30-Minute Favorites Using Ground Beef

IN THE KITCHEN

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Ground beef really is a winner. It's perfect for family meals, beloved both by kids and adults alike.

What's not to love? Ground beef tastes great, it's convenient, versatile, easy to prepare and quick cooking.

We'll always enjoy the time-honored classics -- burgers, chili, etc. -- but these recipes from the National Beef Cook-Off® take ground beef to the next level. They showcase just a hint of the variety of innovative dishes that make ground beef a winner time and time again.

Contemporary pizza, pasta, wraps and nuggets accented with favorite ethnic ingredients are ready in 30 minutes -- just waiting to become your new family favorites.

Greek-Style Beef & Cheese Ravioli

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes.

1 1/4 pounds ground beef

1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese ravioli

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

2 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach

1 cup pitted ripe olives

1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Cook ravioli according to package directions; drain.

2. Meanwhile brown ground beef in deep, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings.

3. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ravioli; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in spinach and olives; cook just until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with cheese before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Southwest Beef & Chile Pizza

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes.

1 pound ground beef

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (16 ounces) thick prebaked pizza crust (12-inch diameter)

1 cup prepared mild thick and chunky salsa

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend or Monterey Jack cheese

1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, drained well

2 small plum tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup thin red onion slivers

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Brown ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; season with salt.

2. Place pizza crust on ungreased pizza pan or large baking sheet. Spread salsa evenly on crust; sprinkle with half of cheese. Top evenly with beef, chiles, tomatoes and onion. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

3. Bake in 450 degree oven 11 to 13 minutes, or until topping is hot and cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro; cut into 8 wedges. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings

Taco Beef Nuggets & Tejano Sauce

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes.

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

1 can (4 ounces) diced mild green chiles, drained

16 cubes Colby-Jack cheese (1/2-inch)

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

2 cups crushed nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips

Sauce:

6 tablespoons prepared thick taco sauce

3 tablespoons honey

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ground beef, taco seasoning and green chiles in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Divide beef mixture into 16 portions; shape each portion around a cheese cube, completely covering cheese.

2. Beat egg white with water in shallow dish until blended. Place chips in second shallow dish. Dip each meatball into egg white mixture, then into chips to coat completely. Press each meatball with palm into a flattened nugget shape, generously coating both sides of nugget with chips.

3. Spray large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place nuggets in baking pan; spray tops generously with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in 400-degree oven 15 to 20 minutes to medium (160 degrees) doneness, until no longer pink and juices show no pink color.

4. Meanwhile combine sauce ingredients in small, microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high 30 seconds or until warm. Serve nuggets with sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Asian Express Beef Lettuce Wraps

Total preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/2 cup Asian peanut sauce

1 medium cucumber, seeded, chopped

1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves

Salt and pepper

12 large Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads) or iceberg or romaine lettuce

Fresh mint leaves

1. Brown ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into small crumbles. Pour off drippings. Stir in hoisin sauce and peanut sauce; heat through.

2. Just before serving, add cucumber and torn mint to beef mixture; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in lettuce leaves. Garnish with mint. Makes 4 servings.

For more beef recipes and information:

  • For Beef Cook-Off information, visit www.beefcookoff.org.
  • For additional Beef Cook-Off winning recipes, call 1-800-848-9088 or send a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope to Prize-Winning Recipes, P.O. Box 3881, Englewood, CO 80155. (One per envelope.)
  • To receive additional ground beef recipes, send a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope to NCBA, Dept. FC-FFGB, P.O. Box 670, Bloomingdale, IL 60108-0670. (One per envelope.)

Recipes courtesy of Family Features, Inc.

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