This healthy spin on ground beef and mashed potatoes uses a few shortcut ingredients to make a high protein meal you can have on the table in about 30 minutes. Extra lean ground beef is cooked with an umami onion and mushroom gravy and served over a lower calorie potato and cauliflower blend. Each serving has nearly 30 grams of protein with just 335 calories and 23 grams of carbs.
There are tons of modifications you can make to my recipe, so I’ll walk you through the ingredients and potential substitutes below. You’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post if you’re a Kinda Healthy Recipes regular.
Ingredients for Easy Ground Beef and Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Let’s start with the shortcut ingredients—refrigerated mashed potatoes and cauliflower. I first used these options individually to make ground chicken shepherd’s pie and cottage pie, and it saves SO much time.
As for the nutrition facts, I think you’ll be surprised how macro friendly both options are. Especially the potatoes, which have 140 calories, 3g of protein, 19g of carbs, and just 6 g of fat per serving. Not bad, right?
If you have trouble finding either product in stores, I bet you can find frozen mashed cauliflower. And you can find plenty of instant mashed potatoes options in the dry goods aisles.
I’ve also included a couple recipes in the recipe card’s notes section in case you want to make your own homemade versions and skip the pre-made options.
As for the ground beef part of the equation, all you’ll need is a couple pounds of extra lean ground beef, sliced mushrooms and yellow onion, beef broth or water, brown gravy mix (homemade substitute), and a couple of additional seasonings.
In case you’re wondering, ground turkey or chicken would work great as a replacement for beef here. You could even swap the gravy mix and beef broth for a bit of butter, flour, white pepper, and milk to make a white gravy (like my chicken sausage gravy). Or for an easier option, you might try the condensed soup like in my turkey shepherd’s pie recipe.
If you have picky eaters in your house, the gravy should work fine without the onion and mushroom. Though you may need to slightly adjust the amount of broth used. Start with two cups and add as needed.
Aside from that, there aren’t many ingredients to worry about swapping out. Feel free to leave a question about ingredient substitutions in the comments at the bottom of this post if you have one.
Making Meal Prep Bowls
This recipe makes a beaucoup of hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes, making it a great option for meal prep. Or if you have a huge dinner squad, this should feed the whole crew, especially with a side dish or two.
The first pairing I’d go to would be the same thing I used for my ground bison meal prep bowls—air fried broccoli. To make it, I spray about 12 oz of bite-size broccoli florets with avocado oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Then I air fry the broccoli at 350ºF for 6-8 minutes.
Air fried vegetables are an ideal option here since this is a quick recipe. Here’s a handful of other options:
You could also go with non-roasted vegetable options like green peas, sautéed spinach or mustard greens, or just serve with a fresh side salad.
Regardless of how you end up serving your mashed potatoes and ground beef, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the recipe. Let me know in a recipe review or comment. And be sure to let me know if you have an awesome side dish or pairing for this recipe!
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 pounds Extra Lean Ground Beef
- 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
- 8 oz Sliced Mushrooms
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 packets Brown Gravy Mix
- 3 cups Beef Bone Broth (or your choice of liquid)
- 2 Tablespoons Coarse Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
For the Lower Calorie Mashed Potato Blend (see notes for substitutes)*
- 24 oz package Mashed Potatoes
- 24 oz package Mashed Cauliflower
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground beef and brown one side for 4-5 minutes before breaking apart and adding the onion and mushrooms. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have fully softened and the ground beef is fully cooked.
- Add the gravy mix and stir until its no longer visible before adding the broth. Bring to a simmer and add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir everything together and simmer until the gravy slightly thickens. (It will continue to thicken as it cools.)
- For the mashed potato blend, add the mashed potatoes and cauliflower to a large bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes until heated through.
- Serve the ground beef with onion and mushroom gravy over the mashed potatoes blend and garnish with fresh parsley or chives.
*I used Bob Evan's or Kroger brand refrigerated mashed potatoes and cauliflower. You can also find frozen mashed cauliflower options. If you want to make your own, you can make lower calorie mashed potatoes (no cauliflower) with fat free Greek yogurt or make your own mashed cauliflower and potatoes blend. I also have a low carb potato swaps guide you can check it out to find other non-cauliflower ways to make healthier mashed potatoes.
Nutrition Facts Notes
You can use strictly mashed cauliflower to reduce the calories further or use exclusively mashed potatoes if you have carbs to spare in your diet. You can also use a 32 oz family size container of mashed potatoes if you'd like more mashed potatoes per serving.
The ground beef and gravy mixture has 1,580 calories, 208g of protein, 57g of carbs, and 50g of fat on its own without any mashed potatoes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 7 oz of ground beef and gravy with 3/4 cup mashed potatoes blend
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gProtein: 29g