Ground Lamb Taste vs Ground Beef Taste: What’s The Difference?

Ground Lamb Taste vs Ground Beef Taste
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Ground Lamb Taste vs Ground Beef Taste

Are you proud of your meat-loving carnivorous taste buds? Yet, are you still trapped by indecision over which tastes better between ground lamb and ground beef?

Each has a very specific flavor, but it’s not the inherent taste alone that determines which is more flavorful.

The way that meat is cooked can make all the difference. Marinating is equally impactful. Make sure that you pay attention to the technique, the recipe, and the meat quality to guarantee the best flavor outcome between any choice of meat.

We’ll be taking you through a look at how to choose between ground lamb taste vs. ground beef taste so that your next meal comes out tasting as great as possible. Both are outstanding protein choices, but the flavor is distinctly different.

Ground Lamb Taste Vs. Ground Beef Taste Comparison

 Ground Lamb Taste Ground Beef Taste
Flavor Strong, Rich Meaty Flavor With Distinct Gaminess/Grassiness/Earthiness That's Not Present In Beef | Lighter Flavor Than Ground Beef Iron Rich Strong Beefy Flavor With Umami Sweetness

Seasoning Suits Strong Spices - Cumin, Cumin, Chili, Fennel, Rosemark, Paprika, Oregano, Sage, Basil, Coriander, Cayenne Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Harissa, Mint, Parsley Light Seasoning Is Best | Suits Cumin, Mustard, Red Pepper, Cayenne, Chili, Dry & Fresh Herbs, Garlic & Paprika As Well
Richness Richer Than Ground Beef, Fatty Sweet Richness With Lingering Grassy Flavor Richness Depends On Whether Lean or Fatty, Mild Richness On Average Which Is Lighter Than Lamb With Beefy Sweetness Instead of Grassy Richness
Texture Tender, Succulent, Juicy With Perfect Balance Of Softness & Chewiness Firm & Flaky With Springy Melt-In-Your Mouth Texture

Best Uses All Purpose Versatility | Favored By Mediterranean Cuisine All Purpose Versatility
Optimal Cooking Method Cook Slowly Over Medium-Low Heat Sear Over High Heat Then Cook Until No Longer Pink
Tips Add Red Wine Vinegar To Ground Lamb To Lessen The Gamey Taste Soak Ground Beef In Water And Baking Soda For 15 Minutes To Promote Tenderness

Meat Classification Red Meat - Richer In Iron Than Poultry Or Fish Ground Red Meat Without Any Organ Meat Included At All
Nutrition 3-Ounce Cooked Serving - 240 Calories, 17 G Total Fat, 6.9 G Saturated Fat, 21 G Protein, 82 G Cholesterol, 69 Mg Sodium, 288 Mg Potassium, Iron 8.5% DV, Calcium 1.4% DV 3-Ounce 85% Lean Cooked Serving - 0.93 G Protein, 11.92 G Total Fat, 197.2 Calories, 17 Mg Calcium, 2.28 Mg Iron, 73.1 Mg Folate, 2.39 Mg Vitamin B-12.
Substitutions Ground Goat Meat, Ground Beef, Ground Turkey Ground Lamb, Ground Turkey, Ground Pork

Ground Lamb Taste vs Ground Beef Taste

There’ll be no getting confused about which is the better option for your next meal after going through our comprehensive comparison of the taste of ground beef and ground lamb.

Ground Lamb Taste

Ground lamb
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Make ground lamb your go-to whenever you feel like something different from the classic taste of beef. It’s lighter in flavor but richer overall and delivers an amazing texture on top of its rich taste. Here’s a breakdown of the defining characteristics of ground lamb and its flavor.


Ground lamb has a rich, meaty flavor that’s not as bold as ground beef, but the lighter taste is offset by lingering gamey undertones. The prevailing fattiness gives lamb a gamey sweetness that’s not present in beef.

Many are opposed to describing the earthiness, meaty richness of the lamb, and gamey and instead call the taste grassy as a closer reference to the grass-fed diet of most commercially raised sheep.

Expect grassiness that’s slightly less prominent than a lamb chop.

Ground lamb dish
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The grassy flavor of lamb suits strong spices best.

The exact spice pairings depend on your recipe, but cumin, chili, fennel, rosemary, paprika, oregano, sage, basil, coriander, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, harissa, mint, and parsley all pair well with ground lamb.


When one considers the richness of the lamb, it’s not directly comparable with the richness of ground beef, as ground beef doesn’t have any gameyness to its flavor.

Expect ground lamb’s taste to carry a fatty, sweet richness that’s equally pungent in a lingering grassy flavor.

In comparison to ground beef, lamb is far richer than ground beef even though it has a more subtle flavor which means that a little goes a long way.


Ground lamb texture
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Properly cooked ground lamb is tender, succulent, and juicy with just the right springiness. The bounce inside the meat tells you if it’s ready.

Ground lamb that has been cooked for too long becomes dry and tough, but when cooked for just long enough, it’s soft with just the right degree of chewiness.

Expect ground lamb to offer much greater juiciness than ground beef when it’s prepared right.

Best Uses

Ground lamb is extremely versatile, and whenever you feel like the classic flavor of either ingredient, it is a great substitute for beef or turkey in any recipe.

