One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole




  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend or cheddar)


  1. Cook the Ground Beef and Onion: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and diced onion together until the beef is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If there is excess grease, drain it from the skillet.
  2. Season the Beef: Sprinkle the cooked beef and onion with garlic powder and taco seasoning. Stir well to evenly distribute the seasoning.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients: Stir in the long grain white rice, beef broth, drained corn, tomato sauce, and salsa into the skillet with the seasoned beef mixture.
  4. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with a lid, and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid.
  5. Top with Cheese: Once the rice is cooked, remove the lid and sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.
  6. Melt the Cheese: Return the lid to the skillet and let the casserole sit for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve: Remove the skillet from the heat and serve the One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole hot. Garnish with fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
  8. Enjoy: Enjoy this flavorful and easy-to-make casserole with your family and friends. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a casual gathering.

Here are some helpful tips to make your One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole even more delightful:

  1. Use Lean Ground Beef: Opt for lean ground beef to reduce excess grease and make the casserole lighter. This ensures that the dish is flavorful without being overly greasy.
  2. Customize the Seasoning: Adjust the amount of taco seasoning and garlic powder according to your taste preferences. You can also add additional spices like cumin, paprika, or chili powder for extra depth of flavor.
  3. Add Fresh Ingredients: Incorporate fresh ingredients like diced bell peppers, jalapeños, or cilantro to enhance the flavor and add texture to the casserole. These fresh additions will brighten up the dish and provide a burst of freshness.
  4. Choose Quality Salsa: Use your favorite store-bought salsa or homemade salsa for the best flavor. Choose a salsa that complements the other ingredients and adds a zesty kick to the casserole.
  5. Select the Right Rice: Opt for long-grain white rice for this recipe, as it cooks up fluffy and absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients well. Avoid using instant or quick-cooking rice, as they may result in a mushy texture.
  6. Use Low-Sodium Beef Broth: To control the saltiness of the casserole, use low-sodium beef broth instead of regular beef broth. This allows you to adjust the seasoning to your taste without the dish becoming too salty.
  7. Incorporate Beans: For added protein and fiber, consider adding a can of drained and rinsed black beans or kidney beans to the casserole. This not only boosts the nutritional value but also adds heartiness to the dish.
  8. Layer Flavors: To maximize flavor, sauté the onions and garlic before adding the ground beef. This allows the aromatics to release their flavors and infuse the beef with extra depth.
  9. Finish with Fresh Garnishes: Before serving, garnish the casserole with fresh toppings like diced avocado, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, or a squeeze of lime juice. These garnishes add brightness and freshness to the dish.
  10. Let it Rest: Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after cooking before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and ensures that the rice absorbs any remaining liquid, resulting in a perfectly cohesive dish.

By incorporating these tips, you can elevate the flavors and textures of your One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole and create a truly delightful meal that your family and friends will love. Enjoy experimenting and customizing the recipe to suit your taste preferences!

Here are some secrets to achieving the perfect One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole:

  1. Layer Flavors: Start by sautéing the onions and garlic until they are fragrant before adding the ground beef. This helps to develop a depth of flavor in the dish.
  2. Toast the Rice: Before adding the liquid, toast the rice in the skillet for a few minutes. This step helps to enhance the nutty flavor of the rice and prevents it from becoming mushy during cooking.
  3. Use Homemade Taco Seasoning: Consider making your own taco seasoning blend with a combination of chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. This allows you to control the flavor and adjust the spice level to your preference.
  4. Choose Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality ingredients, such as fresh vegetables, flavorful salsa, and good-quality cheese. Using fresh, flavorful ingredients will enhance the overall taste of the casserole.
  5. Properly Cook the Rice: Ensure that the rice is cooked just right—tender but not mushy. Be mindful of the cooking time and adjust as needed based on the type of rice used and the heat level of your stove.
  6. Add a Splash of Lime Juice: Squeeze fresh lime juice over the finished casserole just before serving. The acidity brightens up the flavors and adds a refreshing twist to the dish.
  7. Let it Rest: Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after baking. This allows the flavors to meld together and ensures that the dish is easier to slice and serve.
  8. Garnish Creatively: Garnish the casserole with a variety of toppings such as chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, or a dollop of sour cream. These garnishes not only add color and texture but also enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
  9. Customize to Taste: Feel free to customize the casserole to suit your taste preferences. You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less jalapeños or salsa, or incorporate additional ingredients like black beans or bell peppers for extra flavor and texture.
  10. Serve with Sides: Pair the casserole with complementary sides such as tortilla chips, guacamole, or a crisp green salad. These accompaniments add variety to the meal and complement the flavors of the casserole.

By following these secrets, you can create a perfect One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole that is bursting with flavor and sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy!

Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers related to One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole:

  1. Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?
    • Yes, you can substitute brown rice for white rice in this recipe. Keep in mind that brown rice typically requires a longer cooking time and may need additional liquid, so you may need to adjust the cooking time and amount of broth accordingly.
  2. Can I make this dish vegetarian?
    • Yes, you can make this dish vegetarian by omitting the ground beef and using vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You can also add extra vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or black beans for added protein and flavor.
  3. Can I make this ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. Simply cover the skillet or transfer the mixture to a baking dish, cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature, and bake as directed.
  4. Can I freeze leftovers?
    • Yes, you can freeze leftovers of the One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole for future meals. Allow the casserole to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through.
  5. What can I serve with One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole?
    • This casserole is delicious on its own but can be served with a variety of toppings and sides. Some popular options include diced avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeños, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice. You can also serve it with tortilla chips, a side salad, or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.
  6. How can I make this dish spicier?
    • To make the dish spicier, you can add extra diced jalapeños or use a spicier salsa. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to the seasoning mixture for an added kick of heat.
  7. Can I use a different type of cheese?
    • Yes, you can use different types of cheese to customize the flavor of the casserole. While shredded cheddar cheese is commonly used, you can also try shredded Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend for a different flavor profile.

These are just a few of the commonly asked questions about One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole, along with their respective answers, to help you navigate the recipe and make it a success.