If I buy ground beef, nine times out of ten it's because I'm making hamburgers. There's nothing wrong with that, but recently I've been wanting to mix things up a little bit. Fortunately, I can always trust the Serious Eats recipe archives to get me out of a culinary rut. There's a whole world of easy, delicious recipes that you can make with ground beef, including cheese-stuffed meatloaf and spicy Pakistani skewers, Jamaican beef patties and comforting brown rice congee. If you're interested in expanding your ground beef repetoire beyond the burger, keep reading for 14 of our favorite recipes.
Hoisin-Glazed Cocktail Meatballs
Little meatballs are always a hit at parties, but these are an inspired step up from your standard version, made with a mix of ground beef and pork bound with feather-light panko and an egg. After cooking the meatballs in the oven, we coat them with a sweet-and-savory glaze made with hoisin sauce, ketchup, honey, and mild rice wine vinegar.
Seekh Kebabs (Pakistani Spicy Grilled Ground Meat Skewers)
While my favorite version of these Pakistani meat skewers is made with lamb, you should definitely try it with beef, too, since it gets a good blast of flavor from a spice blend that includes black pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves, bay leaves, paprika, and cayenne. If you can't find the tangy amchur (mango powder), you can substitute citric acid powder, tamarind paste, or even lime juice.
Cevapi (Southeastern European Meat and Onion Sausages)
This cevapi recipe for the Balkan classic doesn't make you choose between lamb or beef—we make the small sausages with both. The meats are mixed with grated onion, minced garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. A little bit of baking soda gives the cevapi a pleasantly springy texture.
The Food Lab's All-American Meatloaf
Classic meatloaf recipes often call for a mix of ground beef, pork, and veal. We're on board with the first two, but the veal is hard to find and pretty bland. We prefer to leave it out, replacing its collagen and fat with a little gelatin and buttermilk. Egg and mushrooms bind the meat together, as well as a trio of aromatics. No meatloaf is done without a glaze, so we slather ours with a mix of ketchup, brown sugar, and cider vinegar.
Cheddar-Stuffed Jalapeño Meatloaf With Chili Glaze
This meatloaf gets a little south-of-the-border flair from ancho chili, sautéed jalapeños, onions, and garlic. We bury cubes of cheddar in the middle of the meat to create a gooey center and glaze the finished meatloaf with a homemade chili sauce made with ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, and chili powder.
Cheesy Stuffed Mexican Peppers With Red Chili Sauce
These hearty stuffed peppers are filled with rich mixture of rice, beef, crushed tomatoes, sour cream, and cheese. We use both sharp cheddar and American for the filling—the cheddar has great flavor, but you can't beat the creaminess of American cheese. We cook the peppers in a tomato-and-beer sauce flavored with chili powder, cumin, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
Curried Jamaican Beef Patties
Making homemade Jamaican beef patties is easier than you might think, thanks to their simple dough, which gets its vibrant color from yellow curry powder. The filling is packed with flavorful ingredients like Scotch bonnet pepper, allspice, Worcestershire, and Pickapeppa sauce.
Jamaican Beef Tacos With Tropical Slaw
This recipe takes the flavors of a beef patty and serves them up in taco form. We brush the tortillas with turmeric- and curry-infused oil to mimic a typical Jamaican beef patty crust, adn balance out the spicy beef filling with a refreshing slaw made with mango, pineapple, red onion, radish, cilantro, and cabbage.
San Antonio-Style Puffy Tacos With Ground Beef Filling
Unless you're from San Antonio, these probably aren't what come to mind when you think of hard-shell tacos. They're made with fresh masa, which puffs up when fried. Making fresh masa at home is an intense undertaking, but if you're lucky enough to have a local tortilleria, you can buy the dough there. In this recipe we stuff the puffed shells with ground beef that's spiced with cumin, coriander, and a little smoky chipotle.
Quick and Easy Skillet Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust
As good as our ultimate tamale pie is, sometime I prefer the simple comfort of a more classic version. This recipe stays old-school with ground beef, chili powder, corn, black beans, crushed tomatoes, and cheese. Scallions and cilantro brighten up the dish. Of course, we can't resist upping the ante a little with our nutty brown butter cornbread batter. Can you blame us?
American Chop Suey (Macaroni, Beef, and Cheese Skillet Casserole)
This casserole of macaroni, beef, tomatoes, and cheese goes by different names across the country—whether you call it beefaroni or chili mac, it's a wonderfully satisfying dish. We make our version with a base of ground beef, canned tomatoes, green pepper, and onion, plus a healthy amount of umami-rich Worcestershire sauce. We add two different cheeses—mozzarella and Parmesan—for the best flavor and texture.
Brown Rice Congee With Beef, Shiitake, and Garlic Chips
When you're tired of cereal, try starting the day with a creamy bowl of congee, Chinese rice porridge. This version is made with brown rice, beef, dried shiitake mushrooms, and garlic chips. It also makes a wonderful rib-sticking dinner on a cold night.
Gooey Cheeseburger Dip
Even if you're not up for making burgers, you won't be able to resist this creamy cheeseburger dip, which is made with ground beef, sharp cheddar, and American cheese. Most cheeseburger dip recipes call for Ro*Tel tomatoes, but we prefer to use a fresh poblano charred over over a gas burner and a can of diced tomatoes.
Chili for Chili Burgers, Chili Dogs, or Chili Fries
We generally like big hunks of meat in our chili, but when you're using the chili as a sauce for hot dogs or fries, then large pieces of meat aren't gonna cut it. This version is flavored with dried chilies and spices (plus soy sauce and Marmite for some extra-savory style). Masa harina thickens the chili nicely.