Spanish Rice with Ground Beef

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The ultimate in comfort food: Spanish rice with ground beef recipe. Perfectly seasoned, packed with flavor, and ready in 35 minutes.

Looking for a mouthwatering, easy skillet dinner that’s perfect for those busy weeknights? Introducing our savory Spanish rice with ground beef, a dish that’s not only bursting with flavor but also ready in just 35 minutes.

You’ll love how this hearty meal combines tender ground beef, fluffy rice, tomatoes, and veggies to create the ultimate comfort food experience. And since it all comes together in one skillet, cleanup will be a breeze too.

a bite of spanish rice on a fork with a bowl
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About this Spanish Rice Recipe:

  • Flavor: The diced tomatoes, with their tangy and slightly sweet notes, blend beautifully with the warm, earthy tones of garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. If you grew up eating Spanish rice, this has a familiar flavor you’ll love.
  • Texture: The ground beef brings a tender, juicy quality to the dish, while the Zatarain’s yellow rice mix ensures perfectly cooked rice. The diced onion and green bell pepper add a touch of texture.
  • Method: This recipe uses just one skillet. No prep bowls or extra pots needed.

What is the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?

Our recipe for Spanish rice is a little different than most Mexican rice. Authentic Mexican rice does not have ground beef, but does have tomato sauce, chicken broth and seasoning.

This Spanish rice recipe is the skillet dinner that has been popular since the 80’s. It starts with a box rice mix, adds diced tomatoes, ground beef, onion, green pepper and a handful of seasonings.

Ingredients in Spanish Rice

ingredients for spanish rice on a table
  • I used Zatarain’s yellow rice mix that comes in a box. An alternative is Rice a Roni boxes of rice.
  • Instead of ground beef, you can use ground turkey, chicken, or pork. However, they have a milder flavor and they won’t provide the same depth of flavor to the recipe.
  • For extra spice, a can of Rotel may be substituted for the regular can of diced tomatoes.
  • Use chicken broth instead of water to add more flavor.

How to Make Spanish Rice with Ground Beef

There are 6 simple steps for making this recipe.

process collage for how to make spanish rice
  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess grease.
  • Add the diced onion and green pepper to the skillet and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Add the Zatarain’s yellow rice mix and water to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

This is what it should look like once the liquid is absorbed:

spanish rice in a skillet on a table

Top the dish with some freshly snipped herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, to add some freshness and color.

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Make it a meal.

You can serve this Spanish rice as an easy main dish, but the whole family loves it as a side dish, too.

Try serving with:

Recipe Variations

This recipe earns an A+ as it is, but there are some variations you may enjoy:

  • Use leftovers to fill a flour tortilla and serve as tacos.
  • Serve over a baked potato and add cheese or guacamole as a topping.
  • Serve with a side of tortilla chips and scoop up the rice with each bite of tortilla.
  • Add some protein-rich beans, such as black beans or kidney beans, to the recipe for a more filling and nutritious meal.
overhead view of spanish rice with ground beef in a skillet
overhead view of spanish rice with ground beef in a skillet

Spanish Rice with Ground Beef

5 from 10 votes
The ultimate in comfort food: Spanish rice with ground beef recipe. Perfectly seasoned, packed with flavor, and ready in 35 minutes.
Servings 6
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 box Zatarain's yellow rice mix 6.9 ounces
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz , undrained
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups water

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess grease.
  • Add the diced onion and green pepper to the skillet and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Add the Zatarain’s yellow rice mix and water to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Once the rice is cooked, stir everything together in the skillet.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the Spanish rice. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 591mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 275
Keyword 30 minute dinner, rice dinner
closeup of spanish rice with ground beef and fresh parsley on top

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About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Tina
6 months ago

Can the Spanish rice be repaired, put into a foil pan and be frozen as a freezer meal and taken out and baked at later time. I’m am looking for good freezer meals to have on hand.