The cost of ground beef has sky rocketed lately. I was shocked to pay $10 for a 2.25 lb. package and my incentive to learn to stretch that burger was just as high as the price tag.
I made a recipe of meatballs for the freezer. My original recipe makes about 88 meatballs. I made a half recipe, which would have yielded 44 meatballs, but I used brown rice to stretch the meat. I was able to get 69 meatballs. That’s a whole extra meal! (New recipe at the bottom of this post.)
As a bonus, I think these meatballs are better than the original. They are more tender and have a great flavor. The kids did notice the rice in them and asked about it, but they were fine with it.
I think you could do this with meatloaf or meat patties too. And I want to try adding rice to ground beef that I brown for tacos or spaghetti. If you’ve tried that, please leave a comment and tell me how it worked.
Use Less or Skip the Beef
Of course, another way to stretch beef is to just use less than a recipe calls for. In casseroles and soups, try cutting the amount you normally use in half.
Mommy’s Kitchen used beans to stretch a taco meal. This Chili Rice Skillet Dinner from Lynn’s Kitchen already has beans and rice, along with the ground beef. You could increase one or both of those, while decreasing the beef and still have a tasty dish.
Unfortunately, it’s not just ground beef that is going up in price. Mara, from Kosher on a Budget has an excellent post on How to Prepare for Rising Food Costs.
Bulk Meatball Recipe
- 2.25 lbs. lean ground beef
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 4 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups cooked brown rice 1 cup dry rice will yield this
- 1/2 of an onion diced
- 2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer or by hand in a large bowl.
Roll into balls.
Bake at 350 degrees on foil lined pan for 20-25 minutes.
These meatballs can be frozen.