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Spanish Rice Recipe – Spanish Rice is a well-loved side dish. But this family favorite Spanish Rice with Beef recipe is a delicious main dish ready in under 30 minutes!

Spanish Rice Recipe - This Spanish Rice recipe is made with ground beef for a main dish meal! Ready in less than 30 minutes! //

One of my favorite dishes to order when we go to our local Mexican restaurant is their Spanish rice. Well, along with the chips, salsa, queso dip, and guacamole! Ha!

Their Spanish rice though always just goes perfectly with whatever I order for my entree – from enchiladas to whatever their specials are for the day.

But, as much as I love their Spanish rice, it still doesn’t really compete with the version that my Mama has made since as long as I can remember. While theirs is served as a side dish, Mama’s was always the main attraction, served with a salad or beans.

Her Spanish rice is made with ground beef that takes it to a whole new level!

I love that it comes together in less than thirty minutes and just takes one skillet to prepare. We also love to prepare this for a camp style meal as well. No wonder Mama loved making this recipe so much! It’s an all-around favorite for sure!

Spanish Rice Recipe

Spanish Rice Recipe - This Spanish Rice recipe is made with ground beef for a main dish meal! Ready in less than 30 minutes! //

How to Freeze Spanish Rice

Once cooked, allow to cool completely. Portion into freezer-safe container(s) and freeze up to 3 months.

To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat and serve.

Here’s her Spanish Rice Recipe with Ground Beef. So simple, I think you’ll love it, too!

4.96 from 21 votes

Skillet Spanish Rice with Ground Beef Recipe

Dinner 28 mins

Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 4
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Spanish Rice Recipe – This Spanish Rice recipe is made with ground beef for a main dish meal! Ready in less than 30 minutes!


  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies


  • Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently. Drain and set aside.
  • Drizzle olive oil into the skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and rice, stirring frequently until rice is lightly browned. Add ground beef, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, water, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 4mg

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Ground Beef Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review


  1. Spanish rice! I forgot about that (my soon to be ex-husband doesn’t like rice)! Thanks for reminding me! Now I’m going to pit your version against my mom’s! Yum!

  2. What a coincidence, I just made a version of this last night. I used a shortcut, and used the fajita sauce instead of the herbs.

    1. Looks and sounds good.  My husband’s mom always put cooked, crumbled bacon and shredded cheese on top too near end of baking time.

    2. I am Mexican so when my “white” husbands mom made Spanish rice, this was way different for me. I came to like when she made it, she used to add a squirt of ketchup and yellow mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, so I added this too. When she died this was not in her recipe box so I winged it a few times. My husband requested so thought I would try to find a recipe. So Thank you. It smells good and am waiting for the timer to go off so we can eat!

    3. Tiffany, maybe this recipe will be close to the one your mother-in-law made. I hope your husband enjoys it.

  3. I made this for dinner tonight, and my family really enjoyed it. The rice had an almost crunchy texture to it, which was rather nice. Thank you for sharing this easy dish.

  4. I just made this for dinner – very delicious and filling! It was super easy to pull together, too. I used brown rice instead of white because of personal preference and thought it all worked out great.

  5. For extra zip, throw in a bag of crushed doritos or the like as the last ingredient
    And beans..lots of beans. ..

  6. how would this be with brown rice and ground turkey? I think I am going to try it. This sounds wonderful but having had bariatric surgery I can not have white rice.

  7. Tried this and it was fabulous! I traded out all the different spices N added 2 tbs. Of taco seasoning N a half cup of shredded cheese on top. Loved it. My son put his on nachos N added sour cream. Can do alot with this recipe. Yummy!

  8. I just made this, but left made it moderately spicy as I want the 3 yr old to eat it. I just tasted it and it’s great! Will most likely add some hot sauce and dried chilies to my plate, but it was easy and it’s super tasty. I used brown rice and I left out diced tomatoes with green chilies as I did not have any in the pantry.

  9. I grew up eating this. My mother always made a huge skillet of it so there would be leftovers. She then used the leftovers to stuff bell peppers. She poured a small can of tomato sauce over and around the peppers and baked them in a 350° oven until the peppers were tender.

  10. My wife and I made this together and it was super easy….very filling and we served it was tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream. It was a great ‘what’s for dinner—I’m too tired to cook’ recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. First comment I read said rice was slightly crunchy and they liked that.
    Rice was slightly crunchy and I didn’t like that.
    Not sure exactly what to do to it so the rice being crunchy. I dont want mushy rice either. Maybe skipping the light browning of the rice?
    It was edible but fairly bland besides the crunchy rice. I only made it once so I can only guess or sugest tweaks. Maybe slightly more spices or green chilies?
    If you have ever under cooked white rice by 15 percent or so, thats what this rice was like.
    Not sure my results with this particular recipe were good enough to experiment with tweaking this recipe to my liking.
    Good luck if you try it. Expect it to be slightly bland with slightly crunchy rice.

    1. Hi TJ,
      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe. It is one of my favorite recipes my Mama made when I was growing up.
      I’ve not had a problem with my rice being crunchy – it always gets done when I use this recipe.
      You are definitely welcome to add more chilis/spices to your dish if you wish…I leave it where those that want it hotter can add more heat to their taste.
      Thanks so much!

