A plate of food on a table, with Pie

Ground Beef Entrees Cheap, Fast … Good!

As food prices continue to soar, I am more convinced now than ever that given the right recipes, we can cook a wonderful meal from scratch at home and have it on the table in the time it would take to decide on a restaurant or take-out, drive there, place the order, wait for it, pay for it and drive back home. The operative words here are “the right recipes.”

Today, I want to share with you my family’s favorite “right recipes,” each one built on one pound of ground beef (or ground turkey) using very few, if any, processed ingredients—plus my recipe for Master Mix! That will make sense as soon as you check out the first recipe below, Upside-Down Hamburger Pie.

A plate of food on a table, with Pie and Ground beef

If you can get the meat on sale, fabulous. But if not—and even if you opt for a $6 pound of lean organic ground beef—each of these entrees will still come in at less than $10 total, and feed six hungry people. That’s less than $1.75 per serving.

See what I mean? Cheap, fast … good!

Upside-Down Hamburger Pie

This is a family favorite at our house. It’s delicious, it’s comforting, but even more than that, kids love it! I’ve been making this since our boys were little, and that’s a lotta’ years. It never disappoints and comes out perfect every time. Don’t you love that kind of cooking confidence?

Served with a salad, Upside-Down Hamburger Pie makes a great meal. I hope you’ll give it a try soon. I’m going to predict it will find a regular spot in your meal planning.

 

A plate of food on a table, with Pie
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4 from 3 votes

Upside-Down Hamburger Pie

This is a family favorite at our house. First, it's delicious but more than that, it's comforting and kids love it!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 499kcal
Cost: $8

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 1 10 ¾ oz. can tomato soup
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups Bisquick or Master Mix (see NOTE 1)
  • 2/3 cup milk or water if using Master Mix (see NOTE 2)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • In a large frying pan or skillet, sauté onions in the olive oil, add beef (or turkey if you prefer) and brown well. Drain off excess fat, if any.
  • Add drained chilies, tomato soup (do not dilute); oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Heat through. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick and milk (or Master Mix and water) into a dough. Roll out to the size of the skillet in which you've prepared the meat mixture. Place this on top of the meat mixture.
  • Move the skillet into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the biscuit top is lightly browned. (If your skillet has a wood handle, wrap the handle with aluminum foil).
  • Remove from the oven and carefully place a heatproof platter or plate on top of the skillet. Carefully, holding on to both the skillet and the platter, turn it over so that the entire contents of the skillet are upside down on the platter or plate.
  • Top with grated cheese, return to oven until cheese is melted. Don't take your eyes off of it as this will happen quickly!
  • Remove from oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve, pie fashion.

Notes

  1. You have the option to use Bisquick or homemade Master Mix, which can make yourself for a lot less money! You will find the recipe and instructions for Master Mix at Everydaycheapskate.com/mastermix.

Nutrition

Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1070mg | Potassium: 635mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 266mg | Iron: 3mg

Master Mix

Here it is, my homemade version of Bisquick—which is so much cheaper and better than Bisquick. This recipe makes 30 cups of mix so make sure you start with a really big container!

 

A piece of cake sitting on top of a wooden cutting board
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5 from 1 vote

Master Mix

Here it is, my homemade version of Bisquick—which is so much cheaper and better than Bisquick. This recipe makes 30 cups of mix so make sure you start with a really big container.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 min
0 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 120 .25 cup mix
Calories: 156kcal

Equipment

  • Very large bowl or container with lid

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds all-purpose flour, about 17 cups
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered dry milk
  • 3/4 cup double-acting baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 2/3 cups solid vegetable shortening like Crisco

Instructions

  • Sift dry ingredients together.
  • Cut in shortening until the mix looks like cornmeal.
  • Store at room temperature in a large container that has a tightly fitting cover (like Snapware or Tupperware) in a cool dark place like the pantry, for up to six months. Makes 30 cups.

