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Taco Rice

This easy, one pan Taco Rice recipe is a whole meal in one. Ground beef, taco seasonings, salsa, rice and cheese. A family favorite meal!


If there is one item I always tell new cooks to keep in their pantry – is rice. Especially quick-cooking rice like Minute Rice. It can be pulled out and added or mixed with so many other meals and it’s easy to get creative with. It beefs up meal time to make it more filling and you can add just about any flavor to it. What I love about this recipe is you don’t even need to cook the rice first – it all gets cooked up together so you can make this all in one pan without dirtying up a bunch of dishes!

closeup photo of fully cooked Taco Rice in the skillet.


What is Taco Rice?

It is a simple recipe made with ground beef that has been seasoned with taco seasoning. Rice, salsa and shredded cheese are then added.

What do you serve with taco rice?

This taco rice is very filling on its own but you can serve it as a side to Layered Taco Bake or Mexican Lasagna! I think it would also go well with either White Chicken Enchiladas or Ground Beef Enchiladas.

How do you store leftovers?

Leftover Taco Rice should be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days. To reheat, sprinkle just a little bit of water on to the rice then microwave until warm (the extra water keeps the rice from drying out as it reheats.)

Can long grain rice be used?

You can but this recipe was made specifically created for quick cooking rice. I have not tested it with long grain rice. You may need a bit more water if using long grain rice and there would be a longer cooking time.

How should this rice be served?

We like to top it with some sour cream, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes (and a little extra shredded cheese! I think this would even be absolutely delicious if it is wrapped up in a burrito with the toppings added.

Can taco rice be frozen?

Yes. Rice should be put in a freezer safe container where it will keep up to 3 months. Put into the refrigerator to defrost then warm up using directions above.

a large spoon scooping up a serving of Taco Rice over a skillet.


  • ground beef – you can use pork, chicken or ground turkey.
  • taco seasoning – you can use a packet seasoning or make your own Homemade Taco Seasoning.
  • Minute Rice quick cooking rice – see my FAQs above on this one.
  • salsa – my favorite salsa is Herdez mild salsa. It’s important you use a salsa you enjoy eating. You can even use a spicy salsa if you want to kick this up a notch.
  • shredded cheddar cheese – if you want to make it spicier, try using a pepper jack cheese.
ground beef, taco seasoning, water, Minute Rice, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese.


In a large skillet, brown and crumble ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add in taco seasoning and water.

collage of two photos: browning and crumbling ground beef in a large skillet; taco seasoning and water added to ground beef.

Stir well and allow mixture to come to a boil. Turn down heat, then add in uncooked Minute Rice and stir.

collage of two photos: taco beef mixture coming to boil in a skillet; minute rice added to skillet.

Cover and cook for about 5 minutes (until rice is tender.) Then remove lid and stir in salsa and cheese. Turn off heat and it’s ready to serve.

collage of two photos: salsa and shredded cheese added to cooked rice in skillet; fully finished taco rice in skillet.

If I am making this a whole meal, I will usually serve it topped with some sour cream, lettuce and diced tomatoes. You could even serve it wrapped in a tortilla.

Taco Rice shown served on a white plate and topped with sour cream, lettuce and tomato.


Originally published: November 2015
Updated photos & republished: March 2024

Taco Rice Recipe

The Best Taco Rice (+Video)

This easy, one pan Taco Rice recipe is a whole meal in one. Ground beef, taco seasonings, salsa, rice and cheese. A family favorite meal!
4.89 from 52 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups Minute Rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • In a large skillet, brown and crumble ground beef. Drain excess grease.
    brown and crumbled ground beef in a skillet.
  • Add in taco seasoning and water. Stir well and allow mixture to come to a boil.
    water and taco seasoning added to cooked ground beef in a skillet.
  • Turn down heat, then add in uncooked Minute Rice and stir.
    Minute Rice added to skillet.
  • Cover and cook for about 5 minutes (until rice is tender.) Then remove lid and stir in salsa and cheese.
  • Turn off the heat and it’s ready to serve!


YouTube video


  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 33g | Sodium: 740mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Going to a Mexican pot luck. Does this dish have to stay hot? Or can you take it in the big skillet and let it sit till inner?

    1. It could dry out if you let it sit in a hot skillet too long. You could consider putting it in a crock pot on the warm setting but I’d keep some liquid on hand to ensure it doesn’t get dry.

  2. We made this with a couple of “tweaks” since we like spicier dishes. We switched salsa for rotel tomatoes, added diced jalapeños and black beans. We topped it with fresh tomatoes, more cheese and sour cream and served it with spicy refried beans with cheese. (My husband ate his rolled into tortillas). LOVE THIS DISH!!!

    1. Yay! Thank you Carol! So happy you were able to take the recipe and really make it your own with your spicy tweaks! Thank you so much for coming back to comment!

  3. Hello,
    If I freeze this after it’s cooked, to I put it in a aluminum pan, cover with foil? Do I reheat it in the oven and if so what temp, how long and keep it covered?

    1. Hi Sheila, I am not sure I would reheat in the oven. Rice can easily dry out. I just freeze in a microwave save container and reheat in the microwave =. You may want to add a bit of liquid first.

  4. 5 stars
    We had a taco bar type dinner at church so I took this and just popped it into a slow cooker to keep warm. I think it was one of the first things to be totally eaten first. I had to give your website out to everyone so they could get the recipe. Thanks so much!

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I doubled it. I served two adults and children alike. I added a can or tomatoes which I puréed along with the salsa, so the kids wouldn’t pick at the tomato bits and refuse to eat. They all loved it! I offered corn tortillas with it, or scoop type chips. It was a big hit! I did not have minute rice, so I use jasmine rice that I parcooked the day before. Yum!!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for a dinner party and topped it with the works and it was a hit! Thanks for this amazing idea!

  7. During the quarantine, the rice shelf was pretty cleaned out. I have regular rice. I’m going to use 1 cup with 2 cups of water and cook it for the required time on the package. I’ll let you know how it turned out.

  8. 5 stars
    My husband really enjoyed it. Next time I think I will use cut-up boneless chicken instead of gd. beef.

  9. 5 stars
    Easy, fast and delicious. I add onion, garlic, green pepper, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and half a bag of frozen corn. My husband loves it.

  10. Can I substitute the minute rice for precooked rice? I have some leftover white rice to use up, if so should I reduce or omit the water all together?

  11. I just made this recipe. I’m a big fan of easy-to-make recipes. I added one chopped to ground beef. I added water before adding taco seasoning so it would mix together easier. I love this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

  12. I love rice and this recipe looks so easy and delicious! I have ground beef in the fridge and Minute Rice in the pantry … think I’ll try this tonight!

      1. I DID make this dish tonight and it was delicious and so easy! Because I live alone, I split the recipe … only used half of each ingredient. Served it with shredded lettuce and tortilla chips. I will certainly make this again when I have company .. everyone will love it!

  13. Would this work to substitute Quinoa for the rice? I can’t eat much rice, but love quinoa.I wonder how the liquid amount would need to be changed.

  14. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight. My whole family loved it: I added mushrooms, onions and corn. Will be having leftovers with tortilla chips tomorrow!

  15. 5 stars
    Made this the other night and I’m wondering why I never made it before?! So simple and quick yet so good! For sure my new go to when I need a quick meal! Thank you!