Spanish Rice Taco Salad Bowls

Beans and Legumes, Main Dish, Mexican, Poultry, Quick Meals, Rice | 11 comments

I don’t have any beautifully styled photos for your today (Just keeping it real here!). Only a recipe for Homemade Spanish Rice and Taco Salad Bowls with a photo snapped on Instagram as that is how our busy summer is going these days.

In fact, I don’t think I’d even be writing this if Logan hadn’t been invited on a play date this afternoon. We are that busy.

My days right now consist of swimming lessons, pool time, attempts at grocery shopping with two kids, music lessons, trips to the library for new books…basically anything that will occupy these two so we can get through the summer months without tearing our hair out (at least not too much).

homemade spanish rice taco salad bowls

Logan likes to stay busy. When he’s not busy we have trouble, something I’m sure many other moms can relate to. I haven’t had a lot of time for cooking either. How could you when you spend the entire afternoon at the pool only to arrive home and have everyone wanting to eat immediately?

I’ve been relying on very simple meals for dinner. And I thought you might like to know that it isn’t a 5 star restaurant in our house every evening.

Enter Homemade Spanish Rice which has been loaded with toppings and dubbed “Taco Salad Bowls.” They look good, they taste good, but they’re not gourmet by any means. You can jazz these up or dumb them down as much as your summer schedule needs to.

These Homemade Spanish Rice Taco Salad Bowls are very customizable. I’ve included my specific toppings and notes in the recipe section, but feel free to adapt to your personal tastes.

This recipe is a great way to clean out the fridge. You can use grilled chicken, Crock Pot Mexican Chicken, ground beef or go meatless and add any vegetable that you’d like.

So tell me, how has your summer been?

Taco Salad Bowls with Homemade Spanish Rice

Yield: rice serves 4 - 6

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Homemade Spanish Rice:
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dash of cayenne or chipotle powder, optional
2/3 cup green, red, or combination or diced bell pepper
3/4 cup basmati rice
2 - 14.5 ounce canes of fire roasted diced tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup water

Toppings for Taco Salad Bowls:
Black Beans or Refried Black Beans
Romaine Lettuce
Sliced Avocado
Sliced or chopped crunchy vegetables
Grilled or Sauteed Chicken
Grated Cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese
Sour Cream


For the Homemade Spanish Rice:

Heat the oil over medium heat in a lidded stove safe pan. I like my Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 3-1/2-Quart Round Braiser for this. It is a very versatile piece.

Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, until tender and fragrant. Add the garlic followed by all of the spices (chili powder through cayenne or chipotle powder). Saute for an additional minute. Add the bell pepper, rice, tomatoes (liquid included), broth and water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and liquid absorbed. Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

To Prepare the Taco Salad Rice Bowls:

Place cooked rice on the bottom of a bowl. Top with beans followed by the remaining ingredients in whatever order you'd like.


-My sliced and chopped crunchy vegetables included: radishes, red bell pepper, and cucumber because that's what I had.

-I sliced 2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, a squeeze of lime after adding it to the pan and sauteed in olive oil. After cooked through I added a handful of chopped cilantro to the pan and tossed.

-For the refried black beans I like Bush's Cocina Latina Frijoles Negros Machacados

-I prepared the rice several hours earlier when I had a few minutes of down time which made this dinner incredibly quick to toss together.

-For the bell pepper I often use Freeze Dried Red and Green Bell Pepper if I don't have fresh on hand. I use about 1/4 - 1/2 cup and add directly to the ingredients after adding the liquids. I don't measure, just add a scoop or two from my hand.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - July 12, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    I love how no-fuss this meal is – definitely what I’m looking for at this time of year. I think I might just whip these up tonight with what I have in the fridge!


  • 2
    Allison - July 12, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    This is perfect! I don’t have time for much more than a meal like this right now – so glad you shared. And it may just be an instagram photo, but it still looks DELICIOUS!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — July 12th, 2012 @ 2:33 PM

      Why is it so hard to cook in the summer? I don’t get it! This summer is the worst of all since we don’t have a grill anymore. I want so badly to cook with all the delicious stuff available now, but I need more time in the day or else more time without the kids. Oh well! Miss you guys!!! xoxoxo

  • 3
    Allison - July 12, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

    We made this for dinner tonight – best spanish rice recipe I’ve ever tried! It was so yummy – made guacamole to go on top. The only thing that could have made it better is if we could have invited you all over to share it . . . Thanks for yet another great dinner idea.


  • 4
    Megan - July 13, 2012 @ 3:46 am

    I just ate this for dinner! What a lovely treat for the cold Australian winter. I ate this Spanish rice with garlic prawns, which was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!


  • 5
    Sues - July 13, 2012 @ 5:30 am

    Who cares how the photo was taken, that salad looks beautiful! One of the most fully-loaded taco salads I’ve ever seen. I’ve been obsessed with taco salads since my trip to Mexico and I definitely want to try yours :)


  • 6
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme - July 13, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    Summer is the perfect time for easy, quick meals like this. I’d definitely enjoy seeing this on my dinner table no matter the time of year! And the photo is just beautiful.


  • 7
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel - July 13, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    I wish I had this for lunch! And I love how you’re keeping it real with photos on the go. :)


  • 8
    Cathy @ Noble Pig - July 14, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    I absolutely love this. We are taco salad nuts here and this would satisfy all!! I love instagram too:).


  • 9
    Kellie - July 18, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    I have all of these ingredients and it looks perfect. Thank you!


  • 10
    Kate @ Framed Cooks - July 26, 2012 @ 5:26 am

    I’m starting to Instagram more and more of my suppers too – my Nikon is getting jealous! :) That picture is just plain beautiful, and it’s always great to have a new take on taco salad…this one is going on my must-make-soon list! Thanks. :)


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