    2. I made this recipe last night and my family and I loved it. I have no idea how anyone’s rice came out crunchy. Long grain white rice cooks in 20 minutes. Maybe they forgot to add the water.

      I love this meal and will add it to my regular rotation.

    3. Thanks so much, Shelley! I’m thrilled you and your family enjoyed it! My family has loved this for years! xo

  12. Very good! I used ground pork instead of ground beef, and added a small can of mild chili’s since I didn’t have tomatoes with chili’s. This recipe s a keeper!

    1. Increase rice to 1 1/4 cup for instant.

      This recipe is well known in the south as Texas hash. My mother never used anything but instant rice for

  13. Just like mom used to make! It was a little bland, so I doubled the chili powder and cumin. Love the idea of topping with cheese and serving with tortilla chips. Maybe a couple of avocado slices?

    1. Hi Sheron,
      Sorry it was too bland for you. I didn’t make it really spicy so ones that don’t like spicy food could eat it and ones that like it a little more hot could add more spices. Serving it with avocado slices sounds good. Thanks!

  14. My rice is crunchy or undercooked, and I’m not sure why. I added the water and let it cook forever, but the liquid stopped absorbing and the rice just seemed undercooked. What am I doing wrong? My kids still liked it a lot – I topped with cheddar cheese which is always popular. But I thought the rice would be more tender.

    1. I’m sorry your rice was undercooked, Ali. I use long grain white rice. I have never had a problem with the rice being crunchy; it’s always tender so I’m not sure why it happened. Did you let it come to a full boil before reducing the heat then covering it to simmer? I let my rice get very lightly browned before adding the other ingredients. Hope this helps!

  15. I made this for my boyfriend and I last night and it was such a flavorful, simple, filling, and craveable week night meal!

  16. I too had trouble with my rice being under cooked but I think it’s because I used too much beef which meant there wasn’t enough liquids to cover my rice. I added more water and cooked an additional 10 mins and it was perfect. My husband loved it, it was easy & definitely a keeper. I’ll just know next time to add more water or cover if necessary. I made no changes to the recipe, used flour tortillas and mozzarella cheese and enjoyed immensely.

    1. I’m so happy you and your husband loved this, Lori. It has been a favorite around my house for years. Thanks

  17. This is the perfect recipe for homemade Spanish Rice with Ground Beef. This is one of my husband’s favorite meals and when I was still working I used packaged Spanish Rice and added the ground beef. However, making it homemade using this recipe he likes it even more. Thank you!

  18. This is one of my favorite recipes ever. I’ve made it for years now and I just love it, delicious every time! I make it exactly like your recipe except I add black beans and cheese at the end to give it sort of a Mexican twist. I can’t rave enough about this recipe.

    1. Thanks, Eva. I am so happy you like this recipe. It has been a favorite since I was a little girl.

  19. This I’mis more like what I had growing up and it was the main dish not a side! I use riced cauliflower now to avoid carbs in the rice ! Served with small cheese tortilla it’s a great meal !

    1. Thanks, Don. I loved this when I was growing up, too. I’m glad it worked with the riced cauliflower for you.

    1. Don’t you love to find recipes that you remember your mother or grandmother making, Kasey? It is a favorite from my childhood. Thanks!

  20. Omg…this is very similar to a recipe my Mom used to make about 40 years ago! It’s so easy to vary as per many of the great comments. I add a green & red bell pepper chopped and use a full 28oz tin of whole tomatoes chopped with a hand blender (no water). My moms recipe also called for a squirt of mustard and some Worcestershire sauce. So tasty….but I find It needs to simmer (lid on tight) for 30-40 minutes so the rice fluffs up and cooks through. It tastes even better warmed up the next day! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  21. I ate this some as a child too and it was my dad that fixed it. We always complained about his cooking but thinking back some of it was pretty good and this dish was one. I made it tonight and it came out excellent. I followed Susan’s advice and let it cook longer to make the rice a little dry and fluffy since that’s how I remember it. I ate three big bowls and it was pure comfort. Thank you and I’m very glad I found this. It’s one I’ll keep.

    1. Kelly, isn’t it funny how sometimes the foods we didn’t like when we were children are some of our favorites now? I’m glad this brought back good memories for you.

  22. Good recipe except underseasoned for my taste which is easy to fix. I just doubled all the seasoning. 😉

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. I try to have the seasoning on the milder side since so many people can’t eat really spicy food. I’m glad you season it to your taste.

  23. Turned out better than I thought…Loved it, the family rated it as a keeper.
    Surprising next-day leftover flavors melded in the refrig. was even better yet. If I could only hold off and not eat it on the first day.
    Garnished with a bit of shredded cheddar and a tab of sour cream.
    Using Jasmin rice and needed to add a bit more water in the second half of cooking.

  24. Fantastic recipe! There may be others with similar ingredients, but the magic here is the perfect balance of the ingredients. I live in Burgundy, France, so tomatoes with green chiles were not going to happen, but I faked it with a little chopped jalapeno. On the other hand, I used exceptional diced tomatoes from Sardinia, bootlegged in from Italy and basmati rice, so I cannot complain! Well done, Robyn…

    1. Thanks so much, Bill. I’m so happy you liked this recipe. Your ingredients sound amazing!

    2. I am cooking this tonight. Bill: Do you think this would pair well with a medium-aged Barolo?