Stretching Ground Beef

Stretching Ground Beef

Stretching ground beef
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Let’s face it ground beef is not getting any cheaper. Matter of fact it just went up in price again here. I don’t know about you but I was having a hard time affording it before it increased so much! Stretching ground beef is as easy as 123…

There are several different ways to stretch ground beef.

Some add eggs or other items, and it was more time consuming when really all you need is to add one ingredient, mix it up and cook it.

I’m all about quick, easy, money-saving tips! The recipe may be doubled, tripled, etc…

Stretching Ground Beef

It is pretty simple really. You’re one ingredient away from stretching your dollar!

No lie. See for yourself! Also, after the recipe, I listed all of the other things that I saw other people adding to ground meat to stretch it out, just in case this recipe doesn’t work for you.

It’ll definitely not work for every single recipe but thankfully there are many other ideas to use! Good luck! Let me know how it turns out for you!

Brown your ground beef in a large skillet.

Add oats to the ground beef.

Mix the oats in until the ground beef and oats are blended really well.

The finished product comes out like this.

My family doesn’t even notice when I add oats! Here’s the recipe in short.

It’s super easy to stretch ground beef! Try it out!

Stretching Ground Beef


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 cup  oats


  1. Brown ground beef.
  2. Add oats.
  3. Mix together.
  4. If you’re making tacos, add the taco seasoning after you’ve mixed in the oats.

Other Options…

I saw that other people were adding a whole bunch of different things to stretch out ground beef. Here’s a quick list in case you don’t like the oats…  

  • Bulgar wheat cooked in water
  • Grated potatoes
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Vegetable- pureed
  • Bread crumbs
  • Oats and eggs

Looking for more ways to stretch your food? Check out 30 ways in 30 days to stretch your food budget.

I’d love To Know what you think!… Leave me a comment!

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16 thoughts on “Stretching Ground Beef”

  1. Do you season the meat based on the original weight, or do you add extra seasoning to account for the increased volume with the oats added? I’m going to try this tonight with a recipe for Korean ground beef bowls. With 2 adults, 4 teens, and one younger child at home, I always appreciate having ways to stretch food!
    I often use zucchini, especially with taco meat and Italian meat sauce, but I’m out of zucchini today.

    1. I usually would add a little extra seasoning to account for the oats too. I also kinda depends on the seasoning. Some seasonings are more subtle, and some not so much. I like to taste as I go to make sure the flavors are melding well, and I’m not missing something, lol.

      You’re feeding quite a lot of people! I have three teens so I get it! They eat like no tomorrow!

      Sorry, I didn’t answer before you made your dinner last night! How’d it turn out?

  2. I use oats, too. I put the oats in my food processor and make an oat flour before and know one knows there oats in the meat. Much cheaper than store bought bread crumbs.

  3. Adding breadcrumbs to stretch tuna salad for sandwiches works too. Can’t wait to try the oats in the burger, thank you!

    1. Never thought of that with tuna, what a great idea!! I love using oats in my taco meat. Feeding 3 hungry boys and a grown man is ridic! I have to cook like 4lbs. of meat to feed them all. With oats I cut that amount of meat/money down and we have plenty to go around for everyone! You’re welcome and thanks for visiting, Jessica!

  4. We always use oats in our homemade burgers!

    Otherwise, I guess we mainly use veg to stretch our ground beef. Since I mainly only use it in things like cottage pie, it’s easy to throw a few root vegetables in with the beef 🙂

    1. That’s great Susie! I always add oats when I am making something like tacos. It comes in real handy to be able to stretch that meat. Especially, when a person is feeding several people or worse several teenagers!!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I use zucchini as stretcher plus they get their veggies without knowing .
    It takes on the taste of what you put it in. Grind up 1 or 2 small ones when your making spaghetti or lasagna
    Rice dressing. Stuffed bell peppers
    Pretty much anything. Healthy choice

  6. My mom used oats to stretch her ground beef for burgers when we were growing up. I knew the whole time, because I’ve been cooking with her since I was old enough to stir batter, but my brother refused to believe me. Even when he watched us add oats to the meat, he swore he couldn’t taste the difference.
    If you’d like to use something other than breadcrumbs to stretch your hamburger meat for burgers, go ahead and use oats! 🙂

  7. You can absolutely use oats in burgers. My mother uses oats in her meatloaf and it is (and always has been) outstanding. Of course, there is also an egg as a binder…so that might be necessary if trying to make burgers, just to keep them together. Sounds like an experiment!

    1. Homestead Wishing

      Egg of course. I should have thought of that. I will have to try that. Thanks for the info and the great tip, Katherine!

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