Mediterranean cuisine resorts to lamb often in meals like gyros and in skillet dishes like lamb and eggplant. Lamb burgers are a must-try, as are meatballs and pasta like lamb ragu.

Lamb burger
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Optimal Cooking Method

The best way to cook ground lamb is slowly over medium to medium-low heat. Take extreme care to neither overwork nor overcook lamb.


Wondering how you get the gamey taste of ground lamb? In order to stop the monounsaturated fats from oxidizing, add a little red wine vinegar to the mix. Not enough to alter the flavor but just even to moisten the mince.

Similarly, mustard powder and rosemary also work well for masking the gamey flavor. If the texture of ground lamb isn’t fine enough, feel free to process it further at home using a food processor with or without your favorite herbs and spices added.

Meat Classification

Lamb is classified as red meat. More specifically, lamb is a red meat that’s richer in iron than either poultry or fish.

Meat extracted from the flesh of young Ovis aries sheep between the age of 6 to 8 months is categorized and sold as lamb cuts. Ground lamb is extracted from the shank and neck and then ground to mince.

Most ground lamb also includes offcuts from the breast, flank, leg, loin, rib, and shoulder.


A single serving weighing 3 ounces contains 240 calories, with 150 of those calories contributed from the 17 grams of total fat. This includes 6.9 grams of saturated fat

Ground lamb nutrition
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Ground lamb also contains 21 grams of protein, 82 milligrams of cholesterol, 69 milligrams of sodium, and 288 milligrams of potassium in a single serving. Calcium is delivered at 1.4% of the daily value, while iron is provided at 8.5% of the DV per single serving.


Although uncommon, ground goat meat has an almost identical flavor that’s a little stronger on the gamey notes. Otherwise, opt for ground pork or beef as the next best alternative.

Ground Beef Taste

Ground beef
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We’ve all grown up with ground beef readily available. Whether it’s burger patties or filling fajitas, there are few varieties of mince that are as versatile and popular. Let’s take a closer look at ground beef and its flavor.


Expect a strong beefy flavor with a slight iron-like taste detectable as an aftertaste. There’s a great balance between the sweet umami richness of the fat and the strong meaty flavor of the flesh.

The exact taste depends on how fresh the beef is, is it minced out of frozen beef? Was the beef adequately cleaned before it was minced? All these things define how your ground beef tastes.

Herbs & Spices

Ground beef seasoning
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Most ground beef doesn’t need much more than light seasoning to bring out the best flavor. We suggest a little salt and pepper.

However, if you are looking for additional seasoning, give cumin, mustard powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chili, all varieties of fresh and dry herbs, garlic, and paprika a try.


Although one does get both lean and fatty varieties of ground beef, neither is quite as rich as ground lamb.

The fattiness of lamb fortifies the mince with sweet richness, whereas the fattiness of ground beef adds texture and beefy flavor rather than a grassy richness like lamb.

Ground beef richness
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Raw ground beef is firm but flaky. Once cooked, ground beef has a springy texture that offers light chewiness that melts in your mouth. Lean ground beef has a much firmer texture and fattier cuts.

Best Uses

There is no other variety of mince with a flavor and texture as versatile as ground beef. It makes fantastic burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf. Add it to stews, curries, stir-fries, soups, or any other meal preferred.

Ground beef burger
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Optimal Cooking Method

The best way to cook ground beef is to sear it at high heat and cook it until just tender. As soon as the ground beef is no longer pink, stop cooking it to prevent drying out.


Cook’s Illustrated recommends that cooks should soak their ground beef in a baking soda and water solution for fifteen minutes before cooking it in whichever way preferred.

The soaking in soda prevents excessive bonding of protein within the ground beef which allows it to remain far more tender throughout cooking.

Baking soda and water
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Meat Classification

Ground beef is beef minced into little pieces of meat. As a prime variety of red meat, ground beef doesn’t typically include any organ meat. It is just pieces of beef muscle attached to the bone.


A single 3-ounce serving of cooked ground beef that’s 85% lean provides 20.93 grams of protein, 11.92 grams of total fat, 197.2 calories, 17 milligrams of calcium, and 2.28 milligrams of iron, 73.1 mg of folate, and 2.39 milligrams of vitamin B-12.

Cooked ground beef
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The number one substitute for ground beef is ground lamb. Ground turkey, ground pork, and ground veal are your next best options.

What’s The Difference Between Ground Lamb Taste Vs. Ground Beef Taste?

The main difference between ground lamb taste vs. ground beef taste is that lamb has a far gamier flavor than ground beef, and it’s richer, whereas ground beef has a bolder meaty flavor and is generally leaner even when it is a fattier cut.

Ground Lamb Taste Vs. Ground Beef Taste, Concluding Thoughts

No matter which type of ground meat you’re working with, ensure you’re working with a moist hand. Dip your hands in water occasionally to make it easier to shape meatballs, patties, and other food from mince.

There is no clear winner between ground lamb taste vs. ground beef taste. Each has a distinct flavor that’s equally versatile.

At the end of the day, the best mince comes down to what you’re making and what type of taste and richness you’re in the mood for.

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