When you’re juggling work, fitness goals, school activities, keeping the house in order…it can be a bit overwhelming to also have to plan out nutritious meals for the week! Not to worry, though – with this one week ground beef meal plan, you’ll get a week’s worth of nutrient-dense recipes plus a shopping list with everything you’ll need.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff. As always, all opinions are my own.
Why Ground Beef?
Ground beef is a delicious and affordable meat to use in your meal planning. It’s also versatile: you can make anything from tacos to spaghetti to chili to lasagna….the list could go on forever!
It’s also a nutritious option, providing essential nutrients your body needs, like:
- Protein – Important for muscle repair and recovery after workouts, as well as keeping you satisfied and full after meals
- Iron – Helps your body use oxygen (especially important for athletes, as you need oxygen to flow to those working muscles)
- Zinc – Helps you maintain a healthy immune system
- Vitamins B6 and B12 – Involved in energy production and brain function
Meal Planning Benefits
When you meal plan, not only do you end up with a delicious dinner each night, but there are also other benefits:
- You’ll save money: When you plan your weekly or monthly meals, your food expenses will be cheaper because you won’t need to buy as many impulse items or takeout meals. You’ll know exactly what to purchase at the store. (You’ll save even more when you utilize this plan during a week ground beef is on sale!).
- You’ll eat more balanced meals: There’s less chance of heading to the drive through when you don’t know what you want to make, or grabbing a bowl of cereal just because you didn’t have anything planned. Now you’ll know each day what you’re going to make!
- You’ll waste less food: Because you build your shopping list around your meal plan, you’ll only buy as much as you need for those exact meals – meaning less food waste. Plus, I always build a leftovers day into my meal plans. If something doesn’t get used up, you have a dedicated time to eat it.
- You can learn how to cook new things: Planning ahead also means you’ll have time and energy to try out recipes that are outside your comfort zone. There’s a whole world of cooking waiting for you – explore it!
One Week Ground Beef Meal Plan
Here are the six recipes you’ll make throughout the week, plus one day to utilize leftovers. You’ll find the recipes below, as well as in this downloadable plan with a shopping list.
- BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Egg Roll in a Bowl + Fresh Pineapple
- Taco Salads
- Mediterranean Beef Bowls
- Mini Meatloaves with Mashed Potatoes + Broccoli
- Easy Chipotle Chili + Cornbread
- I use 90/10 ground beef for all these recipes, but you can use whatever you prefer. If you use something like 80/20, be sure to drain any excess fat as needed when cooking.
- This weekly meal plan is simply to show you that you can stretch a few pounds of ground beef to work for many meals. You certainly can also incorporate vegetarian dishes or other proteins into a week’s meal plan.
- Don’t forget to check your fridge, freezer, and pantry before going to the grocery store. You might find you have a lot of the ingredients on hand already.
Day 1: BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Tender sweet potatoes are baked to perfection, then loaded up with a beef and veggie mixture that’s been tossed in a homemade BBQ-style sauce. It’s nutrient-dense (packing in your daily needs of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C), fun to eat, and great for families!
Makes 4 servings.
For the potatoes:
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
For the BBQ beef:
- 1 lb 90/10 ground beef
- 1 small red onion, diced
- ⅔ cup shredded carrots
- ⅔ cup diced bell pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Clean the sweet potatoes. Poke the potatoes with a fork a few times, and then place on a baking sheet (make a foil packet for each if you like easy clean up!). Drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until tender.
- When the potatoes are about 20 minutes from being done, start preparing the beef. Add the beef, onion, carrots, and bell pepper to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 6-7 minutes or until the beef is browned, breaking up meat as it’s cooking.
- Drain excess fat from skillet if necessary. Then add the salt, garlic powder, and paprika and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until sauce has reduced a bit. Remove from heat.
- When sweet potatoes are done, slice them in half and top with the beef mixture. Enjoy!
