Family dinner doesn’t have to be difficult! This Easy Gringa Non-Authentic Mexican DIRTY Rice is so simple to toss together in under 30 minutes with only 6 ingredients! A delicious hamburger rice recipe that the entire family loves!
This article originally published April 23, 2015; It has been updated with new spices and new pictures for your convenience.
Part of my college life that I loved the most was my roommates. We always had so much fun together. We would stay up late and chat or go out to dances together, or just have fun cooking together.
Those days of college life is where one of our family favorite recipes came from; one of those late night cooking fests with my roommates; our family favorite Gringa Mexican Dirty Rice!
Thanks to one of my College roommates, I now have a family dinner that everyone loves. Although she made it a little different, the idea originated from one of her concoctions. And it has been adjusted through the years based on ingredients available and family preferences.
Easy Family Hamburger Mexican Dirty Rice
No, this is NOT Authentic Mexican rice. Definitely not. Which is why I call it Gringa Mexican Dirty Rice.
So if it’s not authentic, why is it called Mexican Rice?
Good question. We started calling this Mexican rice because when I first started making it, the main seasoning was called Mexican blend. It tasted absolutely perfect!
But then one day, I could no longer find the Mexican seasoning blend. Come to find out they no longer produced that blend of spices. That was a very sad day for us.
Over the years I’ve experimented, tampered with, adding and removing spices based on my not so perfect memory; all until one day I got it pretty darn close to the flavor from when we used the Mexican seasoning blend.
Now, this easy hamburger dirty rice dinner is one of our favorite easy family meals. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and only includes a few easy to find ingredients.
It’s fast, easy and enjoyed by everyone in the family. Even the picky ones! And I could even still eat it when I was pregnant and my stomach was rejecting everything else I tried to eat.
Gringa Mexican rice
but like I said, this isn’t authentic Mexican Rice at all. But it is definitely a hamburger and rice dish that will please the crowds.
- 1 lb Hamburger
- 1 cup rice (uncooked)
- 1 teaspoon Famous Daves Steak and Burger seasoning
- 1 teaspoon McCormick California Style Garlic Pepper Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
- 1 can whole Kernel Corn
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Cheyenne Pepper (Optional)
- Sea Salt to taste
- Brown hamburger
- Season with Famous Dave's Steak and burger seasoning, Garlic pepper, Turmeric, and Cheyenne pepper.
- Cook Rice normally. We use a rice cooker
- Combine Rice, Hamburger and Corn in skillet and mix until corn is warm.
- Sprinkle with Sea Salt to taste
- For No Sugar option use you can use McCormick Perfect Pinch Steak seasoning blend in place of the Famous Dave's seasoning. And use Mrs's Dash Garlic & Herb blend instead ofMcCormick California Style Garlic Pepper .
- This recipe can be doubled and cooked together
- This recipe freezes well for batch cooking
- This recipe lasts approximately 1 week in the fridge.
- When you warm up leftovers, add a few teaspoons of water to help the rice not dry out during reheating.
Finding the Perfect Spices for Diry Rice Recipe
The measurements of the spices in the recipe are all based on guessing. See this is where I struggle. I cook like my grandma used to bake. Just sprinkle it in and pray to get it right.
I use seasonings based on looks and scent of it when cooking. So if you find that you need a little more of one spice and a little less of another; go ahead and adjust it to fit your family’s tastebuds best.
As with all recipes, it really hinges on the quality of your ingredients. For this Mexican rice recipe to really shine you need quality hamburger! We always use 93% lean hamburger.
When you use lean hamburger you don’t have to drain the grease, and it goes even faster. But mostly we just prefer the taste of lean hamburger better.
But the real star of the show in this Mexican hamburger rice recipe is the Tumeric! I started adding this in about 2014 and it made all the difference when replacing the Mexican blend I could no longer find. It gives it a unique flavor that really makes this hamburger rice recipe shine.
Before that, I would try out different spices, but it was the Tumeric that NAILED what was missing!
When I add spices I just sprinkle a good dusting across the top of the meat. I know I like the Famous Dave’s Seasoning the most so I do a little thicker dusting of that one versus the other seasonings.
If you prefer a seasoning blend without sugar, you can use the McCormick Perfect Pinch Steak seasoning blend in place of the Famous Dave’s seasoning. And use Mrs’s Dash Garlic & Herb blend instead of McCormick California Style Garlic Pepper.
I go light on the Tumeric because it’s strong. You don’t need a lot to get the flavor.
When I use Cayenne Pepper, it’s barely a dusting in a tiny corner. You DO NOT want to overdo that one, or your kids won’t eat it.
Also if you have kids sensitive to spicy food, go ahead and leave out the Cayenne pepper. I love to use it because it gives a nice little kick.
We use a Rice Cooker to cook the rice for this Mexican rice recipe. It’s a lot easier and I can have it cooking while I help the kids with homework and not worry about burning it since it automatically turns off when the rice is ready.
For this recipe, we do one “serving” in the rice cooker and that cooks up enough rice for the whole family with this recipe.
While the rice is cooking, I brown the hamburger. I sprinkle in the seasonings at the beginning so they have time to sautee into the meat as it browns.
Finally, the last step is super simple; just combine the rice, hamburger, and corn into the same pan that you used to brown the hamburger.
I always use 93/7% hamburger so there is never any need to drain the grease. Mix it together and allow it to cook on a low heat just until the corn is warmed. Then sprinkle with Sea Salt until it is to your liking.
You can also substitute in frozen peas or other veggies. Or add them in addition to the corn.
But my family has so many picky eaters it ended up being that corn was the only safe bet that everyone would eat. So I had to stop adding in the peas. But adding in additional vegetables is definitely something that blends well with this dirty rice dish!
Then serve with your favorite fruits or veggies as a side. My kids love to pair this Mexican Dirty Rice dish with yogurt, applesauce, or fruit cups. Sometimes we throw together a big salad. Sometimes in the summer; we pair with sliced Watermelon.
But the end result is a fabulous and simple dirty rice recipe that will please the whole family. Not too spicy and not too authentic so these poor Gringo kids can handle it.
Need more tasty easy family dinner ideas?
Try these family favorites below!