23 Best Diabetes-Friendly Ground Beef Dinners

Looking for a healthy and budget-friendly dinner option? Look no further than these ground beef recipes. Ground beef is a versatile protein that can be used in a variety of dishes and cooks quickly, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Plus, recipes like Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potatoes and Italian Meatball Soup are low in saturated fat, sodium, and calories, making them a great choice for those following a diabetes-friendly eating pattern.

Kickin’ Hot Chili

If you want your chili to have a serious kick, try this recipe. For extra heat, use a full teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Meatball-Barley Soup

This soup recipe features homemade meatballs seasoned with garlic and rosemary. The addition of Great Northern beans and barley provides a nutritious boost of protein and fiber. Ready in just one hour, this hearty soup is a filling and delicious meal option.

Pasta Puttanesca with Beef

This slow cooker pasta recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. The combination of ground beef and puttanesca sauce creates a flavorful and satisfying meal. Here are some key points to keep in mind when making this dish:

  • Brown the ground beef before adding it to the slow cooker to give it a richer flavor.
  • Use a high-quality puttanesca sauce to ensure a well-balanced and flavorful dish.
  • Cook the pasta separately and add it to the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking to prevent it from becoming mushy.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese for an extra pop of flavor.

Overall, this pasta puttanesca with beef is a simple and delicious meal that is sure to become a family favorite.

Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes

Looking for a healthier version of the classic Sloppy Joes? Try this recipe that uses beans to increase fiber by 7 grams. Plus, we’ve reduced the added sugar and ketchup to save you 12 grams of sugar. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the kidney beans and cook until heated through.
  5. Serve on whole wheat buns and enjoy your delicious and healthier Sloppy Joes!

Easy Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie

Looking for a quick and healthy comfort food? Try this easy cauliflower shepherd’s pie recipe. With frozen veggies and ground turkey, you can have this dish ready in no time. Plus, the cauliflower-mash topping is a delicious and low-carb alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. Here’s how to make it:


  • 1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, corn)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large skillet, cook ground turkey over medium heat until browned. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened.
  3. Add frozen vegetables, tomato sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook until vegetables are heated through.
  4. Meanwhile, steam chopped cauliflower until tender. Drain and mash with milk and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Transfer turkey mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread cauliflower mash over the top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until heated through and top is golden brown.

Enjoy your easy and healthy cauliflower shepherd’s pie!

Better-Than-Takeout Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

To make a healthier version of your favorite takeout burgers and fries, try swapping some of the meat in the burger patties with chopped mushrooms. This simple swap will help cut back on calories and saturated fat while still delivering delicious flavor. Serve with baked sweet potato fries for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Some tips for making the perfect burger:

  • Use lean ground beef or turkey for the meat portion of the patty.
  • Add chopped mushrooms to the meat mixture for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Shape the patties into even, round shapes to ensure even cooking.
  • Cook the patties on a preheated grill or stovetop griddle for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  • Serve on a whole grain bun with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, and avocado.

For the sweet potato fries:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Cut sweet potatoes into thin, even slices.
  • Toss with a small amount of olive oil and seasonings of your choice, such as salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Spread the fries out on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy and tender.
  • Serve alongside your burgers for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Old-Fashioned Meatloaf

This meatloaf recipe includes mushrooms, garlic, and oats for added nutrition. Serve with sweet potatoes and green vegetables for a satisfying comfort food dinner.

Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Looking for a hearty and easy dinner recipe that both kids and adults will love? Try these cheeseburger stuffed baked potatoes! Skip the bun and load up on all your favorite cheeseburger ingredients such as beef, cheese, tomatoes, red onions, and lettuce. You can even swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or tofu crumbles. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and scrub 4 medium-sized baking potatoes.
  3. Poke each potato with a fork a few times to allow steam to escape while baking.
  4. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Meanwhile, brown 1 pound of ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Once the beef is cooked through, drain any excess fat and stir in 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup of diced red onions.
  7. Cut a slit down the center of each baked potato and gently mash the insides with a fork.
  8. Stuff each potato with the beef mixture and top with shredded cheese.
  9. Return the potatoes to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  10. Serve with shredded lettuce and your favorite condiments on top of each potato.

Enjoy your delicious cheeseburger stuffed baked potatoes!

Beefy Stuffed Shells

Jumbo pasta shells are filled with a savory mixture of beef, mushrooms, and spices. Baked in tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese, this Italian-style dish is a satisfying dinner ready in under an hour.

Ingredients Instructions
Jumbo pasta shells Cook according to package instructions
Ground beef Brown in a skillet with diced mushrooms and spices
Tomato sauce Spread a layer in a baking dish
Stuffed shells Fill each shell with beef mixture and place in dish
Remaining tomato sauce Pour over shells
Shredded cheese Sprinkle over top
Bake Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly

Veggie-Filled Meat Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Looking for a healthy and gluten-free alternative to pasta? Try this recipe for veggie-filled meat sauce with zucchini noodles! In this dish, crisp-tender zoodles and sautéed mushrooms are served with a meaty tomato sauce. By swapping out traditional pasta for zucchini noodles, you’ll be serving up more vegetables and nobody will miss the pasta!

