27 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes That Won't Have You Feeling Guilty For Skipping The Turkey

27 Healthy Ground Beef Recipes That Won't Have You Feeling Guilty For Skipping The Turkey

When we’re trying to eat a little healthier, it’s unfortunately too often our beloved comfort foods like burgers, casseroles, and pasta dishes first get the boot. We’re here to say there’s a different way! Instead of completely ditching the “unhealthy” offenders, try swapping in and out certain ingredients to make them lighter, while still maintaining all the flavor you crave. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite “healthier” ground beef recipes to show you the way—get your bookmarking finger ready, we know you’re going to want to make these again and again.

We know health looks different to different people, so we’ve included options for a variety of different diets here, like keto, low-carb, gluten-free, less-processed (fast food fanatics, we see you), and even low oil. Trying to go less hard on the carbs? Try swapping buns for greens, like in our cheeseburger cabbage wraps or our collard wrap burritos; veggies for noodles, like our burrito zoodles or our meatball-stuffed spaghetti squash; or tortillas for something creamy, like our taco-stuffed avocados or our keto taco cups (the tortillas are made of CHEESE).

You can also turn almost anything into a salad, like our Big Mac salad or our taco salad. Take these as inspo, but feel free to get creative—start with some greens, then the sky’s the limit (hot tip: turn sauce into salad dressing 😉).

Want to have more control over what’s going into your food, but still craving the flavors of your store-or-drive-thru-bought faves? Try our copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme, our copycat Hamburger Helper, or our copycat Big Mac. The best part? You don’t have to jump through hoops to get your order just how you like it.

Copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

We're so obsessed with Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme, we made this copycat recipe so we can enjoy it whenever a craving hits. Our favorite part? Making sure the beef is as lean as we like (and adding guacamole for free!).

Get the Copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme recipe.

Cabbage Roll Skillet

Cabbage rolls just became a viable weeknight dinner with this quicker-to-make skillet recipe, which skips the cabbage rolling and gets dinner directly on the table. It’s less work, yet the payoff of a comforting home-cooked meal all the same.

Get the Cabbage Roll Skillet recipe.

Big Mac Salad

Got a craving for a Big Mac, but avoiding the drive-thru? This salad is for you—it's got everything you love, minus the bun!

Get the Big Mac Salad recipe.

Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie

Looking to make your shepherd's pie a little lighter? Swap those high carb mashed potatoes for cauliflower, and you'll be in business. They're so creamy and buttery, you'll barely miss the potatoes.

Get the Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie recipe.

(Parker feierbach)
Mapo Tofu

Disclaimer: “Authentic” mapo tofu is hard to perfect without a flaming hot wok above a fire and some hard-to-find ingredients. Never fear, we've made some concessions, and this one is still delicious. Just make sure to serve it with rice to help sop up all that yummy sauce!

Get the Mapo Tofu recipe.

(June xie)
Zucchini Burrito Boats

You won't miss the tortilla in these stuffed zucchinis. They've got everything you love about your favorite burritoblack beans, corn, CHEESE—minus the carbs.

Get the Zucchini Burrito Boats recipe.

(Parker feierbach)
Classic Stuffed Peppers

Of all the food you can stuff, stuffed peppers are at the top of our list. Bell peppers are large enough to hold a lot, strong enough to keep their shape in the oven, and mild enough in flavor to go with just about anything. Here we’re filling them with beefy, tomato rice (use cauliflower if you want!), and shredded Monterey Jack cheese, but you can customize them to fit your taste.

Get the Classic Stuffed Peppers recipe.

(Parker feierbach)
Taco Salad

When it comes to healthy dinner salads, none are more hearty and satisfying than a taco salad. Load it up with veggies, cheese, and ground beef for the perfect weeknight dinner. We love this classic version, but if you want to get fancy, feel free to swap in and out your fave toppings.

Get the Taco Salad recipe.

Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

We took everything you love about traditional stuffed cabbage and turned it into a crowd-friendly, no-fuss casserole. You don't even need to cook the rice beforehand—it cooks in the big and bubbly bake. Now that's weeknight-dinner-friendly!

Get the Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole recipe.

(Parker feierbach)
Caramelized Beef With Rice

This flavorful, healthy, weeknight-friendly dinner cooks in under 10 minutes! Top tip: Brown the ground beef and then caramelize it with agave syrup (or any sweetener you prefer)—the sugars melt, darken, and get wildly delicious.

Get the Caramelized Beef With Rice recipe.

Keto Beef Stroganoff

Nothing says comfort food quite like a warm bowl of classic beef stroganoff. Though keto dieters can't have the requisite egg noodles that normally accompany this dish, a big scoop of steamed cauliflower rice is a great alternative.

Get the Keto Beef Stroganoff recipe.

