Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Taco Rice + Video

This Taco Rice ‌is smoky, spicy, and so hearty. Make it in one pan on the stove and dish up a delicious Mexican casserole in 30 minutes!

This beef rice casserole has been a family favorite for years. It’s often on the weekly dinner menu, and I always have some in the freezer to pull out for quick lunches or take to friends.

Skillet meals are a lifesaver for any family with a hectic schedule. Everything cooks together and you won’t be stuck washing a pile of dishes before bed.

I’m also a fan of recipes like my Lazy Day Chili! When you can’t make it to the grocery store, just grab what’s in your pantry and fridge and put together something quick and easy.

Taco Rice Casserole in a skillet

Taco Rice

Perfectly seasoned ground beef comes together with tomatoes, black beans, corn, jalapeños, and rice to create a simple meal that will knock your socks off!

Ingredient Notes
  • Use leftover ground beef. I love to cook big batches in the crockpot and freeze them in portions. Thaw it in the refrigerator or warm it up right in the skillet!
  • Swap out the rice. Any long-grain rice should work fine. Just keep an eye on it, since different varieties may need longer cooking times.
  • Tame the heat. You can substitute diced green chiles for the jalapeños if you prefer. Adding a dollop of sour cream to your bowl will help mellow out the peppers as well.
  • A simple trick for extra flavor: Use fire roasted diced tomatoes in place of crushed or regular diced tomatoes. They add that “cooked all day” taste to quick and easy recipes like this one.
  • Sensitive to spice? Reduce the amount of New Mexico chile powder by half and add regular chili powder in its place.
taco rice casserole ingredients

 Watch the video in this post to pick up our tips for making the recipe.

tex mex casserole recipe in dutch oven

Kitchen‌ ‌Tools‌ ‌You‌ ‌Will‌ ‌Need‌
  • Wide Skillet - I recommend at least 10” in diameter so there’s plenty of room and the taco rice cooks evenly.
  • Can Opener - It seems like a no-brainer, but a good can opener can save your hands and a lot of frustration as well! 
  • Cheese Grater - Fresh cheese makes this recipe even better! Skip the bagged shreds and buy a block to grate yourself.
beef rice casserole with water

Taco Rice FAQ

Can I use frozen corn in my taco rice casserole?

You sure can! Measure out about a cup to replace the canned variety and stir it right into the skillet - no need to thaw it first.

What’s so special about New Mexico chile powder?

It’s made entirely from ground chiles, with an earthy, sweet flavor and subtle, spicy heat.

This simple ingredient adds a truly authentic flavor to this taco rice casserole! Find it in bulk bags in the international aisle or order some online.

Can I make taco rice ahead of time?

I actually make this quite often for easy lunches. Once the dish has cooled, scoop portions onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (or use a silpat mat) and flash freeze for at least 4 hours.

Once firm, toss them into gallon-sized freezer bags and store for up to 3 months!

Serving Suggestions

Add any of your favorite taco toppings to this beef rice casserole or serve a green salad on the side. Easy peasy!

tex mex casserole recipe cheese on top


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Taco Rice Casserole wide photo

Yield: 6
Author: Donna Elick
Taco Rice Casserole

Taco Rice

This taco rice casserole ‌is smoky, spicy, and incredibly hearty. Cook everything in one pan on the stove, then dish it up in just 30 minutes!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can niblet corn, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup frozen corn)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can fire roasted diced jalapenos
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 ounces Colby jack cheese, shredded
  • optional garnish: fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Warm a large (10") skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until beef is cooked through. Drain excess drippings if necessary (I had very little drippings and did not have to drain). Sprinkle spices over the beef (chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt). Stir to combine.
  2. Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, jalapenos and rice to skillet. Stir to combine. Add water. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once mixture is boiling, stir well making sure there are no bits stuck to the bottom. Reduce to simmer.
  3. Cook 15 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Remove cover half way through and stir well, unstick any bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove skillet from the heat, sprinkle with cheese. Place skillet under broiler until cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
  1. If you prefer a less spicy dish, you can substitute the diced jalapenos with green chiles. Another option is to serve with a dollop of sour cream on top. The cream will mellow out the heat in the jalapenos.

Taco Rice Casserole closeup

Originally published February 2016, updated and republished January 2022

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  1. I just want to come live at your house Donna :)

  2. i have tried this today but left jalapenos out as would be too spicy for me and will definitely be doing it again.. clean plates all around xx

  3. I just made this (minus black beans because I forgot to buy them) and it is really tasty! Not to mention easy clean up and great if you wanted to use it for burritos, taco salad or other endless combinations! I will be saving this as a future go-to recipe and next time with the black beans! Big thumbs up!

  4. Why do they have to put corn in everything ?

    1. I'm with seems every mexi dish recipe I see has corn in it...yuch! And yes I know it can be left out..but I see "corn" and its just a turnoff.

  5. "they" who? remember, you can leave it out.

  6. I'm not crazy about black beans either but they are growing on me, Mexican food usually includes some kind of bean, for filler and nutrition, so I'm training myself and hubs to use them mainly for variety.

    1. Not fussed on black beans either, but going to try with pinto beans instead. ;0)

  7. I'm not crazy about black beans either but they are growing on me, Mexican food usually includes some kind of bean, for filler and nutrition, so I'm training myself and hubs to use them mainly for variety.

  8. Can you tell me the difference between the chili powder I can find in any grocery store in OH, and Hatch or New Mexico Chili powder? Are they interchangeable in your recipe? I think my family would really like this recipe. Thanks!

    1. chili powder (ie McCormick's) has added ingredients in it and Hatch or New Mexico is pure ground chili. Read the ingredients in it I'm sure you would want the pure ground one in this recipe.

  9. Do you know the nutrition information on this dish?

  10. What would pair well with this?

    1. Chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced green onions w/white & green. Add avocado just before serving with sweetened mayo dressing.

  11. COuld I use a taco seasoning packet instead of all the other seasoning?

  12. this looks really good...I will make it and let you know what I think...

  13. I`m a beginner in cooking but I really want to try this dish. I will let you know how it goes :). Thanks for sharing.

  14. At the very tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, along the coast where Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific, lies the Las Ventanas al Paraiso. phoenix Mexican restaurant

  15. Any thoughts on cheese substitute. I have this frustrating cheese allergy.

  16. Made it tonight. So good!

    1. Thanks so much, Sherrie! We are so happy you enjoyed it!

  17. Can I use regular rice instead of Jasmine? Never cooked with Jasmine rice so not sure the difference. Thanks.

    1. of course. I only buy basmati rice and use in everything.

  18. How many servings in this dish?

  19. Wow, a very quick easy and very tasty dish. My husband said it was restaurant quality, and it will become our go to dish for entertaining!

  20. Love love loveeee this recipe. So yummy and I can make it as spicy or not spicy as I want so easily. Thank you. xoxo

  21. I absolutely love this recipe I made it for my family tonight and they loved it.

  22. If I wanted to double this recipe, do I just double everything? Curious!
    Family really, really loves this one!!

  23. Anyone know the calories for this meal?

  24. Recipes are great but wish it wouldn't take 2 pages to print each recipe.


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