This kid friendly Easy Ground Beef and Rice Skillet recipe takes just 7 basic ingredients, is budget friendly and deliciously satisfying! What’s not to love?! One of our favorite simple ground beef recipes.
There are affiliate links in this post – please read my full disclosure policy.
Skillet meals such as my Creamy Sausage and Potatoes and Speedy Spanish Rice and Ground Beef Skillet have been making an appearance on our menus ridiculously often the last several weeks.
It’s partly because it’s just so incredibly hot that I don’t feel like baking anything (and we have no grill). Partly because I just haven’t been in the mood to spend much time in the kitchen and skillet meals are the best for being fast and easy.
And it’s also partly because I have a bunch of skillet meal recipes that we simply really like and I know that they’ll always be a win with the kids for dinner. So, it just kind of feels like a no-brainer to make them often right now!
This Ground Beef and Rice Skillet is another one of the recipes that has been getting made a lot too.
I actually considered calling it Busy Day Beef and Rice Skillet because it’s one of those recipes that I find myself falling back on when I’m having a crazy day, don’t have much time for dinner prep and just need a simple, family-friendly meal.
Other than frying up the ground beef, it’s really a hand’s off dish. And I love that!
It’s is also a great recipe for using up leftover cream cheese. Anyone else struggle to know what to do with just a couple of ounces of cream cheese? Unfortunately, more times than I care to admit, mine would end up getting thrown out because it got moldy. (Clearly, I need to do better at following my own advice regarding how to avoid food waste!)
That is until I discovered this recipe! Now, leftover cream cheese is just my sign that it’s time to make this super easy ground beef recipe. 🙂
And don’t be scared to experiment! Recently, I only had 2 oz. of cream cheese so I added a big spoonful of cottage cheese to make up for the missing ounce and it ended up being very tasty. I’m guessing that you could also sub sour cream for a little bit of the cream cheese too.
I also love that this Easy Ground Beef and Rice Skillet is budget-friendly! I mean, who can’t appreciate that? 🙂 In fact, going by Aldi’s prices, you can make this whole recipe for right around $5. That means it costs less than $1.00 a serving!
One more thing. Because this is made with just a few simple, basic ingredients, using a quality, flavorful pasta sauce is key to giving it a good flavor.
I originally made it with just plain old tomato sauce, and while it was good, I discovered that it’s a lot tastier if the sauce is seasoned well. I often have the Classico Roasted Garlic pasta sauce on hand and it is my favorite for this recipe!
Easy Hamburger and Rice Skillet
Easy Ground Beef and Rice Skillet
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 c. onion, chopped
- 1 c. uncooked long grain rice
- 2 1/2 c. water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- 2 c. pasta sauce/tomato sauce (see Note below)
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- In skillet, cook ground beef and onion until browned; drain.
- Stir in rice, water and salt. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed; about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in cream cheese, pasta sauce and chili powder.
- Cover and heat through.
Other main dish recipes you’ll enjoy:
I just landed on this when I was at cross road s on what to use my ground beef for. I just made it ! Looks delicious! Can’t wait to see what my kids think. Thank you so much!
You are welcome, Tinah! I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!
I am making it tonight. I gave it five stars for its ease of making. Smells great, too!
Thanks, Trish! I hope it was a hit!
I used all cottage cheese since I was out of cream cheese – delicious! I had a second scoop & even my kiddos finished their entire bowl full! I think a tiny bit salty for my taste so I’d probably decrease the salt next time.
I love your substitution! I have added a bit of cottage cheese before when I had some that needed to get used up, but never tried using it exclusively. Good to know it works and is delicious! It’s always nice to have options when you’re cooking, right? And so glad that it was a hit with the family too! Yay!
Is there anything I could use as an alternative to cream cheese?
The only thing that might work would be cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. I think I once substituted part cottage cheese and it worked well. But I can’t promise anything since I’ve never tested the recipe using just cottage cheese! If you try it, I’d love to know how it turned out.
I haven’t tasted this but my partner did lol I do intermittent fasting so I’ll try some for lunch tomorrow. He liked it a lot. I modified quite a bit though I don’t weigh my ground beef so I’m not sure if it was a pound in there. But actually he made this and I supervised him. Lol. I thought I had chilli powder, but turns out I didn’t so I had him replace it was sazon a Spanish orangish seasoning. Then instead of 2 cups of tomato sauce we added the one only. He likes it a lot, can’t wait to try it. Ohh yeah and we also sprinkles cheese on top.
So glad to hear that your partner enjoyed this! And can you ever go wrong adding cheese?! I’m sure that was a delicious addition! I hope that you find it just as delicious once you are able to give it a taste!
I always have everything I need on hand to make this and everyone loved it.
So glad you loved it, Jade! And it’s one of those recipes that I fall back on a lot for a last minute dinner because like you, I know I always have the ingredients on hand.
Debra L Steele
Ground turkey is cheaper than ground beef where I live. Anyways I’m allergic to beef.
Yes, I often find that ground turkey is cheaper too! It’s a great substitution for ground beef in recipes like this if you don’t mind the slight difference in taste. I use it often!