Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

This nutritious Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet is so quick and easy to make! It’s ready in 30 minutes or less and loaded with good-for-you ingredients and tons of flavor!

This meal is a great all-in-one dish, so it doesn’t need much in the way of sides, but a fruit salad or cucumber salad would pair well with it.

Overhead view of a skillet full of Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet, with a bowl of rice off to the side.

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

After a week of testing new cookie recipes (or making this eclair cake a few times), I am craving a healthy meal that’s still loaded with flavor. Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet meal fits the bill perfectly. I had some ground turkey in the fridge that originally was going to make these mini turkey meatloaves (a family favorite!), but I was missing a few of the veggies. I also had some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up, and so… this recipe came about. 

While this meal could certainly have garlic, onion, and/or other veggies added in, the whole point of this dish is a fast prep time. The goal is to have this meal on the table in 30 minutes or less, so to accomplish that, the only chopping required is for the sweet potatoes. Even that chopping job is simple, because the sweet potatoes are soft from being microwaved first.

This meal is relatively low carb, very high in protein, and has so much flavor (even with the fairly short ingredient list)! 

Process shots: preparing the sweet potatoes. Wash and pierce the potatoes; microwave until tender; slice in half and peel; slice thinly; dice into small pieces; repeat with remaining potatoes.

The sweet potatoes

As I mentioned, this dish focuses on a fast prep time, so you may be wondering how to accomplish that with sweet potatoes. Typically, sweet potatoes take a good amount of time to cook until tender (these roasted sweet potatoes take about 35 minutes to bake). They can also sometimes be hard to chop when they’re unbaked.

The short cut we use here is the microwave oven. It totally works, and the texture is still fantastic; microwaved sweet potatoes have tender flesh and soft skins that peel off in a cinch. These microwaved sweet potatoes are a great complement to the rest of the ingredients in this Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet.

  • The only prep you have to do is poke a few small holes in the potato to provide a place for the steam to escape. Take a fork and pierce the potato a few times.
  • An 8-ounce (1/2 pound) sweet potato takes about 5 minutes to cook on 100% power. Larger sweet potatoes will take longer, and when cooking multiple potatoes at the same time, it will take even longer. Continue to microwave the potatoes in 1-minute bursts until the potatoes are cooked through.
  • You’ll know the potatoes are ready when they are easily pierced in the center with a fork.

Tip: When purchasing sweet potatoes, choose two or three of the smallest potatoes you can find. I try to pick 5-or-6-ounce potatoes. This will ensure they fully cook in a timely manner.

If you’re not microwaving the potatoes, I’d recommend cooking the potatoes according to this baked sweet potatoes recipe first.

Process shots: combine the seasonings; mix seasonings together; brown the ground turkey; add in the seasonings; cook through completely; add beans and cooked sweet potatoes; combine and heat throughout; add cheese and optional toppings.

Ground turkey

You can further jazz up the ground turkey by adding an onion and garlic or even a bell pepper,  if you have extra time and want more veggies in this dish. That said, the seasoning blend makes this dish plenty flavorful. 

Seasoning blend:

  • chili powder. We use McCormick® chili powder (not sponsored) and do not find it overly spicy. Chili powder does vary greatly from brand to brand; outside of the U.S. it is typically a little spicier, so you may want to scale back on the chili powder in this dish. Adjust to personal preference; I do find this spice adds a lot of flavor and gives you a well-balanced meal.
  • ground cumin.
  • paprika. We prefer sweet paprika in this sweet potato skillet but use smoked paprika if you’d like a smokier flavor.
  • onion powder.
  • garlic powder. We love a roasted garlic powder for even more flavor.
  • cayenne pepper. A lot goes a lot way! This spice also adds a lot of flavor. Reduce, omit, or increase this seasoning, depending on personal spice preferences.
  • salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid to add more salt and pepper; I find ground turkey typically needs more seasoning than other ground meats.

Close-up image of the finished Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet.

How to serve Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

  • Add a sauce. My husband is lactose-intolerant, so I typically only add cheese when making this dish for me and the kiddos. When preparing it without cheese, I whip up a quick sauce to add in that finishing element and a little bit of creaminess (I’ve included the sauce recipe in the notes section of the recipe).
  • Make it creamy. As mentioned above, the sauce adds a great creaminess. For a healthier creamy element, we like adding a ripe, chopped avocado. Fat-free or light sour cream (or even plain Greek yogurt) is another great creamy addition.
  • Serve with a low-carb base. To keep the theme of low carb going, we like to serve this meal over cauliflower rice. To keep it fast, I grab frozen cauliflower rice and pan sear it until lightly browned and tender. (We love Trader Joes® or Birds Eye® cauliflower rice.)
  • Add some freshness. To add a burst of freshness, add in some chopped cilantro or Italian parsley. A squeeze of lime also makes for a nice addition.
  • Try other additions. Again, the goal is getting a quick meal on the table, so these will add time to the prep; but any of these would be great additions to this recipe: diced onion, minced garlic, frozen corn, diced sweet bell pepper, and/or diced cherry tomatoes.

Image of Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet garnished with avocado, cilantro, and lime.

More 30-minute meals

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

This nutritious Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet is so quick and easy to make! It’s ready in 30 minutes or less and loaded with good-for-you ingredients and tons of flavor!

Course: Dinner, Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 294 kcal


  • 1 pound (530g) sweet potatoes (~2-3 small potatoes — See Note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (16 oz.) lean (93/7) ground turkey
  • 1 can (15 oz.; 432g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (60g) freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: fresh cilantro or parsley, fresh lime. For a creamy element add a diced avocado, sour cream, or add a sauce! (See Note 2)
  • Optional: serve over cauliflower rice


  1. SWEET POTATOES: Wash and scrub two or three (1 pound total) sweet potatoes. Use a fork to pierce the skin– about 6-8 pierces. Cook on a plate in the microwave for 5 minutes. Flip and microwave for another 3-5 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced by a fork in the center. The time will vary, depending on the size of the potatoes. I have tested this recipe with 5 and 6-ounce sweet potatoes; larger potatoes will take longer. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

  2. SEASONINGS: Measure out the seasonings (1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and salt and pepper. I add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper).

  3. GROUND TURKEY: Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, and cook until the ground turkey is mostly cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Break up and crumble the meat with a wooden spoon as you cook. Drain off any accumulated liquid if needed. Add the seasonings to the mostly cooked ground turkey and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until fully cooked through.

  4. FINISHING: While ground turkey is cooking, finish the potatoes. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut off the ends and slice the potatoes in half. They should be tender enough you can easily pull the skins off and discard. Dice the sweet potatoes into small 1/2 inch pieces. Add the diced sweet potatoes to the cooked ground turkey mixture, along with the drained and rinsed black beans. Stir everything to warm through and then sprinkle with cheese.

  5. SERVE: Cover the skillet and allow the cheese to melt for 3-4 minutes. (If needed, pop the skillet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes) to finish melting, while preparing any desired toppings. Serve with your choice of toppings: freshly chopped cilantro or parsley, and fresh lime wedges. Add diced avocado, sour cream, or the sauce in Note 2.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: When purchasing sweet potatoes, choose two or three of the smallest potatoes you can find. I try to find 5-6-ounce potatoes. This will ensure they fully cook in a timely manner.

Note 2: If we make this without cheese, I like to add a sauce. If you’re a sauce person or want the extra creaminess, you’ll love this sauce with the dish!

  • 1/2 cup Hellman’s® Best mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice; 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce or Sriracha® sauce
  • pinch salt and pepper

Nutrition facts in ground turkey sweet potato skillet


Leave a Reply