Taco seasoning makes this Mexican ground beef recipe an easy and flavorful one-pan meal you can have on the table in 30 minutes.

Filled with beans, rice, peppers and plenty of melted cheese, this is a healthy ground beef recipe everyone will love!

Mexican ground beef recipe skillet.
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THE BEST FEATURES OF THIS MEXICAN GROUND BEEF DINNER

Mexican ground beef is a long-time favorite when it comes to one-pan meals.

It’s quick and easy, filled with vegetables, high in protein and boasts just enough melted cheese for that added comfort food vibe.

It’s also incredibly versatile in how you serve it.

This Mexican beef skillet recipe is perfect for:

-A simple weeknight dinner where clean up is just one pan.
Game Day entertainment to serve a crowd with some chips.
Meal prepping for the week.

Let’s jump into what you’ll need and how to make this healthy ground beef dinner.

Ingredients to make a Mexican ground beef recipe in a skillet.

HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN GROUND BEEF

INGREDIENTS

  • red onion – yellow works too if that’s all you have.
  • garlic – it’s hard to find a good Mexican dish that doesn’t include garlic! Use fresh cloves if possible.
  • bell peppers – any color pepper will work here. You can even use poblanos if preferred. We like red and yellow but the pop of green is always nice too.
  • ground beef – since it’s the main ingredient, choose a good quality (grass-fed if possible) ground beef and aim for for 85/15 or 80/20. The fat content in the beef adds to the flavor of the final dish.
  • taco seasoning – this is the easiest way to get all the Mexican spices into a recipe without having to pull out tons of spice jars. I keep taco seasoning on hand all the time for this recipe and these Mexican shredded beef bowls. You can also make your own with this taco seasoning mix recipe.
  • tomato sauce – you don’t need a lot, but this ingredient helps create a little “sauce” for the recipe.
  • tomato paste – adds great depth of flavor that tomato sauce lacks.
  • green chiles – we love adding these to chili and other Mexican recipes. They bring a little kick without being overly spicy. They’re delicious in this ground beef and sweet potato skillet too!
  • black beans – another must-have when it comes to Mexican cooking. Feel free to swap these out for pinto beans if preferred.
  • white rice – this is my go to type of rice for quick skillet dinners because it cooks up in less than 20 minutes.
  • broth – any broth will do. You just need a liquid for the rice to cook in. You can even use water in a pinch.
  • olives – a small can of sliced black olives is optional but a fun ingredient.
  • cheese – arguably the best part of any comfort food skillet recipe is the gooey melted cheese on top! Choose a sharp cheddar or Mexican blend to pair with this recipe. You can add more or less cheese depending on your preference.
  • cilantro – even though it’s a garnish, it’s a must with any Mexican cooking. The pop of freshness balances out all the Mexican flavors in this skillet perfectly.
Ground beef Mexican recipe with beans, rice, peppers and melted cheese.

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

A one pan meal means simple directions for this Mexican ground beef recipe!

  1. Sauté the onion, garlic and bell peppers in the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. When slightly softened, push to one side and add the beef. Cook until the beef is browned.
  3. Add the taco seasoning, tomato sauce, tomato paste, green chiles and black beans and stir everything together. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in the rice and broth, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet. Simmer until the rice is tender and cooked through.
  5. Remove the lid, add the olives and grated cheese then cover again until the cheese melts.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

And there you go! Incredibly easy, clean up is just one sauté pan and you got dinner on the table in half an hour.

Skillet Mexican ground beef recipe with a tortilla chip.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

As Is: Scoop a generous serving into a bowl and enjoy just as the recipe is written. Simple, hearty, healthy and delicious!

Bowls: Jazz things up by making it a *bowl*. The bowl rage is really just about the toppings. Guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, fresh limes, any other salsa like this pineapple habanero salsa or something similar would be perfect with the Mexican beef.

Nachos: Turn this skillet into nachos by spooning it on top of a pile of tortilla chips. You’ll probably want to add a little more grated cheese than what’s called for too. This is our favorite way to enjoy this recipe. Rivals carne asada nachos even!

Tacos: Turn this skillet into tacos! Since we’ve already used taco seasoning to create the Mexican spiced ground beef, this recipe is perfect for tacos.

