Cheesy Beef Rice Special Recipe

When I was 12 years old, my mom, brother, and I road-tripped from Miami to small-town Oregon, Illinois. We made a million stops along the way and created several unexpected adventures. This was back before GPS or Waze, when we maneuvered our way through the country with AAA TripTik and gas station maps. As the trusted navigator, I got us lost only once — an impressive feat for a 12-year-old that I’m still pretty proud of. The entire trip took just over two weeks and included visits to several family members' homes.   

To this day, that summer trip is one of my fondest childhood memories. It was on this trip that my Great-Aunt Laurie made us many crowd-pleasing meals. One of these was her Cheesy Beef Rice Special that stood out to me so much. It was cheesy and filling. At the end of the visit, I was adamant that Aunt Laurie gave my mom a copy of the recipe so she could make it at home.   

It wasn’t necessarily my mom’s favorite, so whenever I could convince her to make it, I knew it was up to me to eat all the leftovers — but the best part was it just got better each day. 

There’s something about a casserole-style one-dish meal that is always so comforting, no matter how simple it is. This rice dish is amped up with ground beef, lots of flavor, and cheesy goodness in every bite. It’s basically a dump-and-go recipe, making both dinner and cleaning up a breeze. 


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 package French onion soup/dip seasoning
  • 8 ounce beef or vegetable broth
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   

Brown ground beef and chopped onion in a skillet over medium-high heat. While browning, make sure to season with salt and pepper. Once cooked, drain to get rid of excess grease.   

In a large bowl, combine cooked beef and onions with onion soup mix, tomatoes, broth, and uncooked rice. Mix until completely incorporated. 

Pour half of the mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkle half the shredded cheese on top, repeat layering, and cover with foil before baking for 1 hour. 

Once rice is completely cooked, remove the foil and broil just long enough for the cheese on top to bubble and brown. Serve immediately and enjoy. 

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