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! 

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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 off 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! 

Side note: 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. 

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 soup things up with the creamy jalapeño dip from my green chile chicken tacos or creamy salsa dip from my copycat Gordita crunch recipe. And speaking of tacos, 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 or join my Facebook group with nearly 14k other healthy home cooks who’d be happy to help. 

Tex-Mex Ground Beef and Rice 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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29 thoughts on “Tex-Mex Ground Beef and Rice Skillet”

  • Made this with banza pasta instead of the rice and cauliflower mixture and it came out amazing, I love how versatile your recipes are so that I can just change out the starch if I wanted to. Awesome meal prep for the week!

  • Mason, thank you so much for this amazing recipe. Just from smelling the seasonings on the raw ground turkey (that’s what I had on hand) you could tell it was gonna be delicious. Five stars all around

  • Made this for dinner, with no cauliflower rice (hubby said a no go) and it is easily our new favorite. Topped with a little fire sauce and greek yogurt.. will definitely have this in our weekly rotation.

  • I made this for dinner and it was great. My husband really loved it too. There was even enough left over for the week!

    • After making the High Volume Taco Bowls, I knew I wanted to try this one as soon as I saw it! And I must say, it might be my new favorite. I made it for my lunches this week and it tastes better and better each time! I modified it just slightly by adding the cheese at the time I eat it, along with shredded lettuce, Greek yogurt, and salsa = perfection!

  • This was such a quick and easy recipe!! I used the taco seasoning substitute and it was SO good!! Light sour cream is also the BEST with this!!

  • So yummy. Super fast and easy to cook. I also used ground chipotle pepper instead of chili and it gave it a bit of a kick but Th at was ok because now I don’t have to share with the kids!

  • I loved everything about this recipe – quick, simple ingredients and the serving size was huge. The leftovers were great!

  • Made this for dinner and it was a hit for the whole family!!!! I subbed out the Colby jack with Queso and skipped baking it because I don’t actually own a skillet and it was GREAT and added that bit of creaminess everyone loves!

  • Love love love!! I doubled the recipe so, I would have enough for leftovers and for my parents. My picky kids ate it and loved it. My parents who are trying to start a healthier life loved it!!

  • Am I the only whose liquid isn’t cooking down? Been trying to cook it down for a good 15 mins now, and it still seems like a runny chili 🙁

  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    I pulled off another success in the kitchen!! I accidentally passed over the part where you DONT drain the black beans, corn and tomatoes w Chili’s so I just added 1/4 cup water to it. Probably would have been better with the non drained ingredients but my family didn’t seem to notice. It was delicious!! My husband and son both had two servings. So I was low key grumpy I have less left overs 😆 aka lunch.

    They aren’t watching calories and added some sour cream, a little salsa and then ate theirs with tortilla strips. The serving size is so generous and I was full without the fun calories they added.

    Thanks Mason!

  • This skillet is delicious! The flavor combination is perfect. I used chipotle powder and it added the perfect amount of spice. I will say that when I was cooking the beef, the spices did make me cough with the spiciness in the air. Really easy to make and really filling meal. Perfect for meal prep!!

    • No. I never drain ground beef in my recipes. Though if you’re using a fattier cut (like 80/20) and don’t need accurate nutrition facts, draining is a great way to reduce the fat content.

  • LOVE this recipe! Since you came out with this, it’s been my meal prep EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. I’m HOOKED. I like meals that are easy to make, don’t take a lot of time, and that are high volume. Some weeks I add the Ben’s rice, other weeks I do all cauliflower rice. Having the macros already broken down for me are very helpful. I also feed this to my 15 month old twins and they love it too!

  • This is an all time favorite in our home. We make this for meal prep and it is perfect for my boyfriend and I. I don’t use the cauliflower rice as I don’t care much for cauliflower. And I use a package of taco mix because I’m lazy like that 🙂

  • One word to describe this recipe: VOLUME. You can eat lots of it and it easily fits into my macros. Tastes super delicious too! I used ground turkey instead of ground beef. Tons of flavor!

  • So I may or may not have meal prepped this 3 weeks in a row. It’s THAT good. All the girls at work wanted the recipe and their kids/families loved it too! One kid even said “better than Surcheros”. I used deer meat in mine and halved the beans.. not a fan of beans lol. I also made some fresh guacamole to throw on top. Can’t beat it.

  • This is SO delicious and easy!! Plus the macros fit well into my day. I just used the bag of instant rice and left out the cauliflower rice and I thought it turned out great. I ate it the whole week for dinner and didn’t get bored. Yummy!!

  • 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!”

  • 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.

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