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Taco Skillet

This easy one-pan taco skillet combines seasoned ground meat, rice, beans, and veggies. It’s a flavorful, cheesy dish my family goes nuts for!

This dish is like a fiesta in a pan. It has bold flavors, vibrant colors, and all the taco goodness you crave.

The best part is how easy it is to make. You just brown the beef, toss in the veggies and spices, and let it all cook until it’s hot and bubbly.

Then, pile on your favorite taco toppings and dig in!

Taco made with ground beef with diced red bell pepper, diced red onion, corn kernels, cooked rice, black beans, salsa topped with melted cheese on a cast iron skillet pan
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Why You’ll Love This Taco Skillet

Flavor Fiesta: This easy recipe features a blend of savory taco seasoning, salsa, and melty cheese. It packs a flavorful punch that’ll have everyone coming back for more. 

Quick & Easy: You can have this meal on the table in 30 minutes or less! It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you want something tasty and satisfying in a hurry. 

One-Pan Wonder: You make the entire recipe in a single skillet. It’s convenient, and it makes cleaning up a snap!

Easily Customizable: You can personalize the dish with your family’s favorite toppings. I recommend diced green onions, sour cream, and guacamole

Cheesy taco skillet in a cast iron skillet made with Ground beef with diced red bell pepper, diced red onion, corn kernels, cooked rice, black beans, salsa topped with melted cheese on a cast iron skillet pan.


As with most Mexican recipes, this taco skillet recipe is merely a guide. Use the ingredients listed, or tweak them to suit your tastes. 

  • Lean Ground Beef: The protein-packed base soaks up all the other zesty flavors. You can also use ground chicken or turkey for a leaner option. 
  • Veggies: I add my favorite aromatic trio: onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Dice and saute them until tender for a pop of color and natural, earthy sweetness. 
  • Olive Oil: For sauteing. 
  • Taco Seasoning: For a fiesta-worthy flavor. Buy it from the store, or make your own
  • Uncooked Long-Grain White Rice: These fluffy grains soak up the broth and salsa for restaurant-quality texture. 
  • Black Beans: For extra protein. Be sure to drain and rinse them before adding them. 
  • Salsa: All the robust Mexican flavor you could want in a single scoop!
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: For simmering the rice. It also adds extra flavor. 
  • Frozen Corn Kernels: Sweet nuggets of sunshine add loads of juicy sweetness to every bite. 
  • Cheese: I prefer the shredded Mexican cheese blend. However, you can use whatever shredded cheese you like best. 
  • Optional Toppings: Here’s where you really get to play with the recipe. Add as much or as little as you like. Cilantro, green onions, guacamole, and sour cream are my go-tos. 
Ground beef with diced red bell pepper, diced red onion, corn kernels, cooked rice, black beans, salsa topped with melted cheese on a cast iron skillet pan on a white marble table.

How to Make a Taco Skillet

Follow these steps for this easy meal.

1. Brown the meat. Saute the ground meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 

2. Add the veggies. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook them until they soften. 

3. Season. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over everything. Stir to combine. 

4. Boil. Pour the rice, black beans, salsa, and chicken broth into the skillet. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. 

5. Simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is gone. Stir occasionally. 

6. Add the corn and cheese. Stir the frozen corn into the skillet mixture, then top it with cheese. Recover it and let it sit off the stove eye for 3 to 5 minutes to melt the cheese. 

7. Serve and enjoy! Serve the taco skillet hot, topped with your favorite extras. Enjoy! 

Cheesy taco skillet served in a plate garnished with cream.

Tips for the Best Taco Skillet

Here are a few tips for the very best taco skillet.

  • The leaner, the better. Ground chicken and turkey are fine for this recipe. If using ground beef, be sure it’s at least 90% lean to avoid excess grease. Also, drain the cooked meat well. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan! This is especially important when cooking the meat. Adding too much at once will cause the meat to steam, not brown. If necessary, cook in batches. 
  • Keep things uniform. If the veggies are approximately the same size, they’ll cook more evenly. Of course, the minced garlic will be smaller than the onions and peppers.
  • Resist the urge to thaw. Toss in the corn straight from the freezer. It’ll heat and thaw in the skillet. 
  • Don’t pre-cook. The rice will also have plenty of time to simmer during the recipe. You want to cook it in the chicken broth and seasonings for maximum flavor. 
  • Select the right skillet. Use an oven-safe pan. You can broil the dish for a minute after adding the cheese. It’ll give you a nice, browned cheesy topping. 
Top view of plate with serving of taco skillet and a cast iron next  to it.

Substitutions and Variations

Missing a few required ingredients? Or just want to try something new? No problem! 

  • Make it vegan. Leave out the meat or substitute tofu or a vegan “beef” crumble. Use vegetable broth to simmer the rice, and swap out the cheese blend for a vegan variety. 
  • Be super cheesy. You can make this taco skillet extra cheesy! Add some shredded cheese to the meat and rice mixture while it cooks. Then, top it with cheese as directed. 
  • Make it keto-friendly. Substitute cauliflower rice in place of regular rice. Also, double-check the carb counts on the beans to ensure they’re within your macros. 
  • Change up the beans. Black beans aren’t for everyone. If you like, you can substitute pintos instead. I’ve never tried the recipe with chili beans, but they might also work well.
  • No salsa? No problem! Use a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles instead. Keep in mind Rotel may not have the same amount of liquid as salsa. Add a splash of water if the dish looks too dry. 
  • Add some heat. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the ground meat. You can also pile some jalapenos on top. 
Taco skillet in a cast iron pan topped with melted cheese.

What to Serve With a Taco Skillet

I typically serve this dish with the following sides and toppings: 

How to Store

If you know you’ll likely have leftovers, add the toppings to individual portions. Leftovers store better without them. Don’t leave the dish out for more than 2 hours. 

To Store: Transfer the leftovers to an air-tight container. Refrigerate them for up to 4 days. 

To Freeze: Place the cooled taco skillet leftovers in a freezer-safe, air-tight container. Freeze them for up to 3 months. 

To Reheat: Let frozen taco skillet leftovers thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat single servings in the microwave, covered, for 1 to 2 minutes. Or reheat all the leftovers simultaneously in a skillet over medium heat.

More Hearty Dinners You’ll Love

Shepherd’s Pie
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
Chicken Fajita Casserole
Corn Chowder

Taco Skillet

Course: Main CourseCuisine: Mexican, American


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Prep time


Cooking time





This one-pan taco skillet is a tasty meal no one can resist! It’s loaded with ground beef, veggies, rice, black beans, corn, and plenty of cheese for a true fiesta.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning (or 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning)

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup salsa

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

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


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink. (About 5-7 minutes.)
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened. (About 3-5 minutes.)
  • Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the meat and vegetables. Stir to combine.
  • Add the rice, black beans, salsa, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir well to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let simmer until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. (About 20 minutes.) Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the frozen corn. Top the skillet evenly with the shredded cheese. Cover again and let it sit off the heat for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
  • Serve the taco skillet hot, garnished with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

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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 :)

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