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40 Diabetic-Friendly Ground Beef Recipes

These diabetic-friendly ground beef recipes are economical and easy to cook. From meat loaf to sloppy joes, you’ll find all new favorites your family will love.

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Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole

One of our favorite comfort-food dinners is spaghetti and meatballs. We’re crazy about this lighter, healthier version that features so many veggies. It has the same beloved flavors with more nutritious ingredients! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Beef & Bulgur-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

My mom frequently cooked the giant zucchini that she grew in her garden. I adapted this recipe from one of her favorite weeknight meals. Though I love the taste of fresh-picked zucchini, the ones I've bought from the grocery store work great, too.—Susan Peterson, Blaine, Minnesota.
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Greek Sloppy Joes

Feta is one of my favorite kinds of cheese. It's delish in a burger, but it truly shines in this Mediterranean-style sloppy joe. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Orange Beef Lettuce Wraps

This is a lighter version of a restaurant favorite. I also recommend trying these wraps with ground chicken or turkey.—Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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Beef Barley Skillet

This versatile dish goes together fast since it's made with quick-cooking barley. You can make it with ground turkey or chicken and any color bell pepper that you have on hand. —Irene Tetreault, South Hadley, Massachusetts
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Italian Beef Vegetable Soup

This hearty vegetable beef soup features a ton of fresh veggies, making it the perfect dish to use up all that summer produce. It's also fantastic during cooler weather! Make sure you serve this Italian soup with some breadsticks, rolls or flaky biscuits. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Easy Cuban Picadillo

My girlfriend gave me this delicious recipe years ago. I’ve made it ever since for family and friends, and they all love it. My daughter loves to take leftovers to school for lunch the next day. —Marie Wielgus, Wayne, New Jersey
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Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers

For extra flavor, I sometime add beef bouillon to the dish while the peppers bake. It also steams them a little. If also make these with ground chicken or turkey; then I'll use chicken bouillon instead. —Hope Huggins, Santa Cruz, California
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Juicy & Delicious Mixed Spice-Burgers

We like trying to make "street foods" at home, perfecting recipes for dishes like gyros and these spiced burgers, known as kofta. — Anne Henry, Toronto, Ontario
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Meatball Cabbage Rolls

My mother often had these cabbage rolls simmering in her slow cooker when my family and I arrived at her house for weekend visits. The mouthwatering meatballs tucked inside made these stand out from any other cabbage rolls I've tried. —Betty Buckmaster, Muskogee, Oklahoma
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Zucchini Lasagna

We plant zucchini every year and always seem to have more than we can use! This hearty zucchini lasagna is a delicious way to use our abundant crop. —Charlotte McDaniel, Williamsville, Illinois
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One-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage

Here is one of my favorite ways to cook and enjoy cabbage. It has all the good flavor of regular cabbage rolls, but it's a lot less bother to make. In fact, it's a one-pot meal! —Mrs. Bernard Snow, Lewiston, Michigan
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Arrabbiata Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

This popular Italian dish is flavorful and spicy. We decided to re-create one of our favorite jarred sauces and serve over zucchini pasta for a lighter, healthier meal that's naturally gluten-free. The results were amazing! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Texas Tacos

I created this recipe by combining a bunch of taco ingredients that my kids like. Once it’s ready, I often keep the beef mixture warm in a slow cooker so the kids can quickly fill taco shells after an afternoon of rigorous soccer practice. —Susan Scully, Mason, Ohio
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Korean Beef and Rice

A friend raved about Korean bulgogi, which is beef cooked in soy sauce and ginger, so I tried it. It's delicious! You'll dazzle the table with this tasty version of Korean beef and rice. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Salisbury Steak Supreme

When I was running late one night, a go-to recipe of my mom's popped into my head. Now it's one of my husband's favorites. It also makes a fast and satisfying solution for what to serve unexpected company. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey
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California Burger Wraps

I love the way these fresh flavors blend. It's a snap to throw these wraps together for a quick, healthy lunch. The burgers can also be served on buns if you like. —Rachelle McCalla, Atlantic, Iowa
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Italian Hot Dish

