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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add Finishing Touches: Uncover skillet and stir in chopped cilantro. Top with grated cheddar cheese, cover, and allow cheese to melt.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Pair with Tortilla Chips: Serve the casserole alongside crispy tortilla chips for added texture and a delicious crunch.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Top with Fresh Herbs: Add a pop of freshness by sprinkling chopped parsley, green onions, or basil over the casserole just before serving.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Customize Spice Level: Adjust the amount of chili powder and hot Rotel tomatoes to suit your preference for spice and heat.
  10. Bulk Up with Veggies: Boost the nutritional content of the casserole by adding extra vegetables such as diced carrots, bell peppers, or spinach.
  11. 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.
  12. Swap Proteins: Experiment with different protein options such as ground turkey, chicken, or shredded beef for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
  13. Add Rice Varieties: Mix things up by using different rice varieties such as brown rice, quinoa, or wild rice for added texture and nutrition.
  14. Cheese Variation: Substitute the cheddar cheese with Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or a Mexican blend cheese for a different flavor profile.
  15. 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.


  1. Tex-Mex Twist: Add a can of diced green chilies and a tablespoon of taco seasoning for a Tex-Mex flavor explosion.
  2. Italian-Inspired: Replace the chorizo with Italian sausage, omit the chili powder, and add Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese for an Italian twist.
  3. Southwest Style: Add black beans, diced green chilies, and a squeeze of lime juice for a Southwest-inspired flavor profile.
  4. Mushroom Madness: Sauté sliced mushrooms along with the onions and peppers for an earthy addition to the casserole.
  5. Chipotle Kick: Stir in chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky and spicy kick.
  6. Cajun Flair: Season the casserole with Cajun seasoning and add diced Andouille sausage for a taste of the Bayou.
  7. Hawaiian Fusion: Incorporate diced pineapple and barbecue sauce for a sweet and savory Hawaiian-inspired twist.
  8. Greek-Inspired: Swap the chili powder for Greek seasoning, add chopped Kalamata olives, and top with crumbled feta cheese for a Mediterranean flair.
  9. 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.
  10. Spanish-Influenced: Use Spanish chorizo instead of fresh chorizo, add smoked paprika and saffron for a Spanish flavor profile, and garnish with chopped parsley.
  11. Protein-Packed: Stir in cooked quinoa or lentils for an extra boost of protein and fiber.
  12. Creamy Addition: Mix in a can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup for a creamy texture.
  13. 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.
  14. Seafood Sensation: Add cooked shrimp or crabmeat to the casserole for a seafood twist.
  15. Vegetarian Delight: Omit the meat entirely and double up on beans and veggies for a hearty vegetarian version of the casserole.

 FAQs :

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!