This savory and satisfying 30 Minute Turkey Taco Rice Skillet combines tender ground turkey with Mexican spices, black beans, and green chilies, all simmered in a zesty salsa sauce and tossed with fluffy white rice and Colby jack cheese. This quick and easy dish can be served as a standalone meal or in burritos, tacos, or with crispy chips for a hearty meal!
Skillet meals are a lifesaver for busy families who are looking to eat healthy meals without sacrificing flavor. These meals typically involve cooking a variety of ingredients together in one large skillet or pan. They combine flavors and textures by combining meats, vegetables, grains, and seasonings. Not only do skillet meals cut down on prep and cleanup time, but they also allow for endless customization options.
This skillet meal brings together a fusion of Mexican-inspired flavors with ground turkey that gets infused with a blend of spices like garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder mixed with sautéed yellow onion and red bell pepper. The salsa brings a tangy kick to the skillet, perfectly complementing the hearty black beans. Cooked white rice serves as the comforting base that soaks up all the flavorful elements, while the shredded colby jack cheese adds a rich, gooey texture to tie everything together to create a full meal that’s packed with lots of textures and flavors.
The best part about making this recipe is that you don’t need to be a professional cook to make it. As a seasoned home chef, I’ve made sure this recipe is not only easy to follow but can also be used in a variety of different ways. Enjoy it as is, straight from the skillet, or wrap the mixture in warm tortillas to create turkey taco burritos. Or serve on a bed of tortilla chips, transforming it into turkey taco nachos!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- With just 30 minutes of preparation time, this quick and easy one-pan meal is a lifesaver for busy families, offering a wholesome and satisfying dinner when you’re short on time.
- The versatility of this turkey taco rice skillet allows you to enjoy it in various ways – from burritos to tacos, nachos, and even stuffed peppers – you can enjoy it in a different way every time you make it.
- Packed with lean ground turkey, nutrient-rich black beans, and fresh avocado, this recipe strikes the perfect balance between flavor and nutrition, making it a delicious choice for any occasion.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Olive Oil – Serves as the cooking fat, providing a smooth base for sautéing the peppers and onions so they release their flavors.
- Peppers and Onions – Lends a sweetness and vibrant color, infusing the skillet with essential aromatics along with texture.
- Ground Turkey – Provides a lean and protein-rich alternative to beef, absorbing the bold seasonings and making the dish hearty and satisfying.
- Seasonings (salt, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder) – This medley of seasonings is the key to infusing the turkey with authentic Mexican-inspired flavors, enhancing the overall taste of the skillet.
- Jarred Salsa – Brings a burst of tangy and zesty flavor, providing a ready-made sauce that ties all the elements together.
- Black Beans – Adds texture to the skillet while adding a protein and fiber boost, making the dish more satisfying and nutritious.
- Diced Green Chilies – The mild heat and distinctive taste of diced green chilies provide a slight spicy kick without overpowering.
- Cooked White Rice – Serves as the comforting and versatile base that soaks up all the delicious flavors, adding a heartiness that complements the other ingredients.
- Shredded Colby Jack Cheese – Not only enhances the texture but also adds a rich and cheesy taste that elevates the overall dish.
- Chopped Cilantro – Adds a herbed garden fresh taste that rounds out the dish.
- Diced Avocado – Brings a velvety and creamy element, adding both richness and freshness.
- Lime – Provides a zingy and citrusy finish, cutting through the richness of the skillet and adding a delightful citrus tang.
How To Make Turkey Taco Rice Skillet
Cook the meat and vegetable mixture: Add the olive oil to a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Once the oil warms up, add the diced peppers and onions along with salt. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Then, add the ground turkey and spices. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes breaking up the meat with a spatula.
Add remaining ingredients: To the turkey and vegetable mixture, add the salsa, black beans, and green chilies. Stir until combined, then add in the rice. Break up and stir until evenly distributed.
Melt the cheese: Top the skillet with the shredded cheese. Turn on the oven to broil and place the skillet in the oven. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
Garnish and serve: Once the cheese is melted, top the skillet with chopped cilantro, diced avocado, and the juice of one lime. Serve as is or in your favorite Mexican dishes. Enjoy!
- Dice the onions and red bell peppers into uniform pieces, ensuring they soften and caramelize at the same rate during sautéing.
- When browning the ground turkey, break it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks to make sure every bit is saturated with flavor.
- Rinse and drain the black beans thoroughly to remove excess starch and sodium.
- Opt for pre-cooked white rice or cook it ahead of time to save on prep during the 30-minute cooking process.
- When broiling the cheese, only do so for 1-2 minutes, as this can burn very quickly.
- Add the fresh elements (cilantro and avocado) just before serving to preserve their vibrant colors and flavors.
- For a spicier kick, swap the diced green chilies with chopped jalapeños or add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Experiment with different types of ground meat, such as ground chicken or pork, to create unique flavor profiles.
- For a vegetarian version, omit the ground turkey and substitute it with plant-based alternatives like crumbled tofu.
- Customize the salsa to your taste by choosing various levels of spiciness or trying different salsa flavors, such as mango or pineapple.
- Add a touch of smokiness by mixing in a finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.
- Incorporate extra vegetables like corn, zucchini, or even diced sweet potatoes to add bursts of flavor and color.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Transfer cooled leftovers into an airtight container, and refrigerate it for up to 3-4 days. Reheat the skillet on the stovetop over medium heat or microwave it in a microwave-safe dish until heated through. Add a splash of water or broth to help rehydrate the ingredients and preserve their original texture.
Freezing: Let the skillet meal cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Frozen turkey taco rice skillet can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy the frozen meal, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Can I use ground beef instead of ground turkey in this recipe?
Ground beef can be easily substituted for ground turkey, allowing you to enjoy the same delicious flavors with a slightly different taste profile.
How can I control the spiciness level of the dish?
To control the spiciness, adjust the quantity of diced green chilies or use a milder variety of salsa. You can also add more or less chili powder and other seasonings according to your preference. Taste as you go to ensure the spice level is right for you.
More Easy Mexican RecipesPrint
This savory and satisfying 30 Minute Turkey Taco Rice Skillet combines tender ground turkey with Mexican spices, black beans, and green chilies, all simmered in a zesty salsa sauce and tossed with fluffy white rice and Colby jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 (16 oz) jar salsa
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 lime
- Preheat a large oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, onion, bell pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
- Add the ground turkey, salt, garlic powder, cumin and chili powder and cook for another 5-7 minutes, breaking up the meat as you cook.
- Add the salsa, beans, green chilies and stir.
- Add in the cooked rice and stir until well combined.
- Top with shredded cheese and put under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado and the juice of one lime.
- Serve as is, in a burrito, taco or with chips.
Keywords: turkey taco skillet, turkey taco rice skillet, 30 minute taco skillet, taco skillet meal, easy taco skillet