Planning the weekly tea time menu can be tricky - whether you are feeding the family, your roommates or just yourself. But you can make the challenge far simpler, and more affordable, by creating a few delicious dishes around a common key ingredient.

Minced beef is a meal time favourite that’s highly versatile, cost-effective and most importantly, lean – containing as little as 5% fat. Here are 5 easy meals to make with mince, including some familiar favourites, and a couple you may not have previously considered. Head down to your local convenience store to pick up a few trays of quality, British minced beef, and make mincemeat out of meal planning.

What to Cook with Mince – The Classics

1. Simple Spaghetti Bolognese

We couldn’t start a list of classic and easy meals with mince, without this Italian masterpiece. Of course, it’s simple to reach for a jar of ready-made Bolognese sauce, but your family or other dinner time company will be far more impressed if you follow this traditional Spaghetti Bolognese recipe – and it really isn’t that much harder than opening a jar!

To serve four, you’ll need a 400g tray of minced beef. Add to a saucepan or wok over medium heat in a little olive oil. Pay close attention to the mince. As soon as it has turned brown, remove from the heat and set aside in a bowl. In the now empty pan or wok, add in a single diced onion, and fry gently for five minutes until softened. Add two chopped garlic cloves, and 100g of grated carrot (yes – carrot, we’re going full traditional!) and stir together, before adding your browned mince back to the pan.

Now to give it that traditional Bolognese sauce consistency and colour – add in two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, stir the mixture together and leave to simmer for around 15 minutes until thickened. While simmering, boil 400g of dried spaghetti as per the instructions on the packet (likely to be around four minutes to soften) and once ready, add to your Bolognese (this is why a wok is ideal to give you that extra mixing space!). Mix together and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

It’s the simplest of beef mince recipe ideas that tastes as good as mama used to make!

2. Brilliantly Easy Burgers

If you were to buy a 1kg tray of mince towards your Bolognese, here’s a second meal you could make from that single purchase – we did say it was versatile and cost-effective! To make 4 burgers, you will need 500g of minced beef, a single egg, and a small onion, peeled and diced.

This is the simplest and best hamburger recipe around. Simply tip your mince and diced onion into a bowl and crack in your egg. Get your hands stuck in and mix together. Then divide your mixture into 4 equal sized portions and form into a ball. Lay out the four balls onto a chopping board and press down with the palm of your hand to form patties – the thickness is up to you. Brush with olive oil and lay under a grill or on a barbecue until cooked to your liking.

As a guide – around five minutes per side will result in a medium level of cooking, one minute less will give you a rare burger, a minute longer per side for well done, depending on how hard you chose to squash them down!

Add to a bun with your favourite salad and sauce. A classic and easy mince recipe, and it uses similar ingredients to the Bolognese above – how convenient!

Couldn’t be easier Cottage Pie

We’ve taken some international influence for our first two suggestions, so here’s a quintessentially British beef belter. This will make a pie big enough to serve up to six people, so you will need 900g of minced beef.

Similar to the method of the Spaghetti Bolognese above, add some olive oil to a pan and cook your mince in two batches until browned, before transferring to a bowl. In the now empty pan, heat a diced onion and three crushed garlic cloves for around three minutes until softened. Then add your mince back to the pan, along with 32g of dried gravy powder, stirring for around a minute. Pour in 850m of beef stock along with 4 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes until thickened.

Meanwhile, work on the potato topping. In a saucepan, boil 1kg of peeled and chopped potatoes for around 12 minutes. Mash until smooth and add 50ml of milk and a generous knob of butter to combine. 

Tip your mince into a casserole dish and pat down with the back of a spoon. Smear over your mashed potato and sprinkle with grated cheddar. Bake for 25 minutes at 180°C and serve.

Some not so familiar beef mince recipe ideas

4. Take it Easy Instead of Takeaway - Homemade Yuk Sung

If you like a Chinese takeaway, you will have probably tried Yuk Sung before. And with some minced beef on standby, it couldn’t be easier to make at home. Heat a tbsp of sunflower oil in a pan and add two crushed garlic cloves, two red chillies which have been deseeded and sliced. Add in a piece of root ginger, peeled and grated, then heat for a minute. Stir in in 500g of minced beef and brown, before sprinkling over 85g of brown sugar and the juice of a single lime. Stir together and remove from the heat.

Tip your mince into a large serving bowl, and serve alongside large lettuce leaves for your guests to wrap their fragrant mince in. Offer a quarter of lime alongside for them to add an extra acidic kick.

5. Keep it Simple Keema with Peas

Our final suggestion for what to cook with mince, is inspired by India. Keema with peas is a spicy dish packed full of flavour. You will need 500g of beef mince, which is fried in a little oil alongside a whole diced onion, two chopped garlic cloves, a small piece of grated ginger and two green chillies, deseeded and sliced. Heat until browned and fragrant.

Now add your spices – two tbsp of garam masala and two tsp of turmeric. Fry for a minute before adding half a tin of chopped tomatoes. After a further minute, stir in two tbsp of natural yoghurt and leave to simmer for around half an hour. Add 200g of frozen peas and leave to simmer for a further five minutes until the peas soften. Serve alongside some classic Indian sides like rice, poppadums and chutney.

 

Easy Meals to Make With Mince, Made Possible with SPAR

These are just 5 simple dishes you can make at home with one key ingredient – and a few others that can be crossed over too. It doesn’t have to be beef mince either, you could substitute for pork or turkey if you prefer. Find quality minced meat, veg and all the other ingredients you need to whip up these easy mince recipes at your local convenience store.