Can You Mix Ground Chicken and Ground Beef Together? The Ultimate Guide

Ground chicken and ground beef are two versatile and affordable meat staples that most home cooks keep stocked in their freezers. While they each have their own distinct flavor and texture many people wonder if it’s possible to combine ground chicken and beef to make a unique meat blend.

The short answer is yes – you absolutely can mix ground chicken and ground beef together! Blending these two proteins creates a lighter, less fatty option compared to all beef, with more interesting flavor complexity. This chicken and beef combo works great in dishes like meatballs, burgers, tacos, pasta sauce, and more.

Below. we’ll cover everything you need to know about mixing ground chicken and beef including

  • How to combine the meats properly
  • Benefits and drawbacks of chicken and beef blend
  • Best recipes and dishes to use it in
  • Pro tips for maximum flavor and juiciness
  • Nutrition comparison of chicken vs. beef
  • Frequently asked questions

So if you’re looking to change up your usual ground meat repertoire, read on to learn why you should give this dynamic mixed meat duo a try!

How to Mix Ground Chicken and Beef

Luckily, blending ground chicken and beef together is easy and straightforward. Here’s a simple process:

  • Decide on proportions. A 50/50 ratio is a safe bet, but you can adjust to your tastes. Using more chicken will give a leaner, lighter blend. More beef provides a fattier, bolder flavor.

  • Combine in a mixing bowl. Make sure meats are thoroughly thawed if using frozen. Crumble meats together with your hands, breaking up any large chunks.

  • Mix well. Keep squishing and kneading the meats together until fully incorporated. The chicken and beef should be evenly distributed throughout.

  • Season generously. Add whatever spices and herbs you like. Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper are great basics.

  • Cook as desired. Form into patties, meatballs, etc. Cook on stovetop or grill until fully browned and cooked through, 160°F for ground chicken and 160-165°F for beef.

And that’s it! The chicken and beef are now blended together perfectly. Time to cook up something delicious.

Benefits of Chicken and Beef Mixed Together

Combining ground chicken and beef offers several advantages:

  • More interesting flavor – You get savory, beefy notes plus subtle chicken flavor. More complexity than just one meat alone.

  • Leaner option – Chicken lightens up the higher fat content of beef. More healthful than all beef.

  • Moist and tender – Chicken keeps burgers and meatballs juicier. Less prone to dryness.

  • Nutritional balance – Mixing meats provides a more complete protein profile with a range of vitamins and minerals.

  • Versatile – Works in basically any ground meat recipe like tacos, chili, pasta sauce, etc.

  • Budget-friendly – Lets you stretch costly beef further. Chicken is usually cheaper pound for pound.

The combo is ideal for those looking for a flavorful but better-for-you meat option. Kids may also enjoy the milder taste compared to straight beef.

Best Dishes for Chicken and Beef Blend

This supremely versatile protein blend can be substituted in most recipes calling for ground beef or turkey. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy ground chicken and beef together:


Burgers made with the chicken and beef combo are juicier, lighter, and infused with extra flavor. The chicken keeps them from becoming dry hockey pucks on the grill. Slide them onto buns with your favorite toppings.

Meatloaf or Meatballs

Chicken gives a nice texture contrast and ramps up the flavor of classic homestyle meatloaf. For meatballs, the blend holds together well without drying out. Simmer in your favorite sauce.


Make taco night more interesting by swapping in this dynamic chicken and beef filling. The added moisture from the chicken keeps turquoise vibrant and delicious when stuffed into taco shells or served over salad.

Pasta Sauce

For a meaty but lighter Bolognese or ragu, use the mixed ground meats as the base. Cook with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and spices for a sauce that clings perfectly to noodles.


Let the blend of meats provide hearty flavor and texture to chili. The chicken balances out the richness from beef. Top with your favorite chili toppings.

Lasagna Filling

For lasagna with more complex flavor, lightly cook the chicken and beef blend before layering into the casserole. The combo is substantial enough to stand up to robust sauce and cheeses.

