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Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Skillet

This southwestern inspired ground beef and sweet potato skillet is an easy one-pan meal everyone will love. This recipe works great for meal-prepping, the leftovers are delicious!

Southwest ground beef and sweet potato recipe in a white skillet with a wooden spatula.

Skillet meals are highly coveted in our house. Mainly because I cook, he does the dishes and anytime there’s only one pan to clean up, he’s a happy camper.

It’s hard to complain about a meal like this that takes 30 minutes from prep to plate, uses one dish and tastes just as good leftover days later as the night it’s made.

If that sounds good to you, you’re going to love this ground beef and sweet potato skillet recipe. It’s filled with Southwestern Tex-Mex flavors so it will appeal to most. It can be served a variety of ways or repurposed for any meal of the day.

Check out this Mexican ground beef skillet too for a similar recipe that uses rice instead of sweet potatoes.

It’s worth mentioning since we’re only a couple of weeks out from Thanksgiving and leftover turkey, this turkey sweet potato skillet recipe is very similar.

Prepped ingredients in bowls to make a ground beef sweet potato recipe on the stovetop.


  • olive oil
  • red onion
  • ground beef
  • garlic
  • red bell pepper
  • sweet potatoes
  • green chiles (swap out finely diced jalapeños if preferred)
  • canned diced tomatoes (fire roasted or regular)
  • Southwestern spices – cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper)
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro, avocado and lime for garnish

Ground beef – I personally think ground beef goes the best with sweet potatoes but if you prefer ground turkey, chicken or pork, any of those can be swapped out for the beef in this recipe.

Another ground red meat like lamb, elk, bison or venison will also work. Check out these bison stuffed peppers for a great use for ground bison!

Overhead shot of Tex-Mex flavored ground beef and sweet potato skillet with a wood serving spatula and sliced avocado and lime.


Once all the ingredients are prepped, place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot, add the onion and beef and cook until the beef is browned breaking it up into smaller pieces with a spatula.

Add the garlic and spices, stir to combine and cook for a minute until fragrant.

Add the bell pepper, green chiles, sweet potato, tomatoes and water to the pan. Stir to combine then cover with a lid and cook on a low simmer for about 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.

Remove the lid, top with the cheddar cheese then cover again and cook until the cheese is melted.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, avocado slices and lime wedges before serving.

Sweet potato and ground beef recipe with peppers, onions, tomatoes and cheddar garnished with fresh cilantro and avocado slices.


Keep it as is – this skillet recipe is a good balance of protein, carbs and fat and certainly doesn’t require anything else to make it feel like a satisfying whole meal. Feel free to enjoy the dish as is!

Over rice – cook up some white or brown rice and make this meal more like a rice bowl. This spicy beef and red pepper rice bowl is another delicious bowl recipe to try.

Cauliflower rice – if you want the satisfaction of serving the skillet meal over rice without the carbs, cauliflower rice is a great option. Curry cauliflower rice is one of my favorite side dishes to top with protein for lower-calorie and carb meals.

Other grains – quinoa, millet or farro are also other grains that would work well to pair this with.

Tacos – add a couple of taco toppings like pickled red onions or fermented red cabbage and turn the sweet potato beef skillet into a taco filling.

Make a hash – if you want to enjoy this for breakfast, take any leftovers and reheat in a pan. Crack an egg or two on top and serve it hash style. Reminds me of this oldie but goodie harissa sweet potato hash recipe.

Alternatively, enjoy something with a similar Mexican flair alongside as a light side dish like this mango black bean salad.

A serving of ground beef and sweet potato skillet recipe on a white plate with a fork.


Not really. There’s a good amount of spice used for flavor but the heat level is relatively mild.

If you’re sensitive to heat, lessen the amount of chili powder or just omit it entirely. Smoked paprika lends smokiness not spice and cumin is the quintessential Mexican flavoring spice.

Canned green chiles add a little bit of heat but nothing extreme. If you plan to swap them for fresh jalapeños, the dish will be spicier.

You can also add a dash of sriracha (it’s a key ingredient in this ground beef stir fry recipe for a touch of heat) to level up the spicy flavor.


This recipe is ideal for meal-prepping. It tastes great as leftovers and is easily doubled if you want to make an even bigger batch.

This pork and cabbage skillet is another meal-prep worthy recipe too.


Any leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If you want to freeze this, let it cool completely to room temperature then store in a freezer safe container. I would recommend omitting the cheese if freezing and adding it once you plan to serve.

Easy recipe for ground beef with sweet potatoes served on a plate with lime quarters and sliced avocado.


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Ground beef and sweet potato skillet.

Tex-Mex Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Skillet

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

An easy one-pan meal including ground beef and sweet potatoes with a Southwestern flair that everyone will love.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 ounce can green chiles, drained
  • 2 cups peeled and finely chopped sweet potatoes (about 1 large potato)
  • 15 ounce canned diced tomatoes (fire roasted if desired)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Sliced avocado for garnish (optional)
  • Lime wedges


  1. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and ground beef. Cook until the beef is browned, breaking up into smaller pieces with a spatula.
  2. Add minced garlic and spices and stir to combine letting cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the bell pepper, green chiles, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and water. Stir to combine then cover with a lid and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Remove the lid, top with the cheddar cheese then cover again with the lid until melted, about 1-2 more minutes.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sliced avocado and serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 617Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 11gSugar: 12gProtein: 39g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Tried tonight because I was looking for something new and I had sweet potatoes and ground beef on hand. Absolutely delicious and easy meal to whip up. Definitely adding to my recipe box!


Tuesday 27th of June 2023

Ground beef and sweet potatoes are such a tasty flavor combo. The family raved about the dish.


Tuesday 27th of June 2023

This ground beef and sweet potato skillet recipe is the most requested recipe for our potluck. It is bursting with flavors, so cozy and hearty!


Tuesday 27th of June 2023

This is such a tasty weeknight meal! I loved the color but also the paprika + chili powder flavor combo!


Thursday 10th of November 2022

Sounds delicious and easy to make. This would be good to make for dinner this week. I'm saving this so I can buy some sweet potatoes.

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