15 Delicious Ground Pork Recipes to Make for Dinner

Photo: Bryan Gardner

From meatballs to pork pie to dumplings, there are so many creative, tasty ways to turn ground pork into a meal the entire family will love.

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Inside-Out Pork Dumplings
Raymond Hom

In a world of home-cooked meals, we need economical ingredients that work hard and taste great. Enter ground pork, which is essentially a blank canvas for creative omnivore home cooks. Its mild flavor effortlessly interprets whatever your appetite desires.

While pork is already is a versatile meat, when ground it also easily switches from an obvious centerpiece meatloaf or one-skillet meatball wonder to easily freezable and dainty dumpling bites or deconstructed dumplings. The friendly adaptability of ground pork ensures an interesting and imaginative meal whose culinary origins can span the globe. Pork adapts to diverse cultural influences that are brought into domestic reach by harnessing the wide range of staple aromatic spices, herbs, condiments, fruits, and vegetables that are already in our kitchens.

Keeping a handily compact stash of ground pork in the freezer gives you a cornucopia of meal options to choose from any night of the week. The meat defrosts quickly, well-protected in a bag and safely thawed in a large bowl of hot water. (Never defrost at room temperature).

With the pork as your meal's anchor, your dinner staycation destinations are almost limitless. The only difficulty will be deciding what direction to choose, and your pantry staples and supplies on hand will help you decide. You may switch seamlessly from mapo tofu, humming with Sichuan pepper, to Italian meatballs redolent with fennel and tomatoes, to across the Channel (if we are traveling west) to England for a hunger-thumping and classic Pork Pie, or to Latin America where picadillo sings with adobe and chile. The options really are as endless as your imagination.

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Mapo Tofu

Bryan Gardner

Once you have tasted this fragrant bowl of spicy goodness, its siren song will never let you go. Tender ground pork, tons of aromatics (buzzing with Sichuan peppercorns), and silky cubes of soothing tofu will cure sadness and feed your soul.

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Pork Pie

Mike Krautter

The beauty of this richly flavored pork pie, which is spiced with cinnamon and cloves, is that it is equally good hot or cold. (If you are baking it to serve cold in sturdy wedges, we recommend using extra salt to bring out the flavors muted by coolness).

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Spanish Chorizo and Pork Meatballs

Spanish Chorizo Balls recipe
Con Poulos

Spicy chorizo sausage is tamed and tenderized by the addition of mild ground pork in these aromatic meatballs. Served in a rich tomato and pepper gravy spiked with orange juice, you may want to hand out spoons for easier lapping.

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Dan Dan Noodles

Bryan Gardner

Ground pork and dark leafy greens are an ideal match. The assertive and mineral-rich leaves provide healthy relief for the richer meat, and both are kicked awake by the essential heat of fiery chili oil.

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Pork and Greens Skillet Pie

Johnny Miller

Earthy, cool-season Swiss chard, Parmesan, and pork are combined with rib-sticking polenta in a rustic, one-skillet pie sweetened with onion and brightened by a wedge of lemon when serving.

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Pork Buns with Bok Choy Slaw

Asian Pork Buns with Bok Choy Slaw recipe
Ren Fuller

Bright, bold, salty, and sweet, this hoisin-strong pork filling for soft hot dog buns is addictive. Fresh herbs are an essential topping.

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Inside-Out Pork Dumplings

Raymond Hom

What is better than a pork dumpling? A pork dumpling you don't have to stuff! Intense with garlic, ginger, and chili flakes, seared ground pork is partnered with steamed bok choy in a skillet before you toss in the cooked dumpling wrappers.

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Pork Meatball Skillet Bake

Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake
Justin Walker

The simplicity of these fennel-sweet meatballs belies the satisfaction they deliver. Finished in a pepper and tomato sauce, the final touch is a topping a toasty bead and melted mozzarella. Life doesn't get better than this.

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meatloaf sandwich
Linda Pugliese

The ideal meatloaf mixture is a balancing act of condiments, aromatics, and texture. Ground pork and Panko crumbs keep this comforting loaf light. Served in cold slices this might be the perfect sandwich filling.

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Pork and Chive Pot Stickers


The pungent onion punch of chives combined with pork, ginger, and good soy makes a deliciously fragrant filling for these chewy pot stickers, guaranteed to appease carb cravings.

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Snow Pea Sesame Meatloaf


Sweetly green snow peas, nose-tingling ginger, sesame oil, and tons of scallions steer this lighter meatloaf into a whole new direction. We recommend serving it with a little soy dipping sauce braced with chili.

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Green Curry with Pork and Eggplant


Butter-soft eggplant cubes are a smooth foil for the ground pork in this easy and rewarding green curry.

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Pork Picadillo


The distinctively smoky heat of chipotles forms the foundation for this sweetly spiced and fruity fusion-style bowl of picadillo.

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Pork-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


Cool-weather comfort is a tender cabbage roll stuffed with ground pork and sweetened with dried apricots. A finishing dollop of sour cream is highly recommended.

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Lemongrass Pork Burgers


Lemongrass, blazing chili, and lots of ginger are the secret to Southeast Asian-inspired burgers where supple Boston lettuce wraps stand in for carb-heavy burger buns.

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