Friday, August 27, 2021

Ground Beef and Squash Skillet

A quick and easy skillet meal made with ground beef, fresh tomatoes, rice and summer squash and finished with shredded cheese.

Ground Beef and Squash Skillet


Y'all probably already know that I am into skillet meals. They're quicker than their more involved counterparts - like my skillet jambalayagumbolayaskillet lasagna or ziti, and great for busy weeknights.

Like a lot of you, I also love summer squash, but mostly it gets pushed into being either a snack or a side, rather than a featured dish. This version makes it more main dish with the addition of ground beef and rice, though it's really a very versatile dish. Well drained canned or thawed frozen mixed vegetables or corn may also be added to expand it even further.

You can use leftover cooked rice, or even pasta, adding that toward the end, or even omit it for a more carb friendly meal. I'm also using fresh tomatoes since it's summertime, but canned works fine and I really enjoy using Rotel tomatoes when I go the canned route.


I also noticed that there are several of my time-saving, favorite kitchen tools included in these photos, so I've also included links to Amazon for those of you who may wish to check them out. Deep South Dish is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below.

Here's how to make my Ground Beef and Squash Skillet.

Chop up the onion, bell pepper and garlic.


Peel tomatoes. If you don't have one of these soft skin peelers, you should get one because you can skip that old fashioned boiling then peeling thing. They are fantastic for both tomatoes and peaches. That Rada branded tomato knife is also a nice addition to the kitchen and makes cutting up tomatoes so easy.


Lightly brown beef in a large, lidded skillet, breaking up as you go. The cookware I'm using here is by Curtis Stone, and I absolutely adore his products. As a food website, I have gone through quite a lot of non-stick cookware because it just doesn't really hold up. I am super impressed with this brand.  The meat chopper pictured is another favorite kitchen tool I use all the time. Drain off any excess fat if using a higher fat beef.


Add the veggies and garlic, stir together, cover skillet and let cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are mostly tender.


Trim and chop up the squash. There's another Rada knife! I'm telling y'all... these are really great knives. I have quite a few and I always reach for them first.


You'll want fairly consistent cubes.


Add squash, tomatoes, seasonings, rice and water. I am using instant rice, which is what I prefer for quicker skillet meals like this. I keep some on hand for that very reason in fact! You can use whatever rice you prefer, of course, but understand that I tested this recipe with instant rice, so the liquid ratio considerations are written for that and you would need additional liquids in some form. You could also use precooked, leftover rice, stirring it in at the end. If you want to add in thawed frozen or canned corn or mixed vegetables, add them here.


Stir well and turn heat up to high until steamy. 


Reduce to medium, cover and cook about 15 to 18 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender. Toss with a fork, taste and adjust seasonings. Since squash is so neutral in flavor, seasonings matter, so don't skip this step to taste!!


Sprinkle top with cheese and remove from heat.


Cover until cheese has melted.


Ground Beef and Squash Skillet

Ground Beef and Squash Skillet

Yield: About 4 to 6 Servings
Author: Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
A quick and easy skillet meal made with ground beef, fresh tomatoes, rice and summer squash and finished with shredded cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (any color)
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 large squash or zucchini, cubed (for about 3 cups)
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped, juices retained (for about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper or Creole/Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Lightly brown beef in a large, lidded skillet. Drain off excess fat if using a higher fat beef.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cover skillet and let cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until mostly tender.
  3. Add squash, tomatoes, seasonings, rice and water; stir well and turn heat up to high until steamy.
  4. Reduce to medium, cover and cook about 15 to 18 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender. Toss with a fork, taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Sprinkle top with cheese, remove from heat and cover until cheese has melted.

Notes:

I used 95% lean ground beef, though any higher fat ground beef may be used for extra flavor, or use a mixture of ground beef with a good raw sausage. I recommend breakfast sausage, bratwurst or Italian sausage. Just be sure to drain off any excess fat before proceeding. Swap out herbs to personal preferences. Squash is very neutral and takes on other flavors, so be sure to taste and adjust seasonings before adding the cheese. Substitute Rotel tomatoes or plain diced tomatoes for the fresh. Omit rice for a lower carb version, or substitute cooked pasta, stirred in at the end. Add in other vegetables as desired.


For Southwestern-Style: Use Rotel for the fresh tomatoes, add 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/8 cup chopped pickled jalapeno pepper and 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro.

Yellow Squash,Ground Beef,Squash,Ground Beef Recipes,Summer Squash,Fresh Tomatoes,Canned Tomatoes,Rotel,
Main Dish
American
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