec, in southeastern Oaxaca state, has a sumptuous ground beef filling dotted with olives and raisins. Get the recipe for Chiles Rellenos con Picadillo (Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Spiced Beef) »

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