This Mexican Rice Skillet is a delicious and easy weeknight meal all in one pan, featuring baked rice, ground beef, cheese, and Mexican flavors.
We love this dish so much that I used the filling to make Stuffed Peppers!
Easy Cheesy Mexican Rice Recipe
This cheesy Mexican rice skillet is on constant rotation at my house and never disappoints. The ground beef and rice soak up all the tasty liquid from broth, canned diced tomatoes, and Rotel, and the melty cheese on top is the perfect finishing touch.
Flavor-packed, made all in one pan, it’s a great weeknight meal that’s so delicious and hearty. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it reheats nicely for the next day, too.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this cheesy rice dish.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Ground beef – Use lean beef to avoid lots of excess grease.
- Sweet onion – For aromatics and flavor.
- Canned diced tomatoes – The tomatoes and their liquid are both added, creating even more flavor.
- Canned Rotel – Rotel and its liquid adds great flavor to the rice mix. Choose from mild, medium, or hot depending on your taste.
- Rice – Dry uncooked long grained white rice is used. Short grained white rice is also fine. (Avoid brown rice since it takes double the amount of time to cook and a lot more liquid.)
- Chicken broth – The uncooked rice absorbs the chicken broth as it cooks, adding an extra layer of flavor. Use low-sodium so the dish isn’t overly salty. (Beef broth is also great, if preferred.)
- Brown sugar – For a rich, deep flavor and just a bit of sweetness to balance out the other ingredients.
- Worcestershire sauce – Adds depth of flavor.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and cumin season the dish.
- Shredded cheese – Either cheddar or Mexican blend work great. Or use Pepper jack for more heat.
- Fresh chopped cilantro (or parsley) – For garnish.
Here are a few ways to change up the flavor.
- Add some beans. Canned black beans or pinto beans make an easy addition. A 1/3 cup is a good amount without overpowering the dish.
- Use Italian diced tomatoes – Swap out the diced tomatoes for Italian diced tomatoes, which is an easy way to add more seasoning.
- Try it with turkey instead of beef. Easily swap the ground beef with ground turkey, if preferred.
How to Make Cheesy Mexican Rice
This skillet rice comes together easily with just a few hands-on steps.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Cook the beef. In a large ovenproof saute pan (with a lid), cook beef and onion over medium-high, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until browned and no pink remains.
- Add the other ingredients. Stir in the undrained diced tomatoes, undrained Rotel, chicken (or beef) broth, uncooked rice, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and all the seasonings.
- Simmer. Bring mixture to a boil; stir once, then cover tightly. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 30 minutes undisturbed. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake. Uncover the pan and give the mixture a stir; sprinkle with the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Serve. Sprinkle cilantro (or parsley) over the top, serve, and enjoy!
Video: Cheesy Mexican Rice
You can serve this dish as is or add some toppings like sour cream, sliced ripe avocado or homemade guacamole.
To wash it all down, you can’t beat refreshing (and kid-friendly!) horchata or agua fresca, or some margaritas for the grown ups. And don’t forget Tres Leches Cake, Carlota de Limon, or Churros for dessert!
- Store leftovers. Allow to cool completely, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To freeze. Cool completely, then store in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Skillet Recipes To Try:
- Ground Turkey and Rice Skillet
- Cornbread Sloppy Joe Skillet
- Rice and Beans
- Kielbasa and Cabbage Skillet
- Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Chicken Pot Pie Noodles
Cheesy Mexican Rice Skillet
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small sweet onion , diced
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes , undrained
- 10 ounce can Rotel , undrained
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or beef broth)
- 3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- fresh chopped cilantro (or parsley)
- In a large ovenproof saute pan (with a lid), cook beef and onion over medium-high, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until browned and no pink remains, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes (with their juice), Rotel (with their juice), chicken broth, rice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; stir once, then cover tightly. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 30 minutes undisturbed.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Uncover pan and give the mixture a stir; sprinkle with the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Sprinkle cilantro over the top and serve!