This Mexican Ground Beef Skillet is both really tasty and endlessly adaptable! Make my recipe or make adjustments to make it yours!
You may have noticed that I adore dinners that involve a jumble of ingredients cooked in one pan—recipes like my Southwest Chicken Skillet and Ground Beef and Rice Skillet. Not only are they tasty and satisfying, the one-pan cooking method makes clean-up a snap.
But you know another thing that I love about them? They’re endlessly adaptable. In other words, it’s easy to adjust them to your taste, to what’s on hand, and even your mood.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
How To Make A Ground Beef Skillet Meal
This Mexican beef skillet recipe starts by browning ground beef in a large skillet. My method for doing that is slightly unusual and gets a nice brown crust on the meat. It’s in the recipe below but more thoroughly explained in this post about how to cook ground beef.
But you don’t have to use beef. If your family prefers ground turkey or chicken, use that. If you’ve got ground pork in the freezer, use that instead. Or use a combination. The recipe would even be good with a combination of any of those and some Mexican chorizo.
Next, I add bell peppers and onion. Use any color of peppers and onions you like!
Then, stir in salsa, broth, beans, and rice. You can use any kind of salsa and beans you prefer. You can use water instead of broth. You can even use any kind of rice you like, but I recommend sticking to white rice varieties because brown rice will take longer to cook.
Along with the liquids, you could also add seasonings if you want—chili powder, ground cumin or coriander, or Mexican oregano, for example. I use pretty flavorful salsa so I don’t think it needs much, but you could absolutely add in a little homemade taco seasoning to yours.
Bring it all to a simmer, cover the skillet, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid has absorbed. Then sprinkle on some cheese. What kind of cheese? I like Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack, but—you guessed it—as long as it goes with Mexican flavors, it’ll work. I had Gouda on hand, so that’s what I used for the batch in these photos. It turned out great!
Try Some Toppings
I hope it goes without saying that the recipe is absolutely delicious as-is. Yet you can definitely enhance it, making it even more your own, by adding Mexican inspired toppings. My photo shows sliced scallions on top with tortilla chips and hot sauce on the side.
But chopped cilantro, sour cream, diced avocado, tortillas, and sliced olives would also be great toppers—or any combination thereof. You could even offer a selection of toppings and let your tablemates invent their own version of my Mexican Ground Beef Skillet.
With this recipe, it’s all good.
More One-Dish Meals
Want more easy and delicious recipes that won’t create tons of dishes to wash? I know I always do! Bookmark some of these for amazing weeknight meals.
- Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
- Ground Beef and Potato Skillet
- One-Pan Chickpea and Kielbasa Dinner
- Sausage and Rice Skillet Recipe
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Sweet Potato Dinner
- Cheesy Ground Beef Pasta
Podcast Episode About Making Mexican Ground Beef Skillet
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this skillet dinner, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:
This Mexican Ground Beef Skillet is both really tasty and endlessly adaptable! Make my recipe or make adjustments to make it yours.
You can even add toppings like scallions, hot sauce, cilantro, sour cream, diced tomatoes, avocado, and olives. It’s all good!
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef (see note)
- 2 bell peppers (red, green, yellow, or a combination), cut into 1/4-in. strips
- 1 onion, cut into 1/4-in. strips
- 1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 2 cups salsa
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth or water
- 1 (15 oz.) can black or pinto beans, drained
- 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Cheddar-Jack cheese blend
- 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.
- Stir in the bell peppers, onion, and salt, breaking the meat up. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Stir in the salsa, broth, beans, and rice. 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.
- Remove from the heat and stir. Sprinkle on the cheese. Cover and let stand until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
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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.
This post originally appeared in August 2021 and was revised and republished in September 2023.