HomeCOOKINGSimple Skillet Taco Rice | Cookies and Cups

Simple Skillet Taco Rice | Cookies and Cups


Make this Taco Rice recipe multi functional skillet with savory floor beef, salsa, taco seasoning, and loads of cheese. This quick and straightforward dinner thought brings collectively your whole favourite Tex-Mex flavors in half-hour or much less.

For those who love this floor beef and rice recipe, it is advisable give my Fiesta Hen Casserole a strive!

A serving of cheesy taco rice on a plate topped with sour cream, diced tomatoes, and green onions next to corn chips.

Tacky One-Pan Taco Rice Recipe

In the present day we’re turning easy white rice right into a zesty all-in-one meal, loaded with floor beef, onions, taco seasoning, salsa, and melted cheese. Taco rice is a fast and straightforward skillet dinner, and I like making it on weeknights or as a enjoyable twist on Mexican evening. All the things comes collectively on the stovetop in below half-hour, and we by no means run out of topping concepts.

For those who’ve by no means tried taco rice, put together to be hooked. This straightforward floor beef and rice recipe is beefy and tacky and jam-packed with Tex-Mex flavors. High your rice with avocado, bitter cream, and extra taco toppings. It’s my thought of consolation meals!

A wooden spoon scooping cheesy taco rice from a skillet.

What Is Taco Rice?

Consider it or not, the unique taco rice was invented in Japan. Okinawan taco rice consisted of seasoned floor beef, shredded cheese, salsa, and lettuce served over Japanese rice. A chef created taco rice at a restaurant on the island of Okinawa, and it turned fashionable with locals in addition to US navy personnel stationed there.

Taco rice isn’t to be confused with Mexican rice. Mexican rice is a facet dish consisting of rice and typically veggies, cooked in broth and seasoned with taco seasoning. My recipe is mainly a mixture of each dishes!

The ingredients for one pan taco rice.

Substances You’ll Want

Just some easy elements are all it is advisable make this flavorful Tex-Mex taco rice recipe. Under is a fast overview, with the complete ingredient quantities obtainable within the recipe card beneath the put up.

  • Yellow Onion: You’ll saute diced onion and garlic with a bit of additional virgin olive oil for aromatics.
  • Floor Beef: I like to recommend utilizing lean floor beef (85-90%), however you can even make this taco rice skillet with floor turkey or floor rooster. See additional down within the put up for extra variation concepts.
  • Taco Seasoning: Select your favourite packet of taco seasoning from the grocery retailer, like Outdated El Paso (or related).
  • Rice: I like to make use of raw long-grain white rice or brown rice. I don’t advocate utilizing pre-cooked rice as it can change into too mushy.
  • Hen Broth: You’ll want low-sodium rooster or vegetable broth for simmering the rice. You can too use Do-it-yourself Hen Inventory for those who choose.
  • Salsa: Use your most popular model of jarred salsa, both delicate or spicy, chunky or blended. That is the proper approach so as to add somewhat warmth to your rice for those who’d like.
  • Cheese and Cilantro: I take advantage of grated cheddar, together with cilantro, for topping and garnishing the completed rice.

Can I Use Minute Rice As a substitute?

Sure, simply take into account that instantaneous rice will prepare dinner a lot quicker, so that you’ll want to regulate the cooking time accordingly.

How you can Make Taco Rice

I take advantage of my 9-inch nonstick skillet with a lid for this recipe, however you should use any sized skillet you may have available, so long as it has a canopy. This taco-inspired meal comes collectively in 3 straightforward steps:

  • Saute: Begin by sauteing the onion in a scorching skillet with olive oil. As soon as softened, stir within the floor beef and break it up whereas it browns. Lastly, stir within the garlic.
  • Mix: Subsequent, you’ll sprinkle within the taco seasoning, then add within the rice. Pour in your broth and salsa, and let the skillet come to a boil earlier than reducing the warmth. Cowl and simmer the rice, stirring often, till tender. The liquid also needs to be absolutely absorbed by now.
  • End and Serve: Garnish your taco rice with a beneficiant sprinkle of cheese and cilantro, then cowl and let it soften. Afterward, serve topped with bitter cream, avocado, or any of your favourite taco toppings! See beneath for extra concepts and serving recommendations.

