How to Stretch Ground Beef

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

I have been on a tight budget lately, and one of our staple foods is ground beef.  Lately however, you can hardly call ground beef a bargain food.   The last time I went grocery shopping, I got sticker shock from the ground beef prices-the price has risen to over $4 a pound.  This is an all-time record high, according to this article  These prices used to be for organic or grass fed, but now even regular ground beef is expensive.

How to stretch ground beef for hamburgers:

I called my Dad, who is my source for budget minded menus, and he told me his method of stretching ground beef for hamburgers:

Basic recipe:

To a pound of ground beef, add

  • 1/2 cup add finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs and
  • one egg.

Add salt and pepper to taste

I made hamburgers using this method and it worked well.   The onions add a nice flavor and the bread crumbs did not change the taste or texture of the meat.

This basic recipe can also be used to make meatballs (just shape into 1 inch rounds), for meatball marinara sauce or meatball soup.

Variation:  Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Burger Patties

Expanding on my Dad’s method, instead of onions, I added to one pound of ground beef:

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapenos (seeds removed)
  • 1 piece of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg

You can adjust according to the number of burgers you are cooking.  Shape into patties and fry as normal.

The burgers came out really tasty and I was able to stretch the pound of ground beef for a couple of meals.

 Give it a try!  What is your favorite way to stretch ground beef?  Please share in the comments.

 © Apartment Prepper 2014

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  1. I stretch ground beef in a variety of ways: making dumplings with them and making a soup out of it, meatballs similar to the ones here, taco salad night, mix in with ground up black beans, and veggie mixes, especially broccoli and cheddar. I can make a pound stretch to a very filling 4-6 people with a potato and veggie with cheddar cheese bake.

    1. Hi anna, Good one, mixing ground beef with black beans. Potato veggie and cheddar cheese back sounds good too, Thanks for the comment.

  2. Another way to stretch ground beef is with oatmeal. When you make a meatloaf or meatballs add oatmeal. I usually use a cup. It stretches it plus adds extra protein and is healthier than bread crumbs.

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