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Thread: Have 1/2-pound ground beef - what do I make?

  1. #1

    Have 1/2-pound ground beef - what do I make?

    Okay - have had some bad recipes recently - so I'm looking for success! I have 1/2 pound of 95% lean ground beef in my freezer, looking to be defrosted (leftover from a meatloaf recipe that did not turn out well AT ALL!!!). So - what do I make?


  2. #2
    I adapted this from another recipe. My family likes it. Which reminds me that I haven't made this in a really long time. I think mushrooms would make a nice addition to this.

    * Exported from MasterCook *


    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Casserole

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    4 cups dry pasta (I use trio-Italiano by American
    Beauty) -- --about 12 oz.
    1/2 pound lean ground beef or turkey Italian sausage
    1 medium onion -- chopped
    1 medium red or green pepper -- chopped
    3 ounces pepperoni (turkey or regular) -- cut in half
    1 jar spaghetti sauce -- (1 lb. 10 oz.)
    seasonings to taste (garlic powder,
    Italian seasoning, Penzey's pizza
    seasoning, red pepper flakes, etc.) -- optional
    1 to 1 1/2 cups cream-style or regular cottage cheese or ricotta
    8 oz. shredded mozzarella, Italian blend
    cheese, or cheddar/mozzarella

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well.

    While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef with onion and green pepper until onion is transparent. Drain fat.

    Stir in pepperoni and cook until just heated. Drain off any additional fat.

    Add spaghetti sauce and any additional seasonings; simmer 5 minutes.

    Arrange half the pasta in a lightly greased 3-quart baking dish.

    Spoon on half the meat sauce.

    Spread cottage cheese over the sauce.

    Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese. (Can also sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese)

    Repeat layers, omitting cottage cheese. (Can sprinkle the top with even more Parmesan, if desired.)

    Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    This recipe calls for 3/4 pound but you could reduce everything by one-fourth. I've even made it as a baked ziti type dish:

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Nacho Stuffed Shells

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Beef National Pasta Association

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    12 ounces Jumbo Shells (32 to 36 shells) -- uncooked
    3/4 pound extra-lean ground beef
    1 1.25-ounce package low-sodium taco seasoning mix
    1 cup water
    1 16-ounce can refried beans with chilies
    1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese -- shredded
    3/4 cup mild, medium, or hot picante sauce
    1 8-ounce can low-sodium tomato sauce
    1 2-ounce can sliced ripe olives -- drained
    1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions


    Low-fat Cheddar cheese -- grated
    Jalapeños -- chopped
    Cilantro -- chopped

    Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, sauté beef in a large skillet until browned; drain well. Add taco seasoning mix and water; simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in beans and cheese. Cook until smooth and well-mixed. When pasta is done, drain well. Fill shells with beef mixture (1-2 tablespoons per shell).

    Combine picante sauce and tomato sauce in a saucepan. Cook until heated, stirring occasionally.

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of a 9 × 13-inch baking pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Place filled shells side by side on top of sauce; pour remaining sauce evenly over shells. Sprinkle with olives. Cover with aluminum foil; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with green onions. Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve immediately.

    Garnish as desired.

    "National Pasta Association"
    S(Internet address):

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 378 Calories; 10g Fat (25.0% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 32mg Cholesterol; 893mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

    Nutr. Assoc. : 900315 3256 5242 0 1246 2538 1114 4031 4971 0 0 0 4043
    20103 0 0 0
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  4. #4
    Honestly? Most of the time, I'd just buy more, so I can make a meal around it-- popular ground beef uses in my household are (in no particular order and none of these are light recipes) empanadas, tacos or taco burgers, eggplant meatballs, croquetas, bitoque (hamburger in a sour cream sauce) or samosas.

    Assuming I didn't want to buy it a friend, I'd do one of two things with it: either make spaghetti sauce (in which case, I'd buy a few Italian sausages, too, and fry them up together 'cause I like the taste of sausage in my sauce) or something we call "Carmen's enchiladas" around here, which is basically cheese enchiladas filled with a mix of cheddar and jack cheese, topped with green (canned tomatillo) sauce. The hamburger is fried up, a bit of onion and comino added, then some of the tomatillo sauce added and right before serving, the tomatillo/hamburger mix spooned on. Kinda funky dish, maybe, but it's more or less how they used to serve their enchiladas rancheras at a place my husband's family used to like...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Raleigh, NC
    I'd make what I call hamburger-mess sandwiches. Kinda like a cross between a sloppy joes and cheeseburgers.

    Chop up some onion and brown it and the beef in a frying pan. Drain fat (if there is any). Season with salt & pepper. Stir in a little ketchup and some chunks of velveeta (I use lite). Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in some chopped, seeded fresh tomato. Meanwhile toast some bread or rolls, and pile on the cheeseburger mixture. Can put some extra ketchup and/or mustard if desired. It's fast, easy and delicious. Make sure you toast the bread though, or it will be too much of a mess!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    My DH loved the Hamburger, Cheddar and Macaroni Toss from the August CL (p. 218). The recipe calls for 3/4 lb., but you could easily get away with 1/2 lb. It's super easy to put together, and it's a great comfort food, especially for my DH, whom I always forget to make "normal" food for.


