10 Best Leftover Hamburger Recipes

By Ben Isham-Smith


Easy leftover hamburger recipes and delicious meal ideas that make the most of your burger patties. From cheesy beef quesadillas to sloppy joe sandwiches, here’s what to do with leftover hamburgers.

leftover hamburger recipes

Hamburgers are an all-American classic, loved by children and adults alike. In fact, it’s so easy to rustle up grilled hamburgers that you’re bound to have plenty left over to play with. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with eating the same burgers the day after, why not get creative with your upcoming homemade dinners?

From cheesy and creamy comfort food to healthier and protein-rich snacks, these leftover hamburger recipes are versatile, easy to whip up, and save you from throwing away those delicious patties.

Hamburger Mac & Cheese

Hamburger Mac & Cheese

Sometimes known as hamburger helper, mac and cheese pairs perfectly with leftover hamburger patties. Seriously, is there a better combination than meat, cheese, and pasta?

You’ll be able to add a variety of spices, like onion, paprika, and garlic powder to the pre-cooked hamburgers, before stirring in the macaroni and cheese—and don’t forget to add some freshness with a sprinkle of parsley.

Try This Recipe: This homemade hamburger helper is ready in 30 minutes, making it a great option for busy weeknights, while the addition of milk, beef broth, and tomato sauce creates an unmistakable umami taste.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

beef stuffed bell peppers

Perfect for the warmer months, stuffed bell peppers are low-carb and low in calories, yet still pack a flavor punch.

No need for cutlery here. Simply pick up the peppers with your fingers and enjoy at picnics, al fresco lunches, and even when running errands.

Add some saucy rice, extra diced veggies, and rich marinara to your hamburgers, and you’ve got yourself a delicious snack or easy meal that can also be taken on the go.

Try This Recipe: These easy stuffed peppers freeze well and can be customizable, depending on what else you have in the fridge. 

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are a comfort food sandwich you won’t want to miss out on. Rich, hearty, and oh-so comforting as a late-night snack, sloppy joes should be a staple in your cooking rotation. You’ll want to load up your bread with as much of the delicious meat filling as possible, and don’t be afraid if it starts to spill over the sides. After all, where do you think the ‘sloppy’ in sloppy joes comes from? 

Ground up your leftover hamburgers to transform it into regular mince meat and add in an explosion of flavor with a mix of different sauces and herbs. Adding finely cut veggies means you can also smuggle in some extra nutrients for the kids. 

Try This Recipe: These saucy sloppy joes are affordable and packed with flavor, with the inclusion of ketchup and barbecue sauce.

Easy Beef Mexican Tacos

Easy Beef Mexican Tacos

Mexican food and beef go together as well as peanut butter and jelly—it’s just a fact. Make Mexican tacos that much easier to prepare by utilizing leftover hamburgers. You can easily add the seasonings and veggies to the pre-cooked and cooled beef, and warm it all up in a pan.

With crispy and fresh lettuce, richly seasoned meat, and a fresh kick from the red onion, Mexican tacos will be an explosion on your palate and are sure to please even the pickiest of foodies. Don’t forget the extra cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. And if you like your tacos with an extra spicy kick, play around with jalapenos and different types of salsas. But don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Try This Recipe: These easy ground beef tacos have a specially curated spice mix to really elevate the natural flavors of the ingredients. 

Cheesy Beef Quesadillas

Cheesy Beef Quesadillas

Carrying on with the cheese trend (since you really can’t have enough of it!) means the inclusion of cheesy beef quesadillas, which are easy to make and even easier to devour. Due to the extensive amount of cheese, the quesadillas hold well together, so they taste just as good when they’re cooled down and taken on the go. 

With a copious amount of gooey cheese, a crispy tortilla, and a big dose of delightfully umami beef, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t tried this earlier after you give this meal a go. The secret of a great quesadilla lies in the type of cheese, with a popular option being a mix of cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack. Add in some freshness with a light garden salad on the side, or lean into the decadence with extra sour cream and guacamole on top.

Try This Recipe: These cheesy ground beef quesadillas can be packed with as much filling as desired—and trust us, you’ll want to load up as much as possible. 

Ground Beef Lasagne

Ground Beef Lasagne

Ah, the humble lasagne. Filled with layers upon layers of chewy pasta, ricotta cheese, a homemade meat sauce, and (you guessed it) even more cheese, there’s a reason why lasagne has remained a firm family favorite for generations.

Apart from being fun to assemble, lasagne is the ultimate hearty weeknight dinner, and even stores well for leftovers in the freezer. Simply crumble leftover hamburgers into the meat sauce for a hearty meal. 

Lasagne shines when served with a fresh and zesty salad on the side, which cuts into the richness of the meal. But if you’re looking for an extra carb hit, start off with some richly seasoned garlic bread.

Try This Recipe: This classic lasagne recipe is pure Italian decadence, with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.

Asian Beef Bowls

Asian Beef Bowls

Add a flavorsome Asian twist to your leftover hamburgers by repurposing them for Asian beef bowls. With a deep salty-sweet taste thanks to the mix of various Asian condiments, you’ll be able to customize your meal with the exact type of vegetables and rice you want. We recommend white rice and a nice combination of broccoli, green beans, and mushrooms.

Since the hamburgers are already cooked, you’ll need to stir in the various condiments and herbs to the beef, before warming it up on the skillet for a slight caramelization. Don’t forget to sprinkle on some sesame seeds or spring onion before serving. We guarantee that you’ll be coming back for more!

Try This Recipe: With a two-to-one ratio of oyster sauce and hoisin sauce, get an intense flavor punch with these Asian beef bowls

Homestyle Chili

Homestyle Chili

There’s nothing quite as convenient and family-friendly as a one-pot meal that everyone can just dig into. And this is exactly why homestyle chili has become a go-to dinner for American families looking to save time and money—while creating a hearty meal that fills you up on those colder evenings.

While often mistaken as a thicker version of a soup, chili is so much more. Loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients like beans and beef, the addition of various spices really takes the dish to the next level, while remaining as inexpensive as ever.

Try This Recipe: Incredibly moreish yet nutritious, this thick and hearty homestyle chili is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 

Patty Melt

Patty Melt

While often mistaken as a glorified sandwich, patty melts have made their way across fast food chains across America due to their juicy and satisfying taste. And when we say juicy, we mean it. When done correctly, a good patty melt will literally melt in the mouth and give way to an incredibly juicy and satisfying chew.

Patty melts are relatively simple, consisting of good quality bread, patty (which is where the leftover hamburgers come in) cheese, and onions. The ratio and type of these ingredients will depend on your preferences. This is definitely a recipe you’ll be tweaking to get it absolutely perfect for your palate!

Try This Recipe: Many recipes boast being on top, but this best patty melt recipe provides essential tips and tricks to take your patty melt to new heights. 

Cottage Pie

beef cottage pie

Cozy, warming, and topped with potato goodness, there’s so much to love about cottage pie. Known as a British pub classic, the rich gravy, perfectly fluffy potatoes, deeply seasoned beef, and light bursts of vegetables combine for the ultimate mouthful.

In this recipe, carefully sauteed onions mix with leftover hamburger meat, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste, to create a meat sauce worth sharing. Adding in a substantial dose of frozen or fresh veggies to the mix not only adds extra nutrients, but a punch of lightness that cuts through the fluffy potatoes plopped on top.

Try This Recipe: This cottage pie recipe has an utterly delicious and thick leftover meat filling, combined with butter, flour, and vegetables.

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About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.

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