5 Simple Dinner Ideas Using Beef

Five simple dinner ideas using beef; yes, easy weeknight dinners for family, words every mom wants to hear! I’m giving you everything you need to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less — including a grocery list, prep guide, and five quick and easy dinner recipes the whole family will love.

*If you’re having trouble seeing the video above, try turning off or pausing your ad-blocker. If you prefer, you can also view this ‘5 Simple Dinner Ideas Using Beef’ video on YouTube here

Simple Dinner Ideas.

Three words every mom wants to hear, right?!

You LOVED this How to Meal Prep A Week of Dinners series I published earlier in the year, and now I’m SO excited to introduce you to part 2 of the series: five simple dinner ideas using beef!

When the Minnesota Beef Council reached out to partner on these easy weeknight dinners, I was thrilled because I’m all about beef right now. If you’ve been following me on social media you know we’re expecting baby #2! Pregnancy tends to give me an aversion to most proteins, except beef. So literally ‘Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.’ has rang true in our house throughout the last 14 weeks.

Not only has beef sounded good to this growing belly, but it’s also a great source of high-quality protein. But did you also know that beef provides 10 essential nutrients required by your body EVERY single day?!

Including Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Choline, Phosphorous, Zinc, Protein, Selenium. Beef is also a great source of Iron, which is particularly important for my family {because both my son and I struggle with low iron levels}.

5 Simple Dinner Ideas Using Beef

But if I’m completely honest, cooking with beef intimidated me when I first started navigating the kitchen! My fears:

  • Cooking with beef is ‘more work’.
  • Cook times are longer than other protein sources.
  • What cut of meat am I supposed to use?

And that’s exactly why I created this meal plan, grocery list and prep guide for 5 simple dinner ideas using beef. To show you that easy weeknight dinners can include beef AND be made in 30 minutes or less. 

This meal plan was created by a busy mom {that’s me} for other busy moms {you}, and it’s all about getting dinner on the table FAST! Made possible with meal prep hacks AND convenient shortcuts. There’s NO SHAME in pre-chopped veggies and steam-in-bag brown rice, those are some of my easy weeknight dinner staples.

Tips + Tricks for Cooking with Beef

I’m sharing several of my tips and tricks in the video above, but here’s a few things that made me feel more comfortable cooking with beef:

  • If you’re intimidated by all the different cuts of beef: Talk to your butcher behind the meat counter! Truly — they’re the experts, and they’ve always been so willing to help in my experience! They’re also great at recommending cuts that are more budget-friendly, easily offering substitute cuts of meats based on what’s on sale that week {which I really appreciate}.
  • If you’re unsure how to cook beef or know when it’s ‘done’: a meat thermometer is your new best friend. You probably already have one sitting in your drawer that you bust out once a year for the Thanksgiving turkey. But this is by far the easiest way to guarantee you’re cooking your beef perfectly! You can use these standards provided by the U.S. Department of Health as a guideline. Additionally, each recipe below includes the appropriate internal beef temperature for cooking.

Cooking with Beef | Easy Weeknight Dinners

Now let’s dive into the meal plan!

5 Simple Dinner Ideas Using Beef

I’m giving you all the resources you need to knock out a week’s worth of simple dinner ideas, including: 

  1. A printable weekly meal plan — including five easy weeknight dinner recipes using beef. Click the recipe name within the PDF to get direct access to each recipe on mnbeef.org!
  2. A printable grocery list — including everything you need to make all five dinner recipes. Note, this meal plan and grocery list feeds my family of 3 {2 adults with big appetites and 1 toddler}, but feel free to edit this grocery list to fit your family’s needs.
  3. A printable, step-by-step meal prep guide — outlining exactly what you need to do each day of the week to execute this meal plan.
  4. Five quick and easy dinner recipes — all recipes can be found at mnbeef.org and made in 30 minutes or less if you follow this plan.

Of course, you don’t have to follow this meal plan to a ‘T’. You can always add 1-2 of these recipes to your weekly menu.

Watch the full video at the top of this post to get my insider tips on exactly how I execute these 5 simple dinner ideas for my family. Then scroll down to find more details on each of the 5 quick and easy dinner recipes.

Download the complete ‘5 Simple Dinner Ideas Using Beef Guide’ as one single document here — including the weekly meal plan, grocery list, and prep guide.

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes using Beef

5 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes

Here are the five easy weeknight dinner recipes that accompany the above meal plan. I’ve added notes below each recipe to show you how I personally make each recipe, typically adding more veggies or modifying steps to make the recipes easier {and possible to make in 30 minutes or less}.

