What can I cook with mince? 28 ideas and recipes!

28 mince recipes plus what to do with their leftovers!

Mince is a staple in many households as it is generally cheap and versatile. It can get a little boring having the same thing over and over again though. Here are XX ideas and some recipes for what to make with mince. The following are simply my versions, but you can use your own or research similar recipes too. Many of these recipes and more can be found full in 26 Ingredients which is only $4.95.

1.) Spaghetti Bolognese

I know, I know, everyone knows this one. It had to be included though. There are so many ways you can make it depending on what you have on hand. Usually, I chop or grate lots of vegetables into mine as it’s a great way to use up sad looking vegetables. I fry the vegetables first, add the mince and brown it, then add sauce, herbs and seasoning as desired. You can also add lentils to make it stretch further. Serve with spaghetti noodles or any pasta you have. In a pinch, we’ve also had it on cooked rice or mashed potato.

What to do with spaghetti bolognese leftovers

Bolognese can be turned into a pie, minestrone soup, risotto, a pasta bake or used on pizza. How you use it and what you put it in is up to you!

2.) Meatballs

Not just your regular Italian meatballs, you can make meatball stroganoff, Swedish meatballs, curried meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs etc. Basically, anything you might usually make with meat and sauce, you can do with meatballs. If you don’t want to experiment too much grab a jar of any type of sauce when it’s half price at the supermarket and add it to the meatballs. To make meatballs go further you can add breadcrumbs or mix in 1 cup of leftover rice for porcupine meatballs.

To make meatballs, I usually use 500g mince, add a finely diced onion, grate in any veggies I want to use, an egg and almond meal or gluten free flour (you can use regular flour or breadcrumbs) to combine it all then I add seasons. 1 teaspoon of curry powder and 2 Tablespoons of tomato sauce added to the mixture has been popular for curry meatballs. Use Italian herbs and crushed garlic for Italian meatballs. Cook them in a medium frying pan, turning a few times to brown all over and cook through.

What to do with leftover meatballs

Use them in a sandwich, turn them into your own meatball sub, put them on pizza or break them up to use in fried rice instead of other meat. We have these recipes and more in 26 Ingredients.

3.) Hamburgers 4 ways!

Hamburger or rissoles are a favourite in our house. They can be served on buns as proper hamburgers or with chips and a side of vegetables. A few favourite options in our house are:
– Carrot rissoles: 500g mince, 1 grated carrot, 1 finely diced onion, 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic, 1 egg. Mix together to combine well. Shape into patties and fry in oil for 5 to 10 minutes either side.
– Cheesy rissoles: use any rissole or burger recipe you like. Once you have fried one side and flip it to fry the other, sprinkle cheese on it to melt straight onto the patty then serve once cooked.
– Italian rissoles: add Italian herbs to your burger mix.
– Sloppy Joes: like burgers only they are sloppy, messy and slide everywhere!

You can add fried eggs, melted cheese, salad, beetroot, salad and condiments to make it a whole meal. Alternatively, serve with cooked vegetables and mashed potato.

What to do with leftover rissoles and burgers

Why do you have leftovers? Joking! We never have leftover burgers in our house, but if you do you can use the leftovers in the same way as meatballs in sandwiches, broken up and put on pizza, used in fried rice or a pasta bake.

4.) Minestrone Soup

So easy and super filling for a cold, winter’s day. Minestrone soup is an Italian dish which uses mince, vegetables, pasta and a tomato base. It can be made in the slow cooker or whipped up quickly on the stove.

5.) Mexican Mince

A great recipe to use for a variety of Mexican meal such as tacos and enchiladas or simply have it on top of lettuce! The way we make it in our house is to brown 500g of mince, add 1 finely diced onion, 1 tin of black beans and 1 packet of taco or another seasoning. Usually, I combine paprika, chilli powder, onion and garlic powders in a jar to use for seasoning rather than buying it, but I don’t have exact measurements.

Cook the mince with the beans, onion and seasoning until cooked through. You can add capsicum, corn and zucchini when cooking it if you like as well. This makes it stretch further and feel like a more complete meal if serving only with salad.

Mexican mince freezes really well so you can cook it in bulk then divide and freeze for future use.

6.) Tacos

I love tacos! They are so quick and easy to make plus being a messy finger type food most kids love them. You can use hard or soft shells, buy taco seasoning or create your own and add any salad, cheese, sour cream, salsa or guacamole you want. Sometimes we fry up onion, capsicum, zucchini and corn to add to it or any Mexican dish which goes down well.

