Easy Ground Beef Dinners - Holiday Time Savers

Easy Ground Beef Dinners

Thanksgiving marks the final stretch of the current year and preparing for the holidays. The holidays always initiate reminiscing for me. This stage in life is easier and much less stressful compared to when the boys were young. Those times were fun and exciting but stressful, tiring, and sometimes even a bit chaotic as well.

Today (the Sunday before turkey day) I planned our meal, bought the groceries, and announced the menu. Planning Thanksgiving dinner the Sunday before was unthinkable back in day. Hosting a holiday dinner event was complicated. There were the boys’ sports schedules, multiple family dinner invitations, and work schedules to contend with to name just a few.  I remember running errands and shopping after work or between practices weeks in advance. Of course, that would be Q & A time. Mom I’m hungry! What are we having for dinner? Mom when will dinner be ready? We were not even out of the car yet! Yes, life is much less stressful now.

Economical and easy ground beef dinners made my life easier and the family really enjoyed them. What makes these easy dinners even better, any type of ground meat can be used, adapting to your freezer stock and personal taste.

First up is my recently posted and old favorite, Italian Style Shepherds Pie. This recipe prepares in less than an hour and will easily serve 6-8 people.

A “kid approved” fun family dish, this Taco Bake is a true stress reliever. Ready in about 30 minutes, the kids envision this one as a snack food, making it even more kid pleasing. The recipe versatility of using on hand ingredients not to mention the easy “eat-ability for little hands” has marked this casserole a popular go to dinner.

Prepared in a bit more than an hour, this Mexi-Meatloaf is another flavorful rendition of an old-fashioned family meal. I made this one last week along with my easy Spanish rice. Hubby and Dad gave this dinner an A++ rating.


1.25 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 Tbsp. Adobo seasoning (Latin all purpose seasoning)
1/2 tsp cumin
Black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups Pace Picante Salsa, divided
1 egg
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 can Campbell’s cream mushroom soup
1/2 can no salt tomato sauce (2 ozs.)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, work seasonings into ground beef. Add minced garlic, breadcrumbs, 1 cup of Pace Picante Salsa, parsley, and egg. Continue to work beef mixture to blend. Shape meat into a loaf and place in a shallow 9 x 13 baking pan.

Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup Pace Picante Salsa, tomato sauce, and the cream soup until combined. Pour liquid, it will be thick, over meatloaf. Spread to completely cover if necessary.

Ready to Bake Mexi-Meatloaf
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until juices run clear, similar to chicken.

By not overcooking, a creamy layer will remain between the tomato top and meat. When I first prepared this, I thought the creaminess was a fluke. Repeatedly, the creamy layer exists so long as I don’t overcook the meatloaf. The creamy layer has great flavor and is not simply the soup although it appears that way. This is best meatloaf recipe to come out of my kitchen to date.

Creamy Second Layer

Hope these Ground Beef Recipes help to make your family dinner time a bit less stressful this holiday season!


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