Spanish Rice Taco Salad Bowls

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


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.