Learn how to stretch your ground beef and make it last longer than ever! Turn 1 pound of ground beef into 2 pounds with this simple method for adding healthy fillers to ground beef! Gluten free options!
6 years ago we had a brand new baby, I had just quite my job, and my husband came home to tell me he had just lost HIS job.
This is one of the things we did to really stretch our food budget while keeping our food real and delicious!
How to Stretch Ground Beef
If you want to keep the bulk in your recipe, but still want to cut your ground beef budget, you can add a lower cost filler to increase bulk.
We do this frequently, but generally if we are trying to save money, I prefer to just cut the required meat by 25% and move on.
However, if you have some extra vegetables or fillers on hand, you can use them to stretch your ground beef instead!
A good rule of thumb is to add one cup of filler to every pound of ground beef.
COMMON FILLERS FOR GROUND BEEF:
In general mixing one vegetable option, plus one starch option, plus an egg, is a combination that works well with most of our favorite recipes.
Our favorite combination is ½ cup cooked rice, 1 cup black beans, and 2 large carrots – ground together in the food processor – and mixed with our 1 pound of raw beef.
Depending on your food preferences or allergies, you may need to do something different. However, it is a great gluten free combination that tastes great!
Any of these fillers can be used and combined to stretch your ground beef!
• Oats (cooked or uncooked)
• Cooked Rice
• Cooked Beans (any type)
• Eggs (1 per pound of meat)
HOW TO ADD THE FILLERS:
If you have a food processor, this process is going to be easier. Because you can let the food processor do most of the work for you!
Roughly chop your ingredients and add them to the food processor, then blend until well combined. If you are doing something very hard like carrots, I would blend the carrots first, to ensure they are very finely chopped... then add the rest!
But in general, you can take whatever fillers you decide on (ideally a vegetable, a starch, and 1 egg), and blend them very well in a food processor. This will allow them to mimic the texture of the meat in the best way.
Once you have your fillers prepped, in a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment (or by hand) mix your fillers and raw meat until well combined.
Now you will be able to use this in place of ground beef in any recipe as normal.
If you use our favorite combination (printable version below) this will turn 1 pound of beef into 2 pounds!
You can also just brown the meat and freeze it for later. It's going to have a slightly different texture than the plain beef, but it was very easy to adjust to in our home!
If the first combination you try isn't a hit, don't give up! There are lots of different combinations you can try to find what works for your family.
Instead of using a whole pound of meat, use 1 cup measurements instead. So, 1 cup per pound called for.
That will end up being more than a 25% reduction of meat, but give it a try for at least one meal and see if anyone notices!
How to Stretch Ground Beef
- ½ cup cooked rice
- 1 cup black beans
- 2 large carrots
- 1 pound ground beef
- In a food processor, add chopped carrots and blend until finely chopped.
- Add cooked rice and black beans to food processor. Blend until well combined.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, combine the raw beef and filler mixer until well combined.
- Use as desired in any recipe calling for ground beef.
- NOTE: See full post for other filler options.