An easy and quick meal: ground beef and potatoes skillet with zucchini and herbs.
GROUND BEEF AND POTATOES SKILLET WITH ZUCCHINI
This zucchini beef skillet is one of those meals put together on a Sunday afternoon, when you actually have nothing planned and you just start searching your fridge and freezer in search of something to eat.
I actually plan our weekly meals, I love to do it every Saturday or Sunday evening, I like searching for recipes featuring whatever happens to be in season, keeping a balance between new things I would love to try and things I know my kids and my husband would like to eat.
It makes it easier and economical when buying the food for the week, it helps me avoid buying too much and ending up throwing away food.
But every week when planning meals I tend to leave out the Sundays. We are often not at home on a Sunday, we like doing something with the kids outside the house, visiting friends, going on short trips or whatever.
As most of these activities are quite spontaneous and greatly depending on the weather, there are quite a few Sundays when we don’t do anything special after all and stay at home, playing games, reading, watching a film or receiving friends.
And when that happens, I kind of despair thinking about lunch or dinner… Many times we decide to eat just spaghetti with pesto or tomato sauce, I always have some homemade jars of pesto in the freezer or tomato sauce in the pantry.
But this time, I found more in the fridge than just an opened jar of pesto. So there it was, a quick and thoroughly delicious Sunday lunch with ground beef, potatoes and zucchini.
INGREDIENTS FOR ZUCCHINI BEEF SKILLET
- You will need 2-3 zucchini, depending on size, about 450 g/ 1lb.
- This ground beef and potatoes skillet can be made with either leftover cooked potatoes or freshly boiled potatoes.
- If you cook the potatoes, cook them in their skin, drain and let cool until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes, then slice or cube them.
- You can cook this zucchini beef skillet with only ground beef or with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork. The second version will have more calories, but it will taste just as good.
- As mentioned above, this ground beef, potatoes and zucchini skillet is a dish born from me looking in the fridge and using whatever I happened to find there.
- As I had some leftover heavy cream and a little crème fraiche, I added them to the zucchini beef skillet as well. It was a good idea, the dish became richer and creamier and was just perfect for my children. They ate everything on their plates, didn’t even mind the zucchini.
- If you only have heavy cream or only crème fraiche, don’t stress about, you can use only one of the two. Or you can replace them with sour cream and a splash of milk, for instance, if that is what you have.
- I used fresh summer savory and chives because I had them in the garden. However, feel free to use whatever herbs you have, for instance parsley, dill or a mixture of frozen herbs.
HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI BEEF SKILLET?
I cooked the ground beef, potatoes and zucchini dish in my cast iron pan. This pan is perfect for this kind of dishes, however, if you don’t have it, a regular large non-stick pan will be fine as well.
- Cook the potatoes, drain, let cool slightly, peel, slice or cube. Use leftover boiled potatoes, if you have some.
- Heat the oil, add the ground beef and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the finely chopped onion and garlic. Continue cooking until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Half the zucchini lengthwise and slice the halves. Chop the bell pepper.
- Add both to the skillet and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the broth, cover the pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are done to your liking. Add the potatoes and reheat them.
- Add cream and crème fraiche, chopped herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Stir carefully.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH GROUND BEEF, POTATOES AND ZUCCHINI?
MORE SKILLET RECIPES?
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Ground Beef, Zucchini and Potatoes
- 1 lb potatoes See note 1
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 lb zucchini
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup single or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons crème fraiche See note 2
- a few sprigs fresh summer savory or thyme See note 3
- small bunch of chives
- fine sea salt and black pepper
- Potatoes: If you don't have any leftover potatoes, start by cooking the potatoes. Let cool slightly, peel, cube, or thickly slice them. Set aside.
- Chop: Finely chop the onion and the garlic cloves.
- Cook ground beef: Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the ground beef and stir for a few minutes until the meat changes color.
- Add the onion and the garlic and cook until the onions are translucent and the ground beef lightly browned for about 5 minutes.
- Chop vegetables: In the meantime, halve the zucchini lengthwise and slice the halves. Chop the bell pepper into cubes. Add both to the skillet and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Simmer: Add the broth, cover the pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are done to your liking.
- Add the potatoes and reheat them.
- Add cream, crème Fraiche, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Stir carefully and serve immediately as suggested above.
- Leftover boiled potatoes can be used instead.
- The heavy cream and crème fraiche can be replaced with about 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ slightly more than ½ cup sour cream and a splash of milk
- You can use other fresh or frozen herbs instead, for instance parsley, dill or any other (frozen) herb mixture you like.