Optional to make tacos, burritos, or quesadillas - warmed whole wheat flour or corn tortillas
Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Once hot and shimmering, swirl to coat the pan, then add the beef, onion, and bell pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the beef is browned and cooked through and the onion is beginning to soften.
Add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat the beef and cook 30 seconds. Add the black beans and rice. Stir to coat once more.
Add the salsa and 1 1/2 cups water. Stir to combine the ingredients. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, then reduce the heat and let simmer 30 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, scraping up any rice that has started to stick to the bottom of the pot. Recover and continue to let simmer with the lid on until the rice is tender, 10 to 20 additional minutes, stirring the pot every 10 minutes or so to prevent sticking. If the rice begins to dry out, splash in the remaining 1/2 cup water as needed.
Towards the end of the cooking time, place a rack in the upper third of the oven (about 6 inches from the top) and turn the oven to broil. Once the skillet is finished cooking on the stove, sprinkle the cheese on top, then transfer to the oven. Broil just until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes (watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn). Serve hot with any desired toppings or spoon inside tortillas to make tacos, burritos, or quesadillas.
If white rice or another type of rice is substituted, the cooking time will vary. Consult the package for guidance.
TO STORE: Store the beef taco filling in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a large ovenproof skillet in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
TO FREEZE: Place leftover filling in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.