How many calories in 4 oz of cooked 93 lean ground beef?

Lean ground beef is a popular choice for many home cooks and restaurants looking to reduce the fat and calories in traditional beef dishes. But just how many calories are in a standard 4 ounce serving of 93% lean ground beef after cooking?

Calories in Raw vs Cooked Lean Ground Beef

To determine the calories in cooked lean ground beef, it’s helpful to first look at the calorie content in raw lean ground beef. According to the USDA, 4 ounces (113g) of raw 93% lean ground beef contains:

  • 122 calories
  • 4.55g fat
  • 0.85g saturated fat

When meat is cooked, some of the fat melts off or is drained away, lowering the calorie count per serving. The exact calories in cooked lean ground beef can vary based on cooking method and how well done the meat is cooked, but in general cooking will reduce the calories by 15-20%.

This means that a 4 ounce serving of cooked 93% lean ground beef will have approximately:

  • 110 calories
  • 3.6g fat
  • 0.7g saturated fat

Factors That Affect Calories in Cooked Lean Ground Beef

While the average 4 ounce serving of cooked 93% lean ground beef contains about 110 calories, there are some factors that can slightly raise or lower that number:

  • Cooking method: Pan frying, broiling, grilling and roasting will allow more fat to cook off compared to simmering in sauce or boiling.
  • Doneness: The longer the beef is cooked, the more fat is rendered out. Well done beef will be slightly lower in calories than rare.
  • Lean percentage: Ground beef with a higher lean percentage like 95% will have fewer calories than fattier options like 90% lean.
  • Added ingredients: Adding oil or high calorie sauces or seasonings will increase the calories per serving.

Calorie Comparison to Other Protein Sources

At around 110 calories in a cooked 4 ounce serving, 93% lean ground beef is mid-range in terms of calorie density compared to other common protein foods:

Food Calories (in 4 oz cooked serving)
Skinless chicken breast 120
93% lean ground beef 110
Tofu 90
Salmon 155
Shrimp 100

As you can see, 4 ounces of cooked 93% lean ground beef contains fewer calories than the same amount of chicken breast or salmon, but more than tofu or shrimp. When planning meals, keep these comparative protein calories in mind.

Nutrition Facts for Cooked 93% Lean Ground Beef

Looking beyond just calories, here are the full nutrition facts for a 4 ounce serving of cooked 93% lean ground beef from the USDA:

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 110 6%
Fat 3.6g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.7g 4%
Protein 18.5g 37%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Iron 1.9mg 10%

As you can see, cooked 93% lean ground beef is high in protein, providing 37% of the daily value per serving. It also contains iron, though is low in sodium.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Ground Beef Dishes

If you’re looking for ways to further reduce the calories in meals featuring lean ground beef, here are some tips:

  • Cook in a non-stick pan with no added oils or butter.
  • Drain any excess fat after browning the beef.
  • Rinse cooked ground beef with hot water to remove additional fat.
  • Stretch ground beef by mixing with lentils, mushrooms or oats.
  • Serve lean beef over a vegetable medley instead of pasta or rice.
  • Flavor with spices, herbs and citrus instead of high-calorie sauces.
  • Go for smaller 3 oz portions of beef instead of 4 oz.

Healthy Recipes Using 93% Lean Ground Beef

Here are some delicious and nutritious recipes that use 93% lean ground beef as the star ingredient:

Zucchini Meatballs

Makes: 24 meatballs

Calories per meatball: 29


  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed.
  3. Roll into 24 balls and arrange on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce and a side salad.

Lean Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 225


  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. In a large non-stick wok or skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  2. Add olive oil and vegetables. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until vegetables are tender.
  4. Serve over brown rice or whole grain noodles.

Lean Sloppy Joes

Serves: 6

Calories per serving: 306


  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef with onions and bell pepper until beef is cooked and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain excess fat, then stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, mustard and chili powder. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Serve heaping spoonfuls of sloppy joe mixture over the bottom half of each whole wheat bun. Add bun tops to serve.

Tips for Buying and Cooking Lean Ground Beef

Follow these tips for selecting and preparing 93% lean ground beef:

  • Check labels: Always check the Nutrition Facts label and confirm the lean percentage. Go for 90% lean or higher.
  • Portion it out: Divide bulk packages into 4-6 oz portions and freeze in freezer bags for easy defrosting.
  • Brown fully: Browning ground beef well helps render out more fat. Drain any liquid after browning.
  • Blot cooked beef: After cooking, use paper towels to blot cooked ground beef to absorb additional fat.
  • Use flavor boosters: Add spices, herbs, garlic, mustard, etc. to add lots of flavor without calories.
  • Try substitutions: Replace up to half the ground beef with finely chopped mushrooms or lentils.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 93% lean ground beef healthy?

Yes, 93% lean ground beef is a healthy source of protein and nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Choosing 93% lean versus 80% or 85% lean cuts a significant amount of saturated fat and calories without sacrificing nutritional quality.

Is 93% lean ground beef good for weight loss?

Lean ground beef can be part of a healthy weight loss diet when eaten in moderate portions. Be mindful of serving sizes and choose lower calorie cooking methods to maximize the fat and calorie-burning benefits of beef’s high protein content.

What’s the difference between 90% lean and 93% lean ground beef?

93% lean ground beef contains 7% fat while 90% lean contains 10% fat. Those extra 3% of fat calories add up, with 93% lean clocking in at around 110 calories per 4 oz compared to 120 calories for 90% lean. Go as lean as possible within your budget.

Is it OK to eat lean ground beef rare?

No, ground beef should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F to kill any bacteria present on the cut surfaces of meat. Steaks can be cooked rare since bacteria would be on the exterior, but ground meats need thorough cooking for food safety.

Can you eat ground beef that’s a few days past the sell by date?

It’s best to freeze or cook ground beef by its sell by date for maximum freshness and food safety. Ground meat is more perishable than whole cuts due to more surface area exposed to bacteria. If kept chilled at 40°F or below, ground beef should be safe for 1-2 days past its sell by date.

The Bottom Line

A 4 ounce serving of cooked 93% lean ground beef contains around 110 calories, with 18.5 grams of protein, 3.6 grams of fat, and substantial amounts of iron along with B vitamins. Choosing ground beef with a 93% lean percentage or higher will provide the greatest nutritional benefits. Look for 90-93% lean and limit portion sizes to around 4 ounces cooked weight for the healthiest approach to enjoying this versatile, lean protein option.

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