Cheesy Taco Rice Skillet (One Pot)

This one pot cheesy taco rice skillet is super easy, healthy, and you only need one pot to make it. Plus, this weeknight favorite is absolutely delicious and full of flavor that your whole family will love.

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Cheesy taco rice in a skillet garnished with cilantro.

Why you’ll love this recipe

This simple recipe is made in pan, done in 20 minutes, and made with nutritious simple ingredients. And so good! Does it get better than that?

This one pot cheesy taco skillet uses simple ingredients, is so flavorful, and it’s a great healthy meal to throw into your taco night rotation.

The total cooking time is under 20 minutes, so this easy dinner recipe is perfect for busy weeknights.

There’s nothing easier than cooking everything in one skillet and calling it a day (save this Deconstructed Stuffed Pepper recipe too).

There’s also about 36 grams of protein per serving, so it’s going to keep you full and satisfied too!

It’s also excellent for meal prep because it reheats so well.

If you love melty cheese and taco flavors (who doesn’t?), you’re going to absolutely love this one. Let’s get into how to make it!

Ingredients for cheesy taco rice laid out on a white countertop in bowls and laid out on a

Ingredients

Rice: I prefer to use white rice over brown rice for this recipe but you can use either! Both work perfectly. For an even quicker meal, use instant rice, minute rice or frozen rice!

Ground turkey: Ground turkey works great for this recipe because it’s a good lean protein option and takes on the flavors of the dish super well. You won’t even notice it’s ground turkey! You can also use a pound of ground beef, ground chicken, shredded chicken, or even lentils.

Taco seasoning: My favorite pre-made taco seasoning is the mild taco seasoning from Siete. You can also make a homemade version using cumin, chili powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and onion powder. 

Mexican cheese: I like to use a Mexican shredded cheese blend, but you can also use sharp cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese.

Salsa: Use your favorite salsa! If you don’t like a lot of spice, make sure to opt for the “mild” kind.

Garlic and onion: Don’t forget your garlic and onion! You can use garlic and onion powder if you don’t have fresh on hand. You can even change up the flavor a bit by using sweet onion or green onion.

Toppings: Serve your cheesy taco rice with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, tomato, lime wedges, red onion, fresh cilantro, sour cream, and avocado.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat about 1-2 tsp of olive oil in a pan and brown the ground turkey on medium heat, about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Next, add minced garlic and onion to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent.
Four photos in a grid style depicting the four steps of making a cheesy taco skillet: browning the meat, adding garlic and onions, adding taco seasoning, and then adding rice and cheese.
  1. Next, add cooked rice, salsa, and half of the Mexican cheese to the pan. Combine thoroughly and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on low heat.
A large skillet of cheesy taco rice with a spoon
  1. Top the rice and ground turkey mixture with the rest of the cheese and cover for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
An overhead shot of a spoonful of cheesy taco rice over the skillet.
  1. Serve with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream.

Recipe FAQ

Is this cheesy taco rice healthy?

When putting together a balanced meal, it should have a balanced combination of the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This dish has all three! Paired with a veggie side like shredded lettuce and tomato, it’s a super nutrient-dense and healthy meal.

Can I meal prep this dish?

Definitely, this recipe is perfect for meal prepping ahead as it stores and reheats wonderfully. Simply store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

A skillet of cheesy taco rice garnished with cilantro.

Variations & recipe tips

There are so many different ways to serve this easy meal and change it up- here are some of my favorites.

  • Serve with tortilla chips, homemade guac or even sliced bell peppers for dipping.
  • Use chickpea rice instead of regular rice for even more protein and fiber!
  • Add more fiber by adding a can of black beans or pinto beans.
  • Add diced bell peppers to bump up the veggies.
  • Add jalapeños, a can of green chiles, a can of rotel or hot sauce for a spicier kick.
  • If you want the rice skillet to be “saucier”, add a splash of chicken broth or beef broth.
  • Use leftover taco meat to cut down on your cook time even more!
  • Serve in corn tortillas with shredded lettuce, refried beans, tomato and sour cream for a cheesy rice taco.
  • Serve on top of greens with pico de gallo for a cheesy taco salad.
  • Use enchilada sauce instead of salsa to change up the flavor!

More for your next taco Tuesday:

Easy Healthy Taco Rice Bowl

Tacos with Peppers (Veggie-Packed Tacos!)

Chopped Taco Ground Beef Salad with Creamy Taco Ranch

2-Minute Greek Yogurt Taco Sauce

The BEST Loaded Ground Turkey Nachos

Loaded Bell Pepper Nachos

Cheesy taco rice in a skillet garnished with cilantro.

Cheesy Taco Rice Skillet (One Pot)

Cheesy taco rice made in one pot with ground turkey, rice, taco seasoning, salsa and lots of melty cheese.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning or about 1 packet
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese shredded

Toppings to serve with

  • shredded lettuce
  • tomato
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • extra salsa

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey on medium heat, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Next, add minced garlic and onion to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent.
  • Next, add taco seasoning, cooked rice, salsa, and half of the Mexican cheese to the pan. Combine thoroughly and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on low heat.
  • Top the rice and ground turkey mixture with the rest of the cheese and cover for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro.

Nutrition

Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 546IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 2mg

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7 Responses

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Suzanne! Adding black beans is such a great idea!

  1. 5 stars
    Yummy recipe & super easy! You do need 2 pots if you don’t have cooked rice 😉 ! I only added 2 Tbs of homemade taco seasoning and it had plenty of kick. I added black beans for more fiber. Quick, tasty and kid friendly!

  2. 5 stars
    This came together so quickly and was so good! I added some black beans and loved it. This will be going in my regular rotation.

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?