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3 Simple lean ground beef recipes

Penne, ground beef and tomato sauce cook together

Penne, ground beef and tomato sauce cook together in a single skillet. Credit: Marge Perry


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1⁄4 pounds lean ground beef

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

1 (26.4-ounce) box finely chopped tomatoes

6 ounces penne (about 2 cups)

1⁄4 cup basil, chopped (plus additional for garnish)

1 cup shredded, low-fat mozzarella

1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Heat oil over medium in a large, oven-proof skillet. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beef and sprinkle with salt. Cook, breaking up beef with a wooden spoon, until it is in crumbles and barely pink, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Add 1 cup of water and cook until the penne is cooked through, another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan over the top and bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle with additional basil, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 370 calories, 30 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 13 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 738 mg sodium



1⁄4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha (or to taste)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 cup chopped onion

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms

1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 cup shredded or julienne carrots

1⁄3 cup chopped scallions

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

8 butter lettuce leaves


1. Combine the hoisin, soy sauce, sriracha, rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil in a bowl; whisk until honey is dissolved.

2. Heat the canola oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring to break it into crumbles, until it is no longer pink, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts and carrots; stir and add in the sauce. Cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, add salt and sriracha to taste, and stir in the scallions and sesame seeds. Have diners spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves and roll them closed. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 302 calories, 24 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 566 mg sodium



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 large egg

2⁄3 cup breadcrumbs

2⁄3 cup ketchup, divided

1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, bell pepper and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes. Add the beef, egg, breadcrumbs, 1⁄3 cup of the ketchup, parsley, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; mix well. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan, then spread the top with the remaining 1⁄3 cup ketchup.

3. Bake in the center of the oven until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 262 calories, 24 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 749 mg sodium

TIP: Use 93 percent lean ground beef for a good balance of flavor and healthfulness.

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