Ground Pork: One of the Most Versatile Foods

In our kitchen, ground pork is a must-have. It’s not because it’s delicious (although it is). And it’s not because it’s super affordable (although it’s that too). But because it is so darn versatile. We have ground pork recipes in this article. Choose one that is right for you!

No matter what else you have in your fridge or cupboard if you have ground pork, you know can whip up something good.

ground pork recipes

In this review, we break down our favorite ground pork recipes. This way, you can ditch the chicken breast (too expensive), and lose the ground beef (too fatty), for something that combines the best of both.

If you are reading this and struggling to decide what to make for dinner tonight, look no further. Because here at PocketChangeGourmet, we have personally cooked and eaten each of the meals we have reviewed. And since you can never trust your own opinion on its own, we trawled the internet for other reviews to see what other people think.

The results might shock you but we put together a list of our favorites, and honestly we didn’t even know some of these were possible until we tried. So read on and find out what you have been missing out on all this time.

How We Choose Our Ratings

We base our ratings off of actual testimonials and reviews we find online. To weed out potential trolls or fakes, we also source reviews from professional food critics and chefs. This way, we always get a balanced and reliable account for every recipe.

Essentially, we aggregate over a dozen reviews from a variety of sources for every recipe we review. As a courtesy to our readers, we make sure that every review is legit, and not commercially motivated. We like to think that this is necessary to keep our readers’ trust.

Top 5 Ground Pork Recipes

 Spicy Italian Pork Meatballs

Rating: 5/5 Stars

This was a close one. But out of all our favorite ground pork recipes, we finally decided on the classic Spicy Italian Pork Meatballs to take the coveted number one spot.

Why? Because they are super-fast, delicious, cheap, and a perfect complement for nearly any casual evening dish. And if you’re looking for a more complete meal, we included a marinara recipe too.

Find the list of ingredients for the meatballs below:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ cup Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs (Italian Style)
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper or cayenne flakes

Find the ingredients for the marinara sauce below:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ½ crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 6 basil leaves

To prepare the meatballs, simply preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until fully combined.

Finally, spoon 20 meatballs of approximately 1.5 inches in diameter onto a sprayed baking pan and cook for 15-20 minutes.

 Barbecue Pork Egg Rolls

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Mmmm. There are few snacks out there that can rival crispy, warm egg rolls. And these guys are truly one of a kind. Our homemade barbecue egg rolls are jam packed with spiced ground pork and dipped in a sweet BBQ sauce for a unique spin on a classic Asian-inspired dish.

Here are all the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
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    Black pepper to taste
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    6 egg roll wraps
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    ½ cup canola or coconut oil

Start by heating a large pan and add in the ground pork. You want to ensure that the pork is broken into small pieces and is not chunky. Then add garlics, onions, soy sauce, pepper, ginger, and sesame oil to the pan and stir in until cooked through. Remove and let cool.

Afterward, scoop out the pork mixture and add it to the egg roll wraps, then fold toward center and seal.

Heat a pan on medium with the canola oil, then add egg rolls to the pan. Make sure that the folded side is facing down, then cook until golden and crispy. Finally, remove from heat once finished and drain any leftover oil.

Serve warm and dip in your favorite barbecue sauce (we recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s).

 Savory Ground Pork Tacos

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Nothing beats taco night. That’s why we came up with this great new alternative to the regular beef taco. This variant definitely holds its own in terms of taste but comes up even better when comparing costs and versatility. Since ground pork has a more neutral taste than fattier beef, these tacos can be paired with just about anything.

Here are all the ingredients for our savory ground pork tacos:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • ¾ cup onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
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    Cumin to taste
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    ½ tsp sea salt
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    ? cup water
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    6 tortillas
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    ½ cup canola oil

As for toppings, here are our (basic) suggestions:

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese or Tex-Mex, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup hot salsa

Fire up a large skillet and stir in the pork, onion, peppers, garlic and chili powders, cumin, and sea salt. Then add in the water and stir continuously until pork is cooked throughout and the mix thickens. Remove and let cool.

Afterward, on a separate skillet, heat the canola oil. Once hot, dip half of the corn tortilla into the oil using a pair of tongs. Hold until browned, then rotate sides so that a hard taco shell is formed.

Repeat this process for the remaining tortillas and let excess oil drain afterward. Finally, fill the shells with the taco contents and enjoy.

 Delectable Ground Pork Stir Fry

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Who doesn’t like a good stir fry? Luckily for you, this fun spin on the traditional stir fry is about as easy as it gets. No more dealing with greasy, fattening ground beef or expensive, bland chicken breasts.

This time around, you can have the best of both worlds with this excellent ground pork recipe. And best of all, the whole dish can be prepped in five minutes or less.

Here’s everything you will need to prepare this stir fry recipe:

  • 1 cup rice, uncooked
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ onion, wedged
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    1 cup carrots, julienned
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    3 tbsp fresh ginger
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    2 cloves garlic, minced
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    3 cups spinach, kale, or bok choy
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    ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
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    ½ tsp chili powder

Prepare the rice in a rice cooker while heating a pan or wok on high. Toss in the ground pork and look until browned on all sides. Then, stir in a splash of soy sauce and chop the meat into small pieces. Reduce heat and drain most of the oil.

Afterward, add in the vegetables and sauté until browned. Then add all other ingredients into the mix and cook until wilted before mixing in the pork.

Finally, add in more soy sauce to taste and mix in seasoning as desired.

Once cooked, serve over rice.

 Quick n’ Easy Ground Pork Pasta Skillet

Rating: 4/5 Stars

In a pinch for time? Need a quick meal before heading out the door? We have you covered. Our signature ground pork pasta skillet is a family favorite that is sure to win over even the fussiest eaters.

Additionally, it’s simple, it’s nothing fancy, and it’s a breeze to prepare. Sound like a winning combination?

Then give this recipe a try tonight.

This is all you will need to prepare the dish:

  • 1 ½ cups penne pasta
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 14 oz. tomatoes, stewed and undrained
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    1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
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    1 tsp Italian seasoning mix
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    1 zucchini, sliced

This ground pork recipe is about as easy as it gets. To start, cook the pasta by following the directions on the packaging. Then, use a skillet to cook the pork and onion until browned. Once cooked, drain the excess liquids. Add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and the seasonings and bring the mix to a boil.

Afterward, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for several minutes.

Finally, drain the pasta and add it to the skillet mix. Throw in the zucchini and stir. Cook on low for several minutes until the zucchini is tender.

Serve hot.

Chef’s Guide

Are you inspired to try coming up with your own ground pork recipe? Honestly, we can’t blame you if you are.

Also, here are some of our top suggestions for experimenting with ground pork so you can get the most out of every bite.

  • With pork, there’s no need to overcook, as it is safe to eat at juicy and tender temperatures
  • Whole cuts of pork should still be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fresh parsley will always complement a pork dish
  • Don’t be afraid to use toppings such as breadcrumbs, garlic, and onion
  • For most pork dishes, shoot for 70% lean to 30% fat ratio
  • Parmesan is an underrated pork mix-in that can supercharge pasta dishes

Featured image: CC0 Creative Commons, chefkeem via https://pixabay.com.

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