Skillet Cowboy Rice Casserole

Skillet Cowboy Rice Casserole

Dive into a world of robust flavors and hearty goodness with our Skillet Cowboy Rice Casserole recipe! This one-pan wonder is a delicious fusion of savory ground beef, zesty chorizo, aromatic spices, and wholesome ingredients like rice, beans, and veggies. Simmered together in a rich beef broth, this comforting casserole is perfect for satisfying hungry appetites and bringing the family together for a memorable meal. Let’s explore how to create this flavorful dish that’s sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire.


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz lean ground beef
  • 8 oz fresh chorizo sausage, casing removed
  • 1 32 oz container low sodium beef broth
  • 1 ½ cups long grain rice
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 10 oz can mild or hot Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 packets Goya Sazon Coriander and Annatto Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese


  • Sauté Onion and Peppers: Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and peppers, season with salt and black pepper, and cook until softened and lightly browned. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Cook Ground Beef and Chorizo: Add ground beef and chorizo to the skillet. Cook until browned, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Drain excess fat.
  • Combine Ingredients: Increase heat to high. Pour in beef broth, then add rice, pinto beans, Rotel tomatoes, corn, Goya Sazon seasoning, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and lemon pepper. Stir well.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the skillet and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Add Finishing Touches: Uncover skillet and stir in chopped cilantro. Top with grated cheddar cheese, cover, and allow cheese to melt.
  • Serve: Serve the Skillet Cowboy Rice Casserole immediately, garnished with additional cilantro if desired.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: Calorie count will vary based on serving size and specific ingredients used.

Serving and Storage Tips:

  • Serve with Garnishes: Enhance the presentation and flavor of the Skillet Cowboy Rice Casserole by serving it with fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, avocado slices, or a dollop of sour cream.
  • Pair with Tortilla Chips: Serve the casserole alongside crispy tortilla chips for added texture and a delicious crunch.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the casserole in advance and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Simply reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving for a quick and convenient meal.
  • Freeze Leftovers: Portion any leftover casserole into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as desired for a tasty meal anytime.
  • Meal Prep Option: Divide the cooked casserole into individual servings and store them in meal prep containers for easy grab-and-go lunches or dinners throughout the week.
  • Top with Fresh Herbs: Add a pop of freshness by sprinkling chopped parsley, green onions, or basil over the casserole just before serving.
  • Serve with a Side Salad: Balance out the richness of the casserole with a crisp green salad dressed with vinaigrette for a complete and satisfying meal.
  • Reheat Properly: To maintain the integrity of the flavors and textures, reheat the casserole gently in the oven or on the stovetop until heated through.
  • Customize Spice Level: Adjust the amount of chili powder and hot Rotel tomatoes to suit your preference for spice and heat.
  • Bulk Up with Veggies: Boost the nutritional content of the casserole by adding extra vegetables such as diced carrots, bell peppers, or spinach.
  • Make it Vegetarian: Omit the ground beef and chorizo, and substitute with plant-based alternatives such as vegetarian sausage or crumbled tofu for a meatless version of the casserole.
  • Swap Proteins: Experiment with different protein options such as ground turkey, chicken, or shredded beef for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
  • Add Rice Varieties: Mix things up by using different rice varieties such as brown rice, quinoa, or wild rice for added texture and nutrition.
  • Cheese Variation: Substitute the cheddar cheese with Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or a Mexican blend cheese for a different flavor profile.
  • Top with Crunchy Toppings: Add a crunchy topping such as crushed tortilla chips, panko breadcrumbs, or French fried onions before baking for an extra layer of texture.


  • Tex-Mex Twist: Add a can of diced green chilies and a tablespoon of taco seasoning for a Tex-Mex flavor explosion.
  • Italian-Inspired: Replace the chorizo with Italian sausage, omit the chili powder, and add Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese for an Italian twist.
  • Southwest Style: Add black beans, diced green chilies, and a squeeze of lime juice for a Southwest-inspired flavor profile.
  • Mushroom Madness: Sauté sliced mushrooms along with the onions and peppers for an earthy addition to the casserole.
  • Chipotle Kick: Stir in chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky and spicy kick.
  • Cajun Flair: Season the casserole with Cajun seasoning and add diced Andouille sausage for a taste of the Bayou.
  • Hawaiian Fusion: Incorporate diced pineapple and barbecue sauce for a sweet and savory Hawaiian-inspired twist.
  • Greek-Inspired: Swap the chili powder for Greek seasoning, add chopped Kalamata olives, and top with crumbled feta cheese for a Mediterranean flair.
  • Asian Fusion: Substitute soy sauce for the chili powder, add sliced water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds for an Asian-inspired twist.
  • Spanish-Influenced: Use Spanish chorizo instead of fresh chorizo, add smoked paprika and saffron for a Spanish flavor profile, and garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Protein-Packed: Stir in cooked quinoa or lentils for an extra boost of protein and fiber.
  • Creamy Addition: Mix in a can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup for a creamy texture.
  • Buffalo Style: Substitute hot sauce for the Rotel tomatoes, add cooked diced chicken, and top with crumbled blue cheese for a buffalo chicken-inspired casserole.
  • Seafood Sensation: Add cooked shrimp or crabmeat to the casserole for a seafood twist.
  • Vegetarian Delight: Omit the meat entirely and double up on beans and veggies for a hearty vegetarian version of the casserole.

 FAQs :

  • Can I use different types of rice? Yes, you can use different types of rice such as jasmine rice, basmati rice, or brown rice, but adjust the cooking time and liquid accordingly.
  • Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes, ensure that all ingredients, including the beef broth and seasoning packets, are gluten-free, and use a gluten-free rice or grain.
  • Can I use canned beans instead of dried beans? Yes, you can use canned beans, but rinse and drain them before adding them to the casserole.
  • How can I make this recipe spicier? Increase the amount of chili powder, add hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes, or use hot Rotel tomatoes for added heat.
  • Can I prepare this recipe in advance? Yes, you can prepare the casserole in advance and refrigerate it before baking. Allow it to come to room temperature before baking as directed.
  • Can I use different types of cheese? Yes, feel free to experiment with different cheese varieties such as Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or Colby Jack for a different flavor profile.
  • Can I freeze leftovers? Yes, portion the cooled casserole into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • How do I reheat leftovers? Reheat individual servings in the microwave or place the entire casserole in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

With its blend of savory meats, aromatic spices, and wholesome ingredients, our Skillet Cowboy Rice Casserole is a true crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re feeding a hungry family or hosting a casual gathering with friends, this flavorful one-pan meal is sure to impress with its robust taste and comforting appeal. Give it a try and savor the flavor of cowboy-inspired cuisine right in your own kitchen!