Why You Should Always Have Canned Ground Beef In Your Pantry

Cooked ground beef in a pan
Cooked ground beef in a pan - New Africa/Shutterstock

Ground beef's versatility often goes understated, nevertheless, we recognize it as an invaluable ingredient to have on hand. You can make a wide range of dishes with ground beef, from meatballs, meatloaf, and dumplings to pasta, soup, and countless others. You may not always have fresh meat in the fridge, and a trip to the grocery store can be surprisingly time-consuming. This is where canned ground beef comes into the picture. Stock it in your pantry and you're only one step away from making the dish you crave. Since it comes pre-cooked, all you need to do is pop open the can, remove the fat, and drain the liquid. No cooking, except perhaps a quick reheat, is required.

Skipping the browning step may not seem like much, but it leaves more time and energy for other parts of the process. For the most part, the meat is already seasoned, but you can still customize it to your liking. This is a game-changer for those busy, hectic days when you're short on time but still crave a homemade treat.

Moreover, canned ground beef usually comes in smaller portions, which allows you to use only the amount you need. This means you don't have to go through the hassle of dividing and freezing the excess meat, which reduces waste and prevents spoilage in the long run.

Read more: Tips You Need When Cooking With Ground Beef

The Pantry Staple That Works For Almost Any Dish

A plate of meatloaf
A plate of meatloaf - Wsmahar/Getty Images

Contrary to popular belief, canned ground beef can be used in more than a last-ditch effort at a good meal. A pairing with the right ingredients will give you as good a dish as fresh meat would. On busy days when you need a quick, simple, and on-the-go meal, wraps of all forms are the answer. You can chop up the veggies beforehand, briefly reheat the beef on the stove, add a drizzle of sauce, and your tacos, sandwiches, burritos, lettuce wraps, etc. are ready to go. Want something lighter instead? Salad is always the answer. With canned ground beef as the main ingredient, you've got myriad flavor-bursting salads to try out, such as taco salad, cheeseburger salad, Thai beef salad, etc.

With more time available, your canned ground beef can star in some heartier dishes. In pasta, it's fantastic for a quick rendition of bolognese, or drenched in a cheesy marinara sauce. You may also like it in stir-fried dishes, especially fried rice. Baked dishes are just as fitting, anything from lasagna, casserole, and simple Shepherd's pie to loaded baked potatoes would work stunningly. Let's not forget about soup, either. Ground beef in soup is a surefire success, if this rib-sticking hamburger soup recipe is anything to go by. Throw your canned ground beef into a steaming hot brothy pot redolent of herbs and veggies for an effortless comfort food.

Read the original article on Tasting Table