Day One: Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef with Green Beans

Shredded BBQ Beef Sandwiches | Simple Dinner Ideas

I tend to have the most time at home for hands-on food prep on Sundays, so Sunday is my most intensive meal prep day. I also love to break out the slow cooker on Sundays because I can throw ingredients in after church and have dinner ready by 6pm. Not to mention, the slow cooker is great for cooking for a crowd if you like to get together with friends and family on Sunday.

I recommend making a double batch of this Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef recipe to build up your freezer supply for those nights you don’t want to cook.

You can find this full Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef recipe here, but here’s how I personally modify the recipe to make it my own:

  • Butcher’s suggested meat cut: shoulder roast or chuck roast.  
  • Double batch. Cook once and eat twice with leftovers for the freezer, or use for sandwiches for lunches for the week or to top salads.
  • Use pre-made sauce. I’m obsessed with Primal Kitchen’s BBQ Sauce — it’s delicious and has a super clean ingredient list!
  • Switch up the sides. If I’m making this for my family, I serve it with roasted green beans with almond slivers. If I had a crowd coming over, I would serve the shredded beef on hamburger buns as sandwiches with a coleslaw salad and fresh fruit.
  • Toddler tip: Serve on a bun as a sandwich, or give them thicker pieces of the shredded roast with a side of BBQ sauce that they can ‘dip’ the meat into.

Sunday Meal Prep To-Do’s:

These are additional meal prep items I complete to set myself up for a successful week and make Monday and Tuesday night’s dinner a lot easier.

Day Two: Classic Beef + Veggie Kabobs

Steak Kabobs | Easy weeknight dinners for family

Hands down my FAVORITE meal on the menu, and my absolutely favorite meal since I was a kid — KABOBS!

Mondays are typically my busiest work days, so having the kabobs prepped from Sunday makes Monday night a breeze. And I love making these on Mondays because the leftovers make great meal prep steak and veggie salads for the weekday lunches.

I know I mentioned my personal iron deficiency earlier in this post, but did you know that approximately 2 billion people worldwide are nutritionally iron deficient? Women are especially affected by iron deficiency due to menstruation, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Incorporating animal sources of protein into your diet like beef, is one potential way to help correct iron deficiency.

You can find the full Beef + Veggie Kabob recipe here, but here’s how I personally make it my own:

  • Butcher’s suggested meat cut: top sirloin or steak tips.
  • Prep on Sunday, grill on Monday. Chopping veggies and pre-assembling skewers makes this an achievable 30-minute meal on Monday night!
  • Customize your skewers! I add mushrooms and cherry tomatoes to my skewers and stick to peppers and zucchini for husband. Kabobs are also fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen, letting them ‘build their own.’
  • Make extra. I always make extra kabobs as it’s my favorite meal and they are great for throwing over a bed of greens for a simple grilled steak and veggie salad for lunch meal prep, especially with Primal Kitchen Balsamic or Greek Dressings.
  • Use a pre-made seasoning mix. Paleo Powder seasonings are my personal favorite seasoning with no unneccessary additives.
  • Grill or broil. Because I live in Minnesota, I’ve mastered both the grill and broil. Whenever we get the chance to grill kabobs, we do {targeting an internal temperature of 145°F to 160°F for the beef}. But if I can’t grill, I’ll broil kabobs in a broiler pan {still targeting that same internal temperature of 145°F to 160°F for the beef}. 
  • Repeat and remix. You can make this meal several weeks in a row without getting bored by mixing up the veggies and seasonings — like with this Citrus Kabob recipe!
  • Toddler Tip: I remove the steak and cut it into smaller chunks for my toddler — but he loves picking the veggies off the skewers himself.

Monday Meal Prep To-Dos:

Day Three: Steak + Black Bean Soft Tacos

Steak and Black Bean Tacos | weeknight dinner ideas

Taco Tuesday!

You can find the full Steak + Black Bean Soft Tacos recipe here, but here’s how I personally make it my own:

  • Butcher’s suggested meat cut: bottom round steaks or top sirloin {I used top sirloin since I bought it in bulk}.
  • Add fajita style veggies. I like to pre-chop peppers and onions on Sunday when I’m already chopping peppers for the kabobs.
  • Customize toppings. Totally up to your personal preference. My husband insists that every taco needs corn, I insist every taco needs avocado — do what your family likes.
  • Use small flavor boosters. I always add fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The little things go a long way.
  • Switch up the shell. You could always serve in lettuce wraps, soft or hard shells, or over tortilla chips to change things up.
  • Toddler tip: I cut the meat into smaller, more shredded chunks for my toddler but he loves eating tacos just like us.

