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Get a meal on the table in 20 minutes with my Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice Skillet! It’s quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner and uses simple ingredients, like cooked rice, ground beef, veggies, and seasonings.

a large skillet with tex mex ground beef and rice and some sliced limes
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Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice Recipe Overview

Quick dinners are a must for my family and this Ground Beef and Rice Skillet is a simple recipe that uses easy-to-find and pantry ingredients. It has flavors like cumin and lime for a fun Tex Mex flair and is similar to Dirty Rice.

To stretch this meal I like to add a copycat Olive Garden Salad or even a zesty wedge salad on the side. Garlic bread, chips, and Guacamole are fantastic sides. You could even add a big scoop of fresh Pico de Gallo on top.

Because we’re using already cooked rice, this meal is ready in 20 minutes! I’ve actually used pre-cooked, packaged rice from the grocery store, but I prefer to just use leftover rice that I keep in my freezer. Either one would work, or you could cook some up just for this ground beef and rice skillet if you don’t mind washing another pot.

I topped the rice with fresh cilantro and lime juice for a burst of brightness and freshness that perfectly rounds out the dish.

a wooden spoon holding up a serving of ground beef and rice

Ingredients For Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice

  • Rice – This is a great way to use up leftover rice. Whenever I cook rice for dinner, I store the leftovers in the freezer, then once I have enough I use it for Fried Rice or something like this. If you don’t have any on hand, you’ll need to cook about 1 ½ cups uncooked rice.
  • Ground Beef – I prefer a leaner ground beef, like sirloin, for this recipe.
  • Bell Peppers – You’ll need 2 peppers of any color.
  • Onion – One small onion, whatever color you usually buy.
  • Spices – Cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  • Corn – About a cup of frozen, canned or fresh corn.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Juice of Two Limes
  • Cilantro

How to Make Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice

This is such an easy recipe to make and it’s practically impossible to screw up. You can swap out veggies for what you have on hand, add beans, or even swap in ground turkey for the beef.

  1. Heat some oil in a large skillet and add in some ground beef, chopped onion, garlic and bell peppers. Break up the ground beef with a spatula as it cooks, and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are tender. I use ground sirloin and it’s very lean so there isn’t a ton of grease left behind.
  2. Stir in corn and cooked rice with the ground beef, then turn up the heat and and add seasonings like cumin, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. For the rice, i almost always have extra cooked rice in my freezer. If you don’t you can grab a box of precooked or make it yourself (it only takes 20 minutes). Don’t add uncooked rice to the skillet.
  3. Turn off the heat and squeeze fresh lime juice over the rice. Offer more lime wedges with each serving and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.
a skillet with ground beef, corn and bell peppers
a skillet with ground beef, corn, peppers and rice


Can this be made with ground chicken or turkey?

Yes! Most easy ground beef recipes are easy to swap for chicken or turkey for a healthier meal.

How do you know when ground beef is cooked?

When you no longer see any pink or red, the meat is fully cooked. It can be difficult to check the temperature, but optimal temp is 160 degrees F.

What is the best rice to use?

You’ll see in the recipe below that I use 4 cups of precooked rice. I almost exclusively use Jasmine rice and we have it as a side dish often. I store any leftovers in freezer bags so I can pull them out for recipes like this. However, you can use any kind of rice that you like, you just have to cook it first.


  • Spicy: Add a can of diced jalapenos or some dried chipotle powder or red pepper flakes.
  • Deluxe: Add a can of well drained and rinsed black beans, more seasonings, and a can of drained tomatoes with green chiles. Top with a scoop of guacamole and a scoop of pico de gallo.
  • Cheese: Stir in some freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack.
  • Veggies: Mushrooms, peas, shredded carrots or broccoli would be great additions.
  • Toppings: Thinly sliced green onions, diced avocado, cotija cheese, sour cream, cilantro, guacamole, salsa.

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer: This is also a great freezable dish. Place leftovers in a freezer bag or container, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave, but you may need to add a little bit of water or beef broth to help keep the rice from drying out.

Helpful Tips

  • If you don’t want to use instant or precooked rice, go ahead and cook your own. I recommend using a long grain or jasmine rice for this. And definitely invest in a rice cooker. It takes all the guesswork out of cooking rice.
  • Add extra protein or make this a vegetarian Tex Mex dish, by using black beans in place of ground beef. Drain them well, and stir them in with the corn and rice. Simmer with a ¼ cup of water to help the seasonings mix well.
  • If you don’t have fresh bell pepper, add a can of diced and drained tomatoes or other veggies you have on hand.
  • Brown rice works great in place of the white rice. Because the rice in the recipe is already cooked, there’s no need to alter the time.
a bowl of rice with ground beef and vegetables and a skillet with the meal

More Easy Dinners To Discover

If you’re in need of some easy family meals that don’t require a lot of difficult ingredients or steps, check out our round up of Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes! There are lots of favorites that have the same Tex Mex flavors as this recipe, like Healthy Chicken Fajita BowlsChicken Tortilla Soup, and White Chicken Chili.

