How to Cook or Bake Ground Beef

Ground beef is a freezer staple, especially if you're following a low-carbohydrate diet such as Atkins or Paleo -- or you have a big family. Grass-fed ground beef contains less fat overall and a smaller amount of saturated fat; additionally, it has more healthy omega-3 fats and Vitamin E. When you rely heavily upon a single ingredient such as ground beef, however, you need a variety of preparations in your menu arsenal to offer variety in your meal planning.


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Foil Packets

Step 1

Make patties out of ground beef and lay each patty in an 18-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil.


Step 2

Cut your favorite vegetables -- onions, carrots, red or green bell peppers, potatoes or whatever you have on hand -- into pieces about the width of the beef patty so they will cook evenly. Season the vegetables to taste, using salt and pepper, and complementary herbs, if desired, such as rosemary, thyme, basil or celery seeds.


Step 3

Seal the foil packets tightly and bake in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes or until the beef registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer when inserted horizontally into the patty. Open the foil carefully as the steam will have built up during cooking.


Oven-Baked Meatballs

Step 1

Prepare your favorite beef mixture using ground beef, bread crumbs, minced onion and spices and any other ingredient you like; form into 1-inch balls.

Step 2

Place the meatballs on a baking sheet spritzed with grapeseed or olive oil. Lightly spray or gently brush more oil over the meatballs before placing in an oven preheated to 400 F.

Step 3

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the meatballs after 7 minutes to ensure they don't stick and get brown on all sides. Meatballs are done when the inside registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Free-form Meatloaf

Step 1

Create your favorite meatloaf mixture or just mix ground beef with your favorite seasoning salt and one egg per pound for an easy version.

Step 2

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or cover it with parchment paper. Shape the meatloaf mixture into an oval that is about 4-inches high.

Step 3

Bake in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the center registers 160 F on an instant-read thermometer.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum foil

  • Vegetables (optional)

  • Seasonings

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Bread crumbs

  • Minced onion

  • Spices

  • Oil

  • All-purpose seasoning

  • Egg

  • Parchment paper

  • Oil spray


The small size of meatballs sometimes makes them hard to read on an instant-read thermometer and can lead to overcooking. To solve this problem, stack two or three; then run the thermometer through the stack.


Resist the urge to cook any form of ground beef to anything less than well-done as E coli is a real risk for undercooked ground beef. The minimum temperature recommended by the USDA is 160 F.