Tuesday Meal Prep To-Dos:

  • Optional: Use leftover taco ingredients to meal prep Southwest-style steak salads for lunches for the week.

Day Four: Leftovers/Eat Out

The goal of these weeknight dinner ideas and meal plan is to give you a realistic approach to weeknight dinners. And we all need a night off from the kitchen!

This ‘leftover or optional eat out night’ doesn’t have to be day four for you, but that’s typically what works best for my family and our event schedule. We either scrounge for leftovers from previous nights, pull out that BBQ shredded beef from the freezer {or previously prepared meals from the freezer}, or eat out.

Day Five: Asian Beef Stir-Fry

Asian Beef Stir Fry | quick and easy dinner recipesFor this recipe I’m again using top sirloin steaks, similar to Monday night’s Kabobs and Tuesday night’s tacos. Multiple meals can be made from one cut of beef. Making multiple meals from one cut can help you stay on a budget and reduce food waste.

You can find the full Asian Beef Stir-Fry recipe here, but here’s how I personally make it my own:

  • Butcher’s suggested meat cut: top sirloin.
  • Use a pre-chopped stir fry vegetable mix. Because it’s easy! You can always chop your vegetable stir fry mix too, or pick up a frozen stir fry veggie mix.
  • Use pre-made sauce. I use Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce or coconut aminos.
  • Use steam in bag brown rice. This is just a short cut I’ve gotten used to taking, unless I batch cook rice or quinoa on Sundays.
  • Toddler tip: I cut the meat into smaller chunks for my toddler. And accepted I just have to be ok with him making a mess with rice 🙂

Thursday Meal Prep To-Dos:

  • None! Unless you want to peel and chop sweet potato wedges for Friday night’s dinner!

Day Six: Classic California Burger with Sweet Potato Wedges

California Burgers | Simple Dinner Ideas

After a week of workouts, I love a good burger and sweet potato fries!

After intense exercise or physical training, high-quality protein supports muscle recovery and repair. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides between 25-30 grams of high-quality protein, which is the optimal amount to help active individuals recover from exercise {Minnesota Beef Council}. 

You can serve these burgers on buns for a more traditional recipe, or serve on top of a salad similar to this recipe. I highly recommend serving alongside sweet potato wedges.

You can find the full Classic California Burger recipe here, but here’s how I personally make it my own:

  • Butcher’s suggested meat cut: ground beef {93% lean or leaner}.
  • Add sweet potato wedges or ‘fries’. Get my personal favorite recipe below!
  • Grill or cook stovetop. Again, whenever we get the chance to grill burgers, we do {targeting an internal temperature of 160°F}. But if I can’t grill, I’ll cook them in a cast iron grill skillet over the stove. You could always pan-fry stovetop as well {still targeting that same internal temperature of 160°F for the beef}. 
  • Top burger to your preference. I love stacking it all on — lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, avocado…the sky is the limit {or I should say the size of your mouth is the limit}.

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges or Fries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious, healthy side. Baked sweet potato wedges or fries are the perfect combo of salty and sweet!
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Dinner
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Medium-to-Large Sweet Potatoes
  • Avocado Oil OR Coconut Oil {drizzle or spray}
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel and slice sweet potatoes lengthwise into wedges.
  3. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray, or line with parchment paper. Arrange wedges in even layer on baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle or spray with avocado or coconut oil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until crisped to your desire.

 

Day Seven: Leftovers/Eat Out

Again, the goal of this meal plan is to make it your own. This doesn’t have to be day seven for you, but it’s another night to scrounge for leftovers from previous nights, pull previously prepared meals from the freezer, or eat out before re-stocking the fridge for the upcoming week.

Whether you’re using these five simple dinner ideas for recipe inspiration, or following the full 7-day meal plan; I hope you love these quick and easy dinner recipes as much as my family does!

If you’re looking for more easy weeknight dinners for family, be sure to check out this previously posted 7-Day Weeknight Dinner Meal Plan

Easy Weeknight Dinners

My Favorite Weeknight Dinner Kitchen Essentials:

These are some of my of my favorite kitchen essentials and accessories used to prepare this simple dinner idea guide.

This post does include affiliate links and I earn a small commission on each purchase. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love.

Minnesota Beef Council

The Minnesota Beef Council is dedicated to strengthening beef demand by responsibly providing a safe, wholesome, healthy and delicious eating experience.

The Minnesota Beef Council is funded and managed by beef farmers and ranchers. The Council provides beef promotion, marketing, research and education programs for beef and beef products.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Minnesota Beef Council. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love, making the content you see on this blog possible.

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