What To Add To Ground Beef For Flavor


Are you wondering what to add to ground beef for flavor? Ground beef is a very versatile food that can be used in many different recipes. It’s a great staple to have in the kitchen because there are a number of ways to use it. It’s also inexpensive, which makes it easy on the budget. However, sometimes the default flavor is not enough for your liking, or you want something unique.


Have you ever wondered what spices to use when you’re cooking beef? Find out the best seasoning for beef, and get a printable cheat sheet for your kitchen!

What's the Best Seasoning for Beef? from My Fearless Kitchen. Have you ever wondered what spices to use when you're cooking beef? Find out the best seasoning for beef, and get a printable cheat sheet for your kitchen!


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We raise beef cattle, so it’s probably not a surprise that we eat a lot of beef. Steaks on the grill are always delicious, and ground beef is so versatile. But using the same herbs and spices every time can get pretty boring. So how can you change up the flavors you cook with? Below is a list of herbs, spices, and seasonings that go well with beef.


Thinner cuts of beef (like steaks) can be seasoned well with a marinade. Larger cuts, like roasts, can be brined to add moisture and flavor. It’s simple to mix up a combination of seasonings in a small bowl (or buy a pre-made spice mixture) for a rub. A rub is just what it sounds like – generously sprinkle the seasoning over the meat, then use your fingers to rub it in.

You can also sprinkle dried seasonings on cooked beef. Be a little stingy if you’re doing this, dried herbs and spices can be pretty powerful if they aren’t cooked first!


We love basil on almost everything. Basil can give beef a nice “Italian” sort of flavor. Use it alone, or with a combination of oregano, rosemary, and thyme for even more flavor.


Bay leaves are wonderful for adding flavor to a large roast. Put a few bay leaves in the broth when you’re cooking a beef roast, or when you’re making beef stew or beef soup. Just remember to take the bay leaves out before you serve it – they don’t taste very good to chew on!


You can never go wrong with plain old salt and black pepper. Use this as a staple whenever you’re cooking beef.


If you like a little more heat, then cayenne pepper might be for you. Use this in place of – or in addition to – black pepper for a little more smoky heat.


Chili powder is another great way to get some spice into your meat. Go easy at first, it’s always easy to add more chili powder later, but you can’t take it out if you add too much!


We love cilantro in Mexican-inspired dishes. Use cilantro to season beef strips for fajitas or tacos.


If you like Indian flavors, you’ll enjoy cumin and curry powder. Use them sparingly if you aren’t used to them – cumin and curry powder can be overpowering!


Garlic goes with absolutely everything! Add some to your slow cooker when you’re making a pot roast, toss some in a stir fry, or even add it to your ground beef. You can never go wrong with roasted garlic, garlic powder, or minced garlic.


If you like an easy flavor, mustard or dry mustard powder is it. It packs a lot of punch with only a little bit of effort.


Onion, like garlic, goes with just about everything. It’s delicious cooked with a roast, grilled to top a steak, or mixed in with ground beef for tacos or sloppy joes.


If you love Italian seasoning, you’ll want to pile on the oregano! Oregano is one of the ingredients in most Italian seasoning blends, and it’s delicious with beef.


Most people think of parsley as a garnish, not as a flavor. But it can add a nice fresh flavor to any beef dish.


Rosemary is a classic herb to include in beef broth or in the pot with a pot roast. Toss in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary anytime you’re slow cooking beef, and you won’t be disappointed!


Sage usually goes with turkey or chicken, but it’s also delicious with beef! Add a little bit of dried sage to ground beef for a rich flavor.


Tarragon has a bit of an anise (black licorice) flavor to it. If you like anise, then you’ll definitely want to try a little tarragon in your next beef dish.


Thyme is so versatile. It mixes well with garlic, parsley, and sage. Try a combination of these the next time you make ground beef, or toss it in the broth with your next slow cooked roast.

