5 Delicious Ways to Use Ground Beef or Turkey


Many of us default to using our ground beef or turkey for burgers, but there are actually many creative ways to structure mealtime around a ground beef or turkey dish. Try one of our ideas below for some variety in your meal prep, plus plenty of leftovers.


Make it the way your mom made it, if that’s your favorite, or go online to find hundreds of other recipes. Most meatloaf recipes are built around the basics: meat, a dry addition (cracker crumbs, oatmeal, etc.) and an egg. Try jazzing it up with herbs and spices to give it an Italian, Asian or Tex-Mex spin, or add finely chopped veggies, like onions or bell peppers for fiber and nutrition. As for leftovers, who doesn’t love a meatloaf sandwich?

Sloppy Joes

These sloppy Joes may be messy to eat, but they’re easy to make. Simply brown and drain your choice of ground meat, then add sauce. You can use a premade sauce from a can or jar, or you can create your own with tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and your preferred spices. You can also add chopped onion and green pepper to the pan while browning the meat to add complexity and flavor. Serve on your favorite buns and enjoy. Leftovers keep well in the fridge, or you can freeze any remaining sloppy Joe mixture to save for another time.


Meatballs are a classic and can be served with marinara sauce, in the Swedish style with a sour cream-based gravy or with noodles or pasta. You can even wrap cooked meatballs in pizza dough with grated mozzarella, bake and serve with pizza sauce for dipping. For stuffed meatballs, mix together cream cheese and spinach and stuff each meatball before cooking. Or, if you’re in the mood for something different, cook your meatballs with barbecue sauce. The possibilities are endless.

Taco Casserole

Sure, you can use ground meat for individual tacos. But how about a taco casserole for a change of pace? Brown your meat, then add chopped onion, a can of tomatoes, a can of pinto beans and taco seasonings. Layer the meat between soft corn tortillas, topping each layer with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake until the cheese melts, then serve with chopped lettuce, salsa, sliced avocados or your favorite toppings.


Whether you like yours thick or soupy, mild or fiery, with beans or without, chili is always satisfying, especially during chilly weather (coincidence?). Best of all, you can cook up a batch of chili with ingredients you likely have on hand, like canned beans or tomatoes. Go online to find a new recipe, then give it a try. Best of all, many types of chili freeze well and can be saved in the freezer for up to several months, making chili a great option for meal prep.

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