Who doesn’t love a one-pot meal – especially if that meal has taco ingredients? That’s why this quick and easy Garden Taco Rice recipe is sure to be a family favorite. Combine taco meat with rice and veggies to create a full meal in one single pan. And it’s super easy to add to your meal planning rotation because you can simply toss the ingredients in a container and freeze it until you’re ready to start cooking. I first found a variation of this recipe in one of those small magazine style cookbooks that are found at the grocery store checkout. In fact, it was one of the first dishes I ever made. I’ve adjusted the recipe in the years since, but it still brings me back to those early days when we were living on Vancouver Island.
Garden Taco Rice Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef, browned
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini, thinly sliced and halved
- 3 cups rice, cooked
- 1 cup corn
- 1 can green chilies
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Combine the ground beef, onion, taco seasoning, chili powder, zucchini, cooked rice, corn, green chilies, and diced tomatoes in a large freezer bag.
- In a separate medium bag, add the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Remove excess air and seal the opening of each bag.
- Staple the bags together above the seal. Place the taco rice in the freezer until you’re ready to start cooking.
- Transfer the frozen taco rice to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
- Warm a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Pour the ingredients from the large bag into the hot skillet and sauté until warmed through.
- Top with the cheddar cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.
Taco Rice Topping Ideas
Once you have this simple one-pot taco rice prepared, your family can have some fun customizing their own plates! Just like tacos, you can easily add toppings to your taco rice to create a unique meal for each member of your family.
When serving your rice dinner, consider setting out some of these toppings to let your family create their own taco inspired meal.
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced olives
- Jalapeño peppers
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Chopped green onions
- Tortilla or corn chips
- Chopped cilantro
Taco Rice Recipe Ideas
You’re going to love how quickly and easily this dinner recipe comes together. And since it’s so simple to make, it’s also simple to customize. Try these recipe ideas as you’re planning your dinner to create a taco night meal everyone in the family will enjoy.
- Use different meat. Ground beef is a classic taco filling, but if you want to change things up, you can also use shredded chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, or shredded beef.
- Make it spicy. If your family is a fan of spicy meals, you can easily take the heat level up a notch on this dish by adding a few jalapeño peppers. Finely chop the peppers and add them with the rest of your veggies to give your taco rice a little bit of heat.
- Add some beans. You can’t go wrong by adding a few beans to your taco rice. Pinto, kidney, or black beans all make great additions to this simple taco dish.
- Make it vegetarian. Substitute Yves Mexican Ground Round for the ground beef to create a delicious vegetarian meal. You can even add more vegetables, like bell peppers and mushrooms, to give your rice even more flavor.
Can I Bake Garden Taco Rice?
This make ahead meal is easily prepared on the stovetop in minutes. But if you’d rather have a more hands-off preparation method, you can also bake your rice casserole in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350° and pour the contents of the large bag into a baking dish. Top the rice with the reserved cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the veggies are cooked through and the cheese is melted.
How Do I Store Taco Rice?
Your taco rice is sure to be a popular dinner with the family, so I’d be surprised if you have any left! But if there are some leftovers when dinner is through, you should store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy them again. Transfer the extras to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
You can reheat the rice in the microwave or in a skillet over medium low heat.
How to Serve Taco Rice?
Our favorite part about this simple recipe is that it can be used in so many different ways! In addition to enjoying the rice straight from the pan, you can also use your taco rice in these other recipes:
- Stuffed peppers. Add the taco rice to the center of bell peppers and bake them in the oven to make delicious taco flavored stuffed peppers.
- Burritos. Fill the center of a tortilla with the beef and rice mixture to create burritos for your family for dinner. After wrapping the burritos, bake them in the oven to give them a crispy texture.
- As a side dish. Serve your taco rice alongside your favorite Mexican dinners, like pork carnitas or enchiladas, to create a hearty meal for your family.
If you enjoy this recipe, you’ll probably also love:
- 1 lb. ground beef browned
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini thinly sliced and halved
- 3 cups rice cooked
- 1 cup corn
- 4 oz. green chilies
- 14 oz. diced tomatoes
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
Combine the ground beef, onion, taco seasoning, chili powder, zucchini, cooked rice, corn, green chilies, and diced tomatoes in a large freezer bag.
In a separate medium bag, add the shredded cheddar cheese.
Remove excess air and seal each bag.
Staple the bags together above the seal. Freeze.
Warm a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop.
Pour the ingredients from the large bag into the hot skillet and sauté until warmed through.
Top with the cheddar cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.