Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

Slim Down Ground Beef

Here are some great ideas for preparing ground beef for dishes like soup, tacos, casseroles and spaghetti sauce.

Good cooks know that draining and blotting pan-fried ground beef crumbles will eliminate some of the fat. But researchers at Iowa State University have found that rinsing the cooked beef can reduce the fat content 50% more than draining and blotting alone—with minimal flavor loss. The technique is outlined in the recipes on this page.

When drained and blotted, a 3-ounce portion of ground beef crumbles from standard (27% fat) ground beef contains 195 calories and 12 grams of fat. That same beef drained, blotted and rinsed with hot water weighs in at 135 calories and 6 grams of fat.

In recipes where blotting and rinsing are not practical, such as meat loaf or stuffed peppers, our Test Kitchen recommends using extra lean (10% fat) ground beef.

Ground Beef Recipes

Need to feed a group? Hearty Spaghetti Sauce (shown above) requires just minutes of preparation and simmers 'til supper time. It's shared by Kimberly Rockwell of Charlotte, North Carolina. For a zestier sauce, try the thick, chili-like Mexican Spaghetti Sauce from Sandi Leonard of Peculiar, Missouri. She gives spaghetti a southwestern zip.

When her family craves an Oriental-style meal, LaVonne Hegland of St. Michael, Minnesota pulls out this easy one-dish Beef Chow Mein Skillet.