46 Toddler-Friendly Ground Beef Recipes for Busy Weeknights
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I’ve rounded up 46 ground beef and ground turkey recipes that are toddler-friendly! These are quick and easy recipes that work great for busy weeknights.
You can easily sub out the ground beef in each of these simple recipes for ground turkey, or vice versa.
For a healthier option chose lean ground beef or ground turkey at the grocery store to use in each of the following family-friendly meals.
Toddler-Friendly Pasta Recipes With Ground Beef
Check out these toddler-friendly pasta dishes that use ground beef or ground turkey. Remember you can just easily swap these two out in each recipe! Serve with roasted veggies or a green salad for healthy side dishes.
#1: Pasta Bolognese
“This pasta bolognese is a savory meat sauce tossed with spaghetti and served with parmesan and fresh basil. A classic Italian meal that always gets rave reviews and is perfect for feeding a crowd!” – Dinner at the Zoo
Get the easy ground beef recipe for Pasta Bolognese by Dinner at the Zoo here.
“A healthier yet authentic take on comfort food, turkey bolognese is lower in fat but still ultra rich, saucy, and flavorful.” – Mae’s Menu
Get the recipe for Turkey Bolognese Pasta Sauce by Mae’s Menu here.
This Ground Beef Stroganoff is a creamy and delicious combination of ground beef, veggies, and egg noodles.
Get the recipe for Ground Beef Stroganoff here.
This Beef and Tomato Pasta is super easy to make with only 4 ingredients needed!
Get the recipe for Beef and Tomato Pasta here.
“Creamy Beef and Shells is a delicious and hearty pasta dish similar to the hamburger helper, ready in just 30 minutes. This is perfect for a quick dinner for the whole family! It is rich, flavorful, and cheesy and even kids will love it!” – Sweet + Savory Meals
Get the recipe for Creamy Beef and Shells by Sweet + Savory Meals here.
“This Ground Beef Pasta recipe is an easy 30 minute meal that you can make with any kind of pasta. Your family will love the creamy, cheesy, Italian sauce!” – The Cozy Cook
Get the recipe for Ground Beef Pasta by The Cozy Cook here.
“This Cheeseburger pasta is made with seasoned ground beef and pasta in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce with bacon and a hint of ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, and Worcestershire sauce for the perfect balance of cheeseburger flavor!” – The Cozy Cook
Get the recipe for Cheeseburger Pasta by The Cozy Cook here.
Related: How Much Should My Toddler Eat? The Complete Guide to Toddler Portion Sizes
Toddler-Friendly Casserole Recipes With Ground Beef
Casseroles are a super easy dinner recipe to throw together on busy nights. You can even prep the delicious casserole the night before or the morning of and throw it in the fridge. Then all you have to do at dinner time is throw it in the oven. Make ahead casseroles are essential for my weekly meal prep.
#8: Cottage Pie
This recipe for Cottage Pie is super similar to Shepherd’s Pie! I love this recipe because the flavors are mild enough to make it toddler-friendly!
Get the recipe for Cottage Pie here.
I love this Turkey Taco Casserole because it’s packed with everything you love about taco night, but 1000x easier for little ones to eat!
Get the recipe for Turkey Taco Casserole here.
I love to top this recipe with sour cream, green onions, and fresh tomatoes.
#10: Johnny Marzetti – Ground Beef Noodle Casserole
“Johnny Marzetti is a baked noodle dish prepared with ground beef and tomato sauce. Top it with your favorite cheese.” – Masala Herb
Get the recipe for Ground Beef Noodle Casserole by Masala Herb here.
#11: Easy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe (with freezer option)
Everyone, especially kids, loves a good casserole packed with tater tots.
“Your family will love this easy recipe for tater tot casserole with ground beef! It’s the perfect dinner (or even breakfast) to serve to children or guests, and you can even use it as a make-ahead freezer meal.” – Saving Talents
Get the recipe for Easy Tater Tot Casserole by Saving Talents here.
#12: Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Check out this delicious alternative to classic Shepherd’s Pie made with ground beef + veggies + sweet potatoes (in place of white potatoes).
Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie by The Nessy’s Kitchen here.