Heat the taco shells so they are warm and easy to use. In a frying pan fry the mince with a finely diced onion until brown then add the taco seasoning and some water (check the instructions for how much). Serve with whatever extra’s you’d like.

A simple taco seasoning is 1 tablespoon of chili Powder, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin and 1 yeaspoon of sea salt. Combine and use as you would the taco seasoning.

What to do with leftovers

If you have leftover taco shells they can usually be stored easily or break them up for nachos. The leftover mince freezes well or can be used in a Mexican style soup, enchiladas, Mexican rice or any similar Mexican dish.

7.) Enchiladas

With a basic mince recipe such as cooking the mince with taco seasoning and some black beans, you can use it for basic enchiladas. You’ll need the mince, wraps to put the mince on and roll up. Extra salsa to top the enchiladas with and cheese, then bake them in the oven. They can be served with sour cream and guacamole or served on their own with a sald.

8.) Nachos

Nachos are another favourite here, though we sometimes get lazy and they end up more as chips with cheese. Corn chips on the bottom of a tray, covered with Mexican mince, salsa and cheese then baked for 15 to 20 minutes in a moderate over will produce golden nachos.

Alternatively, if you can’t wait, stick it all on a plate and microwave until the cheese melts. Often the chips will go a little soggy though.

*Tip: if you don’t have corn chips you can use baked tortillas. There is a recipe to make your own in 26 ingredients.

9.) Meatloaf

This is a classic for a reason. It goes great with vegetables or on a sandwich. It can be prepped in the morning then baked in the evening and you can get creative hiding vegetables in it, lentils or breadcrumbs to make it stretch further.

Meatloaf is essentially mince with diced onion, herbs and seasoning, some grated vegetables if you like, shaped into a loaf or cooked in a loaf tin. You can make it Mexican, Italian or mix it up with any variation of herbs you have on hand. It’s then baked in the oven and served with vegetables or salad.

10.) Sausage rolls

Using a meatloaf recipe, instead of forming the meat into a loaf and baking it in the oven, get out some pastry (puff pastry makes more flaky rolls which shortcrust pastry makes sausage rolls similar to what you buy in the frozen section of the supermarket). Place spoonfuls of the mince mixture onto the pastry and roll the pastry up then bake it in the oven until the pastry is golden and the mince is cooked through.

11.) Meat pies

Another meal with pastry. Shortcrust pastry is the best option when baking pies. You canmake a regular mince pie cooking mince with gravy then filling the pie with the mixture and placing pastry on top. Or you can do mince and vegetables, top the pie with mashed potato or any other combination you like. Think about what you see in the shops and try your own combination of flavours.

12.) Shepherds or cottage pie

You don’t need pastry for this pie. Essentially mince cooked with vegetables and either a gravy or tomato sauce and placed in a pie dish or baking tray. Then you top it with mashed potato (and usually cheese, though some people do breadcrumbs). Bake it in a moderate oven for 20minutes or until the cheese is golden and melted.

This is a great way to use up vegetables, leftover mashed potato or lentils.

13.) Chilli

Another favourite here, though there are so many variations! Just ask my Southern friends in the States. Our basic one is 500g of mince cooked until brown then added to the slow cooker. Add in a tin of black beans, 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, 2 tins of crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 diced onion, and vegetables such as diced capsicum and zucchini. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

However, that is a basic and not very exciting one, so I encourage you to create your own version and experiment with it.

What to do with leftover chilli?

Most good chilli recipes are fantastic the next day but if you don’t feel like eating it you can turn it into a soup, a pie or even a spicy rice dish.

14.) Moussaka

A delicious dish usually based on eggplant or potato with mince it can be simple to make and served either on its own, with salad or vegetables. I don’t make this so can’t offer tips but I have friends who love it.

15.) Curried Mince

Love a good curry? Use mince! Curry mince can be done in so many variations. If you have a favourite curry you can brown some mince and add to the curry instead of other meats.

Alternatively, cook mince with some curry powder, tomato paste, onion, ginger and garlic. Serve it with vegetables or cook some vegetables with it and serve it with rice. Another option is to use it mixed into a simple dhal made of lentils. It’s simple, easy to make and quite filling.

What to do with curry mince leftovers

Curry mince is quite versatile. Turn leftovers into pies, pastries, use it in soup, a curry risotto or curry fried rice.

