Southern Beef ‘n Rice – Spice it Up or Down!

Southern Beef ‘n Rice, whether you like it hot or mild, you’ll enjoy this almost one-pot beef ‘n rice dish.  Make it whole grain brown rice and you have a delicious, nutritious and colorful dinner ready to go.southwestern beef n rice

I call it an “almost-one pot” meal because, while the sauce is made in one pot, you do have to cook the rice separately. But whatever – no big deal. It’s actually a great alternative to spaghetti and meat sauce – just as easy and affordable. And of course, you’re in total control of the heat – more cayenne, a touch of hot sauce or hot pepper flakes will take up the heat.
southern beef n brown rice

Another reason I like this recipe is that it’s a great way to use up any not so fresh looking, but still edible veggies that may be in the fridge. Considering we (yes, you and me) waste over 40% of the food we buy, I think it’s important to have a few of these recipes up our sleeves.  In this recipe, I toss in heat tolerant greens like spinach, swiss chard, kale or arugula – whatever is lurking in the fridge.

mixed greens not the freshest

This time I had a mix of spinach, chard and kale.  As you can see, it was starting to lose it’s fresh salad appeal, but it still had the power to add color and nutrients to this dish. I washed, roughly chopped and tossed them into the sauce in the last two minutes of cooking -just long enough to wilt the leaves.

tossing in the greens

super beef supper

southern beef n brown rice

I love seeing all those colours! The original recipe came from a 2003 Manitoba Milk calendar. So, yeah I’ve been tweaking and making this recipe for a while now!

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5 from 2 votes

Southern Beef ‘n Rice – Spice it Up or Down!

Make it as hot or mild as you like it.
Prep : 15 mins
Cook : 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Cajun or Creole Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper more or less as you desire
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can 370 ml or 12.5 oz partly skimmed evaporated milk
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 can 796 ml or 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chopped greens eg. spinach, arugula, kale, swiss chard


  • In large skillet, brown ground beef. Drain off any liquid during this process to ensure beef browns and doesn't just steam.
  • Add onion and celery and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, seasoning, basil and cinnamon, cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add evaporated milk and simmer for about 8 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add red and green peppers, mustard and diced tomatoes and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes until heated through and thickened.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and extra hot sauce or cayenne if desired.
  • Stir in chopped greens and cook for about 2 minutes until just wilted.
  • Serve over cooked rice.


Substitute cajun or creole seasoning with paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to suit your taste preferences.
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Here are some other recipes where you can easily toss in extra greens.  Actually, you can add them to just about any soup, casserole or stew.

Spinach Frittata

Chicken and Spinach Bake

Beef & Barley Soup

Garden Hamburger Soup

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

What are your strategies for using up not so fresh greens?

Want to learn more?  Get Getty to facilitate a home cooking session for you, a group of friends or a community group. Getty Stewart is an engaging and enthusiastic facilitator that makes it fun and easy to learn tasty recipes, time-saving tips, and helpful kitchen ideas. She is a Professional Home Economist, author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, mom and veggie gardener.

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