Cooking Up Ground Beef and Italian Sausage – A Match Made in Heaven!

Y’all, I’m so pumped to chat about one of my favorite combo meals – ground beef and Italian sausage cooked together! I don’t know who first decided to mix these two ingredients, but they deserve an award. This dynamic duo makes for some insanely delicious dishes. But is it really ok to cook them together? Let’s find out!

Can You Cook Ground Beef and Italian Sausage Together?

Short answer – heck yes! Not only can you absolutely cook ground beef and Italian sausage together, but you totally should.

When prepared properly, these two proteins play off each other deliciously:

  • The beef provides hearty, meaty flavor
  • The sausage kicks it up a notch with zesty, aromatic seasoning

It’s a match made in heaven! But there are a few tips to follow for safety and maximum yumminess. Let’s get into it…

Handy Tips for Cooking Ground Beef and Sausage

If you wanna nail cooking ground beef and Italian sausage together, here are my best pointers:

Brown the Beef First

  • Start by browning the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat

  • Break it up into crumbles as it cooks. Cook until no longer pink.

  • Once browned, transfer the cooked beef to a bowl and set aside.

Then Cook the Sausage

  • Add the raw Italian sausage to the same skillet.

  • Cook over medium heat, breaking up any large chunks.

  • Cook until browned all over and cooked through.

Return the Beef to the Pan

  • Add the cooked ground beef back to the skillet with the sausage.

  • Stir together and cook for 2-3 minutes more to blend flavors.

  • Doing beef first prevents overcooking from longer sausage cook time.

Season Generously

  • Italian sausage has bold seasoning, but don’t be shy about adding more!

  • Garlic, onion, oregano, basil, parsley all complement nicely.

  • A pinch of red pepper flakes never hurts either.

Cook Thoroughly

  • Always cook ground meat mixtures to an internal temp of 160°F.

  • Make sure beef and sausage are fully cooked through for food safety.

  • Cut into a few pieces to check doneness if unsure.

Creative Ways to Use Ground Beef and Italian Sausage

Once you’ve mastered the cooking technique, the fun part is figuring out how to use this winning ingredient combo! Here are some of my fave ways to enjoy ground beef and sausage:

Baked Ziti or Lasagna

  • Mix into a baked pasta dish like ziti or lasagna.

  • The meaty sauce pairs perfectly with ooey, cheesy noodles.

  • Just brown meat, simmer in marinara, and assemble!

Meatballs or Meatloaf

  • For a super moist, flavor-packed meatloaf or meatballs, use half beef and half sausage.

  • Season with traditional meatloaf spices.

  • The sausage keeps it from drying out.

Pizza Topping

  • Spread over pizza dough along with mozzarella for a hearty, indulgent pizza.

  • Adds way more flavor than just plain ground beef.

  • Finish with basil, oregano, Parmesan. Yum!

Taco Filling

  • Season the meat mix with cumin, chili powder, garlic, and serve in tortillas.

  • Garnish with all the taco fixings like lettuce, tomato, cheese, and avocado.

  • Italian sausage tacos = crazy delicious.

Stuffed Peppers or Cabbage Rolls

  • Fill roasted peppers or steamed cabbage leaves with the beef and sausage mixture.

  • Mix in cooked rice or quinoa to stretch it further.

  • Top with tomato sauce and melted cheese.

The possibilities are endless! Use your imagination.

Handy FAQs About Cooking Ground Beef and Sausage

I know you guys have questions. Here are some common ones about cooking with ground beef and Italian sausage:

Is it safe to combine raw ground beef and raw sausage?

Yes, as long as you cook it thoroughly to 160°F. Handle raw meat safely.

How do you know when the sausage is fully cooked?

It will be nicely browned with no pink spots. Check internal temp.

Do you have to cook them in separate pans?

Nope, one pan works fine. Cook beef first, remove, then sausage.

Can you use spicy sausage instead of Italian?

You sure can! Adjust seasonings accordingly.

What about pre-cooked sausage?

Browning raw sausage improves flavor. Use pre-cooked as is.

Can you freeze leftovers?

Yep! Allow mixture to cool fully then freeze in an airtight container.

How long does it keep in the fridge?

Use within 3-4 days for peak freshness and food safety.

What’s your favorite recipe with this combo?

I love stuffing peppers or making a hearty Bolognese sauce!

Recipe Ideas to Try

Sold on mixing ground beef and Italian sausage? Here are a few of my go-to recipes to try:

1. Ooey Gooey Baked Ziti

    • Beef and sausage meat sauce
    • Ziti noodles
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Herbs and spices
    • Tomato sauce or pasta sauce

2. Juicy Meatball Subs

    • Beef and sausage meatballs
    • Hoagie rolls
    • Pizza sauce
    • Melted provolone
    • Onion, bell pepper, spinach

3. Cheesy Jumbo Stuffed Shells

    • Jumbo pasta shells
    • Beef and sausage filling
    • Ricotta and parmesan
    • Tomato basil sauce
    • Shredded mozzarella

4. Southwest Stuffed Peppers

    • Beef and sausage filling
    • Cooked rice
    • Tomatoes, corn, beans
    • Southwest spices
    • Pepper jack cheese

5. Simple Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

    • Beef and sausage
    • Onion, garlic
    • Crushed tomatoes
    • Tomato paste, herbs
    • Cooked spaghetti
    • Grated parmesan

Let’s Do This!

Ground beef brings the beefy umami party, while sausage brings zesty, aromatic flavor to the mix. Combined, they make for some mouthwateringly delicious possibilities. Just be sure to brown the beef first, then sausage, season generously, and cook thoroughly.

So what are you waiting for? Go grab some ground beef and Italian sausage from the store and start cooking up some insanely flavorful dishes! Trust me, this combo is an absolute winner. Your tastebuds and belly will thank you.

This Italian Sausage Pasta Is So Easy, You’ll Forget About Other Pasta Recipes

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