(Park Feierbach)
Skinny Cheeseburger Casserole

Whole-wheat, fiber-rich pasta replaces the traditional cheeseburger bun, while adding light cheese and tomatoes instead of ketchup keeps this lower in fat and sugar. Wins all around!

Get the Skinny Cheeseburger Casserole recipe.

(Tom Krawczyk)
Air Fryer Meatloaf

Your air fryer can turn out pretty much anything, including a great meatloaf. This one's pretty standard: You'll combine a pound of ground beef with bread crumbs, onion, bell pepper, egg, and ketchup for a tender, weeknight meatloaf the whole family will love.

Get the Air Fryer Meatloaf recipe.

Taco Tomatoes

We're all for a genius low-carb hack—and these tomatoes totally deliver. We had never thought to stuff them with taco meat, cheese, and sour cream, but we'll do anything in the name of ditching a tortilla for a low-carb meal. You can change up the fillings for cheeseburger tomatoes too.

Get the Taco Tomatoes recipe.

(Chelsea Lupkin)
Burrito Zoodles

Everything you love about a burrito, minus the tortilla. This low-carb dinner screams summer, with zucchini noodles, fresh cherry tomatoes, and sweet corn.

Get the Burrito Zoodles recipe.

Cheeseburger Cabbage Wraps

We're BIG fans of low-carb burgers. (Hellooo, bunless burger bites.) We love how sturdy cabbage is as a bun replacement—just make sure you buy a large cabbage so your leaves are big enough to wrap around the entire burger. Then you can make bacon-wrapped cabbage with the core!

Get the Cheeseburger Cabbage Wraps recipe.

(Parker feierbach)
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This recipe is based on gołąbki, a Polish dish in which parboiled cabbage leaves encase a minced meat filling of either pork or beef with onions and rice. The best part? The meat and the rice cook in the cabbage itself, meaning very little work on your part (yes, please!). Don't feel like rolling? Make our unstuffed cabbage casserole instead. 😏

Get the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe.

(Parker feierbach)
Keto Taco Cups

Taco shells made out of cheese = the ultimate keto hack. If you're a fan of Tex-Mex ground beef tacos and are trying to follow a low-carb diet, these are a perfect alternative.

Get the Keto Taco Cups recipe.

(Parker feierbach)
Copycat Hamburger Helper

Though we went above and beyond by making fresh pasta and grinding our own meat here, Hamburger Helper is all about the convenience, so you can easily swap in store-bought pasta (pick a shape that will really hug the sauce) and pre-ground beef.

Get the Copycat Hamburger Helper recipe.

Copycat Big Mac

With a cult following and worldwide popularity, there's no denying it—the Big Mac is a burger superstar. That's why we had to try our hand at making it at home. Trust us—once you've made this iconic fast food in your own kitchen, you may never go through the drive-thru again.

Get the Copycat Big Mac recipe.

(Hearst Owned - Hearst Owned)
Collard Wrap Burritos

Some people might call us crazy for eating collard greens raw—but we're standing by it for these burritos. We love how sturdy they are, and with all these flavorful fillings, we hardly miss the tortilla.

Get the Collard Wrap Burritos recipe.

(Brandon Bales)
Air Fryer Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

For crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside meatballs, turn to the air fryer. It will replicate the crust you get when you pan fry—without any oil. Another bonus: You aren't required to stand near a splattering stove to turn the meatballs every couple of minutes. Win win!

Get the Air Fryer Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs recipe.

(Lucy schaeffer)
Burrito Butternut Squash Boats

Butternut squash boats are to fall as stuffed zucchini are to summer. They're the perfect low-carb vehicle for plenty of veggies, ground beef, and, of course, CHEESE.

Get the Burrito Butternut Squash Boats recipe.

(Brad Holland)
Meatball Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Make this when that inevitable spaghetti & meatballs craving hits, and thank us later. Make your own meatballs while your spaghetti squash is baking to take this dish next level.

Get the Meatball Stuffed Spaghetti Squash recipe.

(Brandon Bales)
Zucchini Baked "Ziti”

When we get an itch for a low-carb pastas, this one is a necessity. You still get plenty of meaty sauce and melty cheese, all while staying gluten-free!

Get the Zucchini Baked "Ziti” recipe.

(Charlie Gillette)
Taco-Stuffed Avocados

No tortillas? No problem. Stuff your tacos into your favorite Mexican food topping.

Get the Taco-Stuffed Avocados recipe.

(Chelsea Lupkin)
Beef Cauliflower Fried Rice

Craving fried rice, but don't wanna feel weighed down? We support it! Whether you're counting carbs or just wanna save more room for orange chicken or Sichuan chicken, this cauliflower fried rice has your back.

Get the Beef Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe.

(Judy Kim)

We’ve rounded up 27 of our favorite “healthier” ground beef recipes to show you how easy it is to make lightened-up dishes that are still full of flavor.