Ground Beef and Rice Skillet

Ground Beef and Rice Skillet is a hearty, comforting, one-pan dinner that’s easy to make, easy to clean up, and easy to love!

What is it about a one-skillet, ground-meat-and-carbs meal that makes it so satisfying?

Maybe it’s the familiarity. Maybe there’s something magic about meat with rice or noodles that hits the taste buds just right. Or maybe it’s the gooey cheese, or the fact that my mom – and probably yours and everyone’s – made something similar.

Ground Beef and Rice with diced tomatoes and melty cheese, in a skillet with a serving spoon.

Who knows? But for all those reasons, this Ground Beef and Rice Skillet – and dishes like it – is a winner. Perhaps even better, my kids think so too.

Now add that it’s easy to make, using mostly pantry staples, and easy to clean up – one pan! – and you’ll love it even more.

It Works With Any Kind Of Ground Meat

Beef is my go-to for this recipe, but it doesn’t have to be yours. It will work with ground pork, chicken, and turkey – you can even use a combination. But because chicken and turkey are a little bland compared to beef and pork, if you use one of those you might want to add a little extra flavor-boosting Worcestershire or a splash of soy sauce.

If you do use beef, you can also use whatever kind you like—80% lean, 85%, whatever. Once you mix in all the other ingredients, a little more or less fat isn’t going to make a big difference in the recipe.

To cook the beef and get a nice brown crust on it, I use a slightly unusual method. It’s described in the recipe, but more thoroughly explained in this post about how to cook ground beef.

(If your meat is still frozen, read this post for how to defrost ground beef.)

What Kind Of Rice?

I use long-grain rice because it’s less sticky than medium or short grain and cooks up nice and fluffy. But that long-grain rice could be white, brown, or a combination. I tested this with white rice, so your timing may be different if you use another kind, refer to the packaging for cook time suggestions.

You could even use basmati rice – its nutty flavor would go well here, but I wouldn’t use jasmine. Its delicate flavors aren’t right for the heartiness of the recipe.

Adding Onto The Add-ins

Besides the beef and rice, I include onion and garlic because they help add richness and depth to almost everything. I also add tomatoes and beef broth for flavor, and to give the rice some liquid to soak up as it cooks.

On top of those basics, I add diced green pepper, but you could switch it up and use red or yellow bell peppers, or make it with other veggies, like peas and carrots, or even a frozen veggie mix. Whatever you decide on, stick to one or two cups worth.

While the Ground Beef and Rice Skillet is cooking, throw together a green salad and maybe some garlic bread. And before you know it, your easy-to-love dinner is served.




Ground Beef and Rice Skillet

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Ground Beef and Rice Skillet is a hearty, comforting, one-pan dinner that’s easy to make, easy to clean up, and easy to love!


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef (see note)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup uncooked white long grain rice
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Cheddar-Jack cheese blend
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. In a very large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef and, using a spatula, press the beef into an even, flat layer in the pan. Let cook untouched for 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper, breaking the meat up. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, rice, tomato paste, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir. Sprinkle on the cheese. Cover and let stand until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and serve.


Note: I like to use 85% lean, but whatever you like will work for this recipe. You can even use ground pork, chicken, or turkey.

Ground Beef and Rice Skillet

4 responses to “Ground Beef and Rice Skillet”

  1. Cheryl says:

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now and everyone in the house loves it. I’m going to try adding mushrooms next time. Should I add them when I add the bell pepper? Thanks!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Thanks so much, Cheryl! Mushrooms sound great, I’d add them in the last couple minutes of the bell peppers cooking. Enjoy!

  2. Angie M says:

    I tried this recipe last night. I had an issue with the rice not cooking. I used long grain brown rice and had to simmer for almost 45 minutes and even then the rice was still a little crunchy. I haven’t really cooked with rice much. Should I try using instant rice instead?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      My mistake, Angie. The default in recipes is usually white but I should have been more specific. The recipe was developed and the timing was tested using white rice. You don’t have to buy instant rice, just get regular white long grain rice. Or, you can use brown rice but know that it takes quite a bit longer to cook than white rice does. Again, my apologies. I have edited the recipe and post to reflect this change now so that nobody else will run into this problem. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the feedback.

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