“This Stuffed Pepper Bake combines beef, bell peppers, onions, and rice with a tasty tomato-based sauce and cheese that is baked in the oven until it’s warm and bubbly. Simply delicious!” – Cooking With Fudge
Get the recipe for Stuffed Pepper Bake by Cooking With Fudge here.
#14: Easy Pizza Casserole
“An incredibly delicious and simple pizza casserole bake with rotini, ground beef, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.” – Bitz + Giggles
Get the recipe for Easy Pizza Casserole by Bitz + Giggles here.
Related: 20 Easy & Healthy Snacks to Feed Your Growing Toddler
Toddler-Friendly Meatloaf Recipes
Meatloaf is just one of those staple delicious dinner recipes everyone has. Here are some variation recipes using ground beef and ground turkey that the entire family will love! Break out the muffin tin and make mini meatloaf muffins – perfect for toddlers!
#15: Meatloaf Muffins “Old Fashioned” Mini Meatloaf Recipe
These delicious little mini meatloaves are perfect for family dinners! Plus you can make ahead to make for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Get the recipe for Meatloaf Muffins “Old Fashioned” Mini Meatloaf here.
#16: Classic BBQ Meatloaf Cups
“These Classic BBQ Meatloaf Cups will surely become a family favorite! With ground beef, onion, garlic, and herbs and a balsamic vinegar, ketchup and brown sugar glaze, they’re flavorful, easy to make and really the best meatloaf recipe out there.” – The Healthy Epicurean
Get the recipe for Classic BBQ Meatloaf Cups by The Healthy Epicurean here.
#17: Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf
“This turkey meatloaf recipe is moist and full of flavor, with minimal preparation! It’s the perfect recipe to turn meatloaf haters into meatloaf lovers!” – Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Get the recipe for Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures here.
#18: Air Fryer Turkey Meatloaf
“Air fryer turkey meatloaf is one of the easiest healthy dinners in your air fryer. These healthy mini meatloaves are made with organic ground turkey, carrots, celery, onion, and a perfect mix of dry spices.” – Sava’s Kitchen
Get the recipe for Air Fryer Turkey Meatloaf here.
#19: BBQ Beef and Quinoa Baby Meatloaf Muffins
“These BBQ Beef and Quinoa baby meatloaf muffins make a delicious, healthy, and protein packed dinner. Baked in muffin tins and super easy to prepare, you can serve this mini kid-friendly meatloaf as a main dish or make it ahead of time as a freezer meal! Super moist and made without breadcrumbs.” – Haute + Healthy Living
Get the recipe for BBQ Beef and Quinoa Baby Meatloaf Muffins by Haute + Healthy Living here.
#20: Mini Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
“These mini turkey meatloaf muffins with apple make the perfect protein and iron-rich snack for both little ones and adults. Great for school lunches, snacks and as a finger food for babies! Can also be prepped ahead of time and stored in the freezer for a quick and easy snack on the go!” – Haute + Healthy Living
Get the recipe for Mini Turkey Meatloaf Muffins by Haute + Healthy Living here.
Related: 5 Tips for Your Child Who Refuses to Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Hidden Veggie Recipes for Picky Toddlers With Ground Beef
I am a SUPER fan of hidden veggie recipes for not only my own kiddos but also to recommend to moms who are struggling to get their picky eaters to eat their veggies! You can easily take some of their favorite foods and sneak in some veggies.
Check out some of these quick ground beef recipes with sneaky veggies.
#21: Baby Carrot Turkey Meatballs
You know I’m a HUGE fan of hidden veggie recipes! These oven-baked Baby Carrot Turkey Meatballs are great for both babies + toddlers.
Get the recipe for Baby Carrot Turkey Meatballs by Feeding Bubs here.
#22: Turkey and Zucchini Burgers
Sneak in some healthy green veggies – zucchini + green onion – with these flavor packed turkey and zucchini burgers!
Get the recipe for Turkey and Zucchini Burgers here.
“Add some green to these juicy, beef meatballs with zucchini. Get your veggies and meat all in one delicious bite! Super kid friendly, 15 minutes of prep and simmered in sauce to perfection–dinner is served!” – Lemon + Zest
Get the recipe for Zucchini Beef Meatballs by Lemon + Zest here.
