20-Minute Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet | Real Food Whole Life Print
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20-Minute Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet

  • Yield: 3-4 1x


20-Minute Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet is a super simple and crazy flavorful weeknight meal that everyone will love. A gluten-free, dairy-free, whole30, one-pan recipe.



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


  1. 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.
  2. Cook, stirring beef occasionally, until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the lime juice, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Serve as-is, or with any topping you like.


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.