This taco in a bowl recipe takes taco fillings to a whole new level. Ground beef, homemade taco seasoning, Mexican rice, green chilies, salsa, black beans, and shredded cheese are topped with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro for a delicious taco meal without the shell. A taco rice bowl so perfect, you’ll want to save the leftovers for easy meal prep lunches.

two bowls of this beef taco in a bowl recipe topped with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro

What Makes This Recipe Great

I love tacos, and while there are a ton of options for gluten-free taco shells these days, sometimes I just want all the fillings, without a shell. Enter, this taco in a bowl recipe. 

Move over burrito bowls, this beef taco rice bowl is the newest star. Filled with ground beef, homemade taco seasoning, Mexican rice, green chilies, salsa, black beans, and shredded cheese, these bowls are so delicious and satisfying. 

They have all of the yummy taco flavors and ingredients, and you won’t even miss the shell. Top with avocado, sour cream, cilantro, or shredded cheese, and enjoy! 

Ingredient Notes

recipe ingredients labeled and in nesting bowls

For the full list of ingredients, please see the recipe card below. 

Ground Beef: I used lean ground beef. If you use 80/20, you will need to drain the fat after sautéing it. You can also substitute ground turkey to make a turkey taco bowl. 

Olive Oil: You can also use avocado oil. 

Garlic: You can mince fresh garlic cloves or use a jar of minced garlic. 

Green Chilies: Use a small can of mild green chilies. 

Salsa: Use whichever brand is your favorite, and whichever spice level you prefer.  

Black Beans: I like using black beans, but feel free to use pinto beans. 

Shredded Cheese: If you are dairy free, you can omit this or use dairy-free cheese shreds. If you are okay with dairy, use whichever blend of shredded cheese you like.  

White Rice: If you want to substitute brown rice instead, you can. You might need a bit more chicken broth if the brown rice absorbs more liquid. 

Homemade Taco Seasoning: Instead of using a packet, I make my homemade taco seasoning by using 1 tbsp chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, 1.5 tsp paprika, 1.5 tsp oregano, and 1.5 tsp sea salt. 

Recipe Step by Step

photos showing recipe instructions in 4 quadrants
additional recipe instruction photos in four quadrants
  1. Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Saute the onions, pepper, and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef and saute while breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no pink remains. 
  3. Add in the can of diced green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and oregano. Stir until combined and fragrant. 
  4. Add in the tomato paste and salsa and stir. Pour in chicken broth, beans, and rice. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 16-18 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. 
  5. Sprinkle the cheese on top, then cover again until the cheese is melted. You can keep it on low heat while it melts.
  6. Serve topped with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, or other desired toppings! 
an overhead shot of this taco in a bowl recipe simmering in a skillet.

Mary’s Tips & Tricks

Turkey Taco Bowl: If you want, you can use ground turkey taco meat for this recipe instead of beef. 

Corn: I didn’t add corn to my taco rice bowl, but you can if you would like to. Add one can of corn, but be sure to drain and rinse the corn before adding it to the skillet. Add the beans, then the corn. 

Storage: Store leftovers without toppings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve with desired toppings when ready to eat. 

Toppings: Top your taco rice bowl with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole, avocado, and/or cilantro. 

Meal Prep: For easy taco bowl meal prep, store each serving in its own container for a quick, grab-and-go lunch. 

a bowl filled with taco in a bowl recipe fillings and topped with avocado, sour cream, and avocado with a silver fork resting on the side of the bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Can I meal prep this taco rice bowl recipe? 

Yes! For easy taco bowl meal prep, store each serving in its own container for a quick, grab-and-go lunch. 

Can I make a vegan taco bowl with this recipe?

Yes! Use beyond meat or your favorite beef alternative and follow the same instructions to make a vegan taco bowl. Use vegan shredded cheese and vegan sour cream for the toppings. 

Easy Beef Taco in a Bowl Recipe

This taco in a bowl recipe takes taco fillings to a whole new level. Ground beef, homemade taco seasoning, Mexican rice, green chilies, salsa, black beans, and shredded cheese are topped with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro for a delicious taco meal without the shell. A taco rice bowl so perfect, you’ll want to save the leftovers for easy meal prep lunches.
5 from 6 votes
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 ⅓ cups long grain white rice
  • 2 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese, or cheese of choice – feel free to use dairy free shreds!

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onions, pepper, and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef and saute while breaking up with a wooden spoon until no pink remains.
  • Add in the can of diced green chiles + the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and oregano and stir until combined and fragrant.
  • Add in the tomato paste and salsa and stir. Pour in chicken broth, beans, and rice. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium low for 16-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add cheese on top, then cover again until the cheese is melted (you can keep it on low heat while it melts).
  • Serve topped with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, or other desired toppings! 

Notes

Turkey Taco Bowl: If you want, you can use ground turkey taco meat for this recipe instead of beef. 
Vegan Taco Bowl: Use beyond meat or your favorite beef alternative and follow the same instructions to make a vegan taco bowl. Use vegan shredded cheese and vegan sour cream for the toppings. 
Corn: I didn’t add corn to my taco rice bowl, but you can if you would like to. Add one can of corn, but be sure to drain and rinse the corn before adding it to the skillet. Add the beans, then corn. 
Storage: Store leftovers without toppings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve with desired toppings when ready to eat. 
Toppings: Top your taco in a bowl recipe with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole, avocado, and/or cilantro. 
Meal Prep: For easy taco bowl meal prep, store each serving in its own container for a quick, grab-and-go lunch.

Nutrition

Calories: 518kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 1502mg, Potassium: 842mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1686IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 276mg, Iron: 5mg