Home » Side Dish Recipes » Taco Rice

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 53 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.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My family and I love this recipe! It’s so easy and I generally have the ingredients on hand. I prefer it just as is, my son eats it with tortilla chips, and my daughter likes hers in a soft tortilla shell. We usually have a bit leftover and they reheat just fine.

  2. 5 stars
    Sounds so good . I’m diabetic so I’m going to make it with cauliflower rice to cut the carbs.

  3. 5 stars
    You can absolutely use regular rice in this recipe…either cold, left over rice or follow rice prep instructions on pkg. and increase the cooking time to 15 minutes, covered on low. This is how I make my stuffed bell pepper filling. I just use different seasonings & cold leftover long grain rice.

    I’ll make this next week but will add a can of rinsed black beans, chopped onions & bell peppers to the ground beef and serve in tortilla bowls with cheese, chopped tomatoes & sliced green onion for an at home fancy (& economical) restaurant style main course casserole/salad treat!

    My mom used Minute Maid instant rice in the 1970’s when it & Hamburger Helper first came out. But I remember the instant rice having a mushy texture & therefore I have never purchased it myself. I love rice & always have a large jar of long grain, jasmine rice & brown rice. Maybe they’ve improved the texture of minute rice. I still probably wouldn’t buy it because adding raw or cold cooked rice to a recipe is no big deal. Thank you for sharing your quick, filling casserole type main dish.

  4. My mom used to make this recipe when I was growing up. I Always loved it. She would put it on a bed of crushed up corn chips and put the lettuce and tomato on top. I believe she got the recipe right off of the Minute rice box back in the day. Thanks for sharing so I can make it for my family.

    1. LOVE that idea of the corn chips and lettuce and tomato! Hope your family loves it.

  5. Thank you, this has been a hit since I first shared it. So glad you are enjoying it as much as we have.

  6. When I saw this recipe the first time I tried it out immediately. And it was a hit. I still make it this exact way but I do sometimes add bell pepper and rinsed black beans. I cook the bell pepper with the mear or cook it separately, whichever is fine. I add the beans with the Salsa they only need to warm. This is a great dish to take to a pot luck dinner and the extras only add to the amount tou take to the dinner. There is never any left.

  7. So glad hubby approved! Who doesn't love a one pot wonder? Less dishes to wash and all bellies are full and happy!

  8. My husband LOVED this!! It was delicious and I like that I can have everything on hand for a hurry-up dinner..

  9. Lora, just prepare your rice as normal and then you will add it to the prepared taco meat. The only water you'll use is the water needed for the taco seasoning (just use the amount it says on the back of the package.) Hope that helps!

  10. Libra girl, It is not spicy hot at all. If you purchase a very mild salsa like I did – it does not come out spicy. However, you could just leave it out all together. I am very sensitive to hot foods because of my acid reflux so I totally understand that!

  11. What a great weeknight meal! I agree. Rice is a pantry staple must! I have a huge bag from SAMS club and love having it there whenever I need a quick starch. Love this recipe!

  12. This looks really good. I wonder if I could skip the salsa? My family doesn't like spicy stuff. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Libragirl,

    I'm DEF not the cook that Brandie is, but I'd suggest MILD taco sauce in place of the salsa. My husband cannot have tomatoes due to health reasons, but CAN tolorate tomato based sauces in moderation, so I've begun sub'ing in taco sauce in all my recipes that call for salsa. You might want to cut back just a bit on the amount you use so you don't end up with something that is far soupier than intended.

  14. Brandie this sounds delish, but I don't buy minute rice due to husband's medical issues. How would you suggest making this with regular rice???