Ideas for Success

This taco rice is very easy, you actually can’t go flawed. Listed below are some last suggestions:

  • Use lean floor meat. I like to recommend utilizing lean floor beef in order that the dish doesn’t come out too oily. For those who discover that there’s numerous grease within the skillet after your beef has browned, contemplate draining it earlier than going forward with the recipe.
  • Make your personal taco seasoning. I like the comfort of packet seasoning, however for those who’d choose to make your personal, it’s straightforward sufficient to do! To make home made taco seasoning, mix 1 teaspoon every of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and dried oregano with 1 tablespoon every of floor cumin and smoked paprika.
A wooden spoon scooping cheesy taco rice from a skillet.

Add-Ins and Variation Concepts

This taco rice skillet is scrumptious as it’s, however you’ll be able to at all times change up the elements to fit your household’s particular person tastes. There are such a lot of methods to make this Tex-Mex-style recipe, and it’s actually as much as you! Under are some easy variation concepts to strive.

  • Completely different Protein: Attempt making this rice with floor turkey, floor rooster, shredded rooster, and even floor or pulled pork.
  • Vegetarian: To make vegetarian taco rice, swap the rooster broth for vegetable broth and exchange the bottom beef with chickpeas, brown lentils, crumbled tofu, or your selection of plant-based mince.
  • Beans: Stir in canned black beans or pinto beans (bear in mind to empty them first). 
  • Veggies: Add in candy corn, diced bell peppers, shredded or diced carrots, or sliced jalapeños.
  • Herbs and Spices: Be at liberty so as to add in further herbs, like basil or oregano. For those who’re after a little bit of kick, stir in chipotle powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or crushed crimson pepper flakes together with the taco seasoning.
A serving of cheesy taco rice on a plate next to corn chips, topped with sour cream, diced tomatoes, and green onions with bowls of toppings and a skillet in the background.

Serving Strategies

I typically serve this taco rice DIY-style, the identical as you’ll an precise taco! I fill the desk with straightforward taco toppings like diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, avocado, bitter cream, inexperienced onion, and tortilla strips, and let everybody have at it. And as a facet, no taco evening is full with out crispy corn chips dipped in Avocado Salsa or Cowboy Caviar.

This satisfying rice recipe can be nice to serve with Fluffy Bitter Cream Cornbread and a Southwestern Cobb Salad. Or, we’ll pair it with Bitter Cream Hen Enchiladas and a facet of Immediate Pot Corn on the Cob for a hearty Mexican-inspired meal.

Overhead view of cheesy taco rice on a plate topped with sour cream, diced tomatoes, and green onions next to corn chips and a fork.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Retailer any leftover taco rice hermetic within the fridge for as much as 3 days. Reheat parts within the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop till warmed by way of.

Can I Freeze Taco Rice?

Sure! I like to recommend freezing the rice earlier than including the cheese. Retailer the cooled rice in an hermetic container and freeze it for as much as 1 month. Defrost the taco rice within the fridge earlier than reheating, topping it with melted cheese, and serving.


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This Taco Rice recipe is a simple one-pan dinner that mixes all of your favourite Tex-Mex elements, together with floor beef, taco seasoning, salsa, and loads of cheese.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 pound lean floor beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-ounce) bundle taco seasoning
  • 1 cup lengthy grain white rice, raw
  • 2 1/2 cups rooster broth
  • 1 1/4 cups salsa
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Non-compulsory toppings: diced tomatoes, avocado, bitter cream, inexperienced onion, tortilla strips

  1. Warmth the olive oil in a skillet (*see observe) over medium warmth. Add within the diced onion and prepare dinner till softened.
  2. Add within the floor beef and proceed cooking till browned. Add within the garlic and prepare dinner for 1 extra minute.
  3. Stir within the taco seasoning, rice, broth, and salsa. Carry the combination as much as a boil after which cowl and scale back warmth to low. Prepare dinner for 15 – 20 minutes, or till the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, stirring often so rice doesn’t stick.
  4. Sprinkle within the cheese and cilantro and stir to mix. Take away the skillet from the warmth, cowl and let sit for two minutes for the cheese to soften. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Serve instantly with desired toppings.


  • *I like to make use of a 9- inch nonstick skillet for this recipe, however be sure that your skillet has a lid.
  • Retailer hermetic within the fridge for as much as 3 days.

Key phrases: skillet meals, straightforward floor beef recipes, tex-mex recipes

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