Seasoned ground beef, a building block of casseroles, soups, chilis, sandwiches, and burritos, is a great meal component to make ahead and freeze.
Ever have those days when dinnertime comes around more quickly than you’re ready to prep something? That’s when it’s such a blessing to have a few things stashed away in the freezer.
One of my faves is seasoned ground beef. Not only is it a great thing to make when I find a good sale on ground beef, but it’s also super handy as a building block for a host of delicious main dishes. Perfect for those days when my meal plan goes astray.
What is seasoned ground beef?
Just as its name implies, seasoned ground beef is ground beef that has been cooked and seasoned, in this case with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic, so that it’s ready to go.
It’s a base component for any number of main dishes, including chilis, casseroles, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and more. It’s easy to prepare quickly and easily and freezes beautifully.
Dinner will come together in a snap when you’ve cooked seasoned ground beef ahead of time and freeze it for later.
Any recipe that calls for cooked ground beef is an ideal candidate for this seasoned ground beef, including:
- pasta dishes
- shepherd’s pie
Scroll down for a huge list of recipes to use this seasoned ground beef in.
You don’t need much to prep this easy meal component—just ground beef, chopped onion (or onion flakes), salt, pepper, and garlic powder (or fresh garlic).
Seasoned with the basics, this ground beef opens up a world of possibilities in terms of versatility. Decide the day you serve it how you want to season it.
Or you can vary the seasonings when you cook it to match any number of flavor profiles. For each pound of ground beef, add ½ teaspoon (or more to taste) of the following:
- Mexican: cumin, chili powder
- Italian: oregano, basil
- Asian: sesame oil, red pepper flakes
- French: thyme, rosemary
- Greek: oregano, dill
- Indian: garam masala, turmeric, cumin
And of course, you can always use ground pork, turkey, or chicken if that’s what you have.
Prepping this in advance is super easy. Combine all the ingredients in a skillet over medium heat and cook, breaking the meat into chunks with the back of the spoon, until the meat is cooked and the onions are tender.
Don’t be afraid to let the meat brown a bit as this adds flavor and texture.
Use the cooked meat right away in recipes or store it for another day.
To store: place the meat in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Storing the meat in the freezer allows you to get ahead of the game. Frozen, cooked meat is good for several months when stored appropriately.
To freeze: Once the meat is cooked and chilled, label it with the contents and date so that you know what you have, and stash it in the freezer. Be sure to add it to your freezer inventory.
I like to use Soupercubes. These silicone molds allow you to easily pop out the frozen food and store in ziptop bags for easy storage space. They work great for freezing seasoned ground beef.
Seasoned Ground Beef Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef ground pork, turkey, or chicken can also be used
- ½ onion chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Add the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Cook, stirring, until the meat is cooked through and the onion has gone clear, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drain the meat mixture and use in recipe right away. Alternatively, drain it and place the meat in an airtight container. Chill completely before storing the meat mixture in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze for longer storage.
What’s your favorite way to use seasoned ground beef?