Toddler-Friendly Skillet Meals With Ground Beef
Skillet meals are super easy because they usually don’t take too long and only require one pan! I don’t know about you but I hate dishes so that also saves you time after dinner is over!
#24: Ground Turkey and Potato Skillet with Broccoli
“This healthy Ground Turkey and Potato Skillet with broccoli makes for a nutritious, delicious, and nourishing one pan meal in around 40 minutes. It’s gluten free, high fiber, high protein, and easy to make!” – iFoodReal
Get the recipe for Ground Turkey and Potato Skillet with Broccoli here.
#25: Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
“Turkey sweet potato skillet is an easy main dish dinner that the whole family will love! with cumin, chili powder, and cheese, this mexican-inspired skillet is flavorful, comforting, and hearty. a great healthier comfort food meal!” – Mae’s Menu
Get the recipe for Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet here.
#26: Healthy Skillet Shepherd’s Pie
Check out this healthy twist on a comfort classic. Healthy Skillet Shepherd’s Pie is perfect for dinner in a pinch – ready in just under 30 minutes!
Get the recipe for Healthy Skillet Shepherd’s Pie by A Paige of Positivity here.
#27: Easy Ground Beef and Rice Skillet
“This kid friendly Easy Ground Beef and Rice Skillet recipe takes just 7 basic ingredients, is budget friendly and deliciously satisfying! What’s not to love?! One of our favorite simple ground beef recipes.” –Thrifty Frugal Mom
Get the recipe for Easy Ground Beef and Rice Skillet by Thrifty Frugal Mom here.
#28: Easy Ground Beef and Potato Skillet
“This one-pan ground beef and potato recipe may be made with just a few simple ingredients but that doesn’t mean that it’s not full of flavor and delicious! Plus, it’s also hearty, budget-friendly, and ready in just 45 minutes. A weeknight dinner the whole family will love!” –Thrifty Frugal Mom
Get the recipe for Easy Ground Beef and Potato Skillet here.
#29: Super Easy Skillet Lasagna
“A quick and easy meal idea for the work week, this no-fuss skillet lasagna recipe has all the goodness and flavor of a baked lasagna but can be prepared in half the time.” – Sustain My Cooking Habit
Get the recipe for Super Easy Skillet Lasagna by Sustain My Cooking Habit here.
#30: American Goulash Recipe (One-Pot)
“American Goulash is an easy, one-pot, classic comfort food made with ground beef, tomatoes, and macaroni noodles. Enjoy year-round, and delicious leftover, this irresistible Goulash Recipe is guaranteed to win over even the pickiest eaters!” –The Forked Spoon
Get the recipe for American Goulash by The Forked Spoon here.
Related: 9 Low-Sugar Fruits That Are Best For Your Toddler
Toddler-Friendly Instant Pot Recipes With Ground Beef
Our Instant Pot is one of our most used kitchen appliances because it makes our favorite meals super easy and quick. Plus I can’t tell you how many times I forget to defrost the meat for dinner, so I know I can cook it there fairly quickly!
#31: Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs
These Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs are easy-to-make, filling, and healthy. You only need 9 ingredients and they’ll be ready in 30 minutes!
Get the recipe for Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs by Joy Filled Eats here.
#32: Instant Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff
“This is the easiest Instant Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff recipe because it is so fast and effortless without skimping on any of the comforts this delicious signature dish is known for. It’s a 30-minute pressure cooker family meal that has all of the classic flavors and creamy textures of the traditional recipe. This healthier version is the BEST!” – iFoodReal
Get the recipe for Instant Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff by iFoodReal here.
#33: Instant Pot Hamburger Helper
“Instant Pot Hamburger Helper is one of the easiest comfort meals that you can make in less than 30 minutes! It’s flavorful, filling and will give you needed energy to enjoy your day!” –Nourish Plate
Get the recipe for Instant Pot Hamburger Helper here.
#34: Instant Pot Beef and Shells
“This easy, one-pot recipe turns ground beef and pasta into a creamy, cheesy dinner!” –Eating In An Instant
Get the recipe for Instant Pot Beef and Shells by Eating In An Instant here.
