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Spanish Rice Taco Salad Bowls

Homemade Spanish Rice loaded with all your favorite taco toppings for a tasty Taco Salad Bowl

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?

homemade spanish rice taco salad bowls

Taco Salad Bowls with Homemade Spanish Rice

Yield: rice serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Homemade Spanish Rice loaded with all your favorite taco toppings for a tasty Taco Salad Bowl


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
  • Salsa


For the Homemade Spanish Rice:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 869Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 34mgSodium 542mgCarbohydrates 169gFiber 12gSugar 91gProtein 18g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Kate @ Framed Cooks

Thursday 26th of July 2012

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. :)


Wednesday 18th of July 2012

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

Cathy @ Noble Pig

Saturday 14th of July 2012

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

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

Friday 13th of July 2012

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

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme

Friday 13th of July 2012

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.

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