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’m looking forward to trying this for my son. He’s 2.5 and picky. Some day’s he likes something. And the next day won’t eat it.
I don’t have any cream cheese currently.
What about plain Greek yogurt? Lol
Getting kids to eat can feel so tricky sometimes! I often sub Greek yogurt for sour cream but I haven’t used it as a sub for cream cheese. But I think you could probably use it in this recipe. The final result is going to taste a bit different than how I wrote the recipe and you may taste it and feel like you need to doctor it a bit to make it work. But I can’t imagine that it will be awful. Maybe just a bit blander? If you try it, I’d be curious to know how it worked!
Quick,easy, and delicious.The three things I consider essential to a family meal.Thank you for posting this! I made it with ground beef this time but will also try it with ground chicken (which I like more than ground turkey).
Happy to hear that it was a success, Betty! And sounds like your list for what is essential to family meals mirrors mine. I love the idea of trying this recipe with ground chicken. It’s a fairly flexible recipe and would be great for switching up like that….which is especially handy if you find one particular ground meat on sale, right?
I made this tonight for 3 very picky kids. They don’t like red sauce so I substituted Alfredo sauce instead. It was amazing! They loved it and I couldn’t be happier how easy it was. As a single dad with all three of them in sports, easy is a necessity. Thank you.
Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know how much you all loved the recipe, Arthur! And kudos to you for figuring out a tasty sub for the red sauce that your kids would love. I think I’m going to have to try it myself! It sounds quite good.
Sooooo good! All 3 of my kids gobbled it up! Definitely a mom win 🙂
Any idea how many calories in it?
Yay! Happy to hear that.
As for the calories, I used this recipe calorie calculator and it looks like the total calorie amount for the whole recipe is 2,065. Hope that helps!
Anyone ever try brown rice?
I have not, Jill. I think you could sub it, but the cooking time and amount of liquid would probably need to be adjusted. Perhaps someone else will chime in with their experience!
So easy to make and alter according to personal taste. I added chopped broccoli, corn, herb de Provençe, coarsely ground black pepper and ground, dried chili peppers. Once the ground beef and onions were sautéed with the seasonings, I put all the other ingredients in, with 2 1/2 cups of combined seasoned tomato sauce and water, brought it to a slow boil, covered it and turned it down to low. Truly a one-pot meal.
That sounds delicious, Michele! Thanks for sharing.
AMAZING! i used 2 cups of pasta sauce and half a cup of tomato soup (not diluted) it was fabulous and on our dinner rotation now for sure!!!
So glad that you loved it, Melissa!