#35: Delicious Instant Pot Hamburger with Cheese | Copycat In N Out Burger
“These Instant Pot Hamburgers with Cheese are super easy to make and are the ultimate Copycat In N Out Burger! You’ll feel like you’re eating fast food by topping the burger with homemade In N Out sauce!” –Kim + Kalee
Get the recipe for Instant Pot Hamburgers with Cheese by Kim + Kalee here.
#36: Instant Pot Ground Beef And Rice
“Delicious one-pot meal which is perfect for busy weeknight dinners! Huge meal for the whole family. So cheesy, creamy, and savory – and so good.” –Corrie Cooks
Get the recipe for Instant Pot Ground Beef and Rice by Corrie Cooks here.
Related: The Best Organic Vitamins For Your Toddler – According To A Nutritionist (2022)
Other Delicious Ground Beef Recipes for Toddlers
Check out these other fun and healthy recipes using ground beef or ground turkey that your toddler will love!
These Meatball Pita Pockets are a fun take on Italian meatballs. Your toddler will love munching down on these tiny sandos.
Get the recipe for Meatball Pita Pockets here.
#38: DIY Ta-Cones: Fun, Healthy & Portable Taco Cones
Make taco night fun and portable! These easy-to-make taco cones (ta-cones) are easy to make ahead for busy weeknight dinners!
Get the recipe for DIY Ta-Cones by Two Healthy Kitchens here.
”Sloppy Jane recipe is a healthy cross between chili and Sloppy Joes that makes great sandwiches. This is a hearty sandwich made with ground turkey or ground chicken so it is lighter and lower in calories.” –Plowing Through Life
Get the recipe for Sloppy Jane Sandwiches by Plowing Through Life here.
“Stuffed peppers are healthy, tasty and popular with kids and adults alike. Since you can batch and freeze them they are ideal for the busy parent.” – Clan Kitchen
Get the recipe for Healthy Stuffed Peppers by Clan Kitchen here.
#41: Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats
“Stuffed zucchini with meat and cheese, baked in a casserole dish with a flavorful tomato sauce.” – Masala Herb
Get the recipe for Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats by Masala Herb here.
“An easy recipe using ground beef, canned cheddar cheese, and salsa to make the best burritos at home! Ready in minutes!” -Fantabulosity
Get the recipe for Beef and Cheese Burritos by Fantabulosity here.
#43: Slow Cooker Hamburger Hash
“Slow cooker hamburger hash is a decadent mash-up of ground beef and shredded potatoes covered in cheesy goodness. This easy, budget-friendly dish is picky-eater approved and will disappear fast!” –The Lazy Slow Cooker
Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Hamburger Hash by The Lazy Slow Cooker here.
#44: Turkey Gyro Pockets with Tzatziki Sauce
“Turkey Gyro Pockets with Tzatziki Sauce – the great taste of a gyro made healthier with turkey in a bite-size crescent roll. These will be great to serve for the big game, at your next party, as the main course and fun for the kids to eat.” – 365 Days of Baking + More
Get the recipe for Turkey Gyro Pockets by 365 Days of Baking + More here.
#45: Beef Enchiladas
“This beef enchiladas recipe is seasoned ground beef wrapped in flour tortillas and topped with red enchilada sauce and cheese, then baked to perfection. The absolute best enchiladas you’ll ever eat!” –Dinner At The Zoo
Get the recipe for Beef Enchiladas by Dinner at the Zoo here.
#46:Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe(Copycat)
“From the famous Texas Roadhouse restaurants, I bring to you our Texas Roadhouse Chili recipe. Thick, savory and with a slight heat, you can make this copycat recipe at the comfort of your own home for your whole family.” – Sugar Spice
Get the recipe for Texas Roadhouse Chili by Sugar Spice here.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Hopefully, this list of kid-friendly ground beef recipes has provided you with some inspiration on what to make for dinner with that ground beef you have sitting in your fridge or freezer.
Want more meal ideas for your toddler? Download my FREE guide: Superfoods for Babies + Toddlers!