  7. #7
    I made Linda's cavatini for supper tonight and I really liked it. It tastes like pizza. I made it with penne regate pasta, mild Italian sausage, I only had about 7 ounces of mozzarella, so I added a bit of a blend of edam, fontina, cheddar, parmesan and sprinkled parmesan cheese on top. I wasn't sure how much seasoning to use, I used 1/2 teaspoon Penzey's pizza seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder but it turned out very good. I don't know if more would have been better or not.

    I'm sure I will make it again for when I have a craving for pizza.

    Linda, thanks for posting another winner recipe. I have to try Sneezles Nacho stuffed shells soon.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Medway, MA
    Laura, I was hoping you could post the Hamburger, Cheddar and Macaroni Toss recipe. This sounds like something that my husband and daughter would really like.



  9. #9
    Originally posted by newcook
    I made Linda's cavatini for supper tonight and I really liked it. It tastes like pizza.
    Oh cool! Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Las Vegas, Nevada


    Susan: There is a recipe on Page 192 of the Nov. issue of Cooking Light called Stuffed Pepper Soup. It calls for 1/2 lb. ground round and it uses canned ingredients. This looks like a very simple recipe that could be a keeper. Check it out.

  11. #11
    Was surpised to see this bumped back up - I originally posted back at the end of August! What I ended up doing with the beef was making a 1/2 batch of All American Chili - turned out wonderfully. But thanks VegasDramaQueen - I'll remember that recipe for the next time I have leftover ground beef!


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    This my favorite recipe for using 1/2 lb. hamberger
    Italian Skillet Meatloaves
    1 beaten egg
    aprox. 1/2 cup bread crumbs
    2 teaspoons instant minced onion
    1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    dash pepper
    1/2 pound ground beef
    2 (3 1/2 x 3/4 inch sticks Monterey Jack Cheese (I use string cheese instead)
    1 tablespoon cooking oil
    8 oz. can pizza sauce

    Combine egg, bread crumbs, milk, instant minced onion, parsley flakes, garlic salt, and pepper. Add ground beef; mix well. Divide mixture in half. Shape each portion into a little meat loaf around a stick of cheese. Roll in flour.In small skillet brown the loaves on all sides in hot oil. Pour of drippings. Add pizza sauce. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve with hot cooked spaghetti. Makes 2 servings
    Garlic bread, salad with Italian dressing, Then you have a good dinner with little effort

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
    hi guys,
    I tried a couple of different ways to search for that Hamburger,Cheddar,Mac toss recipe, but to no avail.

    Does anyone have it handy. It sounds yummy.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    This is for future reference. If I have leftover fresh ground beef, I will often fry it and freeze. It's like having money in your pocket, because it can be quickly added to whatever you would make with cooked ground beef, such as a casserole. (I find that it is also very handy to have cooked ground beef along on trips in our motorhome, as it is not as messy as frying it in a small space.)

    Here is the method I use to lower the fat if ground beef is not very lean. Fry the beef and set aside. Add water to whatever drippings there are and return the ground beef. Bring to a boil and simmer for a minute or two. Drain and pour the liquid into a glass measuring cup. Use a bulb baster to remove the clear liquid below the fat. (You could also use a gravy separator.) Reduce the liquid until syrupy. If I am freezing the cooked ground beef, I add the liquid to it; if making a fresh dish, I add it to that.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    South Carolina
    Hamber, Cheddar, and Macaroni Toss

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Hamburger, Cheddar, and Macaroni Toss

    Recipe By :Tara Trenary "On Hand"
    Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Beef main dishes
    Poultry quick & easy

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    1 1/2 cups uncooked medium elbow macaroni
    Cooking spray
    3/4 pound ground round
    1 cup chopped yellow onion
    2 garlic cloves -- minced
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions -- undrained
    1 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese -- divided (4 ounces)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Prepare macaroni in a Dutch oven according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.

    Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef with a slotted spoon. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and tomatoes; cook 2 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in macaroni, beef, and 3/4 cup cheese; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts. Stir in salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese over each serving.

    Serving size: 1 1/2 cups.

    CALORIES 446 (31% from fat); FAT 15.4g (sat 7.6g, mono 3.8g, poly 1.7g); PROTEIN 30.9g; CARB 44g; FIBER 4.1g; CHOL 75mg; IRON 4.2mg; SOOIUM 912mg; CALC 253mg

    "August 2004"
    "Cooking Light Magazine, August 2004, page 218"
    S(formatted by):
    "© 2004 by Southern Living, Inc."

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 229 Calories; 15g Fat (58.8% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 59mg Cholesterol; 265mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

    NOTES : This is a true one-pot family favorite that is also a good source of fiber and calcium. Prepare the beef mixture in the same pan used to cook the pasta.

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