How to Stretch Ground Beef Using Oats

Did you know that you can add oats to ground beef to make it stretch? It won't change the flavor or texture. This one tip can save you lots of money!
Did you know that you can make your grocery money stretch by adding oats to ground beef? I promise you it tastes the same and no one will know the difference. I do this every time I cook ground beef and it saves me lots of money. 
First off I normally buy the 5lb family pack of ground beef at Aldi to save money, but this time they were out so I had to buy the 2.25 lb pack. 
You will need:
Uncooked Ground Beef
Uncooked Old Fashioned Oats
(1/4 – 1/2 cup per lb of beef)
Chopped Onion (optional)
(1/4 – 1/2 cup per lb of beef)
1. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
2. Brown ground beef as usual. 
*Note: The oats soak up a lot of the fat so you will need to stir often to avoid burning or sticking to the pan.
Use your beef mixture like normal! I normally let mine cool and freeze for later use. As you can see I got 4 “lbs” of ground beef out of my 2.25 lbs! Yea baby!
I’ve also heard that you can stretch ground beef using lentils, rice, beans and/or pureed veggies, but I’ve never tried any of them.
Do you do anything to stretch your ground beef? 
If so I’d love to know your secrets!
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  1. Can you use it with ground pork? I make Tourtiere during the Christmas/New Year's holidays like every French Canadian. So delicious.
      1. In Cincinnati, pork is mixed 50/50 with steel cut oats to give you what we locals call Goetta (“get-ah”). Mix well. Pack it tight in Saran Wrap and refrigerate until solid. Then slice thin (1/4”) and fry until golden brown. So great!
        1. Goetta is a carry over from there great depression and that mindset where you had to be frugal. If you're using ground pork, I'd add normal sausage seasoning to taste. Red Cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. Want to make it hot? Add crushed pepper flakes and/or more Cayenne.
  2. Taco Bell ground beef is largely oats believe it or not. I worked there and it's a listed ingredient on the box.
    1. I have never figured out why people eat there. There are plenty of authentic Mexican restaurants around in al,ost all cities. What is the lure? just curious. Thanks
      1. Our family eats there sometimes, just because it's cheap and quick, and if we are on a road trip, or where we can't get home in time to cook, it's great. My husband, adult son with special needs and myself just order the five soft taco/five burrito special, and we get out of there for less than $20. We live in Texas, and yes we know it's not real Mexican food, but it's no worse than a lot of home cooked TexMex we've had at people's houses!🤣
  3. Have never heard of this, but will definitely try it! I use lentils myself, but you need a lot more seasoning for the mix to have the same taste.
  4. I have added oats to my ground beef after I have cooked it before to stretch the meat and it has done well. Also my mother family hamburger recipe has oats and potatoes to stretch it.
  5. I tried this this evening using regular cut oats. I semi cooked the oats then let them drain a bit. After browning the beef, I soaked them in the poured off grease. After adding 8 ounces to 1 pound for tacos, I found it made it a bit too stiff, like meat/oatmeal. ( I guess that's really what it is. Maybe next time less oats to meat or maybe something less starchy? Bulgar wheat, buckwheat or some other small grains?
    1. Usually you don’t need to cook the oats first. They’ll get too mushy and gloopy. Just chuck them in with the ground beef as-is. I usually use 1/4 to 1/2 C oatmeal per pound of hamburger. Kids never know the difference.
  6. I like to "healthy things up" and always use oats when I make hamburger patties as well. I also add grated zucchini. (after grating I pat some of the moisture out with paper towel before adding to the ground beef mixture) It adds volume and extra nutrients without the calories! It adds the perfect amount of moisture to the burgers. I add fresh garlic, some Montreal steak spice and an egg. So good! Even my meat loving hubby loves them. Chia seeds are a great add too!
  7. I must be getting old. My mother always used ground oats in hamburger. Her mother did it too. Good tip. Thanks.
  8. This is a great idea. I’m going to try it in tacos tonight. I always use oats in my meatloaf and you’d never tell. I usually use beans but my younger kids don’t like texture.
  9. I love this idea I am making something tonight for our dog Cane ☆birthday boy☆ and my Hjsband. We need a little extra tonight. Thank you & God Bless
  10. Greetings, If the oats absorb the fat of ground beef, wouldn't this make the mixture higher in fat (vs the fat cooking off and drained)?
  11. If I'm making spaghetti with a meat sauce, I add a large eggplant, peeled and diced, when I fry the meat. The eggplant takes on the flavor of the meat and no one knows the difference.
  12. I used to stretch my ground meat with tofu, when I was buying in bulk from a food co-op. The tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. I used to throw it in ground meat, scrambled eggs, spaghetti sauce. I liked to think it up the nutritional value of the meal as well.

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