Quick and Healthy Ground Meat Dinner Solutions

By JoAnna Anderson Brown, Nutritional Therapist


Like most busy moms, I’m always looking for simple, nutritious dinners that will feed my whole family.  That’s a tall order with three picky little boys!  To add to that, my husband is gluten intolerant, and we both try to stick to a ketogenic (low carb, high protein/fiber) lifestyle.  We go through a lot of ground meat in our home, and here are a couple of my go-to ground turkey/beef recipes.  I almost always have the ingredients for these dishes on hand, so I can easily whip them up on the fly on a busy weeknight.

Meatloaf Bell Pepper Rings 

meatloaf pepper rings

Your go-to turkey or beef meatloaf recipe ingredients: I often use a variation of this recipe.
2 Bell peppers, any color
2 cups of your favorite salsa
3 tbs shredded cheese (optional)

Preparation Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with wax/parchment paper for easy clean up.  Prepare peppers by cutting off the tops and bottoms and slicing into 3 thick rings. Place the rings on the cookie sheet.  (If you want, you can dice up the remaining parts of the bell peppers and add them to your meat mixture, or add them to a side salad.)
  • Prepare meatloaf mix in a large bowl.  Stuff each pepper ring with meat, leaving a little mound on top.
stuffed bell peppers

Put a new spin on your mom’s meatloaf recipe!

  • Heat oil in an oven-safe pot over medium heat (I use my cast-iron skillets for easy transfer to the oven, but you could use a regular skillet and then transfer to a casserole dish for the oven).  Brown each stuffed pepper ring for about 4 minutes on each side.
  • Pour salsa over each stuffed pepper ring and transfer to oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Top with cheese and bake for 3 more minutes.  Serve and enjoy.
meatloaf pepper ring

You could also top your peppers with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese for an Italian flavor.

A lean and green dinner!

            A lean and green dinner!

Mexican Zucchini Boats

mexican zucchini boats

Skip the tortilla and try this low-carb, gluten-free one-dish wonder!

1 pound ground organic turkey or grass-fed beef
taco seasoning to taste (I use Trader Joe’s)
1 10 oz can of original Rotel, juice drained
3-4 zucchinis, cut in half length wise
3 tbs shredded cheese (optional)
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Preparation Instructions:

  • Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add taco seasoning and Rotel and mix well. Once thoroughly cooked, drain any excessive grease/juice.
  • While meat is cooking, wash and prepare the zucchinis.  Use a small spoon or melon baller to hollow out the centers of the zucchini halves to form boats.
  • Transfer zucchini boats to casserole dish and fill each one with the meat mixture.  Top with cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.
  • Garnish with avocado chunks, serve and enjoy.

Jazz up your hum-drum meatloaf and taco nights with these fun recipes!