Hamburger Rice Casserole

This post may contain affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.

Cheesy Hamburger Rice Casserole is an easy and delicious one-pan meal that’s perfect for the whole family. Made with ground beef, onions, rice, and savory seasonings and topped with ooey, gooey melted cheese.

Melted cheddar cheese on a beef casserole.

When you’re on the hunt for an easy dinner solution, one-pan meals are your go-to. Not only do they taste fantastic, but clean-up is simpler than ever!

This hamburger rice casserole is exactly that! It starts with onions and ground beef, toss in some beef broth, rice, and seasonings, then sprinkle on the cheddar cheese. Dinner accomplished!

It’s like the Tex-Mex version of our cheesy ranch ground beef and rice skillet meal.

This is an easy casserole recipe the whole family will love! Looking for more rice casserole recipes? Try our broccoli rice casserole, teriyaki chicken casserole, or green chile chicken casserole

Substitutions and Variations

  • Protein: Use ground chicken or ground turkey in place of ground beef.
  • Cheese: We love sharp cheddar cheese on this casserole, but pepper jack, colby jack, mozzarella, or Monterey jack cheese make great options!
  • Veggies: Stir in some canned or frozen (thawed) vegetables for a more filling meal. Mushrooms, green beans, peas, corn, or carrots are easy mix-ins.
  • Garnish: Top with a dollop of sour cream, fresh parsley, or a spoonful of pico de gallo.
  • Seasoning: Add a packet of taco seasoning instead of using garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, and chili powder.
  • Make Burritos: Use this ground beef casserole as filling for burritos!


This ground beef casserole is so simple to make that you only need 1 piece of kitchen equipment plus measuring cups and spoons. No casserole dish or baking dish required!

Here are some ideas (Amazon affiliate links included):


Refrigerate: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freeze: This cheesy ground beef casserole freezes well! Cook it as written and let it cool completely. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Thaw: Place ground beef and rice casserole in the refrigerator to thaw completely before reheating.

Reheat: To reheat, microwave a single serving on half power until warmed through, or place a larger portion in a skillet over low heat. Add a little broth as needed to keep the casserole from drying out. 

You can also reheat this casserole in the oven at 350°F until it reaches the desired temperature.

Melted cheese on ground beef and rice.


  • Use long-grain white rice, Jasmine rice, or basmati rice. Minute rice does not work well in this recipe. Depending on what type of rice you use, the cook time may vary slightly.
  • Make sure to completely cook the ground beef before adding the other ingredients.
  • If you want more spice, add more chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, or your favorite hot sauce!
  • When cooking rice in a casserole, make sure that there is enough liquid to cover all of the ingredients as well as an extra ½ cup to 1 cup of broth – this will ensure that your rice cooks properly without burning or sticking to the pan!
  • Know how strong the chili powder is before adding it to the ground beef. Some brands of chili powder have more heat than others, so the amount may need to be adjusted to meet your desired heat level.

Frequently Asked Questions

The rice should be uncooked for this cheesy beef casserole. It simmers in the beef broth and absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients.

Yes, brown rice can be used in this casserole. However, it may require a longer cooking time to ensure that the rice is fully cooked.

Additionally, you may need to add more beef broth and adjust the seasonings slightly.

Yes, you can use tomato sauce instead of tomato paste in this casserole. The flavor will be slightly different and the consistency may be thinner due to the extra liquid that is found in the sauce.

Generally, the rule of thumb is you’d substitute 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce for every 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. However, it makes this rice and hamburger casserole liquidy and heavy in tomato flavor.

We recommend starting with less and adding more if needed.

Cheesy hamburger rice casserole in a skillet.

Hamburger Rice Casserole

4.6 from 173 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 pound ground beef, (We used 93/7.)
  • ½ cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ¼ cups low-sodium beef broth
  • ½ cup long grain white rice, uncooked (long grain, jasmine, or basmati)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil, ground beef, and onions. Cook the ground beef until no pinks remain. Drain excess grease, and return to the pan.
    1 tablespoon cooking oil
    1 pound ground beef
    ½ cup white onion
  • Stir in the broth, rice, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and pepper. Bring the ingredients to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer. 
    2 ¼ cups low-sodium beef broth
    ½ cup long grain white rice
    ¼ cup tomato paste
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
    ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Cook at a simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and cooked to the desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat, uncover, and top with shredded cheese. Return the lid and allow the residual heat to melt the cheese.
    1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • Serve warm with your favorite side dish. See the post for tips, FAQs, and storage options.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup of casserole. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.


Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1028mg | Potassium: 576mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 662IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 3mg
Get Our Dip Recipes Ebook!More details here ➡️ FREE EBOOK!


  1. Flavor was good but not enough for a family of 4 adults. I basically made as recipe said.

    1. Good morning Jacki, thank you for commenting and rating the recipe! We’re glad you enjoyed the flavor of the casserole. Have a lovely day 🙂

  2. We had a pound of hamburger unthawed. It was a late night and my husband said let’s do hamburger with rice. I came apron your recipe. My husband was a chef at his Aunt’s restaurant in his younger days. (He is an amazing cook still.) We both loved your recipe. Thank you for sharing it.
    Marty & Owen

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Marty! Kim and I glad Owen and you enjoyed the casserole. Have a lovely day 🙂

    1. Hi Julie!

      Yes, I’d recommend using tomato sauce, but any substitution isn’t going to taste quite the same. We haven’t tried marinara. Although, it may work great! We have an entire section in our FAQ section (in the post above the recipe card) devoted to this question. It may have some information you may find helpful. Have a great afternoon! 😊

  3. this lil unassuming casserole was DELICIOUS!!! Followed recipe exactly, served with corn and taco toppings. perfect week day dinner! thank you for the recipe ❤️

    1. Thank you Tracy! We’re glad you enjoyed the casserole. The leftovers work well as burrito filling too. Thank you again for commenting and rating the recipe. Have a lovely day 🙂

    2. @John, there were no leftovers 😆 made again tonight and increase the recipe by 1.5x and there’s only a tiny bit left!

      1. That’s wonderful to hear Tracy! Hopefully, you have enough leftover for lunch today lol! Thank you again for sharing 🙂 Have a great Wednesday.

  4. This is a family favorite. It’s quick and easy to make on a week night. We love having leftovers. Will be trying making them into burritos!

    1. Thank you Deb! Kim and I are glad you and your family enjoys the casserole. Thank you again for commenting and rating the recipe. Have a lovely day 🙂

  5. My family now calls this “taco surprise.” We love this recipe for tacos and burritos. I double the recipe and use the leftovers for burritos for lunches. I use whatever broth I have, either beef or chicken. If I don’t have enough broth I use water to make up the different and it is still fantastic.

    It is so easy for weeknight dinners and I always have the ingredients on hand.

    1. Thank you for commenting and rating the recipe, we appreciate it! We’re thrilled to hear everyone enjoys the casserole. It’s awesome you use the leftovers for burritos. Thank you again for commenting and have a lovely day 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating