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!
This taco 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 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.
Essentially, that’s what this Mexican beef and rice casserole is!
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!
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.
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!
Add any of your favorite taco toppings to this beef rice casserole, or serve a green salad on the side. Easy peasy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Easy One Pot Meals
Taco Rice + Video
- 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!
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.
Originally published February 2016, updated and republished January 2023
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