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Tex-Mex Ground Beef and Rice Skillet

This ground beef and rice skillet combines taco seasoned ground beef with black beans, golden corn, cilantro lime diced tomatoes, and two types of rice to create a massive dish with tons of flavor. Thanks to using half “real” rice and half cauliflower rice, you get a huge bang for your buck in terms of calories per serving. Each massive 300-gram serving has 27 grams of protein with just 36 grams of carbs and 335 calories!

If you’re a fan of my infamous creamy taco soup, I think you’ll dig this recipe!

Ground Beef and Rice Skillet Recipe Walkthrough

Unlike the taco soup, this recipe uses a homemade taco seasoning in place of taco seasoning packets. If you’d like to use the latter to save time, you’re more than welcome. There’s no chef shaming around here!

As for the ground beef seasoning, I used the blend of spices from my baked beef tacos.

  • paprika
  • ground chipotle peppers (or chili powder)
  • garlic powder
  • cumin
  • salt and black pepper
taco seasoning for tex-mex ground beef and rice skillet

You could also use something like the spice blend I used for my chipotle beef sweet potato nachos if you really wanna bring the heat!

Cooking the Ground Beef

Like I ranted about in my sweet chili ground beef and brussels sprouts recipe, I think adding spices to the exterior of ground beef before going in the skillet allows the spices to bloom and develop a crust on the beef. This creates a ton of flavor but if you wanted to throw the beef in and add the spices as it cooks, it’ll still turn out fine.

cooking the seasoned ground beef in a cast iron skillet

One difference between this ground beef and rice skillet and the brussels skillet I mentioned above is the exclusion of oil here. I wanted to keep the fat under control but if you’d like to add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet before cooking the beef, that will only add about 20 calories per serving.

Adding the Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes to the Cooked Ground Beef

If you skip the oil and have some sticking on the bottom of your skillet, that’s okay. The juices from this trio will allow you to deglaze the skillet (scrape all the crispy bits from the bottom).

adding the black beans, corn, and RO-TEL to the ground beef

You’ll want to cook this for a good 8-10 minutes or until there’s very little liquid remaining. If you’re having trouble reducing the mixture, increase the heat and give it a few extra minutes.

Worst case, you end up with soup, and I guess that’s not all that bad.

Adding the Rice, Cheese, and Finishing in the Oven

The recipe calls for cauliflower rice and a packet of ready rice. You’re more than welcome to use all cauliflower rice or all “real” rice. You will, however, want to use a rice that’s cooked since we’re adding it in at the end. If you throw instant rice in at the end, you’ll have some crunchy rice!

If you wanted to use something like instant rice, you could probably add it in the step with the corn, black beans, and diced tomatoes. I haven’t tested it, but I imagine the rice would cook enough in the juices.

You could also use other grains like the quinoa in my Mexican beef and quinoa skillet or chopped tortillas like in my Tex Mex ground chicken casserole.

adding the rice to the ground beef skillet

After your stir everything together, top with shredded cheese and pop the skillet in the oven to melt everything together. It’s serving time!

The recipe card below suggests fat free Greek yogurt and hot sauce, but you could definitely spice things up with my creamy jalapeño dip, avocado salsa, or the lime vinaigrette and spicy crema from my Tex Mex ground beef and shaved brussels sprouts recipe.

And speaking of Tex Mex, you could always throw this ground beef and rice in a tortilla and make something like my cheesy black bean quesadillas.

That about covers it. If you have any other questions about this ground beef and rice skillet, drop a comment below.

Mexican ground beef and rice casserole in a cast iron skillet

Tex-Mex Ground Beef and Rice Skillet

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A simple, one-pan ground beef and rice skillet with black beans, corn, cilantro lime diced tomatoes, two types of rice, and melty cheese.


For the Seasoned Ground Beef*

  • 1 lb Ground Beef (96/4)
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground Chipotle Peppers (or chili powder)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Add to the Cooked Ground Beef

  • 15 oz can Black Beans
  • 15 oz can Whole Kernel Corn
  • 10 oz can Mexican RO-TEL (diced tomatoes with green chiles)
  • 12 oz bag Frozen Cauliflower Rice**
  • 9 oz packet Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Original
  • 3/4 C (84g) Shredded Colby Jack Cheese


  1. Preheat an oven to 400F and microwave both bags of rice. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large 12" skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Mix the spices for the ground beef in a small bowl. Coat both sides of the ground beef with the spices, gently pressing the spices into the surface. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side before flipping, crumbling, and cooking another 4-5 minutes until no pink remains.
  4. Add the corn, beans, and RO-TEL to the skillet (all undrained) and stir. Cook for 8-10 minutes until very little liquid remains in the skillet.
  5. Add both packets of rice to the skillet, stirring to fully incorporate. Top with the shredded cheese and bake for about 5 minutes to fully melt the cheese. Serve with freshly chopped cilantro, fat free Greek yogurt, hot sauce, or your desired toppings.


*For a shortcut, substitute the spices for a packet of taco seasoning.

**Feel free to use all cauliflower rice or all ready rice. See notes in the post above for using alternatives like instant rice.

Each 300-gram serving has 5 WW Smart Points (blue plan).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Servings Serving Size: 2 C (300g)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 8.5gSaturated Fat: 4.3gCarbohydrates: 36.3gFiber: 7.3gSugar: 6gProtein: 27.2g

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Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Used ground turkey and instacart forgot to grab my ready rice, but this was still bomb! Threw it together in less than 30 minutes and made enough for lunch and dinner the next day. Topped with velveeta and Louisiana hot sauce. Will try with the spices instead of taco seasoning next time.

Joanna Miller

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Made this last night for a little taco Tuesday change up and it was soo good! First time making it and will definitely make again.


Tuesday 9th of March 2021

This recipe was simple and delicious! It was perfect to cook for dinner and have leftovers for lunch the next day! Topped with sour cream and jalapeños made it even better! 10/10


Thursday 8th of October 2020

Such an easy volume meal. I loved that it didn't take long to make. I did the lazy way and used taco seasoning and decided to go all cauliflower rice on mine to keep the carbs down. Turned out better than expected. You'd never know it was cauliflower rice you were eating. Also ran into the same issue as other where the liquid did not reduce. I ended up just adding the cauliflower rice in and found that it helped soak up any remaining juices at that point.

Katherine Owens

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Another weekly dinner for us! I use instant white rice in this, no cauliflower rice mixed in. Like Mason mentions, I add this when I add the beans, corn, and tomatoes. I have to add a bit of water to help the rice cook, but it turns out amazing every time. One of my absolute favorite meals. We top with guacamole salsa for some added “umph!”

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