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving): 450 calories, 16.5 g fat, 5.5 g saturated fat, 850 mg sodium, 40.5 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 34 g protein, Vitamin A: 524%, Vitamin C: 104%, Calcium: 10%, Iron: 31%, Potassium: 37%
Day 2: Egg Roll in a Bowl + Fresh Pineapple
This recipe is great when you’re craving a lighter dinner. If you need something more filling, serve this over cooked rice or rice noodles. We love fresh sliced pineapple as a simple side dish, which has been added to your shopping list – but feel free to use any other side you’d prefer.
Makes 4 servings.
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ lb 90/10 ground beef
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 14.5-oz bag coleslaw mix (or 5-6 cups shredded green cabbage)
- ¾ cup shredded carrots
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- ¼ cup lower sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- Sriracha or hot sauce for topping (optional)
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef, mushrooms, and onion, and cook for about 6-7 minutes, until beef is almost fully browned and onions and mushrooms are tender.
- Add the coleslaw mix, carrots, and garlic to the skillet. Continue to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until cabbage is crisp-tender.
- Stir in the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Cook for another 2 minutes. Top with scallions and sesame seeds (as well as optional sriracha or hot sauce if using). If desired, serve over rice or rice noodles. Serve alongside a side of fresh sliced pineapple.
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving, does not include side of pineapple or optional rice or rice noodles to serve over): 236 calories, 11.5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 500 mg sodium, 14.5 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 21 g protein, Vitamin D: 1%, Calcium: 5%, Iron: 16%, Potassium: 23%
Day 3: Taco Salads
Salad night gets more exciting when it’s a mash-up with everyone’s favorite – tacos! Use this recipe as a rough guide but feel free to modify as you would like. Sometimes we add sautéed bell peppers and onions instead of tomatoes; other times we might skip the cheese and chips and go with avocado on top. Feel free to get creative!
Makes 4 servings.
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup jarred salsa
- 1/3 cup ranch dressing
For the salad:
- ½ lb ground beef
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed (*save the rest of the can of beans for Day 6)
- ½ packet of reduced sodium taco seasoning
- ¼ cup water
- 8 oz green leaf lettuce
- ¾ cup corn (cooked from frozen, or canned, or fresh sweet corn)
- 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¾ cup cheddar cheese (optional)
- 12 crushed tortilla chips
- In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing together the salsa and ranch dressing. Set aside in the refrigerator for now.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until fully browned, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in the beans, taco seasoning, and water. Continue cooking another 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and everything is well combined. Remove from heat.
- Mix the lettuce with the corn, tomatoes, red onion, and cheddar. Plate salads then top with a scoop of the beef and bean mixture.
- Top the salads with the crushed tortilla chips and the dressing. Enjoy!
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving): 458 calories, 25 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1000 mg sodium, 33.5 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 27 g protein, Vitamin D: 1%, Calcium: 18%, Iron: 23%, Potassium: 17%
Day 4: Mediterranean Beef Bowl
With bold flavors and a ton of nutrients, this Mediterranean beef bowl is a great addition to your table. It has a nice balance of fat, carbohydrate, and protein, helping you stay full and satisfied after your meal. And while the recipe looks like a long list of ingredients, many are simple spice staples you’ve likely already got on hand.
Makes 4-5 servings
For the yogurt sauce:
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup finely chopped cucumber
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried dill
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ⅛ tsp salt
For the beef:
- ½ lb 90/10 ground beef
- 1 ¼ cup cooked lentils (cooked from dried or canned)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried dill
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
For the bowls:
- 2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 ¼ cup diced cucumbers
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
- Prepare the yogurt sauce by combining the Greek yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, dill, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside in the refrigerator for now.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef for about 6-7 minutes.
- Add the lentils along with the oregano, dill, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until everything is warm and well combined.
- Combine the beef mixture with the rice, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and feta. Top with the prepared yogurt sauce when serving. Enjoy!
