Make mealtime THAT much easier by batch cooking Ground Beef, freezing labeled portions, and reheating for an easy dinner. Grab one or more of these 15 quicker than crock pot Ground Beef recipes.
Buying Ground Beef in bulk, cooking in batches, portioning, freezing, and reheating for weeknight meals is a great way to save money and save time in the kitchen. You get where I’m going with this blog post- so let’s keep this intro short and sweet! I was inspired to write this blog post when my girlfriend Amy, from Momma’s Green Thumb, shared some food prep pictures from her kitchen that included Ground Beef.
Way to go Amy!!!! While Amy made meatloaf and burgers, I will typically go the Ground Beef crumble [and burger or meatball route]. Ok, now, here’s how we can do what she did, but with Ground Beef crumbles….
PS. a few weeks ago I shared a few MORE ways to batch cook beef and use for meals [both lunch and dinner]. You MIGHT think I’m famous. But these recipes were shared with WILX Studio 10 in Lansing. You can watch my segment here.
Now back to the blog post!
How to freeze Ground Beef
There’s really no trick here, other than to brown Ground Beef in a skillet or pan in large batches. I have learned from experience that putting more than 2-3 pounds of Ground Beef in the skillet steams the beef and overcrowds the pan. Once all your Ground Beef is cooked and set aside to cool to room temperature, you can start putting it in freezer bags.
I usually just eyeball how much Ground Beef gets divided into each bag. The key is to make sure the Ground Beef has been cooled to room temperature. I’ll do that by putting a paper towel down on a sheet pan and putting the Ground Beef directly on the paper towel to soak up some extra grease. It really that easy! NOW you have meat ready to eat on those crazy busy school and sport nights.
How long does it take me?
It takes me 6 minutes to cook 2 pounds of Ground Beef. Time to do the math…
Why I brown Ground Beef before I freeze it
If I want to make chili, I can just toss it in the pan with the onions, the tomato sauce, and the beans. No thawing and browning needed. Add in a little water and the meat will thaw in the pan in minutes.
For tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more Mexican-inspired meals, reheat the Ground Beef in a skillet with taco seasoning and a little water.
For a Crock Pot meal, you just add the frozen crumbles to the pot with the other ingredients.
Anyone else excited to do some more Ground Beef meal prep?!
Recap on how to cook and freeze and reheat Ground Beef
- Brown the ground beef in a large sauce pan.
- Allow the beef to cool completely at room temperature.
- Then place the browned ground beef in a freezer bag (labeled).
- Get as much air out of the bag as possible and seal.
- Store in the freezer for 3-6 months.
Along with these 15 recipe ideas below, you can also get inspired with one of my favorite cheat-sheets from Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.
15 Easy Ground Beef Meal Ideas
- Baked Ziti
- Beef-Up Mac and Cheese
- Walking Tacos
- Tater Tot Casserole
- Shepards Pie
- Sloppy Joes
- Chili Dogs
- Beef-Up Vegetable Soup
- Taco Soup
- Pizza Soup
OK then. Ready to get cooking?! Visit Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. and search one or more of these recipes!