Each year, when the days start to get chillier, outdoor cooking sounds less appealing. What, then, of the many meat products you purchased for grilling season? Specifically, that bag of frozen hamburger patties that are now taking up valuable real estate in your freezer? How will you use them up to make space for all the comfort foods you will be making ahead for cozy weeknight meals?
Sure, you could still make burgers indoors, along with other summer favorites. However, let us expand the imagination a little. It may seem obvious when spelled out, but hamburger patties are essentially minced meat (or plant-based ingredients) that have been formed into patties. And what someone has formed, someone can take apart — to use for non-burger purposes.
When you think of hamburger patties as minced meat, the possibilities multiply. Here are some quick ideas for using leftover frozen hamburger patties that go beyond the burger: tossed in different kinds of pasta, burrito bowls, sloppy joes, a variety of stir fries, and so much more. If you decide to reform them into different shapes, you can even make meatballs and kebabs.
Read more: What To Do With Leftover Steak
Add Hamburger Meat To Different Dishes
Meat does not have to be at the center of your plate. In fact, it is a good idea to think of meat as a condiment — that is, to use it for flavor but not as the main event. The next time you cook dishes like fried rice or noodles, break up a hamburger patty and mix it up with the starch. Try crumbling a hamburger patty into vegetable stir fries for a protein boost, and you will likely not need a separate meat dish for your meal.
Out of minced meat for your pasta's meat sauce? Hamburger patties are a fantastic substitute, as much of the sauce's flavor will come from other ingredients. Want meatballs in that sauce instead? Reshape the patties into meatballs, adding seasoning to your taste. You can then use the same meatballs in a submarine sandwich, as part of an appetizer board, or simply on their own as a meaty snack.
One thing to note when repurposing hamburger patties is to check the ingredients list to see if they contain a significant amount of binders. If they do, you may not need to add any binding ingredients, and just need to adjust the seasonings to your preference.
Extra Tips For Repurposing Hamburgers
There are many tasty frozen burger brands on the market to try, which may explain any leftovers you have in the first place. No matter the brand, make it easier to use by defrosting the hamburger patties first and pulsing them quickly in a food processor. You can also simply mash the meat together with your hands. Then, when reforming the meat into other shapes, just pinch it apart with your fingers. If you are using them as a meaty topping for aforementioned burrito bowls and the like, a good tip is to cook the ground beef in the oven so that your hands remain raw meat-free.
Not eating meat? Not a problem. Any and all of these tips work perfectly well with plant-based burger patties, too, and add different kinds of flavor to your dishes. Now you can continue clearing space in your freezer for all of those soups you will be freezing throughout the colder months!
Read the original article on Daily Meal.