I’m not a big fan of once a month cooking sessions but I do like to keep my freezer full in other ways. One of the best ways is buying meat in bulk, portioning out into family-sized portions and freezing. All the better if you can precook anything to make meal planning and dinnertime easier!
One of my laziest method for freezer cooking requires almost no work! What you’ll need:
- A club-sized package of ground beef (generally around 6-7 pounds)
- Kitchen scale or measuring cups
- A burger press (or your hands!)
- Burger patty container or a cookie sheet, waxed paper, and a large freezer bag
- Crock pot
- Mix ‘n chop masher (I LOVE this kitchen utensil!), large spoon or pastry blender
- Medium-sized freezer bags and a permanent marker
The first step is to divide the package of ground beef into 1 pound sizes.
Making Buger Patties
Use a scale or a measuring cup to portion out the ground beef (1 cup = 1/2 pound).
After you have it portioned out it’s time to get your hands a bit messy. Use two pounds to make hamburger patties. I like to divide one pound into 4 equal pieces – that makes a good-sized burger. Use a burger press or your hands to make 8 patties from 2 pounds of ground beef.
Put the burgers into hamburger patty containers if you have them or line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and put the patties on the waxed paper. Put the pan in the freezer and flash freeze. Once the burgers are frozen, cut the waxed paper between each frozen patty.
Stack the burgers in a freezer bag, keeping a square of waxed paper between each (these steps make it much easier to just grab the number of burgers you need instead of having one frozen mass of ground beef). Label the bag and put it in the freezer.
Cooking Ground Beef To Freeze
Now the messy part is out of the way! Next you’ll want to grab your slow cooker, put the remaining 4-5 pounds in, give the meat a good smash with the potato masher or a large spoon (or a pastry blender!), cover, and let cook on high for about 3 hours (maybe more depending on the heat of your crock pot).
Every hour or so give the ground beef another quick mix with the masher, breaking up the larger pieces.
Once the ground beef is cooked drain, rinse with cool water, and let cool completely. Portion out into 1 and 2 cup portions, label the bags, press out the excess air, and freeze. You now have 8 burger patties and 4-5 pounds of ground beef all cooked and ready for a meal!
There are so many ways to use cooked ground beef for quick dinners. If you’re at a loss for ways to use that pre-cooked ground beef, find some great recipes below!
17 Meal Ideas Using Precooked Ground Beef
When life gets busy I am so glad that I have a freezer filled with prepped or precooked ingredients, making my meal prep so much quicker. One of the ways I keep my freezer stocked is with precooked ground beef and chicken.
That way, I can throw together a quick casserole, pasta sauce, or sandwiches. Half the work is already finished when I have my freezer well-stocked!
But sometimes I look at that package of hamburger or chicken and wonder what in the world I’m going to do with it. Thankfully, with today’s technology, I’m only a few clicks away from some great recipes!
Below you’ll find 17 recipes and ideas that will be quick from stove or oven to table if you have a few packages of pre-cooked ground beef in the freezer!
1. Ground Beef Casserole
This simple ground beef casserole only takes between 50-60 minutes to make, and is full of flavour. Cook macaroni noodles, brown off your ground beef (don’t forget to drain it), mix melted butter, flour and milk to make a sauce, and place the whole lot into an oven dish.
Add in a tin of mixed vegetables and some grated cheese. Stir the mixture together, and top off with more grated cheese before placing it in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees (standard oven). This recipe is great for creating multiple portions for freezing, or for feeding a large group.
Find the recipe at MomsConfession.com
2. Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Peppers add so much flavour to everything they are added to, and the same is true for this casserole recipe. Start off by browning off your ground beef, drain it and set it to one side. In a separate pot, fry diced pepper and onion in olive oil until they are softened.
To this sauté add diced tomatoes, tomato puree or sauce, sweetcorn, and spices of your choice. Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it simmer for around five minutes.
Stir in some cooked rice and your browned ground beef. Pour the mix into a baking dish, top off with cheese, and bake in the oven until the cheese forms a melted layer.
