This Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole is cooked in one pan and uses basic ingredients that you already have in your pantry and fridge. Ready in just 30 minutes, you will want to put this recipe into rotation!
Tex-Mex and Mexican recipes are always a hit with my family! I like to make a big batch of my DIY Taco Seasoning to have it on hand for when the Mexican food craving strikes. I highly recommend you check it out.
An easy dinner that you can make with basic pantry staples!
Cheesy, delicious and packed with flavor, this Mexican beef and rice casserole has become my go-to weeknight meal!
Authentic? Nope. I haven’t seen it served in Mexican restaurants or at my Mexican friend’s houses. But who’s gonna care when they get to eat something so incredibly tasty?
The ingredient list might seem like it’s long, but it’s all simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. Plus, it is easily customizable, so you can substitute or omit whatever you don’t have on hand!
And the best part? It’s all made in one skillet, so cleaning up will be a breeze!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO BUY:
- Ground beef – 1 pound
- Onion – 1 large
- Garlic – 3 cloves
- Red bell pepper – 1 large
- Fresh herbs – scallions and parsley or cilantro
- Corn – fresh, frozen or canned – 1 cup or 1 (15oz) can
- Fire roasted tomatoes – 1 (15oz) can
- Black beans – 1 (15oz) can
- Chicken broth – 1 carton or 2 cups homemade
- White Long-Grain Rice – 1 small package
- Mexican Style Cheese Blend – 1 package
Ingredients I assume you already have at home. But, if not, make sure to grab them at the store!
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- Taco seasoning
- Tomato paste
How to make Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole
I know casseroles are often baked, but I took the liberty to cook this whole recipe in a skillet, on the stove.
If we were cooking this in the oven, we’d have to prep everything in a pan and then transfer to an oven proof casserole dish to bake. Since this is supposed to be a weeknight meal wonder, why bother? We can get the same results by cooking it on the stove!
Now, make sure you choose a large skillet, with a lid. We need to trap the steam inside the pan so the water doesn’t escape and gets absorbed by the rice.
Otherwise the rice won’t fully cook and there’s nothing worse than eating raw grains of rice!
Recommended tools: large skillet with lid.
Here’s how I make this Mexican beef and rice casserole recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Brown the beef
- Heat the oil and cook the beef until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning and continue cooking until browned.
Step 2: Cook the veggies
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the pepper and cook until softened.
Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients (minus cheese and butter)
- Add the broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste and rice. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Cook
- Cover and cook until the rice is done.
Step 5: Add the cheese and butter
- Stir in the butter and half of the shredded cheese.
- Top with remaining cheese.
Step 6: Melt the cheese
- Cover and continue cooking until the cheese has melted.
- Garnish with herbs and serve.
|Olivia’s Tip: Stirring in a few tablespoons of butter at the end adds creaminess and helps bind the ingredients together.|
As I mentioned earlier, this casserole can be easily modified to please your palate!
Here are some suggestions:
- Ground beef – Ground chicken, turkey, pork or chorizo will work as well!
- Black beans – Use any kind of beans you’d like!
- Fire roasted tomatoes – If you don’t have these on hand, you can use regular canned diced or crushed tomatoes instead.
- Veggies – Omit or add whatever veggies you love. Diced carrots can be added or used instead of the bell pepper or corn.
- Chicken broth – Substitute vegetable or beef broth if that’s what you have at home.
- Cheese – Any cheese that melts well will work in this recipe!
How to serve Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole
This dish is already a meal in itself, so you’re all set to success!
However, you can serve it with fun toppings, like sliced olives, sour cream, salsa, fresh tomatoes, avocado or guacamole. A squeeze of lime is also a great call and adds freshness to the palate!
How long will beef and rice casserole leftovers keep?
Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole?
Yes, this casserole freezes well.
However, rice is very absorbing, so the beef and rice casserole might dry out a bit. But don’t worry, you can easily fix it by adding more broth when reheating.
To freeze, make sure that the casserole has cooled completely and then freeze in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with foil. No part of the casserole should be exposed to air to prevent freezer burn.
When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat the casserole in the oven, adding more broth if needed. Top with more cheese in the end for that delicious melted cheese factor!
|Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.|
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
- 1 (15oz) can corn kernels, drained or 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
- Scallions and parsley or cilantro, to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large lidded skillet, over medium high heat.
- Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Then, stir in the taco seasoning and continue cooking until the beef is browned, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and sauté until softened. Then, add the rice, tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, corn kernels and chicken broth. Give it a good stir and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Stir the butter and half of the cheese and top with the remaining half. Cover and continue cooking until the cheese has melted.
- Garnish with the herbs and serve immediately.
Ground beef - You can use ground chicken, turkey or pork instead. Chorizo will also work!
Veggies - Other vegetables, like diced carrots, can be used too.
Black beans - Used whatever canned or cooked beans you have on hand.
Rice - This recipe was developed using long grain rice. You can probably get away with using medium or short grain, but the texture of the dish might change. Don't use brown rice because that would require more liquid and cooking times would change.
Cheese - Use whatever cheese you like that melts well. I always recommend grating/shredding your own cheese, but - for this dish - I like the convenience of buying the "Mexican Blend" pre-packaged shredded cheese.
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Just make sure you wait for the beef and rice casserole to cool down completely before refrigerating or freezing.
Reheat refrigerated leftovers in the microwave.
Freeze in an airtight container or tightly wrapped for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or in the oven, adding more broth if needed.
You can top with more cheese to recreate the cheesy experience!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 500mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 26g
Nutritional values are approximate, please use your own calculations if you require a special diet.