This Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet recipe is super easy and great for those busy weeknights when you need a quick meal or a fresh idea for Taco Tuesday. Plus, it’s gluten-free.
When You Don’t Have Hamburger Helper
Not too long ago, my folks were having a easy weeknight dinner of Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada. It sounded real good, but the seasoning in the box mix wasn’t gluten free, which I needed at the time. My mom told me essentially what was in it, so I decided I’d concoct my own. That’s how this easy Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet recipe came about.
What Do You Need to Make This Cheesy Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet?
- lean ground beef
- Mexican/Taco seasoning
- Salt to taste
- Instant rice
- beans (not drained)
- Mild Rotel (optional)
- Easy melt cheese
You’ll also need a large skillet with a lid.
You’ll find a full printable recipe card at the end of this post with measurements and instructions.
How Do You Make This Easy Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet Meal?
First, you’ll start with browning some lean ground beef in a large skillet that has an accompanying lid over high or medium-high heat. You could also use ground deer or turkey. I’ve also used fajita chicken or fajita beef for this recipe, and it tasted great.
I use lean meat so that I don’t have to drain any grease, but if you use a more fatty mixture, be sure to drain off the excess grease before continuing.
Next, add your taco seasoning mix, salt, water, rice, beans, and Rotel. The Rotel is optional if you’re not a fan of tomatoes. I’ve made it with and without, and it tastes good either way.
Bring your skillet mixture to a boil, then cover your pan, and reduce your heat to low or medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until rice is fully cooked and the majority of the liquid is absorbed.
If after 10 minutes too much water remains, take the lid off and cook some of the water out.
Last of all, add your cheese. I prefer to use easy melt cheese, something like Velveeta, but you can also use shredded cheddar cheese or a Mexican blend shredded cheese.
Once melted, remove from the heat and serve up your yummy Mexican beef and rice skillet meal with your favorite toppings, tortilla chips, corn tortillas, and/or cornbread.
Easy Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet Meal FAQs
“What toppings go well with this easy meal?”
I typically let my Mexican beef and rice skillet stand on its own, but you could also top with sour cream, green onions, pico de gallo, green chilies…
“What kind of beans do you use in this easy Mexican skillet meal?”
I’d suggest one or more of the following:
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Charro beans
If you use charro beans, leave out the Rotel from your mixture.
“What kind of rice do you use in this easy recipe one-pot meal?”
I prefer instant brown rice, but other minute rice will do, such as instant white rice or yellow rice. If you want to use a regular rice, be sure to allot more cook time.
“How can I make this Mexican ground beef skillet spicier?”
You’ve got a few options for making this spicier. You can use the hot Rotel, add some of your favorite peppers—jalapeno, cayenne, habanero—and/or some extra chili powder to your meat mixture prior to simmering. Hot sauce is an option too.
“I don’t like tomatoes. Can I make this without Rotel?”
Absolutely. The Rotel is optional. I’ve made it with and without, and it tastes great either way. You could also substitute the Rotel with fresh diced tomatoes and bell peppers or jalapeno peppers.
“What can I substitute for ground beef in this dinner recipe?”
You’ve got a lot of meat options with this one-skillet dinner:
- ground deer
- ground turkey
- ground chicken
- fajita chicken
- fajita beef
- grilled chicken chunks
You could also do a combo of beef and chicken.
“Do you have any other Mexican dishes to try for dinner tonight?”
I hope your whole family enjoys this quick and easy Tex-Mex one skillet meal. Be sure to leave a comment, and let us know how you like it and what toppings/sides you chose.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 oz Mexican/Taco seasoning
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup brown instant rice
- 1 can beans (not drained)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 can mild rotel (optional)
- 1 cup easy melt cheese
- Brown and season meat. Drain excess grease.
- Add rice, beans, Rotel, water.
- Bring to boil.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer approximately 10 minutes or until rice is done and most of liquid absorbed.
- Add cheese, stir until melted.
- Serve a la carte or with chips, tortillas, or cornbread
Not all taco seasoning is gluten free, so keep that in mind when shopping.