Prepping Ground Meat for Single Serve Dishes

Ground beef shaped into meatballs and patties

Prepping ground meat for single-serve dishes. Also known as not eating the same spaghetti meat sauce or burgers for days on end. Unless you want to, in which case go for it!!

Prepping Ground Meat for Single Serve Dishes



Prep time




  • Patties
  • 1 lb. ground meat

  • 7 g or 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • Meatballs
  • 2 tsp. fennel, toasted and crushed

  • 1 lb. ground beef

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats

  • 1 tbsp. chili flakes

  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder


  • Patties
  • Place the ground meat into a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt on top. Using your fingers, pinch in the salt. You want it to have a crumbly texture. If you aren't sure if the salt is fully incorporated, pinch a little bit off to cook and taste.

  • Gently shape into eight equal pieces, two ounces or 56 grams each. Place on a lined baking tray, freeze for one hour, and store in a Ziploc bag for up to six months.

  • Meatballs
  • Place a dry 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is heated, add the fennel and toast, stirring occasionally. The fennel is done when you can smell its fragrance, one to two minutes. Remove from the heat.

  • Crush the fennel in a mortar and pestle, or place in a small Ziploc bag and beat with a rolling pin or skillet until broken up into smaller pieces.

  • Place all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and mix with your hands until just combined.

  • Shape into eight 1 ounce or 28 g meatballs, place on a lined baking sheet, and freeze for one hour. After the hour is up, store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for up to six months.


    • The ground meat is prepared in two different ways. One way is to make loosely formed patties seasoned with salt for recipes like spaghetti and meat sauce. The second way is to make meatballs. I usually make both so I can have more choices throughout the week.
    • I keep the portions small; half an ounce for the meatballs and two ounces for the patties. Feel free to make the patties and meatballs smaller or larger, according to your preference.
    • You can use a broad mix of spices and herbs and match them to whichever ground meat you use. Some ideas would be ground chicken with thyme, rosemary, or tarragon; ground lamb with mint, parsley, or fennel; or ground pork with sage, rosemary, or black pepper.
    • Remember, cooking is to your taste, so after mixing the spices, pinch off a small piece of the ground meat, cook, and taste. Add more spices if desired.

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