Ground beef is a dinnertime staple for many reasons. It is versatile, it absorbs flavor readily, and it can be one of the more inexpensive meats in the supermarket. However, eating the same meat again and again gets boring, but these mix-ins add flavor to ground beef in unbelievable ways.
In addition to helping your meat taste better, mix-ins can help you stretch your hamburger meat budget to the max. A few herbs here, a sprinkle of bread crumbs there, and you’re on your way to adding some interest and enhancing your weeknight beef dishes.
Don’t Add: Salt
Although it seems like the first logical spice to mix into your ground beef, leave it out! Salt extracts moisture from meat (hence jerky), so if you mix it into your ground beef too early you will end up with a crumbly, bone-dry texture.
Instead either sprinkle some on right before you cook a dish, or leave it off all together. If you spice you dish well, you may not even miss the salt!
Add: Dry Onion Soup Mix
For a very simple way to spice up your beef, just add some dry onion soup mix. Loaded with onions and a variety of other spices, who knew a little packet could pack so much punch?
Not only will it load up the flavor in your meat, but it will also save you from chopping onions and portioning out spices if you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table.
Just like in most dishes, the addition or omission of an egg can change your recipe entirely. Adding an egg to your ground beef improves the consistency of the meet while allowing its natural flavor to really stand out.
As a bonus, mixing an egg into ground beef will keep it from falling apart so easily, which is perfect if you want to grill burgers.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Bacon makes everything better.
Chop it up and mix it into some ground beef to add a nice smoky flavor and a little bit of extra juiciness to your dish.
Add: Grated Cheese
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Pairing cheese and beef together is a classic. So instead of simply melting some on top, try mixing some grated cheese into the meat beforehand.
The cheese and the beef with flavor each other as they cook melding the flavors together and making them inseparable – just like they should be.
Add: Chopped Peppers
Peppers come in almost any variety that you can dream up, just choose your spice level. You can chop up some bell peppers or mince some jalapeños.
If you’re feeling brave you can even slice up a habanero. Whatever you choose, when you add it to your ground beef, it’s sure to spice it up.
Add: Sour Cream
Mixing in some sour cream to your beef will give it a richer taste and a creamy texture.
Just like cheese, the tanginess of this dairy product melds flawlessly with beef and may inspire you to create dishes like beef stroganoff.
If you like carrots, this one is for you. If you don’t like carrots, this one is still for you. Shred some carrots and mix them into your next batch of ground beef.
The naturally sweet flavor of a carrot will transfer nicely into the meat giving your burgers a fascinating sweet flavor and your diet a little more vegetables. Why wouldn’t you try it?
Add: Soy Sauce
Everyone knows about adding Worcestershire sauce to their beef, so why not try something a little more innovative.
If you like the salty, tangy flavor that Worcestershire gives your meat, then substitute it for some soy sauce. If the soy sauce is making your meet a little too juicy, just add a few bread crumbs or …
Add: Peanut Butter
Seriously, you can add peanut butter to ground beef. If you pair it with soy sauce soaked beef, it’s even better! Think of it like beef satay.
Peanut butter will add a salty-sweet taste to your beef that is delicious when paired with green onions or pineapple.