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Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice

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posted: 05/12/24

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Ground Beef and Rice is a simple one pot dinner that is perfect for feeding a hungry family. This great dinner recipe comes together with simple ingredients and is something you are bound to love.

side view of a large skillet with Ground Beef and Rice, garnished with cilantro

One of my popular recipes is my delicious Spanish Rice. It’s a great copycat recipe for the side dish of rice that is served in many taco restaurants in the U.S. It is absolutely delicious.

I’ve had so many readers ask if they can add ground beef to that recipe. This recipe is just that. While some refer to this dish as Mexican Beef and Rice, it is just a delicious ground beef and rice recipe that is perfect for feeding hungry kiddos.

How to Make Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet

Here is a brief overview of how this recipe comes together. For the full recipe including all measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Rinse the rice. See more on why this is important below.
  • Cook the ground beef. Once it has begun to brown, add the rice and stir it all together.
  • Add the onions, and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, about five to six minutes. Drain any excess grease from the pan.
  • Stir in the water, diced tomatoes, green chiles, and seasonings. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Cook the rice. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add the frozen peas and corn. The heat of the dish will thaw the frozen veggies perfectly. Taste the dish and add more salt to taste.
Bowl of Ground Beef and Rice, garnished with fresh cilantro, with two forks next to it

Rinsing Rice

Rinsing rice before cooking might seem like an extra step, but it’s actually quite important for a few reasons. First, rinsing helps remove excess starch from the rice grains, which can make the cooked rice sticky and clumpy. By rinsing the rice, you’re helping it cook up light and fluffy instead.

Rinsing also helps get rid of any debris or dust that might be on the rice grains, ensuring that you’re cooking with clean ingredients. Put your rice in a mesh strainer and rinse two or three times until the water runs clear. Shake the strainer to remove excess water.

Using Long Grain Rice

You will notice that this ground beef and rice recipe calls for long grain rice. I recommend that you use that and not replace it with another grain. It cooks up best in the recipe as written. We are looking for distinguishable grains of rice in this recipe, rather than sticky rice. Long grain white rice is the best rice for that.

Overhead view of a large skillet of Ground Beef and Rice, garnished with cilantro with two large serving forks

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don’t like one of the veggies, replace it with more of the other vegetable or a different vegetable like diced bell pepper or carrots. If you use bell pepper, cook it when you add the onion. Black beans would also be delicious!
  • Adjust the water if needed. Because the amount of liquid varies from brand to brand in diced tomatoes, you may need to add more water at the end. Taste, and if the rice isn’t soft, add another 1/4 cup of hot water, simmering until it fully absorbs.
  • Garnish with some chopped cilantro for serving. You could also add shredded cheese.

Using Frozen Corn and Peas

Since frozen corn and peas are already cooked, adding them to the dish while frozen warms them perfectly. If we thawed them first, they would be get mushy.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Store any leftover hamburger and rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat the portion you plan to eat in the microwave or in the skillet over low heat until heated through. If the rice looks dry, add a splash of water or beef broth to prevent it from burning.

close up of large serving Spoon, serving up Ground Beef and Rice

Other One Pot Dinner Ideas

If you love recipes that are delicious, quick, and come together in one pot, check out these family favorites!

If you make this Mexican beef and rice recipe or any of my other recipes, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. I love hearing from you!

close up of large serving Spoon, serving up Ground Beef and Rice
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Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice

Serves: 6 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Ground Beef and Rice is a simple one pot dinner that is perfect for feeding a hungry family. This great dinner recipe comes together with simple ingredients and is something you are bound to love.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice (210 grams)
  • 1 pound ground beef 80/20 (453.6 grams)
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes undrained (411 grams)
  • 4 ounces green chiles undrained (113 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (if you use table salt, start with half)
  • 1 3/4 cup water (see note about the water below)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn (96.75 grams)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas (127.5 grams)

Instructions

  • In a mesh strainer, rinse the rice 2 or 3 times until the water runs clear. (See notes in the post about why rinsing the rice is important.) Shake the strainer well to get rid of excess water.
    1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking it up. Once it has begun to brown, add the rice, stirring to combine.
    1 pound ground beef
  • Add in the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes until the onion is translucent. Drain any excess grease from the pan.
    1 small yellow onion, 2 garlic cloves
  • Stir in the water, diced tomatoes, green chiles, and seasonings. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet.
    2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 3/4 cup water, 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, 4 ounces green chiles, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Bring to a boil – you should see big bubbles over the full surface of the skillet. Reduce to a simmer (you should see small intermittent bubbles), and cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Stir in the frozen corn and frozen peas. The heat of the dish will thaw them perfectly. Taste the dish and add more salt to taste.
    3/4 cup frozen corn, 3/4 cup frozen peas

Notes

Because the amount of liquid varies from brand to brand in diced tomatoes, you may need to add more water at the end. Taste, and if the rice isn’t soft, add another 1/4 cup of hot water, simmering until it fully absorbs.
Serving: 1.3cups Calories: 367kcal (18%) Carbohydrates: 38g (13%) Protein: 18g (36%) Fat: 16g (25%) Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 54mg (18%) Sodium: 721mg (31%) Potassium: 524mg (15%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 438IU (9%) Vitamin C: 20mg (24%) Calcium: 62mg (6%) Iron: 3mg (17%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
close up of large serving Spoon, serving up Ground Beef and Rice

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Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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