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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.
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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.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Yes! Most easy ground beef recipes are easy to swap for chicken or turkey for a healthier meal.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 Bowls, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and White Chicken Chili.
Tex Mex Beef & Rice Skillet
- 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
- 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.
- 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.