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Easy One Dish Taco Rice Skillet

This quick and easy one dish taco rice skillet can be made with just 8 simple ingredients. Hearty beef, onion, poblano pepper and corn are combined with rice and topped with cheese. It is a delicious dinner your family will love and using instant or leftover rice means you can have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes!

top view of taco skillet with rice

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I enjoy making dinner for my family, but I need most of my dinner recipes to be quick and easy. My family’s life is busy, so I need low stress dinner ideas with a few ingredients and simple instructions.

So I always keep ground beef on hand, because it there are a large variety of quick and easy dinners you can make with ground beef, like dirty rice or meatball soup.

This taco rice skillet dinner is a simple dinner that is perfect for my family’s on-the-go busy lifestyle.

Cast iron skillet with easy taco rice dinner

Why You Will Love this Taco Skillet

  • You can make it fast, in only 20 minutes.
  • Since it is a whole meal in one pan there aren’t many dishes to wash.
  • It has all the taste of tacos with less mess and fuss.
  • This meal uses simple pantry ingredients, so you can throw it together at the last minute.

Key Ingredient – Quick Cooking Rice

The key to making this meal so quick and easy is to use quick cooking rice. Cooking rice from scratch isn’t difficult, but it does take 30 minutes.

So I always keep packets of microwavable rice in the pantry for days when I don’t have 30 minutes to spare. One packet of microwavable rice yields 2 cups of rice, the perfect amount for this recipe.

You can also use leftover rice in the recipe. And the type of rice doesn’t matter – brown rice, white rice, rice with extra seasoning, use whatever type you have!

ingredients for taco rice skillet

Remaining Ingredients

This recipe has only a few simple ingredients, most of which I always have on hand.

  • Ground beef – This also works well with ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey.
  • Onion
  • Pepper – I prefer to make this with poblano pepper, because they are a little bit spicy. But bell pepper will work too or even jalapenos if you want your taco skillet to be extra spicy!
  • Taco seasoning – Since this is a quick and easy dinner I use premade, packaged taco seasoning. Select mild or spicy, depending on your preferences.
  • Tomato – Use either fresh or canned diced tomatoes. Drain the tomatoes before adding if you are using canned.
  • Frozen corn – The corn adds some color and texture to the final dish.
  • Cheese – Shredded cheddar cheese or taco cheese melted on top makes the dish extra tasty!

How to Make a Taco Rice Skillet

1. Brown the Meat

Brown the ground beef in a cast iron skillet or other large frying pan. I prefer 93% lean ground beef for this meal.

browning the beef

If you use ground beef with a higher fat percentage you will probably want to drain some of the fat off after the meat is browned.

Because I used a lower fat beef I was able to skip that step. Browning the meat takes about 10 minutes.

2. Add Pepper, Onion and Spices

Once the beef is brown add the onion and poblano pepper along with the taco seasoning to the cast iron skillet and cook the mixture for another five minutes.

adding the taco seasoning

This is the step where you can easily adjust the spiciness of the dish to suit your family’s preferences. If your family likes it hot pick a spicy taco seasoning or add in a jalapeno pepper!

3. Simmer

After onion and poblano pepper are cooked stir in a diced tomato or drained tomatoes along with frozen corn. The corn doesn’t need to be thawed first, since it will cook quickly in the dish.

Cast iron skillet dinner - taco beef and rice

Quickly heat the rice in the microwave or just stir it in if you are using leftover rice. Add it to the skillet and let the tomatoes, corn and rice simmer for about 5 minutes.

4. Top with Cheese

Finally spread a layer of shredded cheddar cheese on top of the skillet. The cheese melts in a couple minutes, leaving the taco rice skillet covered with a nice layer of gooey melted cheese.

Adding cheese to the taco rice skillet dinner

How to Serve the Taco Rice Skillet

You can serve the dish as is, right out of the skillet. Or you can add some tasty taco toppings to the skillet to make it even better. Here are some easy ideas for topping off the dish:

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Tortilla chips
  • Pickled onions
  • Olives
taco skillet dinner - beef, tomatoes, cheese, rice and beans

Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

Every meal doesn’t have to be a huge gourmet dinner that takes hours to cook! Treat yourself and your family to homemade good food fast by using shortcuts in the kitchen like using shortcuts. You can spend less time cooking and more time making family memories.

Fork showing taco rice skillet - an easy dinner idea

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Find More Easy One Pan Dinners

Yield: 4

Taco Rice Skillet

taco skillet dinner - beef, tomatoes, cheese, rice and beans

Hearty beef, onion, poblano pepper and corn are combined with rice and topped with cheese for a quick and easy dinner.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice, microwave rice or leftover rice
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 package taco seasoning (1 ounce)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tomato
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and stir to break up. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
  2. While the ground beef cooks dice the onion and poblano pepper. Add them to the ground beef along with the packet of taco seasoning once most of the pink is gone and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the corn and tomato to the skillet and stir to mix well. If using leftover rice add it now, otherwise let the mixture continue to cook while you make the rice.
  4. Follow the package directions and nake the rice in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  5. Add the heated rice to the skillet and stir to mix it all together. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Put the cheese on top of the skillet and cook for 2 minutes to let the cheese melts.
  7. Serve the taco rice skillet as is or add any taco toppings you like - sour cream, guacamole, pickled jalapenos, olives and tomatoes are all delicious.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 623Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 405mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 10gSugar: 5gProtein: 46g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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cast iron skillet dinner - beef with taco seasonings and rice topped with cheese
pinterest collage for taco rice skillet
By on March 16th, 2021

3 thoughts on “Easy One Dish Taco Rice Skillet”

  1. I fried potatoes, onions in separate skillet and set aside. When the taco rice skillet was done I heated some flour & corn tortillas. I then let my family build themselves burritos. I had olives,cheese,chive,sour cream and shredded lettuce.
    Also, when just the two of us I use the recipe above and crumble cheese Doritos on top and add condiments. If I am in a hurry I just scoop a serving and use the Doritos and eat like a dip.

    Reply
  2. 1-2 small zucchini are my favorite sneaky vegetables on taco night. They suck up that taco flavor and everybody sucks dinner down. (If you have any vegetarians/ vegans, you can just make zucchini the same way you make the ground beef and serve separately. Also good for a Meatless Monday entree)

    I’m going to try to substitute cauliflower rice for regular rice in this recipe because my son says he doesnt like rice.

    Reply

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