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Mexican Vegetable and Beef Skillet Meal

NotesCooking for a Crowd?

Recipe Notes

  • Try brown rice and simmer for 20 more minutes.

Click a link below if you need a version of this recipe that serves:  

View all quantity recipes here: https://foodhero.org/quantity-recipes.

Kid friendly


1⁄2 pound
lean ground beef (15% fat)
3⁄4 cup
onion, chopped (3/4 medium onion)
1 cup
uncooked white rice
1 can
(15 ounces) diced tomatoes (about 2 medium fresh tomatoes)
1 1⁄2 cups
vegetables fresh, frozen, or canned and drained (try one or more-zucchini, bell pepper, broccoli, corn, cauliflower)
1 3⁄4 cups
1 1⁄2 teaspoons
chili powder
1 Tablespoon
1 teaspoon
1⁄2 cup
(2 ounces) shredded cheese


  1. Cook beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat (350 degrees in an electric skillet) until no longer pink. Drain fat.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add rice, tomatoes, vegetables, water, and spices. Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low (250 degrees in an electric skillet). Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed.
  5. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese and cover for 1 to 2 minutes to allow cheese to melt. Serve warm.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


  • Try brown rice and simmer for 20 more minutes.
Photo of Mexican Vegetable and Beef Skillet Meal
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 cups
Nutrition Facts: View Label
Last updated: 12/10/19

3 Comments for "Mexican Vegetable and Beef Skillet Meal"

I want to share a couple tips for this recipe that I have used in classes with families.  Many people do not understand the length of time that it takes to cook brown rice, but will often receive it through a food pantry or their WIC benefits.  With this recipe, I go over how to cook brown rice on it's own with the amount of water directed on the rice package.  Then we make this recipe, omit the water and add in the cooked brown rice with the vegetables to simmer and soak up the vegetable liquids.  We also talk about other ways they could use brown rice if they prepare a larger portion a one time. 

During the summer we replace the canned, diced tomatoes with fresh.  Participants like to add a little garlic powder to this recipe as we prepare it together.

This recipe is very well received by adults and children when we make it during class.  We usually do a version with meat and a vegetarian version with one can of drained beans; many actually prefer the vegetarian option.  We have tried a variety of vegetables in this dish including fresh, canned and frozen and had good success with all.  Brown rice is delicious in this recipe, but be aware that simmer time increases to about 50 minutes and extra water is needed.

My husband claims this is one of his fav Food Hero meals yet, and he wants to make it next!  I made a veggie version without the beef.  I used 1 cup of beans in place of the beef.  And I did spray the skillet with cooking spray for step 2 (which is where I started cooking the recipe) however, I did have some sticking on the skillet when it was done so next time I will try adding more water as step 4 suggests to better avoid sticking.  GREAT tasting, and everyone went for seconds.  We topped with low fat sour cream and hot sauce and the following would also work/taste great: shredded raw cabbage and/or avacado.  We didn't need a side dish.  This recipe had it all...