How Much Sodium is in Ground Beef? A Complete Breakdown

Ground beef is a kitchen staple used in dishes like hamburgers, meatballs, tacos, chili and so much more. But many people don’t realize that ground beef can contain high amounts of sodium. For those looking to reduce their sodium intake or follow a low-sodium diet, it’s important to understand how much sodium is in different types of ground beef. This article provides a complete breakdown of sodium levels in various ground beef options.

Overview of Sodium in Ground Beef

The sodium content in ground beef can vary greatly depending on the fat percentage, added ingredients, and cooking method. In general:

  • Higher fat ground beef contains more sodium than leaner varieties.

  • Pre-formed beef patties tend to be higher in sodium than fresh ground chuck.

  • Adding seasoning mixes or salt during cooking increases sodium levels.

  • Grilling or broiling doesn’t add much sodium, while breading and frying adds a lot.

On average, a 3 oz cooked serving of 80% lean ground beef contains around 75-100 mg of sodium. But certain types can have over 400 mg per serving – which is considered high. Read on for more details on sodium levels in different forms of ground beef.

Sodium in Common Lean Ground Beef

Here are the sodium contents of some typical lean ground beef options:

  • 95% lean ground beef: 75 mg sodium per 3 oz cooked serving

  • 90% lean ground beef: 75 mg sodium per 3 oz cooked serving

  • 85% lean ground beef: 75 mg sodium per 3 oz cooked serving

  • 80% lean ground beef: 76 mg sodium per 3 oz cooked serving

As you can see, there isn’t much variation between the sodium content of most lean ground beef choices. In general, leaner ground beef tends to be lower in sodium than higher fat options.

Sodium in Fattier Ground Beef

Using ground beef with a higher fat percentage results in slightly more sodium:

  • 75% lean ground beef: 76 mg sodium per 3 oz cooked serving

  • 70% lean ground beef: 76 mg sodium per 3 oz cooked serving

While not a huge difference from leaner beef, those following a low-sodium diet may want to stick with 85% or leaner ground beef.

Sodium in Pre-Formed Beef Patties

Pre-made frozen beef patties tend to contain more sodium than fresh ground beef:

  • Lean beef patties: About 275 mg in a small patty, 450 mg in a large patty

  • Breaded beef patties: Around 480 mg in a small patty, 800 mg in a large patty

The breading and added seasonings significantly increase the sodium content compared to plain ground beef. Check labels and choose unseasoned varieties to avoid excess sodium.

Sodium When Cooking Ground Beef

How you cook ground beef also impacts its sodium level:

  • Grilling/broiling: Adds minimal sodium, about 40 mg for 3 oz cooked

  • Pan frying with oil: Also adds little sodium, around 50 mg per 3 oz

  • Breading and frying: Breading mixes can add 200-300 mg sodium per serving

  • Adding seasoning: Salt, seasoning mixes, soy sauce, etc. can add anywhere from 50-500+ mg sodium per serving

For lowest sodium, opt for grilled or pan fried plain ground beef without added seasoning. Or limit salt and seasoning mixes to no more than 1/4 tsp per pound of ground beef.

Tips for Reducing Sodium in Ground Beef

Here are some tips for lowering sodium if you are on a sodium-restricted diet:

  • Choose 95% or leaner ground beef

  • Avoid pre-formed frozen patties and opt for fresh ground chuck

  • Skip the breading and coatings

  • Season with herbs, pepper, garlic, etc. instead of salt

  • Rinse cooked ground beef to remove some surface sodium

  • Limit high-sodium condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, etc.

  • Make your own no-salt-added seasoning mixes

With some simple tweaks, you can still enjoy the flavor of ground beef on a low-sodium diet. Follow these tips to reduce your sodium intake from ground beef while still making delicious meals.

Healthiest Ways to Eat Ground Beef

To enjoy ground beef as part of a healthy diet, go for:

  • 95% lean or higher ground chuck

  • Burgers or meatballs made from fresh (not frozen) ground beef

  • Grilled, broiled or pan-fried without breading or batter

  • Served in moderation along with vegetables, whole grains, etc.

  • Flavored with spices, herbs, garlic, pepper instead of salt

  • Topped with lower-sodium condiments like mustard, chimichurri sauce, etc.

Ground beef can absolutely have a place in a balanced, lower-sodium diet when chosen mindfully and prepared healthfully. Follow these best practices for keeping sodium in check while still enjoying juicy burgers, meatloaf, chili and more!


Ground beef can contain anywhere from 75 mg to over 800 mg of sodium per 3 oz serving depending on the fat percentage, added ingredients, cooking method and more. In general, fresh lean ground chuck has the lowest sodium levels. While pre-formed patties, breading, seasoning mixes and high-sodium condiments can make the sodium content skyrocket. Those watching their sodium intake can still enjoy ground beef in moderation by sticking to lean varieties and healthful cooking methods. Follow the guidance in this article to make informed choices and prepare ground beef in a sodium-conscious way.

How to Brown Ground Beef


Is ground beef high in sodium?

Sodium levels in beef Ground beef is naturally low in sodium with about 75mg sodium per 4-oz. serving (3). But it’s misleading to compare the Impossible Burger to unseasoned beef because beef is rarely eaten unseasoned. Hamburger recipes typically call for seasoning the beef with salt.

How much sodium is in 80 20 ground beef?

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How much sodium is in a homemade hamburger patty?

Lean Ground Beef Patties
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1 medium patty
1 large patty

How much sodium is cooked lean ground beef?

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