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Saving Money · Macaroni Goulash + 40 Easy, Money-Saving Ground Beef Dinners

Macaroni Goulash + 40 Easy, Money-Saving Ground Beef Dinners

Today’s post is dedicated to the humble, yet oh-so-versatile, “pound of ground beef!” I don’t know what I would have done without this invaluable money-stretcher when my kids were little and money was tight. But beyond money, a pound of ground beef (or turkey) can also save time in the kitchen because it cooks up so quickly. You can save even more time by pre-cooking your ground meat and freezing it! Click here to find out how to brown meat in the crockpot.

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite ground beef recipes passed down to me from my Dad who used to make it for a bunch of hungry firefighters when he was a young man working for the Long Beach, California fire department many, many years ago. It has definitely stood the test of time!

And after THIS recipe….make sure you check out the 39 OTHER ways to use a pound of ground beef or turkey! I thought I’d made it every way imaginable….but even I was surprised at all the great ways you can cook it up!

Related: 11 Easy Ways To Make Your Next Meatloaf Unbelievably Good

Firefighter’s Macaroni Goulash


  • (1) 13 oz box elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
  • salt and pepper
  • (1) 15 oz can whole corn, drained
  • (1) 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • (2) 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Cook the macaroni noodles according to the package directions.

While the macaroni cooks, brown the ground beef in a large pot. Season with garlic powder, minced onions, salt and pepper.

Add the canned corn, cream of mushroom soup, and tomato sauce, and 1 1/2 cups of cheese to the ground beef. Cook over medium/low heat until warmed through.

When the macaroni finishes cooking add it to the ground beef mixture.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the ground beef mixture and put a lid on the pot.

Cook over low heat until the cheese is melted.

Here are 39 more ideas for easy ground meat dinners from my site and around the web!

Korean Ground Beef from OGT
One Good Thing by Jillee

30-Minute Mini Meatloaves
One Good Thing by Jillee

Healthy Taco Casserole Makeover
Life in the Lofthouse via One Good Thing by Jillee

Grandma’s Five-Bean Hot Dish
One Good Thing by Jillee

One Pan Unstuffed Bell Peppers
No. 2 Pencil via One Good Thing by Jillee

Simple One Pan Skillet Enchiladas
One Good Thing by Jillee

Cheesy Crockpot Meatloaf
One Good Thing by Jillee

Baked Tacos
One Good Thing by Jillee

Super Simple Championship Chili
One Good Thing by Jillee

My Favorite Meatloaf
The Pioneer Woman

Crockpot Picadillo
Skinny Taste

Crock Pot Italian Fagioli Soup
Against All Grain

Healthy Asian Lettuce Wraps
Apple of My Eye

Eggroll in a Bowl
Mostly Homemade Mom

Quick and Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff 
Terrell Family Fun

Easy Cheesy BBQ Beef and Biscuit Casserole 
Sweet C’s Designs

Broccoli Taco Bowl
The Best Blog Recipes

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
Primavera Kitchen

Chili Rellenos Casserole
Hello Homebody

Turkey and Spinach Quinoa Casserole
i Food Real

Southwest Stuffed Squash
Skinny Mom

Beef Taco Quinoa Salad Bowls
Inside Bru Crew Life

Taco Stuff Zucchini Boats
Skinny Taste

Sour Cream Rice Bake
Buns in My Oven

Taco Salad
Closet Cooking

Shepherd’s Pie
Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Sweet Potato and Ground Beef Pie
The Healthy Foodie

Taco Potatoes
Life in the Lofthouse

Healthy 30 Minute Sriracha Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
Baker by Nature

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey Over Rice
The Weary Chef

Quick and Easy BBQ Cups
Yummy Healthy Easy

Greek Tacos
Mountain Mama Cooks

Curried Ground Turkey with Potatoes
Simply Recipes

Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir-Fry with Basil and Peppers
Kalyn’s Kitchen

Baked Sloppy Joes
Six Sister’s Stuff

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Chili 
Crockpot Gourmet

Ground Beef Lo Mein
The Midnight Baker

Homemade Hamburger Helper
Farmgirl Gourmet

Taco Pasta
Plain Chicken

What is your favorite ground meat dinner?


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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