For even more Tex Mex flavor, we have Southwest Air Fryer Egg RollsSouthwestern Seven Layer Dip, and Chicken & Black Bean Baked Tacos.

A pan of rice, veggies, and ground beef.

Tex Mex Beef & Rice Skillet

4.59 from 17 votes
Tex Mex Ground Beef and Rice Skillet is a quick and easy dinner using simple ingredients, like rice, ground beef, veggies, and seasonings.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 4 cups pre-cooked rice leftovers or packaged
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin
  • 2 bell peppers red, yellow or orange, diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup corn frozen, canned (drained) or fresh
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 limes
  • cilantro or fresh parsley if desired for garnish
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  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of canola oil and let it get hot. Crumble ground beef into the skillet and add diced onion and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in corn and heat through.
  • Turn heat up to medium-high and stir in rice, cumin, chili powder, Worcestershire. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and juice one lime over the rice and stir.
  • Divide into bowls and garnish with cilantro or parsley and a squeeze of lime juice.


Feel free to make substitutions and swaps:
  • Cook your own rice instead of buying precooked.
  • Swap ground turkey or even black beans for the beef. 
  • Use frozen veggies if you don’t have fresh.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: This is also a great freezable dish. Place leftovers in a freezer bag or container, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave, but you may need to add a little bit of water or beef broth to help keep the rice from drying out.
Keyword ground beef and rice


Calories: 713kcalCarbohydrates: 113gProtein: 28gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 115mgPotassium: 683mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1648IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.


Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    Super easy weeknight meal! I served it topped with light cheddar cheese and avocado alongside air fried zucchini. Wish I would have made more as I think the leftovers would be delicious!

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Stephanie Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Jacquelyn says:

    I had leftover homemade Mexican fried rice and leftover ground beef taco meat. I also had a bag of “ultimate southwestern vegetables”. I stir fried the vegetables, added the ground beef and rice. Continued to stir fry. Added cumin, chili powder, and California seasoned pepper. I didn’t have a fresh lime, but put a pack of True Lime in a tablespoon of water. And served it all in a bowl with fresh salsa and avocado slices. My husband was skeptical, but loved it. He asked me to portion out the leftovers.
    It was a win-win! Using up leftovers and a hit.

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thank you so much for stopping Jacquelyn.

  3. Rebecca Payne says:

    I can’t wait to try it.

  4. Mike Johnson says:

    Does anyone know how to use frozen cauliflower rice?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Mike, I haven’t used cauliflower rice personally, so I reached out to some friends (other food bloggers) who have and the suggestion was to steam it in the microwave per package directions and then add it when the recipe calls for rice. Let us know how it turns out!

  5. Tess says:

    Made this a few weeks ago and making it again tonight. I usually add 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce because we like the flavor so much. We also make this with extra lean ground turkey instead of ground sirloin and it still is amazing! (Maybe that’s why we feel the need for extra Worcestershire sauce?). Anyways- I like how this recipe is adaptable and wonderfully delicious! Between my husband and I we have left overs the next night and usually enough for one more serving!!! Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Kristin says:

      Great idea using the turkey and Worcestershire! Sounds delicious!

  6. Cathy Farrington says:

    The recipe didn’t say how many servings. I cook “house lunch” for my residential clients, but am not sure whether I should double/triple this. I usually have 10-12 folks for lunch!

    1. Kristin says:

      This makes about 4 servings.

  7. Eliza says:

    I made this tonight for dinner. This was delicious! Husband, 4 year old and 21 month old gobbled it up. The only change I made was adding 2 cloves on minced garlic. Thanks for a great recipe!

  8. Brenda says:

    Made the Tex Mex Beef & Rice Skillet tonight. Interesting flavour. Certainly a ‘refreshing’ taste with the lime juice. Reduced chilli amount and increased Worcestershire sauce. Used a corn and pea mixture. The whole family enjoyed this dish. We were not accustomed to dishes with lime juice so was very surprised with this one. Extremely easy to put together and tasty too! Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Kristin says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! I love adding lime juice to all my Mexican dishes. Glad you gave it a try!