My sister and I grew up on boxed meals and the fact is those were the dinners we were lucky to get. There are only a few dishes that we both can ever remember liking of our mother’s booking, or well what she made us cook her way. One was the Hamburger Helper Taco Rice but you can’t totally beat the quality of this boxed dinner yourself with this simple and cheap copycat dish.
I love the convenience of Hamburger Helper meals just as much as the next person but the fact is that they can be bland and you end up spending a lot of time adding your own seasonings and such to spice them up so it is just as easy to make them yourself. As the prices at the grocery store continue to climb it is more economical to make them yourself with ingredients you buy in bulk.
This dish captures the classic taco and cheese flavor everyone loaves from taco rice Handburgger Helper with better ingredients and the perfect flavor that will have your family begging for more.
What you need:
:: 1 Pound Ground Beef
:: 1 small onion
:: 1 can Rotel tomatoes and chilies
:: 3 beef bouillon cubes
:: 3 packs worth of taco seasoning
:: 9 cups water
:: 3 cups rice
:: 1 pound Velveeta cheese
:: Velveeta cheese
:: Tortilla chips
How To Make This Hamburger Helper Taco Rice Copy Cat
Start by dicing and sauteing your onions in a large skillet or pot. In the same pan as your onions are almost caramelized brown your ground beef. This will help give them both the best texture possible in your final dish.
After your meat and onions are ready add your water, bouillon cubes, seasonings, Velveeta cheese, and Rotel tomatoes to the pot.
Bring to a boil over medium heat to cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
To make the cheese topping place as much Velveeta cheese as you want into a small microwaveable dish and microwave at 30 second intervals string after each one until the cheese is melted. Pour over your dish and serve with tortilla chips.
Top your Hamburger Helper Taco Rice with shredded cheese and any taco toppings you would like to serve with your meal for your family to pick and choose from. Here are some great ideas for taco toppings:
Lettuce: Provides a crunchy texture and a fresh, crisp flavor.
Tomatoes: Diced or sliced tomatoes add juiciness and a bright, tangy taste.
Onions: Chopped raw onions or pickled onions can add a sharp, pungent flavor.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro leaves contribute a bright, citrusy, and herbaceous note.
Avocado or Guacamole: Creamy avocado slices or mashed guacamole offer a rich, buttery texture and flavor.
Salsa: Tomato-based salsas, whether mild or spicy, bring a burst of flavor, try this awesome homemade salsa. Types include pico de gallo, salsa verde, or fruit salsas.
Sour Cream: Adds creaminess and a mild tang to balance out spicy or bold flavors.
Cheese: Shredded cheddar, jack, queso fresco, or crumbled cotija cheese can be sprinkled for a creamy, cheesy element.
Jalapeños: Sliced or pickled jalapeños add heat and a zesty kick.
Black Olives: Sliced or chopped black olives contribute a briny, savory flavor. My husband and son love these so I make sure to keep some in our stockpile.
Lime Wedges: Squeezing fresh lime juice over the taco adds a zesty, citrusy kick.
Radishes: Thinly sliced radishes give a crisp, peppery crunch.
Hot Sauce or Hot Peppers: For those who love spice, add your favorite hot sauce or sliced hot peppers.
Corn or Fruit Salsa: Grilled corn salsa or fruit salsa (like mango salsa or pineapple) can add a sweet, juicy element.
Refried Beans: A spoonful of refried beans adds creaminess, protein, and a rich, earthy flavor.
Cabbage or Slaw: Shredded cabbage or slaw provides a crunchy, slightly sweet, and slightly tangy element.
Cotija Cheese: This crumbly, salty cheese adds a distinctive, savory flavor.
Pickled Jalapeños or Radishes: These add a tangy, spicy kick and a crunchy texture.
Cucumber Slices: Thinly sliced cucumbers provide a cool, refreshing contrast.
Feta Cheese: This tangy, crumbly cheese is a great alternative to traditional Mexican cheeses.
Sliced Bell Peppers: Adds a sweet, crisp texture and a mild, vegetal flavor.
Storing your leftover Hamburger Helper Taco Rice
This rice does tend to dry out easily if you leave it uncovered. When storing in your refrigerator take the time to cover it tightly to keep out air that can dry up the moisture that the rice did not absorb to prevent the dish from drying out. This dish is great for meal-prepped lunches or frozen single-serve dinners.