Get Great Flavor from Ground Meat

Shape ground meat and poultry into simple, succulent main dishes with loads of flavor and tender texture

Meatloaf and hamburgers, two supremely tasty home dishes, convinced me to further explore ground meat’s potential. The light, loose texture of ground meat eagerly accepts mix-ins, and its multiple surfaces are terrific at absorbing and delivering flavor—two reasons why it’s such a great medium for shaping into patties, “cushions,” and meatballs that become easy and delicious weeknight dinners. The most common complaints I hear about ground meat dishes is that they can be heavy, dense, dry, and boring. But as long as you mix with a light hand and use a moist filler and generous seasonings, you’ll get tender, savory results, whether with ground beef, lamb, veal, chicken, or turkey.

Full flavor, tender texture

Patties, meatballs, and cushions taste great because they stay good and juicy, and if you cook the patties at the specified heat and times, you retain the juices and the meat won’t dry out. When it’s time to eat, all those cut surfaces release their juices easily. Follow the cooking times in the recipes, and after a while, you’ll be able to feel for doneness: press a fingertip on the ground meat; it should have a slight spring to it, which means that it’s cooked through but still juicy.

Grinding meat gives it a lush consistency by breaking down tough fibers and connective tissue. Generally, the cuts used for grinding (like shoulder), though tasty, are less tender to begin with. But because their long muscle fibers are cut fine in grinding, the cooked result isn’t only savory, it’s tender, too.

If you’re lucky enough to have a good butcher who will grind meat fresh for you, as I do, that’s really the best. At the butcher’s, specify “once ground” in order to get a grind that’s not too fine. You’ll get the most succulent results that way. If you do buy packaged ground meat, check the label and choose meat that has been ground as recently as possible, preferably that day. Use it as soon as you can, because ground meat spoils faster than solid cuts. I shave off the outer surfaces with a very sharp knife on a pristine cutting board to make absolutely certain of cleanliness.

Half-and-half adds moisture and richness to the ground meat mixture, and it helps the seasonings blend in.
For a tender result, mix the meat gently and don’t overwork it. Be vigilant about washing your hands first.
Use a gentle hand, too, when shaping the mixture. Light patting (not dense packing) ensures a light, juicy result.
Don’t crowd the pan—instead, use two skillets. Leaving space in the pan means that the meat will brown rather than steam.

For filler and flavor, add chopped herbs and soaked breadcrumbs

Minced garlic, fresh herbs, and dried spices flavor ground meat so effectively because they get mixed right into the center of the meat, unlike with a steak or roast, where the seasoning just sits on the surface. I use fresh and dried herbs, depending on the flavor I’m looking for. Another important method for keeping the texture light and tender is using a binder, which prevents the meat from fusing together too tightly. Breadcrumbs soaked in half-and-half are an excellent binder, filling out the mixture so that it’s substantial but not dense. Grated cheese and sautéed onions also help keep things loose and add depth, too.

Of course, a sauce or condiment served with the meat is another opportunity for flavor. I’ve included a chopped olive sauce with the Lemony Chicken Meatballs to add even more interest and moistness.

Mixing in seasonings ahead of cooking time lets the meat soak up the flavors. Cover the shaped meatballs and refrigerate for 15 minutes, and then let them sit at room temperature for another 15 minutes before cooking so they’ll brown well and cook evenly.

Be patient and resist fiddling

For the brownest, juiciest results, a few last words:
• Try not to shuttle the meat around the pan. Let the patties stay in one place so they can brown properly. Just check that they’re not sticking to the pan.
• Resist pressing on the meat with the spatula. Pressing down pushes out juices, again yielding a dense, dry result. When feeling for doneness, give the meat a quick, gentle poke: it should feel springy-firm.

Moist Ground Beef Recipe

Ground beef recipe

Got ground beef but don’t know what to do with it? Look beyond the burgers and meatloaf and make this simple ground beef recipe. It’s great with rice, pasta, or even crusty garlic bread for a quick and delicious dinner my husband and kids cheer for.

Best Ground Beef Recipe

Sometimes, you have little time to throw dinner together. You put ground beef in the fridge and now your grill isn’t working or you have no buns. Everyone is hungry. That’s where this best ground beef recipe comes to the rescue. Just 5 minutes of your time to prep and this delicious dinner will be ready to go!

