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Mexican Rice Casserole

This mouthwatering Mexican rice casserole is my new go-to for any gathering! 

This one-pot wonder is loaded with savory ground beef, tender rice, and a medley of veggies. It’s all simmered to perfection in a zesty tomato and salsa broth.

And let’s not forget the best part: the melty Mexican blend cheese!

This dish is easy to make, bursting with bold flavors, and so satisfying. It makes a big batch, too, so you can enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Mexican rice casserole in a pan lifted by a ladle.
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Why You’ll Love This Mexican Rice Casserole

One-Pot: This complete meal comes together in a single skillet, making cleanup a breeze!

Full of Flavor: Zesty taco seasoning, salsa, and diced tomatoes with chiles infuse this dish with a bold Mexican-inspired taste.

Crowd-Pleaser: Hearty, cheesy, and customizable with favorite toppings, this casserole is sure to satisfy.

Budget-Friendly: With affordable ingredients, this casserole is easy on the wallet.

Cheesy Mexican rice casserole in skillet.

Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Beef: The protein-packed base is guaranteed to satisfy!
  • Veggies: I use onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.
  • Taco Seasoning Mix: The zesty blend brings the signature kick of Mexican spices.
  • Uncooked Long Grain White Rice: It absorbs the vibrant flavors and creates a hearty texture.
  • Black Beans: To provide an extra boost of protein and fiber.
  • Frozen Corn Kernels: They add a sweet burst of flavor to balance out the savory.
  • Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles: They deliver a tangy punch!
  • Salsa: It ties all the flavors together with its fiesta flair.
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: It simmers the rice to fluffy perfection.
  • Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese: The gooey, melty topping adds a creamy, indulgent finish.
  • Optional Toppings: Try chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, sour cream, and sliced avocado. 
A serving of Mexican rice casserole in a white plate top view.

How to Make Mexican Rice Casserole

This casserole is easy enough for busy weeknights!

1. Cook the beef mixture. In a large deep skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Drain any excess grease.

2. Sauté the vegetables. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Stir in the taco seasoning.

3. Add the remaining ingredients. Add the uncooked rice, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, salsa, and chicken broth. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil.

4. Simmer the rice mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

5. Add the cheese topping. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

6. Serve with toppings. Serve hot garnished with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Mexican rice casserole serving in a white plate topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Tips for the Best Mexican Rice Casserole

I’ve picked up a few tips along the way to make this casserole stand out.

  • Pick the right rice. Use long-grain white rice, not instant rice, for the best texture and flavor. Be sure to rinse it first.
  • Go lean. Use lean ground beef (85/15 or leaner) to reduce excess grease.
  • Choose your cheese. You can use any of your favorite cheeses like Colby Jack, cheddar, or a Mexican blend.
  • Cut corners. You can use fresh, frozen (defrosted), or canned corn kernels.
  • Switch up the seasoning. If you have a favorite homemade taco seasoning use that instead of a store-bought packet.
  • Get ahead of the game. To save time, you can cook the rice and chop the veggies a day in advance. The whole casserole can also be assembled ahead and refrigerated before baking.
  • Have fun and experiment. Try swapping the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey. Replace the meat with an extra can of beans or vegetarian crumbles for a vegetarian version.
Mexican rice casserole garnished with sour cream on top served in a white plate.

How to Store

This recipe makes for great leftovers to enjoy all week!

To Store: Place the cooled casserole in an air-tight container and refrigerate. It can be safely stored for up to 4 days.

To Freeze: Freeze the casserole in a freezer-safe container or tightly wrap in aluminum foil for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

To Reheat: Warm the casserole in a microwave-safe dish, covered, on medium power, stirring occasionally until heated through. Or, reheat in the oven at 350°F until warm, about 20 minutes.

Mexican Rice Casserole

Course: Main CourseCuisine: Mexican
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories

441

kcal

This Mexican rice casserole is satisfying and full of flavor! In just 30 minutes, you’ll have a restaurant-worthy dish perfect for any fiesta.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

  • 1 cup salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

  • Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, sour cream, sliced avocado

Instructions

  • In a large deep skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Drain any excess grease.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Stir in the taco seasoning.
  • Add the uncooked rice, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, salsa, and chicken broth. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat and sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
  • Serve hot garnished with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use lean ground beef to avoid excess grease. You can also substitute ground turkey or chicken.
  • Rinse the rice before adding it to remove excess starch. This helps prevent it from being sticky.
  • Be sure to use long-grain rice, not instant rice. The liquid ratio and cooking time are based on regular rice.
  • Customize the spice level by using mild, medium, or hot salsa and taco seasoning.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Mexican Rice Casserole”

  1. Oh my gosh, this is so delicious. So many flavors – definitely making this often. Love all your recipes, keep them coming

    Reply

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