Find the recipe at Mostly Homemade Mom
3. Slow Cooker Enchiladas
This enchilada recipe takes advantage of the slow cooker’s versatility. Brown off your ground beef and drain it. For ease, place a small layer of pre-made enchilada sauce at the bottom of the slow cooker pot, then lay some tortillas on top.
Add more sauce, then add some of the ground beef mixed with kidney beans. Stir this together, being careful not to tear the tortillas. Add more tortillas on top, followed by another layer of beef and beans.
Keep on doing this until you are happy, and top the whole lot off with grated cheese. Then allow the slow cooker to do the hard work, before serving when you are ready.
Find the recipe at Frugal Family Home
4. Shepherd’s Pie
This simple 30 minute shepherd’s pie recipe is perfect for producing a tasty evening meal. Start by boiling potatoes and mashing them when soft. Add in light cream and melted butter, then stir.
Sauté diced onions and add ground beef. Fully cook this, season if you wish, and leave it to one side to cool. Place a layer of the beef mixture on the bottom of an oven dish, spread it out, then a layer of the mashed potato and some creamed style corn.
Repeat this process until content. Add seasoning to the top layer (salt, pepper and paprika are a great combination), and bake for around 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Find this recipe at Four Generations One Roof.
5. Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
This is a great fusion of Italian, American, and traditional English flavours. Brown off ground beef in a pan, drain it, and add onions and garlic. Cook together, and drain off any excess fluid.
Add in chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Stir well, and let it simmer for around an hour, keeping it covered with a lid.
Once the sauce is ready, either mix in with cooked pasta or serve on top of cooked pasta for a delicious meal.
Find the recipe at A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.
6. Amish Ground Beef & Noodle Casserole
This interesting take on the casserole is warming, nutritious and exceptionally tasty. To begin, stir sour cream, cottage cheese, onion, and parsley together in a small bowl, and set to one side. Cook some noodles separately, and place to the side.
Brown off some ground beef, drain it, and stir in tomato paste. Add tomato sauce, oregano, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, and let it simmer for five minutes. In an oven dish layer the meat sauce followed by noodles, then a layer of the sour cream mixture.
Repeat this as often as you like, finishing off with a layer of the meat sauce. Bake in the oven for approximately one hour, adding grated cheese towards the end if you wish.
Find the recpie at Jam Hands.
7. Taco Casserole
This is a wonderful Mexico inspired version of the traditional casserole. Brown off ground beef, drain, and add onion, salt and pepper. Cook together, and drain off any excess fluid.
Add pre-made (or homemade if you can) taco seasoning, water, tomato sauce, and corn. Let it simmer for five minutes, then pour the mixture into an oven dish. Sprinkle crushed corn chips (tortilla chips) cover the top, and press them in a bit.
Cover the dish and bake for around 30 minutes. Remove the dish and add a layer of grated cheese, then bake for a further 10 minutes. Top with salad of your choice, and enjoy.
Find the recipe at Classical Home Making.
8. Stuffed Peppers
This is a simple and delicious Italy inspired stuffed pepper recipe. Slice the tops off peppers and remove the seeds, then dice the pepper tops. Add the diced pepper, onion, tomato, garlic, and oil to a pan and fry or sauté them for around 10 minutes.
Separately brown off some ground beef and drain. Add tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt to the sautéed vegetables, then simmer for a few minutes.
Add the ground beef to the vegetable mixture and stir well. Stuff the resulting mixture into your peppers, then place them in the oven for around 30 minutes. Top each pepper with cheese (preferably mozzarella) then bake for a further 10 minutes.
Find the recipe at Like Mother Like Daughter.
Soup, Stew & Stir-Fry
9. Mongolian Stir Fry
Try this Mongolian interpretation of the traditional stir fry. Add ground beef, carrots, celery stalks, broccoli florets, bell peppers, and garlic to a wok or pot and cook until the meat is brown.
Once cooked, add in soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, ginger, brown sugar, nut-based butter, and stir well. Cook for between 5-10 minutes, and serve with rice and green onions.
It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but the cooking is so simple, and the results are divine.
Find the recipe at Frugal Family Home.
10. Stuffed Peppers Soup
This one-pot dish is simple and yet stunning, and will warm you up from the inside. Use either a Dutch oven or normal pot. Heat oil, then add onion and bell peppers.
