Have you ever looked into the freezer and saw a pound or two of ground beef staring back at you? Of course you have! Ground beef is one of the most economical meat products to purchase for your family; you can freeze it for up to 4 months at a time and there is a multitude of ways to incorporate it into recipes. Why then are the most common uses for ground beef in spaghetti sauce and meatloaf recipes? Sure they’re easy and inexpensive, but try taking a break from the mundane. You can save just as much money, with these creative and flavorful dishes. Most of these can even be cooked and refrozen for another time. If your family is tired of the small old thing, try a few of these short and simple recipes.
1. Stuffed Peppers: This is one of my own family favorites. I usually use green peppers, but you can switch it up by using yellow or orange peppers for a sweeter taste. Cook you ground beef thoroughly on the stovetop, seasoning it with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little diced onion. You can add a can of tomato sauce for more flavor. Slice each pepper in half and remove all the seeds. Stuff the halves and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, and your savory dish is complete.
2. BBQ Bacon Meatloaf: A new spin on a classic dish, this recipe has three extra ingredients that traditional meatloaf does not. While mixing your beef mixture add ¼ cup of barbeque sauce. Spread the meatloaf into a baking pan, cover and bake as usual. When it’s almost done (usually after about 35 monutes), and cover it with ½ cup of barbeque sauce. Sprinkle ¼ cup of bacon and ½ cup French fried onions on top of the meatloaf and place it in the oven for another 5 minutes.
3. Twice baked potatoes: These take a little longer to make, but they’re delicious and the kids can help! Cut a baked potato in half and hollow out each half into a bowl, leaving the skins intact. Mash or whip the potatoes and season them to taste. Grab one of your favorite canned chili brands and mix it into a skillet of ground beef (I’d only use half a pound). Restuff your skins with the now mashed potatoes, and top with your chili mixture. Sprinkle with your cheddar cheese and pop them into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.
4. Mozzarella Stuffed Burgers: Take raw ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Sometimes I like to add thinly diced onion and bell pepper for extra flavor. Take a small handful of the ground beef mixture. Split it in half and place shredded mozzarella in between the two pieces. Flatten out into a patty and grill as usual.
5. Beef Enchiladas: I used to think enchiladas where too complicated to make, but they couldn’t be easier. Like most recipes with chili, the ingredient list is minimal. All you need is one of, cooked ground beef, tortillas, diced chilies and cheese. You can wrap the enchiladas and bake them in the oven or use a slow cooker (although it takes a little more time).