16.) Mince and Noodles

When I was a kid this was fairly common and I am pretty sure mum just made it up one night but I have seen variations. It can either be pasta and mince with a sauce of some sort all mixed together instead of being served with the pasta on the bottom and bolognese on top. Another version was mince cooked with frozen vegetables and a packet or two of 2-minute noodles and some seasoning (sometimes French onion soup mix) or a pasta sauce. It’s basically a ‘throw it all in’ type meal.

17.) Stew with dumplings

When is the last time you had a stew? My favourite stews are slow cooked with certain cuts of meat, but a basic mince stew can be good too. Using gravy, vegetables and mince you can cook it on the stove or in a slow cooker with dumplings. Dumplings can be made herby (especially if the stew is an Italian flavoured one) to make the flavour go through everything.

In case you don’t know what a dumpling is, it is basically balls of dough made from flour. When used it stew they are dropped in and cook in the pot. Or some people prefer to do the whole stew in the overn and brown the tops of the dumplings.

18.) Cabbage rolls

We had these a few times and they were a great option for sneaking in more veggies too. Soften the cabbage leaves in warm water then place a mince mixture such as one used for meatballs or meatloaf. Roll up the cabbage and repeat with other leaves. Place them in a tray, cover in a sauce such as pasta sauce, grated cheese if you like as well then bake in a moderate oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the mince is cooked through and the cheese is golden brown.

When I make these I use about 25% mince and the rest is finely chopped or grated vegetables. A friend who is a massive meat eater could not believe there was only 200g of mince in enough cabbage rolls to feed 6!

19.) Chow Mein

A delicious dish similar to the mince and noodles above, but seasoned with soy sauce and oyster sauce plus it uses Asian greens such as pak choy or bok choy. A great way to use up vegetables and give the family something different.

20.) San Choy Bau

We love this! The crunch from the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots really makes it something different to a lot of mince recipes. Our favourite version is this one.

21.) Wonton Soup

If you’ve never made wontons before, don’t worry. It is similar to making a pastie. Pop the mixture in the middle of the wonton wrapper, wet the edges and either wrap it into a parcel or add another wonton wrapper and press at the edges to combine. Wontons are great in wonton soup!

22.) Keto Pizza

Have you ever had a pizza that is low carb and so meaty even the base is meat? We have and it was surprisingly good as well as filling. Using 500g of chicken mince mixed with 1 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 egg and some herbs I made the base. This was pressed flat on the tray like a pizza base then cooked for 10 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, we added the toppings the same as you would with any pizza and cooked it again to melt the cheese.

It was meat overload for me but many on a low carb or keto diet love it.

23.) Jaffles/toasted sandwiches

For best results use a sandwich press or toastie maker. Butter either side of the bread, put your filling in the middle then close the sandwich press to cook it all. This is best done with leftovers such as Mexican mince, bolognese, meatloaf, meatballs or similar.

24.) Koftas

Greeks make great food and koftas are no exception! Basically meat on a stick. Choose your mince, your herbs and make a mixture similar to meatloaf or meatballs you can press onto a stick. Then bake or fry them and serve with a salad or vegetables.

25.) Stuffed Capsicums

If you have a few capsicums on hand, you can make stuffed capsicums which is essentially a meatloaf or meatball mix stuffed into capsicums then baked in the oven. Chop the top off a few capsicums, scoop out the seeds, fill them with the mince mixture then top with cheese if you want or put the capsicum top back on.

Place in a baking tray with a little water on the bottom and cook for 30 minutes until the mince is cooked through and the capsicum has started to go soft.

26.) Stuffed potatoes

Sweet potatoes are the best for this in my opinion but use whatever you have on hand. Bake the potato first, scoop out some of the middle then put whatever mince mixture you want to use in the middle and wrap up to bake again or serve as is. Bolognese or Mexican mince are two delicious options which can also be topped with cheese and other vegetables to make the meal go further.

27.) Stir-fry

Instead of stir-fry meat, you can use mince. Dice up the vegetables you want to use, cook the mince and vegetables fast then add whatever sauce you want to use. Honey and soy sauce is a popular option.

28.) Risotto

If you have leftover bolognese we have a recipe for bolognese risotto. Aside from that, you can easily use mince for a basic risotto. Since risotto is rice cooked with stock and you add any vegetables and/or meat, it is up to you what flavours you use.

What to do with leftover risotto

Leftover risotto can be made into arancini balls. Get a cube of cheese, wrap it with risotto. Roll the risotto in an egg which has been whisked then in breadcrumbs and fry or back in the oven. Serve with salad or vegetables.

What mince meals do you like?

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