Notes

You can substitute Master Mix for any recipe calling for Bisquick. Just make sure you substitute water for any milk required in the recipe (because the milk is already in the Master Mix!)

What to do with all that Master Mix?

I'm so glad you asked!

One dozen biscuits

  • 3 cups Master Mix
  • 3/4 cup water
Blend and knead a few strokes. Roll out and cut biscuits with a round biscuit cutter, into squares or diamond shapes. Bake 10 minutes at 450 F.

Dumplings

Use the same measurements as for biscuits. Drop into hot liquid of choice. Cook 10 minutes uncovered and an additional 10 minutes covered.

One dozen muffins

  • 3 cups Master Mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
Mix water and egg; add dry ingredients. Add optional items such as blueberries, chocolate chips, nuts and so forth, as desired. Bake in muffin cups for 25 minutes at 450 F.

Four dozen drop cookies

  • 3 cups Master Mix
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup nuts or chocolate chips
Place Master Mix, sugar, egg, water and extract in a large mixing bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Fold in nuts and or chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls on prepared greased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 F.

9-inch round coffee cake:

  • 3 cups Master Mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup water
Blend all ingredients and pour into a greased 9-inch cake pan. Cover with topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Optional: Add 1/2 C nuts or raisins to the topping mix. Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes.

18 medium pancakes or 6 waffles

  • 3 cups Master Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 egg
Blend only until barely incorporated. Prepare pancakes or waffles as usual.

One 8-inch square gingerbread

  • 2 cups Master Mix
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Beat the egg together with the water and molasses. Mix well with dry ingredients until all are incorporated. Pour into a greased 8-inch square cake pan. Bake 40 minutes at 350 F.

One 8-inch square cornbread or muffins

  • 1 1/4 cups Master Mix
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Mix all ingredients until fully incorporated. Pour into greased pan or muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes at 400 F.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 156kcal

Asian Beef and Rice

Fast, inexpensive, and super delicious, here’s one more way to use a pound of ground beef to make a great meal.

A bowl of food on a tray, with Beef and Rice
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4 from 3 votes

Asian Beef and Rice

Fast, inexpensive, and super delicious—this Asian inspired skillet meal is just awesome!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 6
Calories: 390kcal
Cost: $8

Ingredients

  • cups beef broth, or 2 cans 14-ounce
  • 1 cup long-grain raw rice
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh button mushrooms
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or plain white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • ½ cup frozen green peas, optional
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

Instructions

  • In a sauce pan with a cover, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add rice, stir and reduce heat to Low. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in an extra-deep skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrots and mushrooms. 
  • Add the beef to the skillet and cook, turning and breaking up the meat, until it is crumbled and browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain excess fat, as necessary. 
  • Add garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar and ginger. Stir well and reduce heat to low. Add peas (if using) and sesame oil. Stir.
  • Add the cooked rice and stir until thoroughly combined. Serve at once, passing additional soy sauce at the table, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 1166mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg

Beef Lettuce Wraps

You might think of lettuce wraps as an appetizer in your favorite restaurant—possibly one of your best memories at this very moment! Good news! You can make this at home with healthy ingredients and feed the whole family for less than that one restaurant appetizer.

 

A bunch of food on a plate on a table, with Lettuce and Wrap
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4 from 2 votes

Beef Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are such a way to serve a healthy entree that even the kids will love!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 6
Calories: 274kcal
Cost: $8

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 2-inch pc fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 scallions (green onions), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 head lettuce, Boston or Iceberg leaves separated, cleaned and dried

Instructions

  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and sauté beef until brown.
  • Stir in ginger, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, optional red pepper flakes, and hoisin and cook for 1 minute. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Season with salt and pepper 
  • Serve warm wrapped in lettuce cups.

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1038IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg

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5 replies
    • Lorrie says:

      I’m not keen on shortening either as it’s all soybean oil. Butter could be used or a good brand of lard. But it would need to be refrigerated or frozen to not get rank.

      Reply

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