Shepherd’s Pie

For cottage pie or shepherd’s pie, the chicken and beef filling provides comforting flavor beneath fluffy mashed potatoes. The chicken stops the base from being overly heavy.

Handy Tips for Cooking with Mixed Meats

To get the most success when cooking with blended ground chicken and beef, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef for the best balance of fat and flavor after mixing with lean chicken.

  • Add a touch of breadcrumbs or panko to help bind meats together, especially for burgers and meatballs.

  • Season aggressively with spices and let marinate for extra flavor penetration. Onion powder, garlic, Worcestershire sauce all work well.

  • Don’t overmix once combined. This can make burgers dense and tough.

  • Cook to proper temperatures – at least 160°F for chicken and 160-165°F for beef to eliminate food safety risks.

  • Avoid cooking on very high heat which can dry out the lean chicken. Use moderate heat for the best texture.

  • Brush patties and meatballs with oil during cooking to help keep meat moist.

  • Let burgers and meatballs rest for 5 minutes after cooking so juices redistribute evenly.

Ground Chicken vs. Ground Beef: Nutrition and Differences

So how exactly do ground chicken and beef differ in terms of nutrition, fat content, taste, and texture? Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Calories and macronutrients: Chicken is significantly lower calorie and fat compared to beef. However, beef contains more protein per serving.

  • Ground chicken (85% lean): 150 calories, 3g fat, 23g protein per 4oz raw
  • 85% lean ground beef: 287 calories, 19g fat, 19g protein per 4oz raw

Fat and cholesterol: Chicken has less total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol:

  • Ground chicken: 3g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 76mg cholesterol per 4oz
  • 85% lean ground beef: 19g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 89mg cholesterol per 4oz

Vitamins and minerals: Chicken has more niacin, vitamin B6, selenium. Beef is higher in iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.

Taste and texture: Beef is bolder, richer, and more dense. Chicken is milder with a softer consistency.

Applications: Beef works better for burgers, meatloaf. Chicken is ideal for lighter dishes like tacos, pasta sauce, chili.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mixed Ground Meats

If you’re considering combining ground chicken and beef, here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

Is it safe to mix different types of raw meat?

Yes, it’s completely safe to blend two different raw meats like chicken and beef. Just be sure to cook thoroughly to safe internal temperatures.

Can you swap in this chicken and beef blend in any ground beef recipe?

You sure can! The blend can be seamlessly substituted 1:1 for regular ground beef in tacos, chili, pasta sauce, etc.

What about food safety and undercooking risks?

To avoid foodborne illness, always cook blended meats to 160°F minimum for ground chicken and 160-165°F for ground beef. Use a meat thermometer to verify doneness.

Does the chicken change the taste and texture of ground beef much?

It lightens up the density slightly and makes the flavor less intensely beefy. For most recipes, the differences are subtle.

Which meat should you use more of in the blend?

It depends on your goals! Use more chicken for a leaner, lighter result. Go heavier on the beef if you want more rich, beefy flavor.

Can you freeze and thaw the ground chicken and beef mixture?

You sure can. Combine them fresh, then form into patties or meatballs and place in freezer bags. Thaw in fridge before cooking.

What are the best lean beef options to mix with chicken?

Go with 85% or 90% lean ground beef for mixing. Anything fattier will still be too high fat once chicken is added.

The Takeaway: Give Mixed Ground Meats a Tasty Try!

Chicken and beef really do complement each other beautifully when blended together. You wind up with a hearty yet lean meat blend that can elevate any recipe calling for regular ground beef or turkey.

This versatile combo is incredibly simple to mix up fresh at home. Just be sure to blend thoroughly, season well, and cook properly. Enjoy the unique flavors and textures in burgers, meatballs, tacos, pasta sauce, and so much more.

So next time you’re prepping ground meat for dinner, leave behind the boring all-beef fare. Get creative with a custom chicken and beef blend instead to energize your cooking! Your tastebuds and waistline will thank you.

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