Easy Tomato, Beef, and Rice is a favorite meal I adapted from my teenage years. Made with simple ingredients, you can pull it together in under 60 minutes.
As a teenager I experimented with flavors, making all sorts of dishes our meat, potato, and veggie family thought were different. Truly, many of them were still simple meals, but one of our favorites was “Spanish Rice”. This use to be one of my favorite go-to dishes when I was tired because it is so easy and yet so tasty. It whips up in very little time.
My original dish was made with a mix of rice, onions, peppers, garlic, and tomato sauce. In retrospect it wasn’t very “Spanish” but it was the closest my inexperienced tastebuds came to a dish I had in Nicaragua that summer, minus the bits of bone left in our generously heaped bowls.
I didn’t really wish to recreate that part of the dish and risk a sibling choking on it…although, perhaps it’s a good thing I was in a great mood. Oldest of 7 can be quite a trying position in the family. Ha.
I hadn’t made this dish in a few years but pulled the recipe out and made it several weeks ago and again today, adapting it just the littlest bit. To make it a true meal, I added 1 lb. of beef, slicing about 1 pound off a roast and cubing it into 1/2 inch cubes.
You could easily use 1 pound of your favorite ground meat instead. I also added 4 ounces of mushrooms. If you have a mushroom hating family, I would puree them and mix them into the hamburger. Odds are they won’t know but be honest if they ask.
You will see that this makes a big batch. There’s a reason for that…besides cooking for 9 people for quite a few years. I love making a big batch because it’s even better as leftovers or thrown in the freezer for a second meal.
Nothing says easy homemade recipes like a dish that’s all-in-one and can be made ahead – frozen or reheated the next night. I don’t add cheese to it usually but “be our guest” and sprinkle on some of your favorite cheese. I’d be partial to some pepper jack.
- 2 cups rice, dry
- 1 pound meat (cubed stew meat or ground meat)
- 1 – 24 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 large green bell pepper( 1 1/2 – 2 cups diced for those who need to measure)
- 1 medium onion (approximately the size of a baseball)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 ounces mushrooms, stems and all
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Cook rice per instructions on the package.
While rice is cooking
- Dice pepper and onion.
- Mince garlic.
- Finely chop mushrooms.
- Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat.
- Once oil is heated, add meat and vegetables, except tomatoes.
- Cook until meat is cooked through and vegetables are just soft.
- Mix in cooked rice and crushed tomatoes.
NOTE: Much prep work can be completed during cooking time so recipe takes more like 35 minutes from start to finish, as meat and veggies should be done around the time rice is cooked. This recipe can be cut in half for a smaller serving.
Looking for more easy homemade recipes?
Pastel Azteca (Chicken Enchilada Casserole)