Bacon Cheeseburger Rice Casserole is a weeknight dinner winner! With all of the flavors of a cheeseburger cooked right in to this easy meal, it is a crowd pleaser, great for even the pickiest eaters. The best part is that with the easy method in this recipe, you can have the Cheeseburger Rice prepped, cooked and on the table in as little as 15 minutes! It doesn’t get much faster… or tastier than this!
Cheeseburger Rice – The EASY Way!
If one pan meals are the holy grail of busy weeknights, this Bacon Cheeseburger Rice Casserole is a must try! With just a handful of basic ingredients, this dinner all cooks together in just minutes, using only one pan!
With savory ground beef, flavored with a BBQ sauce mixture and then simmered with tender rice and topped with cheese and crispy bacon, this casserole has all the right flavors to get plates clean and bellies full!
What I LOVE about this recipe:
- Fast prep– There is very little prep so dinner can be cooking quickly.
- Simple ingredients– Most everything on the list are everyday fridge or panty items!
- Minimal cook time– This is one of the fastest cooking recipes on the website! As little as 15 minutes to be exact.
- Classic flavors– makes this meal perfect for kids and picky eaters alike!
The combination of a quick meal, great flavors, and minimal clean up make this meal one to repeat! It isn’t often something so EASY and so DELICIOUS come around!
What to Serve with Bacon Cheeseburger Rice
What I love about one pan meals is that they are hearty and filling enough to stand alone on the table. You can 100% just make this Cheeseburger Rice Casserole and not need anything else to serve. That is what makes it so great for a busy weeknight.
That said, I think there are some great side dish options if you want to add something to this dish. Adding sides helps give the meal variety, add additional nutrients, and help stretch the meal further.
Side Dish Ideas
- Side Salad– Pictured here, a simple side salad is quick and a great compliment to the salad. I highly recommend serving it with my homemade ranch!
- Roasted Veggies – These roasted veggies are a favorite of mine because they are so simple, so delicious, and go with EVERYTHING!
- Potato Wedges or french fries– There is nothing more classic to pair with a burger.
- Cucumber Tomato Salad – I love this because it can be made ahead and has super fresh and delicious flavors!
Just like a regular cheeseburger, you can go basic or you can go bold for topping this casserole! We generally are making this on super busy nights so we don’t go crazy, but depending on what you have in the fridge you can get as creative as you want with it!
- Crumbled bacon
- Green onions
- Diced pickles
- Sliced onions
- Shredded lettuce
- French fried onions
- Jalapeno slices
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Bacon Cheeseburger recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few pantry ingredients and a package of ground beef for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Ground beef – I use 93% lean ground beef when preparing this, you can also substitute ground turkey or ground chicken with great results as well.
- Onion– I use standard white or yellow onion, chopped into a fine dice.
- BBQ sauce– Whatever flavor you love! Sweet Baby Rays is my go-to, but make sure what you choose has a flavor you really enjoy because it will carry throughout the finished dish.
- Mustard- Just use regular yellow mustard – nothing fancy needed!
- Pepper– This helps to give it that burger feel, but if your kids are sensitive you can leave it out.
- Instant rice– It is important to use quick cooking rice in this recipe. Both. the liquid content and the cooking time are based on this type of rice. If you want to substitute regular rice for instant, it can work but you will need to possibly adjust the amount of liquid (can vary depending on the type of rice) AND increase the cook time. Since this will be different depending on the specific type of rice, there isn’t a one size fits all recommendation for substitutions.
- Broth– Use beef, chicken or vegetable broth. Whatever you have on hand will work!
- Cheddar cheese– Cheddar is my preference, but this dish is good with almost any cheese! You can try american, Mexican blend, Monterey jack, colby, or even pepper jack for a kick!
- Use a LARGE skillet! This makes enough to feed a crowd (or have leftovers!) so make sure you start with a skillet that is big enough for everything!
- Use quick cooking rice– As I mentioned above, this is extremely important to the success of the recipe when making it as written. You can use minute white or brown rice.
- Use Lean ground beef– As far as I am concerned, the leaner the better! This helps to both make life easier in draining the meat, and also, more importantly, help the casserole not to be overly greasy in the end.
- Top it off– Make your Cheeseburger Rice skillet extra special by topping just how your family likes it. Use bacon, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, jalapeños, etc. The sky is the limit!
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Precook the ground beef– The beef and onions can be cooked up to 48 hours in advance when refrigerated or 3 months in advance when frozen.
- Use pre-diced or frozen onion– If chopping drives you crazy, you can generally find pre-chopped onion in the fresh produce section of most grocery stores, or you can often get frozen diced onions in the freezer section near the vegetables
- Prepare as a freezer meal– see directions below for how you can prep this meal up to 6 months in advance.
If you have special dietary needs, this recipe meets some and can be easily modified to comply with others.
As always, check all store bought ingredients for compliance on specific dietary needs. The notes below are a general guide.
- Gluten free: This recipe is naturally gluten free. Please verify that any premade ingredient such as BBQ sauce and broth are a gluten free variety (should be readily available)
- Dairy free: This recipe can be made dairy free by using dairy free cheese or omitting the cheese.
- Nut free: This recipe is naturally nut free
- Egg free: This recipe is naturally egg free
- Macros: The approximate macro calculation for this recipe is- P: 30g C: 35g F: 11g
Freezer Meal Instructions
Bacon Cheeseburger Rice Casserole can be prepared as a freezer meal to make on another busy night, or give to a friend in need.
- In a large skillet, brown the beef and onion over medium heat.
- Drain excess fat, then let cool to room temperature and transfer to a freezer bag or freezer friendly container.
- Add the bbq sauce, mustard, broth, and pepper mix to combine.
- Once ready to cook, thaw 24-48 hours in the refrigerator.
- Take mixture and transfer to a skillet and heat oven medium. Add the rice and sprinkle cheese over the top.
- Cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add toppings as desired.
Note: Rice can be kept in pantry or frozen in a separate bag along with the beef mixture. Cheese can be used fresh or frozen in a separate bag as well.
For the best flavor, this meal can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Bacon Cheeseburger Rice Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers– Half bell peppers and bake them at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until tender. Fill with remaining Bacon Cheeseburger casserole and top with additional cheese as needed. Return to oven until casserole filling is heated through. Top with lettuce, tomato, diced pickles, etc and enjoy!
- Cheeseburger Wraps– Heat leftover Cheeseburger Rice Casserole. Grab a large tortilla and spread a thin layer or mayo, ketchup, and/or mustard per your preference. Pile on the casserole filling. Add pickles, tomatoes, etc as desired then fold the ends in and roll up the wrap tightly. Heat a pan over med-high and melt a small pat of butter in it. Then grill on each side quickly to a golden brown.
- Bacon Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats– Cut small zucchini squash in half and hollow out the middles. You can also cut a small bit off the the bottom to create a flat place for it to sit without rocking. Fill each zucchini boat with the cheeseburger rice mixture. Top with additional cheese as needed. Bake at 375˚F on a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and the filling is heated through.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups instant rice
- 2 cups broth
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet, brown the beef and onion over medium heat (about 5 minutes)
- Drain excess fat, then add the bbq sauce, mustard, pepper, and rice and stir to combine. Cover the mixture with the broth.
- Sprinkle cheese over the top, then cover with a lid and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Garnish with crispy crumbled bacon and chopped green onions. Enjoy!