Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet - Real Food Whole Life

Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet

January 2, 2019 (Updated on January 14, 2022)

southwest beef and sweet potato skillet surrounded by herbs and limes on white background

This easy Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet is a super simple and flavorful weeknight meal that everyone will love.

Made in just one pan, it’s a gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, recipe.

southwest beef and sweet potato skillet surrounded by herbs and limes on white background

Who else needs more one-pot meals in their lives?

I know I do, and you may have noticed that I’ve been sharing more and more recipes that require just one-pot or skillet around here for just that reason.

The truth is, as much as I prioritize putting a nourishing, healthy dinner on the table, I simply don’t love complicated, fussy recipes at the end of a long day.

And of course, any recipe that saves me from doing hours of dishes is good in my book.

This 20-Minute Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet is such a winner, and is packed with vibrant flavors that will having you returning to it again and again.

Plus, hello, it’s all done in one skillet.

A quick note that you’ll want to use a skillet that has enough room for all the ingredients, preferably with a lid to cover.

Honestly, I used a baking sheet to cover, since my skillet doesn’t have a lid, so as long as you cover with something, you should be good to go.

I hope you’ll make this one soon. If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

Now, let’s make some 20-Minute Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet!

southwest beef and sweet potato skillet topped with herbs and lime and avocado on white background
southwest beef and sweet potato skillet with a pink striped napkin on white background
close up of southwest beef and sweet potato skillet topped with sliced avocado and red onion on white background

Recipe & Kid Friendly Adaptations

1 | Ground dark meat turkey or chicken will work in place of the beef.

2 | Skip the chili powder if you (or someone in your family) doesn’t like the heat, or double up if you like it spicy.

3 | This is a perfect one-pot meal, but if you’re feeding a crew of hungry people, offer tortillas, rice, or chips on the side to fill out dinner.

more ground beef recipes

Easy Ground Beef & Mushroom Ragu Sauce

Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup

Instant Pot Minestrone (No Beans)

Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet

30-Minute Beef & Butternut Paleo Chili (+ Vegetarian Option)

Slow Cooker Easy Beef and Bean Chili

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southwest beef and sweet potato skillet surrounded by herbs and limes on white background
5 from 6 votes

Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet

Author Robyn Downs
Yield 4

This easy Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet is a super simple and flavorful weeknight meal that everyone will love.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 pound 10% ground beef grass-fed if possible
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 4 cups 1-inch chopped sweet potato
  • 1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon mild chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Optional toppings: sliced avocado fresh cilantro, hot sauce

Instructions

  • In a large, 10” skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to break into small pieces.
  • Cook, stirring beef occasionally, until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • To the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with the chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin ½ teaspoon salt, and stirring to combine. Add the diced tomatoes and water, stirring to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash more water if the pan starts to dry out.
  • Uncover, and add the cooked beef and spinach, cooking until the beef is warmed through and the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute, adding a splash more water if the pan is dry.
  • Add the lime juice, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Serve as-is, or with any topping you like.

Notes

This recipe serves 3-4
I used a half-sheet pan to cover to skillet while cooking the sweet potatoes.
Ground dark meat turkey or chicken will work in place of the beef.
Skip the chili powder if you (or someone in your family) doesn’t like the heat, or double up if you like it spicy.
This is a perfect one-pot meal, but if you’re feeding a crew of hungry people, offer tortillas, rice, or chips on the side to fill out dinner.

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 739mg | Potassium: 866mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 19613IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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28 comments to " Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet "

  • Adrienne

    Another winning recipe! My potatoes took a closer to twenty minutes to cook so a little longer so not quite a twenty minute meal, but definitely worth the wait 😀

    • Robyn Downs

      Adrienne, yay, so glad this one was a hit! I think the time depends a bit on how small you cut the potatoes–so glad you made the adjustments and it came out well. Cheers!

  • ellen

    This recipe was fantastic! It actually went over well with my family and kids (8&11). We used pork instead of beef and I agree, my potatoes took a little longer to cook, but it was not a problem. Thanks for such a unique recipe (in our cooking world) that we all enjoyed!

  • Ginger Cooper

    Yum! I love this recipe! I made it last night. I forgot to add lime juice at the end, but I love it the way it is. My sweet potatoes actually softened up in 15 minutes (I was doubtful it would happen, but it did!). I even ate leftovers for breakfast this morning with an egg on top! Great meal for any time of day! Thank you!

  • Cassie Ringl

    I made this last night and the whole family ate it! Saving the leftovers for myself this afternoon 🤗
    Thank you for a tasty and easy “busy weeknight” recipe 🙂

  • Martha

    Made as written for dinner tonight and found it to be lacking flavor. Spices and salt could easily be doubled even for those who prefer mild spice. The ground beef should be seasoned with the same amount of spice that the sweet potatoes are seasoned with. I added additional salt, chili powder and garlic powder after fully cooked and its good, but would have been so much better with the spices cooked into the meat. Just my two cents.

  • Michael Robinson

    So simple and tasty! It so happened that I was trying to find a recipe for what we had around the kitchen and this was great! Thank you for sharing.

  • Erin

    Yum! This was so great and easy. I cut the sweet potatoes small so they would cook fast, did 2 cups of spinach and it was perfect! This will be a staple in my house for sure.

  • C

    Turned out wonderfully!

  • Jeff Buckley

    I made this and it was delicious! Only changes I made were spicy tomatoes with green chilis and I probably tripled the spices. I’ll be making this again!

  • Deborah Westfall

    This was delicious! Even those of us who do not like sweet potatoes enjoyed this. I made it on the wood cookstove and it smelled so good while cooking. It looks pretty too!

  • Denise Delaney

    Made it tonight. It was fast and a hit. Making it again I might increase the garlic. I used chicken broth instead of water because I wanted to use that up. But as is it was GREAT. (used cilantro as topping)

  • Nina Amaya

    5 stars
    Prepared, Tasted, Printed and added to my recipe collection! Also, recipes are only added if the family approves and this dish was not only quick and easy, but the added lime juice was a nice surprise. I love that I am adding color to our plates and it tastes and feels healthy. I made a side of rice to fill up for dinner. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kelsey Moore

    5 stars
    This was soooo good!!! I have made it probably 15 times since I discovered it a few months ago. I sometimes put my husbands homemade salsa on top and it’s so good. Love love this recipe thank you!!

    • Robyn Downs

      Kelsey, so glad you’re enjoying this one. Homemade salsa sounds like a perfect addition. Yum!

  • Honest B

    Tastes pretty good, but not a quick recipe by any means.

    If a person can do basic math they will see that 8 min to brown the meat and 10-15 min to cook the sweet potatoes is already putting into question this “20 minute” recipe. But there’s also prep time, and the fact that the sweet potatoes take 15-25 minutes to cook (I’ve made this twice and both times it took 25+ min the first time because I followed the 1″ cut directions; took ~20 min for the sweet potatoes when I cut them much smaller).

    So, 20 min for the sweet potatoes + 8 min for meat + the 1-3 min for adding in the stuff at the end + 10 min of prep… this is a 40 min recipe, at minimum. But I bet it gets the clicks because it sounds quick.

    Rating just on flavor: 4 stars
    Rating on overall recipe: 2 stars

  • Marcel

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed this dish and it was so easy to make. Adding the lime gave it so much flavor. I will definitely be making this again.

    • Robyn Downs

      Marcel, so glad you enjoyed this one and found it easy to make. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

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If you love this recipe it would mean SO MUCH if you gave it a star rating and left a comment. Your feedback helps me create more recipes you'll love, and helps others find my recipes online. Thanks so much for your feedback! —Robyn

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