Stretching a Roast

We try to stretch our meals with meat at our house because it helps keep the grocery bill low. A few weeks back I was able to make a roast last three meals for a family of eight.

I purchased a large roast for about nine dollars. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the weight of the roast, but I think it was about four pounds.

Meal #1

I cooked the roast all day in the crock pot. Cooking your meat in a crock pot allows you to buy a cheaper cut of beef because the meat will be more tender if you slow cook it. I browned the roast and then threw it in with sliced onion, beef stock, garlic, and a few other miscellaneous spices. I served the roast with mashed potatoes, peas, and fresh baked bread. I saved all the stock (except the stuff I used to make gravy).

As a side tip for saving stock. Let the liquid cool before putting it in your refrigerator overnight. In the morning scrape off all the fat that has risen to the top and then freeze the stock.

After the first meal I shredded the remainder of the roast and put in the fridge.

Meal #2

I took about half of the remainder of the roast and chopped it into small pieces. I then made beef burritos. You can make these a variety of ways but I spread the following on a tortilla; refried beans, beef, chopped tomatoes (from a can), cheese, and onion. I roll them up and put them into a 9×13 baking dish and cover with enchilada sauce. (we like wet burritos at our house) I bake covered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then uncover and sprinkle with cheese and bake another 5 minutes.

You can really stretch your meat in the burritos, in the past I have added corn, black beans, rice, and peas to my burritos.

Meal #3-

I usually use one of two recipes for the remainder of the roast. I make a big batch of long grain and wild rice (I use Uncle Ben’s because I can usually get a great price with coupons), I cook up a bag of frozen vegetables and add them to the rice just before it is done cooking. Then I reheat the shredded roast. I put the rice and veggies in a large serving dish and add the roast to the top. It looks pretty with all the colored veggies and it tastes yummy. Also the kids will eat more veggies because they are mixed in with the rice.

The alternative meal #3 would be to make bbq beef sandwiches, if you had enough meat leftover. I heat the shredded beef on the stove-top with bbq sauce for 15 minutes or until warm.

By stretching the roast over three meals you are actually paying $3 a meal for your meat.

This can be a great deal especially if you are able to find a roast on sale.


  1. Great ideas! I always just shred my leftover meat for sandwiches but never thought of burritos, which we love, or a rice dish. Thanks for the tip!

  2. We make beef&barley vegetable soup, pot pie, or bbq beef sandwiches on hamburger buns. My mom chops up the leftover meat and makes more gravy with the rest of the broth and simmers it together then serves it in hoagie rolls or over noodles or mashed potatoes.

  3. Thanks for some new meal ideas with roast!! I usually do the typical roast, carrots, and potatoes in the crockpot. I take the leftover roast and thinly slice it and put in gravy for over rice or noodles. I also do the beef bbq sandwiches and sometimes beef veggie soup. However, I didn’t think about actually shredding it for burritos or shredding it period to stretch it further. 🙂

  4. That is a really great idea. I love extending meals like that. With a large roast chicken I can get the roast chicken meal, some sandwiches, a pie made from leftover meat and vegies with leftover gravy, and even a pot of soup made from boiling the bones into stock.

    Regarding your query about using canned chicken to make sandwiches, I am not sure as chicken is not sold canned in this country and I’ve never had it. It would be worth a try, though.

    I like your blog. I’ll definitely be back.

  5. Great post! I also have never thought to use the leftover meat for burrito’s. I will have to give that a try!

  6. We like to use leftover roast and make ‘potato bowls’. Save your drippings to make gravy the next day, then shred the beef and put into a bowl of mashed potatoes. Top with the gravy. The kids love it. 🙂

  7. I LOVE roast in the crockpot 🙂 Thanks for the leftover ideas, I really needed those!

  8. You can never go wrong with roast in a crock pot! And I love how you made another 2 meals out of the leftovers. We never seem to eat all the roast when we make it in the crockpot.

    Thanks for sharing!

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