Freezer Cooking: Seasoned Hamburger

Since I posted my last Freezer Cooking Session, I’ve had a quite a few people wanting to know about Freezing Seasoned Hamburger. To tell you the truth, up until then, I had no idea myself that cooked hamburger froze so well. I had made up the recipe for Mini Beef and Bean Burritos from the book Fix, Freeze, Feast: Prepare in Bulk and Enjoy by the Serving. Well, I had run out of shells and decided just to test out freezing the leftover seasoned meat and it worked like a charm!

What’s great is, the original recipe of the mixture calls for 6lbs of meat. You’ll often find that stores will discount hamburger in bulk “family packs” of 3lbs or more. So you’d just pick up two of those at a great price. But you can alter the recipe for any size – just re-figure it accordingly.

What You’ll Need
6lbs of Hamburger
1 cup of Taco Seasoning (around four packets, but measure to be sure, as packet size varies)
3 cups of water

How to Make It

1) Brown the hamburger over medium heat and cook thoroughly until there is no longer any pink–about 20 minutes.

2) Drain and discard properly, any fat. (I even rinse mine to get more fat off.)

3) Add the Taco Seasoning and then stir in the water.

4) Simmer over a medium heat, for about twenty minutes. You’ll want to check it and stir it, if needed. Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated.

5)  At this point, I drained off any extra liquid that didn’t evaporate. Cool the mixture completely. This is important or you’ll have more of a chance of freezer burned food if you add the mixture while it’s still a little warm.

6) Label and date a Ziploc Bag, add the mixture and freeze. I lay my Ziploc bags flat to save room in my freezer. (Just make sure they are sealed really good if you do that!) :)

If don’t want to freeze all of the hamburger mixture but want to make some burritos to freeze, try this:

Spread a 1/3 cup of refried beans and 1/4 cup ground beef onto a tortilla. Wrap the tortilla burrito style and then wrap in tin foil, place them in a labeled Ziploc Bag and freeze. To cook, take them out of the Ziploc bag and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes if frozen or at only 300 degrees for 30 minutes if thawed, prior. These can make for a simple lunch.

It’s really quite simple to make this hamburger mixture. I love doing these big batches and freezing them so I can quickly pull out a bag of it and make some quick tacos or nachos, etc. You just take it out of the Ziploc bag and defrost in the microwave. Or you can defrost it in the fridge the night before and then warm it in the microwave the next day (after you take it out of the Ziploc bag!)

Freezer cooking is a great way to cut down on your time in the kitchen on busy days. I find that making meals ahead and freezing them often helps me avoid carry-out food or the quick processed foods.

If you make this recipe, please use all proper food safety guidelines. I hope that you find this little make-ahead recipe will help you save some time in the future!