Cook these until they are soft. Add in tomatoes, then once they have released their juices move the whole lot to one side and add ground beef to the middle of the pot.
Once the meat is cooked, add some beef broth and cook for a further 20 minutes. At this stage add uncooked rice to the pot and cook until softened. The soup can now be served.
Find the recipe at Will Cook For Smiles.
11. Hamburger Soup
This intriguing dish combines the tastes of our favourite staple fast food and delicious vegetables. Cook ground beef in a pot with onion, celery and garlic until the meat has browned.
Drain any excess fat from the meat. Add in canned tomatoes, beef stock, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, carrot, red potato, tomato paste, salt, pepper, parsley flakes, oregano and cayenne pepper to taste.
Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with a lid on for 15-20 minutes. As long as the potatoes are soft the soup is ready to be served.
Find the recipe at The Pioneer Woman
Cowboy Beef & Black Bean Chili
The simplicity of cooking chili combined with the complexity of its flavours makes it an interesting meal for all. Brown ground beef in a pot with onions and garlic.
Add in some yellow bell pepper and jalapenos and cook until the pepper is soft. Add in chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme leaves, and red pepper flakes.
Stir it well and cook for a couple of minutes before adding beef broth, dark beer, crushed tomato, diced tomato, honey and tomato paste. Combine the ingredients and cover it. Allow it to simmer for 45-50 minutes before adding in drained kidney beans. Cook for a further 20 minutes then serve.
Find the recipe at Crystal And Co
13. Crock Pot Taco Soup
This is such a simple soup, perfect for colder nights but just as good for long summer evenings.
Cook ground beef in a pot until brown, and add in onion, taco seasoning, drained kidney beans, corn, can of pork and beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce.
Cook the whole lot together, and once brought to a boil drop the temperature to a low simmer for four-six hours. Top with cheese for the last five minutes or so. Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and more cheese.
Find the recipe at Frugal Family Home
Sandwiches, Salads, Pizzas & Little Bites
14. Lettuce Wraps
A healthy alternative to tortilla wraps, these light lettuce wraps are a guilt free route to a taste sensation. Mix soy sauce, fish sauce, water and sugar in a bowl and leave to one side.
Cook onion, garlic and ginger in oil in a pot, then add ground beef. Cook until the meat is brown. Add in the sauce you made earlier and simmer for a few minutes.
Peel strips of carrot to use as a garnish. Once cooked, simply spoon the mixture onto large lettuce leaves, garnish with the carrot, and eat it like a wrap.
Find trhe recipe at Frugal Family Home.
15. Easy Beef Taquitos
This light meal is a great interpretation of a Mexican classic. Microwave tortillas for around one minute, and place on places.
Brown off ground beef and season with cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Spread salsa and cream cheese (Salsa Fiesta) on the tortillas, and then a line of the ground beef with cheese down the centre.
Roll them up and place them seam down on a baking sheet covered with foil. Spray or brush the wraps with vegetable oil and bake for 15-20 minutes at around 425 degrees. Serve with salsa.
Find the recipe at Women Living Well.
16. Mexican Pizza
You can make a simple pizza base using only tortillas, making for a healthy alternative to dough based stodginess.
Bake flat tortillas for around ten minutes at 350 degrees. Brown off ground beef, drain, and add taco seasoning. Add in refried beans and cook thoroughly.
Spread this filling over the baked tortillas and cover each one with a second tortilla. Top them with grated cheese and bake for 3-5 minutes until melted. Top with tomatoes or salsa and serve.
Find the recipe at Moms Confession.
17. Easy Taco Salad
The clue is in the name with this one, in that it is exceptionally simple to make and very enjoyable to eat. Brown off ground beef, drain it, and add taco seasoning.
Separately, heat two cans of kidney beans in a pot. Prepare a side salad of lettuce, tomatoes and avocados. Place a couple of handfuls of Fritos on a plate and layer your meat and beans on top.
Sprinkle with grated cheese and the salad you’ve made, then top off with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and any dressing you wish. Mix the whole lot together for a real mix of flavours, and eat.
Find the recipe at Crystal & Co.
What’s your favorite quick recipe for ground beef?