My husband had a poor perception of healthy food until he tried this beefy casserole. The combination of pasta, oregano, mushrooms and green peppers makes it a favorite healthy pasta recipe in our house. —Theresa Smith, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Hamburger Casserole

This hamburger casserole recipe is such a hit it's traveled all over the country! My mother originated the recipe in Pennsylvania, I brought it to Texas when I married, I'm still making it in California, and my daughter treats her friends to this oldie in Colorado. It's hearty, yet simple to prepare. —Helen Carmichall, Santee, California
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Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce and Tomato

I have reduced grains and other starches in my diet due to health reasons, so I was looking for filling, comforting meals without pasta or potatoes. When I was tinkering with this spaghetti squash recipe, I discovered something fun to eat! —Becky Ruff, Mc Gregor, Iowa
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Mom's Spanish Rice

My mom is famous for her Spanish rice recipe, the ultimate comfort food. When I want a taste of home, I whip up this dish. Punch up the flavor with a little lime and extra chili powder. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Family-Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta

I created this cheeseburger pasta recipe to satisfy a craving. What a delicious, healthy classic! —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota
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Hearty Pita Tacos

You don't need to skimp on flavor when trying to eat healthy. Our 9-year-old daughter enjoys helping us make these tasty tacos, and likes eating them even more. —Jamie Valocchi, Mesa, Arizona
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Easy Hamburger Soup

Lunches on the run will be a little tastier with this hot and hearty beef and barley soup. The recipe is very simple to prepare. —Mary Prior, Rush City, Minnesota
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Skillet Beef Tamales

I found something similar to this years ago and have recently added my own spin. Here’s the outcome: an easy, cheesy meal your family can't get enough of. We don't have to tell them it's healthy. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Fall Vegetable Sloppy Joes

I make this dish in the fall and sneak grated vegetables into the sloppy joe mixture, which is especially good for children who don’t like to eat their vegetables! Just walk away and let the slow cooker do all the work. Top the filling with a little shredded cheese before serving. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Spaghetti Pie

A classic Italian combination is remade into a creamy, family-pleasing spaghetti pie. This recipe was given to me several years ago. My family never grows tired of it. — Ellen Thompson, Springfield, Ohio
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Feta Mushroom Burgers

I got this recipe from my son-in-law and I tweaked it to make it healthier. The burgers are so quick to whip up on the grill on busy nights. —Dolores Block, Frankenmuth, Michigan
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Couscous Meatball Soup

This soup will warm you up and takes just 25 minutes of prep time, making it a perfect weeknight meal. —Jonathan Pace, San Francisco, California
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Firehouse Chili

As one of the cooks at the firehouse, I used to prepare meals for 10 men. This firehouse chili recipe was among their favorites. —Richard Clements, San Dimas, California
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Beef Lentil Soup

You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. On cold winter evenings here in New England, I've often enjoyed sipping a steaming mugful in front of our fireplacel. —Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts
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Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs

My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts
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Beef Barley Lentil Soup

I serve this soup often to family and friends on cold nights, along with homemade rolls and a green salad. For variety, you can substitute jicama for the potatoes. —Judy Metzentine, The Dalles, Oregon
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Tortilla Pie

My husband and I enjoy this southwestern take on lasagna because it’s not as dense or heavy as traditional layered dishes made with pasta. Our two daughters enjoy the mild flavor. —Lisa King, Caledonia, Michigan
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Beef & Black Bean Soup

I lead a busy life, so I'm always trying to come up with timesaving recipes. This zippy and colorful soup is one of my husband's favorites. It has been a hit at family gatherings, too. —Vickie Gibson, Gardendale, Alabama
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Sweet Potato Stew

Beef broth and herbs complement the potatoes' subtle sweetness in this hearty stew that's perfect for fall. — Helen Vail, Glenside, Pennsylvania
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Italian Beef and Shells

A veggie and pasta combo makes a hearty entree that comes together easily. Wine lends an extra touch of flavor to the sauce and makes this main dish a winner. —Mike Tchou, Pepper Pike, Ohio
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Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.