Tasty Taco Rice Salad

Tasty Taco Rice Salad is one of those “go to” recipes. You know — the ones that you turn to when you are you are in a hurry and you don’t have time to search for recipes. It’s easy, versatile and almost everyone likes it. PLUS it’s packed with nutrition—whole grains, vitamins, minerals, and protein.taco salad

Just re-reading it makes me want to make it soon. I have some end-of-season garden tomatoes and onions that will be perfect. Instead of the jalapeño, I’ll use a green and yellow pepper which I have on hand and will use up the last few celery sticks in the refrigerator drawer.

This is one of those recipes you can make without a kitchen. All you really need is a skillet/electric skillet. It is great for teaching kids to cook and you can double or triple it easily. When I don’t have fresh tomatoes I use 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Mexican-style tomatoes. (This does increase the sodium).

The trickiest part of this recipe is draining the fat from the ground beef. It is really important to get the extra fat off the ground beef, but you don’t want to clog up your sink drain. Here’s what I do:

  1. Spoon cooked ground beef in a colander over large bowl in the sink.
  2. Wait until the tap water gets really hot and spray it over the ground beef.
  3. Refrigerate the container of grease water in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Scrape the hardened grease onto an old newspaper and discard in garbage.

Tasty Taco Rice Salad

Serves: 8    |  Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups   |  Per Serving: $1.07

Ingredients:taco salad nutrition facts panel

  • 1 pound lean ground beef, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 seeded jalapeño, chopped finely
  • 2 cups spinach or romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup 2%-fat shredded cheese


  1. Cook ground meat in a large skillet until brown (160° F). Drain off fat. Rinse meat with warm water to remove more fat.
  2. Add rice, water, onion, and chili powder to meat in skillet.
  3. Cover. Simmer over low heat about 15 minutes to cook rice.
  4. Add tomatoes and jalapeño. Heat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Place layers of spinach or romaine lettuce, rice mixture, and cheese on plates. Serve at once.

Tasty Taco Rice Salad gets a 3.75 out of 5 rating on our site.  Let us know what you think!

3 thoughts on “Tasty Taco Rice Salad

  1. I have made spaghetti squash maybe 50 over the last few years. I tried your method today and this was by far the best way I have ever cooked it. The squash turned out perfectly! I couldn’t be happier and won’t cook it any other way now. Thank you.

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