This simply recipe for an easy cheesy beef and rice casserole is a family favorite. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
I am a huge fan of comfort food. I love it when I make something that fills my heart as much as my tummy.
This cheesy beef and rice casserole has a ton of flavor that everyone in my family loves. It isn’t too spicy, and it’s naturally gluten free, so it’s perfect to make for a crowd, too.
My favorite part? I make it with things I tend to have in my pantry or fridge. It’s the perfect way to use up that last bit of ground beef after we made kefta kebabs or burgers honey habanero tacos the day before.
I also tend to make large batches of rice in my rice cooker rather than cooking just a little here and there. You can absolutely make fresh rice for this, but like homemade fried rice, it’s better with leftover rice. Yes, that includes the rice you have remaining after your Chinese or Thai takeout.
Bonus? It doesn’t take much time to make this at all, and it uses up leftovers. In fact, all the leftovers in my fridge was how I first stared making this recipe.
Did I mention it uses just one pan to make the meal? Yay to dirtying fewer dishes!
Looking for more great Mexican inspired recipes? Check out some of my favorites at the end of this article.
Tips for Alternatives With the Cheesy Beef and Rice Casserole
- If you have leftover ground beef from another meal, saute the onion with a little oil for a couple minutes, then add the already cooked ground beef. This makes an even faster weeknight meal.
- Don’t have leftover rice or forgot to make some? Use a second can of diced tomatoes and add 3/4 c of uncooked rice when you add the tomatoes. This lets you cook the rice in with the rest of the dish, though you will need to increase the cook time by 10 or so minutes. Make sure to cover your skillet until the rice finishes cooking.
- Make this dairy free, too! Just substitute your favorite dairy free cheese for the cheese in this recipe. Alternatively, this tastes good without any cheese at all, too, but I’ll admit I love cheese and want it in the dish!
- While I usually use a can of diced tomatoes because I more often have them in my house, use 3 cups of salsa in place of the diced tomatoes if you have that sitting in your fridge.
- Don’t have Mexican blend cheese? This is just as tasty with cheddar instead, or use a blend of both!
How to Make Easy Cheesy Beef and Rice Casserole
Brown your ground beef in a heavy pan. I usually use a ceramic coated cast iron pan. I find it cooks most evenly and keeps meals warm when I serve them up.
While the beef browns, dice an onion. Add the onion to the ground beef as it cooks.
Mince your garlic and chop your red pepper, removing the seeds and ribs. Set them aside on your cutting board for now.
When the beef is browned and the onion translucent, drain the grease, Next, add the garlic.
Stir and let cook for just a moment, then add the red pepper. You want to wait to add the red pepper so that it stays slightly crunchy.
After you’ve stirred that red pepper in, add the can of diced tomato with its juices, the chili powder, and the salt and pepper. Stir and let cook for 10-15 minutes at a light simmer.
Add the cooked rice and a half cup of the cheese, and stir. Let the rice heat through, then top with the remaining cheese. Cover and let it cook for another three minutes, which lets the cheesy top melt.
Serve immediately. This will keep in your fridge for two to three days in a tightly sealed container, and it makes fantastic leftovers.
What would you add to the easy cheesy beef and rice casserole?
More favorite Mexican inspired recipes:
- The BEST guacamole ever
- Habenero puff pastry empanadas
- Dessert nachos
- Pork enchilada casserole
- Spanish rice
- Easy chicken enchiladas
- Chicken en mole
- Mexican mostacholi
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 t chili powder
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 2 c cooked rice
- 1 1/2 c shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Brown ground beef in a heavy pan.
- While the beef browns, dice onion and add to ground beef as it cooks.
- Mince garlic and chop red pepper, then set aside.
- When the beef is browned and the onion translucent, drain the grease and add garlic.
- Stir and let cook for one minute, then add red pepper. Stir.
- Add diced tomato can with its juices, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and let cook for 10-15 minutes at a light simmer.
- Stir in cooked rice and 1/2 cup of cheese. Let rice heat through, then top with remaining cheese. Cover and cook another three minutes to melt the cheese.
- Serve immediately. This will keep in your fridge for two to three days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 381mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 18g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
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