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving, assumes 4 servings): 474 calories, 17 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 610 mg sodium, 46.5 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 34.5 g protein, Vitamin D: 1%, Calcium: 21%, Iron: 32%, Potassium: 19%
Day 5: Mini Meatloaves with Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli
Classic meatloaf gets a makeover with these fun mini meatloaves, made in a muffin tin. If you want to get a little cheeky, pipe the mashed potatoes on like “frosting” for a silly meatloaf “cupcake” that’s sure to make the kiddos giggle. Serve the meatloaves and potatoes alongside a steam-bag of broccoli from the grocery store (added to your shopping list) or any other vegetable you prefer.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ lb 90/10 ground beef
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup BBQ sauce (or ketchup)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and mushroom for about 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and set aside for now.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin with a little olive oil or cooking spray, and set aside.
- Combine the beef, egg, oats, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and mushroom/egg mixture in a large bowl. Divide equally in the muffin tin, pressing down.
- Cook in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until they hit an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve alongside mashed potatoes (recipe below) and a steam-bag of broccoli.
Nutrition analysis (approximate per mini meatloaf): 153 calories, 7 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 14.5 g protein, Vitamin D: 1%, Calcium: 1%, Iron: 10%, Potassium: 6%
Greek Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
Makes 6 servings
*I recommend making these mashed potatoes while your meatloaves are baking in the oven.
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (approximately 5-7 potatoes)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup 1% milk
- 1/4 cup chives, minced (optional)
- Peel and chop the potatoes into one-inch chunks. Place in a pot and fill with water until potatoes are just covered.
- Place on the stovetop over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Turn off heat.
- Drain water from the pot, and place the pot with the cooked potatoes back on the stovetop. Add the butter and allow to just sit (without heat for a few minutes until the butter has melted).
- Start to mash the potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Add the salt, pepper, yogurt, and milk, and continue to mash until the potatoes reach your desired texture.
- Fold in the chives. Serve plain or topped with a little extra butter. Enjoy!
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving): 187 calories, 4 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein, Vitamin A: 5%, Vitamin C: 21%, Calcium: 6%, Iron: 3%, Potassium: 16%
Day 6: Easy Chipotle Chili
This chili is quick and easy to make, requiring less cooking time than many other recipes. Adding chipotle peppers gives it a hint of spice and smokiness, contributing to the depth of flavor. Feel free to purchase any additional toppings you might like for this recipe, like scallions or cheddar cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- ½ pound 90/10 ground beef
- 2 tsp fresh minced garlic
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1-2 canned chipotle peppers, minced (per spice preferences)
- 1 tbsp of the adobo sauce from the canned chipotles
- 2 ¾ cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed (One full 15-oz can plus the remaining ¾ cup of beans leftover from can you opened for the taco salad)
- 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 8 oz can low-sodium tomato sauce
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook for 4 minutes, until just starting to get tender.
- Add the ground beef and continue to cook for 6-7 minutes, until just about browned. (Drain any excess fat if needed).
- Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, pepper, chipotle pepper(s), and adobo. Cook for 1 minute, stirring well.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, then serve! You can add optional toppings like scallions, cheddar cheese, or tortilla chips if you’d like and have them on hand. Serve alongside store-bought or homemade cornbread.
Note: If the chili is too thick for your liking, just add a little beef broth.
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving, does not include side of cornbread): 351 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 670 mg sodium, 41.5 g carbohydrate, 16.5 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 27 g protein, Vitamin D: 0%, Calcium: 11%, Iron: 35%, Potassium: 24%
*Quick Tip – Portion out the extra chipotle peppers with adobo sauce into a few small ziptop bags, and freeze these. Then they’re ready the next time you need just one or two for a recipe.
Day 7: Leftovers!
If you’ve got a smaller family, you’ll likely have some leftovers available to eat today. If you’ve got a larger family and all the previous meals were gobbled up, feel free to use this as a day to do something easy, like breakfast for dinner!
Didn’t download the whole plan yet? Grab it here!
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