Burritos: Grab a burrito sized soft tortilla and use the recipe as a burrito filling. Better than anything you can get at Chipotle.

Stuffed Vegetables: Use this recipe as a stuffing for vegetables. Hollowed out zucchini (round zucchini are perfect for this), peppers or even onions (check out these Mexican stuffed onions for the method) are good options.

With all these different ways to enjoy this dish, you can see why it’s great for meal prepping.

If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy eating the same thing day after day, there’s so many ways to switch things up with this Mexican ground beef recipe!

Melted cheese on top of a Mexican ground beef skillet.

HOW TO STORE THIS MEXICAN GROUND BEEF SKILLET

Before refrigerating or freezing, let the skillet cool to room temperature.

Transfer to air-tight containers and store the Mexican ground beef in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Just like this ground beef stir fry, this Mexican skillet is great for meal-prepping and making extra servings!

COMMON FAQS

CAN I USE BROWN RICE?

You can use any other rice or grain (think quinoa, millet or couscous) you like. You will have to adjust the cooking time and liquid proportions accordingly though. For example, brown rice takes 2-3 times longer to cook than white rice. White rice is really best for quick cooking one-skillet meals like this.

CAN I USE ANOTHER TYPE OF GROUND MEAT?

Yes! Any other ground meat will work with this Mexican skillet. Try lamb, bison, venison or elk for red meat. Chicken, turkey or pork are great white meat options.

HOW CAN THIS BE MADE VEGETARIAN?

For a plant-based version of this Mexican ground beef skillet, we recommend simply omitting the beef and doubling the amount of beans in the recipe (rather than using a plant-based “meat” option). You can also use quinoa in place of rice for added protein if doing this. Or, try this Mexican vegetable soup recipe instead.

IS THIS SPICY?

The answer to this really depends on the type of taco seasoning you use. Make sure you know the level of spiciness of your chosen brand. There are no extra spices or spicy peppers used in this recipe so taming a “too hot” taco seasoning is difficult after the fact. If you want a spicier dish, throw in a jalapeño!

Mexican ground beef skillet recipe with a wooden serving spatula.

MORE HEALTHY GROUND BEEF RECIPES

Easy Ground Beef Pasta Skillet
Spicy Udon Noodle Skillet
Burger In a Bowl
Healthy Sloppy Joes
Beef Kafta

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4.96 from 84 votes

Mexican Ground Beef Skillet

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Mexican ground beef recipe.
An easy and healthy ground beef recipe that's made in one-pan in just 30 minutes. Enjoy this Mexican ground beef skillet as a simple weeknight meal or serve with chips for game day!

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, or poblano peppers, chopped
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning, about 3 tablespoons
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 ounce can green chiles
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup grated cheese, cheddar or Mexican blend
  • freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions 

  • Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and bell peppers. Sauté until slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes then push to one side of the pan.
  • Add the ground beef to the empty side of the skillet and break into small pieces using a spatula until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Mix the ingredients in the pan together then add the taco seasoning, tomato sauce, tomato paste, green chiles and beans. Stir until everything is well combined and let cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the rice and broth. Stir until mix mixed and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the rice is tender and fully cooked, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add the olives and scatter the cheese over the top of the skillet. Cover again for just a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Notes

You'll need at least a 12" skillet for this recipe. If you have a large sauté pan with straight sides, that will also work well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 822kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 65gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 1394mgFiber: 12gSugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. Wow! Gina does it again! Such a simple one dish meal with tons of flavor. I love that her recipes call for ingredients that you already have on hand. So flavorful and filling!

  2. We had this Mexican ground beef recipe for our dinner, and it was a total hit! I love how the flavors burst in every bite! I would definitely make this again!

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner and my kids loved it so much they’re asking to have it again!! This will definitely be making a come back for easy Sundays and Taco Tuesdays for sure! Thank you!

  4. This was a great quick dinner dish, I loved how savory the meat was in the end. I also never tried broth in rice before and now it is a must! thank you

  5. This is my favorite! The Mexican Ground Beef Skillet is so fresh and flavorful, and the cilantro makes it taste even better.