Cheesy Taco Rice Mexican Skillet Recipe + Video

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Taco Rice ‌is smoky, spicy, and so hearty! It’s easy to make in one pan on the stove. Dish up a scrumptious, cheesy Mexican beef and rice casserole in 30 minutes! Simple ingredients that are perfect for taco night! 

taco casserole in a skillet


Taco Rice 

This taco rice casserole has been a family favorite for years. It will feed a number of us and makes a hearty main dish or a delicious side dish as well.

It’s perfect for busy days and easy to make in so many different ways. 

It’s often on the weekly dinner menu, and I always have some in the freezer to pull out for quick lunches or to 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 lazy day recipes! 

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.

This is one of my favorite Mexican side dishes for that reason! Easy dinners like this are literally the best. 

Essentially, that’s what this Mexican beef and rice casserole is! It’s a fun spin for Taco Tuesday and a great way to whip up a simple recipe for the whole family to enjoy.

All you have to do is follow the simple steps on the recipe card below. 

Forget about loading up the car to head to the Mexican restaurant in town and create this new recipe the next time that craving hits.

It’s an easy taco rice recipe that gives you the flavors of taco meat paired with the texture of rice, all in a large skillet. 

You can even dip tortilla chips into it for a fun and unique option. Mexican food like this is the best – and there might even be some leftover taco rice to enjoy later! 

browning beef for taco rice

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole

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!

stirring taco rice recipe ingredients in bowl

Taco Rice Casserole 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 Recipe 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 one pot Mexican rice casserole  – no need to thaw it first.

What’s so special about New Mexico chile powder? 

Unlike traditional chili seasoning, this spice is made entirely from ground chiles. It has an earthy, sweet flavor and subtle, spicy heat.

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

What other toppings can I add to this taco rice skillet dinner?

Really, anything that you’re craving is a great addition. You can be as creative as you want and add your own homemade taco seasoning or keep it simple. Refried beans and iceberg lettuce are two things that I love to add to my plate with this unique comfort food! 

You can’t go wrong with melty cheese paired with that taco flavor – just add it to your ingredients list. This is how favorite recipes continue to stay as favorites- because they’re easy to change with your favorite toppings. 

making tex mex casserole recipe in dutch oven

Easy Meal Prep Instructions

I actually make this quite often for easy lunches. 

Once the one pot Mexican rice casserole 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!

beef rice casserole with water

Serving Suggestions

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

I think that this would make a killer taco salad as well! No matter how you eat it, it’s an easy weeknight meal. 

overhead: shredded cheddar cheese over meat in round baking dish

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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close up of taco rice

taco rice in skillet

Taco Rice + Video

Donna Elick
Taco Rice ‌is smoky, spicy, and so hearty! Use this one pan recipe to dish up a delicious Mexican casserole in 30 minutes!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican
Method Stovetop
Servings 6


  • 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
  • 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 15.25 ounce can niblet corn, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup frozen corn)
  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove skillet from the heat, sprinkle with cheese. Place skillet under broiler until cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


Donna’s Notes

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.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 555cal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 981mg | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 10g | Calcium: 328mg | Iron: 5mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for taco rice recipe

Originally published February 2016, updated and republished January 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and put everything in it except cilantro (tastes like soap to me🤢) everyone loved it and I will definitely be making it again!
    Thank you!! 😋

  2. I made this last night for dinner. It turned out so delicious. It was super easy to make & I love that is in one pan so it’s easy clean up too. My husband had 2 helpings so it must have been good.

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