Making healthy meals with ground beef is far easier than you may have been led to believe. Despite the many reports claiming how red meat is bad for you, pasture-raised ground beef can have many significant health benefits—plus, it’s one of the most budget-friendly options.
Tips to Help You Make Healthy Meals with Ground Beef
If ground beef isn’t inherently bad for you, why does it seem so hard to learn how to cook healthy meals with it? Ask folks to imagine a dish with ground beef, and most will think of things like tacos, meatloaf, or burgers—which are historically considered unhealthy, right? Not quite.
Here are a few simple ways to cook healthy meals with ground beef, including the ones we mentioned above!
Use Pasture-Raised Ground Beef
Instead of relying on whatever types of ground beef you find at your supermarket, take a little bit of time to seek out pasture-raised ground beef that comes from a local ranch. Cattle raised on a farm with a primarily grass-fed diet will produce meat with a more wholesome and diverse nutritional profile.
And since the ground beef you end up cooking with will be coming from a local ranch, it won’t have to travel very far to reach you. This means you’re cooking healthy meals with ground beef that is fresh and has less of an overall impact on the environment.
What You Serve With Ground Beef Is Important
We usually cook beef by browning it in a pan on the stovetop and/or baking it in a casserole type dish. This approach is practical and easy, but it also involves a fair amount of fat that leads to meals being higher in calories. The problem isn’t necessarily with the fat, but what typically gets added with the meat (usually in the form of starches). Here are some good options for making sure the meal doesn’t lead to caloric excess:
- When making lasagna, replace the noodles with zucchini, squash, or eggplant slices
- Instead of the classic burger served with a bun, try making a hamburger steak
- Opt for a taco salad where the beef is served over a crunchy pile of romaine lettuce
If you’re watching your calories but still want to cook healthy meals with ground beef, try opting for a lower carb approach. The combination of fat and carbs together, although incredibly delicious, should be more of a treat than a habit. Using fewer starches and carbs in the meal helps keep the calories in check without robbing any of the fat’s delicious flavor!
Try Boiling The Ground Beef
If you’re trying to avoid saturated fat altogether, first let us express our sincere condolences. Eating low-fat is one approach that can keep calories in check, but we don’t envy your position! In all seriousness, there are a couple of steps you can take to reduce the overall fat content in the dish:
- Try boiling the ground beef. After draining it, you’ll end up with chunks of ground beef that, while on the drier/chewier side, will have much less leftover fat.
- Request extra lean ground beef, so there simply isn’t much fat to begin with.
Healthy Ground Beef Meals You Can Make Right Now
Feeling hungry? Us too. Here are a few of our favorite ground beef meals that you can start cooking right now. Remember to get the best quality and health value, use pasture-raised ground beef, and don’t be afraid to experiment with replacing starches with vegetables!
- Quick Ground Beef Tacos
- Instant Pot Ground Beef and Mushroom Ragout
- Green Chili and Bacon Meatloaf
- Cordelia’s Meatloaf
- Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
- Hamburger Steak with Onion Mushroom Gravy
Looking to learn more about how pasture-raised and grass-fed ground beef can lead to healthier meals? Get in touch with Augustus Ranch! We’d love to help you experience the better taste and health quality of our local and ranch-raised meat!