Ground beef meal prepping is one of the best set of skills and recipes to improve your meal routine. Ground beef is versatile, quick and easy to cook. Most cuisines in the world use some kind of ground beef. From meatloaf to meatballs, from tacos to lettuce wraps, ground beef can do it all.
Not all ground beef is the same. Knowing the right ground beef for the recipe, your dietary needs, and for meal prepping is important.
Ground beef meal prepping is affordable but that doesn’t mean you should always buy the cheapest ground beef that you can find. Quality ground beef is worth the money. It tends to be healthier and tastier. This is especially important for meals like hamburgers or meatloaf, any recipe that focuses on the flavor of the ground beef as opposed to a lot of sauces or seasonings.
Fatty Ground Beef (70% Lean, 30% Fat)
One of the most common ground beef options at the grocery store is 70% lean beef mixed with 30% fat. This makes the ground beef flavorful, juicy is a great choice for hamburgers or recipes with chilis involved. The fat can cool down the heat of the chilis and retain the flavor. Expect your final food volume to be lower if you use this type of ground beef. Much of the contents will melt away since it’s fat so you may want to make portions bigger than you would expect.
Medium Ground Beef (80% Lean, 20% Fat)
This is another of the most common ground beef types that you’ll find. Medium ground beef is a little less fatty which makes it a better choice for meal prepping recipes that will mask a bit more of the flavor. Tacos, spaghetti, casseroles are great examples of times to use medium ground beef over fatty or lean mixtures.
Lean Ground Beef (85% Lean, 15% Fat)
Lean ground beef can often be interchanged with medium ground beef and depending on your grocery store this can be hard to find.
Extra Lean Ground Beef (90 – 95% Lean, 5 – 10% Fat)
This is the last most common ground beef type that you’ll find at your grocery store. Depending on the brand, it’ll have slightly different ratios but is essentially the same. This is a healthier option to the others since it starts out with less fat so there is less that you need to remove from the beef when cooking. This is a great option for use in recipes that are adding moisture back into the meal by other means. Cooking with fats or oils from other sources like chili oil can replace the ground beef fat and bring new flavors to the dish.
Ground Sirloin or Ground Round
This has become more common at grocery stores and is more expensive but also from a better cut. If you don’t mind the extra cost and you’re really looking for something with a bit more flavor, this is an excellent option. These products tend to be on the leaner side so if you’re health conscious but still want that beef flavor, consider this as the best option.
Blended Ground Beef
Many stores offer their own blends which can change from day to day but offer a more unique and personalized experience. There is something special about interacting with your local butcher, even if it is a large grocery store, and using the products you know were made in house rather than a big factory. If that’s important to you. Also, if you’re buying enough ground beef you can have a custom blend made for you by the butcher as well. If you have specific dietary needs, this is a good option.
Great Ground Beef Meal Prepping Recipes
The classic hamburger is an easy and quick meal to make and there are tons of different combinations that you can do with ground beef. Mix in peppers, herbs, and cheeses for a unique hamburger experience. Obviously when storing hamburgers you should store the patties as separately as possible so they don’t stick together, especially if you apply cheese when cooking. Store the buns and veggies in separate containers or use a meal prep container with multiple compartments.
Tacos and Burritos
Ground beef tacos are another super easy meal to whip up. A bit of taco seasoning added to the cooking ground beef and you have multiple ways that you can use it. Prep your veggies, beans or rice and you can create a tasty and nutritious meal.
Spaghetti with a meat red sauce is one of the original ground beef meal prepping recipes. It’s easy, quick, and can make a ton of food affordably. It also stores and reheats very well. It’s filling and tastes great on top of everything. This is a definite go-to meal for the busy work weeks.
Another classic ground beef meal prepping recipe is meatloaf. This is a meal that really can be anything that you want it to be. Adjust the recipe to fit your particular tastes. Substitute veggies and spices and you’ll find meatloaf to really be a general term for a dish that can be anything you want it to be. It can also be very healthy if you adjust your ground beef, vegetables, and sauces to be healthier.
Ground beef stir-fry can be an easy and quick meal that can be made in any volume that you like. Change up the spices and veggies that you use to make tons of variations of a stir-fry and appreciate different profiles. This can also bring a different texture to ground beef if you’re getting tired of the same ground beef experience. Beef and Broccoli is a popular option by the way.
Ground beef meal prepping can be fun and colorful. Stuffed peppers with ground beef bring the color of the bell peppers, not to mention the sweetness, with the savoriness of the ground beef. Add some additional veggies on top and some healthy melted cheese for a delicious meal.
Casseroles are an old classic for ground beef as well as ground beef meal prepping. Casseroles are a great option for mixing many different ingredients, easy cooking, and can make a lot of food easily. There may be more casserole recipes available than any other recipe types so you’ll have plenty of options to mix up the routine.
Beef and Rice Bowls
One of the best and easiest recipe types for ground beef meal prepping is beef and rice. It sounds so simple but there are limitless ways for you to season the beef, tons of veggie combinations to put with it, and you can spice the rice or use different types of rice. These are perfect recipes for stepping outside of your normal routine as you can always mix it up later or add additional sauces if it doesn’t turn out like you wanted.