Easy Ground Beef Recipe

Today was a hectic day so make dinner simple. Just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes of your time will give you this delicious ground beef dinner that everyone will love!

Ground Beef Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef – Choose 90% lean so you have less fat to drain. Plus leaner ground beef makes for healthy ground beef recipes.
  • Garlic – Mince it yourself for the best flavor
  • White onion – Perfect for more pungent taste.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – To soften the garlic and onion.
  • Salt and pepper – Add to your liking!
  • Green onions – You don’t have to add them but they make a pretty garnish that adds even more flavor.

How do you Make Ground Beef from Scratch?

You’ll sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil, then add the ground beef. Cook until it’s no longer pink, then season with salt and pepper and top with chopped green onions.

What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Ground Beef Every Time

  • Choose lean beef. You don’t want a ton of grease in the pan.
  • Don’t overcook it. Ground beef should be cooked until it is no longer pink. If you keep cooking it after that, it will lose that juiciness.
  • You won’t regret the garnish. Seriously, it just adds an extra contrast of flavors. Even my kids willingly eat the green onions.

What can I make with lots of ground beef?

Lots of ground beef is a bounty you can use for many meals such as hamburgers, tacos, sliders, meatballs, chili, soups, and pasta meat sauce are just some easy meals with ground beef. Portion it up and freeze it when you buy it. This way, it’s easy to grab and use in a recipe like this one that gives you a delicious meal in just minutes!

How to Cook Ground Beef

Cook this ground beef recipe on your stove. It takes just minutes to make. When cooking ground beef and you see the meat is no longer pink, it is ready!

What is the best way to cook ground beef?

Ground beef is best cooked on the stove. Break it up and keep an eye on it to watch for it to no longer be pink.

How do I cook ground beef without drying it out?

Use olive oil first to sauté the onion and garlic. Then add the meat and cook it until it’s no longer pink. It takes a keen eye here but once that last pink is gone, take it from the pan immediately and it won’t dry out.

What is the best way to brown ground beef?

Follow this recipe and sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil first. Then add in the meat and it will pick up those flavors for a delicious meal.

Why do you add water to ground beef?

In this recipe, you don’t add water to the ground beef. Though in other recipes or to heat it back up again, adding water adds moisture in.

How do you keep ground beef moist?

Take it off the heat and serve when the meat is no longer pink. This will keep the meat moist.

How do you cook ground beef so it’s tender?

Tender ground beef comes from not overcooking it. It’s that simple!

What can I add to ground beef for flavor?

Onions, garlic, salt, and pepper add flavor to your ground beef. Adding the green onions as garnish also gives it more flavor.

What happens if I don’t drain ground beef?

It will have a higher fat content. If you’re minding your health and caloric intake, a simple way to keep to your plans is to drain the meat.

Why is my cooked ground beef chewy?

You cooked it too long! When the meat is no longer pink, you want to serve it. Continuing cooking it will only dry it out.

What should I make with ground beef?

If you have ground beef but have no time to make anything, use this recipe. It sounds so simple, and it is. But it tastes amazing. It always wins compliments and is a great way to get dinner on the table that everyone will love.

What goes well with Ground Beef

Depending on what I have around, I serve rice, bread, or pasta with this ground beef dish. A salad, sauteed vegetables, or even hasselback potatoes make a great side to have cooking while you get this main dish underway.

How do I cook ground beef without drying it out

How to Store Ground Beef

Ground beef must be kept cold. You need it in your fridge or freezer. Do not leave it sitting out for long before cooking it.

How long does ground beef last in the fridge?

You have about 2 days to cook your ground beef. After that when it’s cooked, you have about 3 days to finish your leftovers.

Can You Freeze Ground Beef?

Yes! That’s the best way to keep it until you’re ready to make it the next day. When it’s already cooked, you can store it for about 4 months.

How to Reheat Ground Beef?

Just add some oil to the pan though not much. And make sure you cover it too to keep the meat moist.

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