Beef and Vegetable Sandwiches

If you’re looking for a hearty and healthy sandwich option, beef and vegetable sandwiches are a great choice. Made in the slow cooker, these sandwiches are similar to sloppy joes, but with more vegetables. Here are some key points to keep in mind when making beef and vegetable sandwiches:

  • Use lean ground beef to keep the dish healthy.
  • Add plenty of vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, and carrots, for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Use whole grain buns to make the sandwich even healthier.
  • To save time, prepare the beef and vegetable mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the sandwiches.

With these tips in mind, you can create a delicious and nutritious meal that everyone in your family will love.

Italian Meatball Soup

This traditional Italian soup has been lightened up with vegetables and lean meatballs while still retaining its delicious flavor. Save some for a tasty casserole later.

Quick Pasta Bolognese

Looking for a delicious and healthy meal that’s quick to prepare? Try this crowd-pleasing spaghetti Bolognese recipe that’s ready in just 40 minutes.

  • Perfect for busy cooks
  • Healthy and satisfying
  • Easy to make with simple ingredients

To make this dish, you’ll need spaghetti, ground beef, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and a few spices.

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
  4. Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices.
  5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve the sauce over the cooked spaghetti and enjoy!

This quick and easy pasta Bolognese is a perfect meal for any night of the week. It’s packed with flavor and nutrition, and it’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Try it today and see for yourself how delicious and satisfying it can be!

Mexican Beef and Corn Skillet Peppers

Simmer sweet bell peppers with ground beef, corn, and Mexican-style seasonings. Stuff the mixture into the peppers and top with goat cheese for a hearty dinner that doesn’t require an oven.

Meatball Lasagna

If you’re looking for a hearty and healthy meal, try this meatball lasagna. Made with whole-wheat noodles, low-fat cheeses, and light pasta sauce, it’s a deliciously satisfying casserole.

Farmers’ Market Sliders

Grill up your fresh vegetables from the farmers’ market and stack them as toppings on these healthy sliders. Bell peppers also make a great addition.

Ingredients Instructions
Slider buns Grill buns until lightly toasted
Veggie patties Grill patties according to package instructions
Fresh vegetables Slice and grill vegetables
Condiments Add your favorite condiments
Stack Assemble sliders with veggies on top of patties
Serve Enjoy your healthy and delicious sliders!

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Peppers

Enjoy a delicious and filling dinner with these savory-and-sweet stuffed peppers. Each bite is packed with lean beef, brown rice, and bell pepper. For a nutritious side dish, sauté rainbow chard with olive oil, garlic, and parsley.

Barbecue Meatball Soup

This hearty soup is perfect for a cool fall day and can be ready in just one hour. Made with tender meatballs and a savory barbecue broth, it’s sure to warm you up and satisfy your hunger. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Ingredients:
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 cups beef broth
    • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
    • 1 can diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup frozen corn
    • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Instructions:
    1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well combined.
    2. Shape the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
    3. In a large pot, bring the beef broth, barbecue sauce, and diced tomatoes to a boil.
    4. Add the meatballs to the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.
    5. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
    6. Add the frozen corn and peas to the pot and let the soup simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
    7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Pineapple-Bacon Barbecue Burgers

For a taste of Hawaii at your next barbecue, try these burgers made with lean ground beef, bacon, and crushed pineapple. Baked to perfection and served on Hawaiian sweet rolls with barbecue sauce, these burgers are sure to impress your guests.

Cuban Beef Picadillo over Plantain Mash

You can enjoy a delicious and versatile Cuban dish by cooking ground beef with tomatoes and olives. This variation of picadillo is typically served over plantains, which are similar to bananas but more starchy. However, you can also serve it over rice or potatoes for a different twist. Try this easy recipe for a flavorful and satisfying dinner.

Ingredients Instructions
Ground beef Cook in a skillet until browned
Tomatoes Add to the skillet and cook until softened
Olives Add to the skillet along with capers and raisins
Plantains Boil until tender, then mash and season with butter and salt
Serve Spoon the picadillo over the plantain mash and enjoy

Zucchini Parmesan

For a twist on eggplant Parmesan, use long, straight zucchini to hollow out and stuff with meat sauce mixed with scooped-out zucchini flesh. No waste in this dish!

Stuffed Delicata Squash

In this Tex-Mex-seasoned stuffed delicata squash recipe, you can replace half of the ground beef with bulgur to reduce saturated fat while still maintaining the amount of stuffing. Serve it with a mixed green salad with cilantro vinaigrette to add some extra flavor and nutrition.

Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Upgrade your classic baked beans side dish by adding lean ground beef to turn it into a superfast hearty casserole. This easy and fast dinner option can also be made with ground turkey or sausage. However, be mindful of the sodium content and enjoy this meaty main meal.


When it comes to preparing diabetes-friendly ground beef dinners, there are many options available. Incorporating plenty of vegetables and whole grains into your meals can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Opting for lean ground beef and using cooking methods such as grilling or broiling can also help reduce the fat content of your meals. Consider trying recipes such as stuffed bell peppers, beef and vegetable stir-fry, or beef and barley soup for delicious and nutritious dinner options.

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