I’m so excited to share this Taco Rice Bowl recipe with you all! It’s a meal I’ve been eating all my life, and now I’ve tweaked it to make it a little healthier…always a good idea, right? And it’s easy, makes great leftovers and the whole family loves it. Which puts this recipe at the top of our Dinner List!
Now when my mom is taking suggestions about what to make for a family dinner night, the kids, my husband and my brother always have the same answer: Rice-a-Roni. And what they mean by that is a dish my mom has been making for years that combines ground beef, Rice-a-Roni and salsa and is served with taco toppings: lettuce, tomato, sour cream and tortilla chips. The stuff is awesome and addicting. But of course not the most healthy dinner.
So, I decided to give it an overhaul. First, I created a knock-off, made from scratch Rice-a Roni and I used organic broth to simmer the rice. Just eliminiting the packaged stuff makes me feel better about feeding this to the fam. Next I used lean ground beef to reduce some of the fat. You could even use ground turkey or eliminate the meat all together if you like. And finally, I traded the sour cream for plain non-fat greek yogurt…tastes and looks the same, but less calories and more protien.
My kids build their Taco Rice Bowl with the rice mixture on the bottom, throwing on some cheese and salsa, and then I force them to add a few veggies on top. Then they eat it like a dip, scooping it up with the tortilla chips. But you can go ahead and make this yummy dinner even better for you by making the “mom version” and builidng your bowl in reverse. I start by filling my bowl with lots of lettuce and tomatoes, then I add just a scoop of the rice mixture, sprinkle some cheese and finish it with a dollop of the yogurt and just a few crushed chips for some crunch.
Turn this Taco Rice Bowl into an awesome Taco Salad…you can even add black beans, avocado and some cilantro. And make this dish 21 Day Fix friendly but trading the long grain rice for brown! (Just remember brown rice requires longer cooking time.)
I’m going to let you in on a secret: I made all those changes without telling my kids or my mom. We sat down to dinner, everyone started making their bowls and yumming it up. When I jokingly asked if my “Rice-a-Roni” was as good as my mom’s, my oldest said “Actually, I think it’s better.” SCORE!!!
Moral of the story? This revamped version is just as awesome and just as addicting…
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ c. chopped onion
- 1 c. long grain rice
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 c. beef or vegtable broth
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ½ c. salsa
- shredded lettuce
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 4 oz. shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Greek yogurt & Tortilla chips
- In a large skillet, combine the onion and ground beef and cook over medium-high until meat is cooked through. Drain any fat, remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the rice, stir and cook until slightly browned, 2-3 mins.
- Add the broth and spices, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Allow to simmer 15 -20 mins. until liquid is absorbed.
- Return the beef to the skillet, add salsa, and stir to combine and heat through.
- To serve, layer rice mixture, lettuce & tomato, and top with cheese, yogurt and crushed chips.