Those who love quick Mexican recipes will love this arroz con carne molida recipe which is essentially a Mexican rice with ground beef, corn, and cheese skillet. It was so quick to make and literally the kids fought over the leftovers proving it was a great recipe that came together on a weeknight. There is so much versatility in this recipe. You can change up the recipe however your family likes it.
This easy Mexican rice and hamburger recipe was inspired by arroz con pollo recipe and similar to my arroz con carne asada recipe and my mac and cheese taco skillet for a quick rice and ground beef taco Tuesday recipe. I am always looking for ways to use ground beef in recipes since it cooks so quickly. Plus one pan ground beef recipes are the best.
Ingredients for Ground Beef and Rice Taco Skillet
Just like the chicken and rice with queso, there are a few helpful ingredients that make this just as fast as a hamburger helper taco skillet meal.
- Ground Beef - Hamburger or ground pork can be used for this recipe.
- Taco Seasoning - Whether you make your own or buy it in the store, you will want to season your hamburger with taco seasoning.
- Mexican Rice - My go-to Mexican rice is the Old El Paso Mexican Cheesy Rice. Long-grain rice and taco seasonings or enchilada sauce can be used as a substitute.
- Tomatoes and Green Chilies - The brand name is Rotel but any brand of tomatoes and green chilies will work. You can also use a can of tomatoes and a separate can of green chilies.
- Corn - Canned whole-kernel corn is what I drained and dumped in. Frozen corn can also be used.
- Quesadilla Cheese - Whether you buy the block or the shredded version, queso quesadilla is my favorite melting cheese for Mexican recipes.
- Queso - The white queso dip is necessary to top off this rice and hamburger skillet.
- Onions - Sweet onions are my preferred onion but yellow or even red onions can work too.
- Garlic - Fresh minced garlic is always an ingredient. Jarred minced garlic works just fine too.
- Jalapeno - Fresh jalapenos for the win! Jarred jalapenos will work too.
- Tomatoes - Garnish with fresh tomatoes.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Arroz Con Carne Molida
This recipe is so easy to make in one large skillet making clean up just as easy as the making of this Mexican ground beef and rice recipe.
Brown the hamburger in the skillet with diced onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Season with taco seasoning.
To the browned ground beef, add the rice, flavor packets, canned tomatoes and chilis, and corn. Slowly add the water.
Stir in the shredded cheese, cover, and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
When the rice is soft, on cover the rice and ground beef skillet. Pour the queso cheese sauce over the top of the rice and beef.
Garnish the taco hamburger and rice skillet with pico de galo or diced fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and even avocado. This skillet is also the perfect filling for burritos. So if you don't want to just serve as is, fill burrito shells with this cheesy rice and hamburger.
Hint: Don't cook off all the liquid. As the skillet sets after you shut the heat off, the liquid will continue to absorb into the rice.
Whether it is not having the ingredients as the recipe calls on hand or you just have other dietary restrictions, here are some suggestions for making this arroz con carne molida recipe.
- Chicken - Don't love ground beef but want to make this recipe, you can make this with chicken just like this arroz con pollo recipe.
- Rice and taco seasoning - Don't have a box of Mexican cheesy rice. Use long-grain rice and taco seasoning as a substitute. You will want to add a bit more cheese and maybe a splash of taco sauce too.
- Vegetarian - the beef hamburger can be replaced with black beans, chickpeas, or even a plant-based burger to make this vegetarian.
If you have other ingredients you want to substitute or just add, go for it. Make this taco rice skillet the way you want.
Variations to Taco Rice and Ground Beef Bowls
Change up the flavors of this Mexican rice and ground beef skillet just like you would a burrito, a bowl, or a taco salad.
- Spicy - if you like heat in your Mexican dishes, add red chili pepper flakes, hot sauce, spicy enchilada sauce or even chipotles in adobo sauce to this recipe.
- Loaded with Beans - add black beans or pinto beans to the rice and ground beef for a dish even more hearty and full of fiber. This will make it so similar to a burrito bowl from Moe's, Qdoba, or Chipotle.
- Kid-friendly - if your kids have a very sensitive flavor palette, try just using canned tomatoes instead of tomatoes with chilis. You can also leave the onions out if onions are too spicy.
- Without Corn - One of my kids didn't love the corn. You can substitute with peas and carrots or just leave the corn out all together.
See this Instant Pot Taco Pasta and Ground Beef for a fast taco pasta hamburger meal.
One Pan Meal Equipment
When it comes to making skillet meals, a braiser is your best friend. With any ground beef recipe, a mix and chop get the ground beef broken into the right-sized crumbles. Here are my favorite items, plus the secret to getting your hands on my favorite Old El Paso Mexican Cheesy Rice with subscribe and save!
Storing Leftover Mexican Rice
These leftovers stored and reheated so well my kids fought over them. Here is how to store, reheat, and freeze the leftovers.
- Refrigerating Leftovers - Store in an airtight glass or plastic container. Then reheat all or parts of Mexican rice and ground beef leftovers in 30 second incraments, stirring until hot. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if the rice seems dry.
- Freezing Leftovers - Freeze the leftovers in a freezer safe containers. These leftovers are perfect for busy weeknights. Reheat the thawed taco rice and beef just like the refrigerator leftovers.
If you don't feel the corn in this Mexican skillet, substitute peas and carrots or even green beans. Also, feel free to leave the corn out.
One cup of white long grain rice with a tablespoon of taco seasoning and a table spoon of taco sauce with the shredded queso quesadilla cheese is a perfect substitute. Cook the rice according to the bag instructions.
More Mexican Recipes
Looking for other Mexican recipes like this? Try these:
Great Mexican Side Dishes
These are my favorite dishes to serve with arroz con carne molida!
Arroz Con Carne Molida - Mexican Cheesy Rice and Ground Beef Skillet
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 packages Old Elpaso Cheesy Mexican Rice
- 1 can corn
- 1 can tomatoes and chilies
- 8 ounces Queso Quesadilla Cheese
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup queso cheese dip
- Sauté the ground beef with diced onions, garlic, and jalapenos. Season with taco seasoning.
- Do not drain the grease from the beef. Use this in place of the butter on the boxed rice directions. Dump the rice, seasoning packets, corn, tomatoes and chilies into the ground beef.
- Pour water over the rice. Shred the queso quesadilla cheese. Stir half of it into the rice.
- Cover the skillet for 20 minutes. Stir to make sure the liquid is reaching all the rice every few minutes. When the rice is soft, remove from heat.
- When ready, spoon the queso cheese dip over the top of the casserole. Garnish with pico de galo or diced tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and avocados. Works great as a filling for burittos or as a burrito bowl.