Quick and easy Sweet Potato Skillet recipe loaded with seasoned potatoes, beans, peppers, and corn, simmering in juicy diced tomatoes, finished with a squirt of lime juice, and melted cheese. Garnish with avocado and salsa for delicious healthy dinner!
Looking for other vegetarian dinner or side dish ideas to use up some of those extra sweet potatoes? You don’t want to miss my healthy sweet potato casserole or this sweet potato egg casserole.
Table of contents
- Easy Vegetarian Sweet Potato Skillet
- Why Make This Skillet Sweet Potato Meal?
- Ingredients You Will Need
- How to Cook Tex Mex Sweet Potatoes
- Optional Add-Ins and Variations
- Tips for Best Sweet Potato Dinner Results
- How Do I Serve Pan Fried Sweet Potatoes?
- How to Store Sweet Potato Dinner?
- More Quick Healthy Recipes
Easy Vegetarian Sweet Potato Skillet
This delicious and easy Tex Mex sweet potato skillet dish is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to get Mexican-inspired flavours in a one pan meal. It makes for a quick weeknight vegetarian meal and one of the easiest dinners that will have everyone running to the table!
Sizzling sweet potatoes, beans and corn, are loaded with spices and cooked down until the veggies are nice and tender. Then topped with melted cheese, a squirt of lime, and herbaceous cilantro, and add green onion to bring it over the top!
Why Make This Skillet Sweet Potato Meal?
- Delicious. This cheesy, skillet sweet potatoes are super flavorful and yummy.
- Easy. A skillet dinner made in one pan with ingredients you probably already have at home.
- Quick. Your entire dinner is ready in under 40 minutes!
- Healthy. A complete meal including, veggies, protein, good fats, and good carbs, is gluten-free, dairy-free, and loaded with nutrients.
- Leftovers. Makes great leftovers for healthy lunch ideas or reheating for dinner!
Ingredients You Will Need
- Sweet potatoes: Look for firm potatoes without brown spots. I prefer buying organic and keeping the peel on because it contains many vitamins and nutrients. Make crispy air fryer sweet potato fries with your extra sweet potato spuds!
- Black beans: Canned low sodium black beans will work. Don’t forget to rinse and drain.
Make Instant Pot black beans from dried beans and portion them out and freeze for later. The Instant Pot is magic I tell you!
- Corn: I like to use frozen corn and not canned, but you can use canned if you have it on hand.
- Avocado: Diced avocado adds amazing creaminess to the already creamy sweet potatoes eliminating the need for more cheese. Although, you do you.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Are the tomato base for the sauce. I like to use low sodium whenever possible.
- Bell pepper: Along with yellow onion adds a lot of flavour once they are sautéed.
- Garlic & onions: I use yellow, white, or red onion and garlic sautéed in the recipe. Then, I use green onion to sprinkle on top as a garnish. So delicious!
- Seasoning: Homemade taco seasoning, without all the extra additives and preservatives, adds so many signature elements to the flavor of Tex Mex. Along with cumin and salt, it’s all you need.
Use your leftover homemade taco seasoning to make Tex Mex chicken and zucchini, healthy taco salad and turkey chili!
- Toppings & garnishes: Avocado (or guacamole), cilantro, freshly grated cheese, green onion, yogurt, pico de gallo or salsa, and a squirt of lime are all customizable toppings and garnishes that complete this dish.
- Oil: A really good quality avocado oil or coconut oil will ramp up the good fat benefits in this recipe. You could also use olive oil.
Extra protein: You can add some cubed chicken, cut-up sausage, or ground turkey to make this a more hearty sweet potato meal. If it is ground meat, cook first breaking it into small pieces, and then follow the recipe. If it is cubed raw chicken, add it with the sweet potatoes. Already cooked diced meat can be added with the beans and tomatoes. I like to use leftover baked chicken breast.
How to Cook Tex Mex Sweet Potatoes
I am using a 12-inch ceramic non-stick wok aka deep skillet. This sweet potato recipe relies on a few moving parts and seasoning ingredients in batches. But the final result is worth it!
- Cook sweet potatoes in a well-preheated skillet with half of the seasonings for 5 minutes. This step will ensure well seasoned creamy morsels at the end.
- Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. As these veggies release a lot of water, if you add them together with potatoes they will not properly brown.
- Add black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and remaining spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Everything will be super tender.
- Garnish with avocado, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, and stir. Sprinkle with cheese, cover, and let stand until cheese has melted.
Optional Add-Ins and Variations
- Substitute the sweet potatoes for butternut squash or regular Yukon Gold or red potatoes instead.
- Toss in some protein such as ground beef, Instant Pot chicken, fried tofu or chopped air fryer hard boiled eggs for added protein. You could even turn it into a ground turkey sweet potato skillet!
- To maximize nutrition, sprinkle with some nutritional yeast and hemp hearts before serving.
- You can play around with the toppings and garnishes as you like. Use fresh parsley if chopped cilantro isn’t your thing. Omit what you don’t want, or double up on what you do want. Swap the yogurt for sour cream. Don’t forget the extra lime wedges!
Like a lot of heat? For added spice in this sweet potato meal use a bit of extra chili powder, or use actual chilies, red pepper flakes, or jalapenos. Even spicy salsa would be great!
Tips for Best Sweet Potato Dinner Results
- Be prepared: Woks or large deep iron skillets are meant for fast cooking and they tend to capture steam. Think stir fry! Although this isn’t a stir fry at all, it is still a good idea to make sure to prepare everything ahead of time so that you’re not cooking everything longer than necessary.
- Texture: Add the cheese once the skillet has been removed from the heat. It’s meant to be melted on top and not incorporated too much into the dish. The avocado and sweet potato are already creamy, and adding too much melted cheese into the dish as opposed to just on top will change the texture of each bite. It’ll be too mushy!
- Breakfast: You’ve heard of breakfast for dinner, but have you heard of dinner for breakfast? This would make a great breakfast or brunch idea, especially with a couple of fried eggs on top!
DIY Tex Mex and Movie Night! Make it a fun sweet potato meal and don’t garnish it all! Present toppings in bowls on the table and have everyone add what they like. Don’t forget your favorite tortilla chips. Pop in your favourite movie and settle in for the night!
That’s up to you. You don’t have to for these pan fried sweet potatoes. The skin comes with a load of additional nutrients and gives the skillet dish a rustic look. If you prefer the texture of this dish without the skin, by all means, peel them.
Much like regular white potatoes, sweet potatoes are the perfect side dish to most, if not all kinds of meat. Sausage, ground beef, poultry, and fish all pair well with sweet potatoes.
Sure you can. It will have a slightly different flavor profile without the sweet potato, but crispy golden potatoes are just as great in a Tex Mex skillet. You may also want to try my Ukrainian breakfast skillet potatoes.
If you don’t cube them small enough to fully cook in time, or don’t cook them for long enough, according to the instructions, you may find that your pan fried sweet potatoes aren’t cooked through and soft. They don’t need to be mushy for you to enjoy them, but they should be able to be pierced without resistance.
You sure can. Cooked is the keyword here. Adding uncooked grains, like quinoa or brown rice might throw off the timing because they take a little longer to cook than white rice would. They also absorb a lot of liquid so the ingredient amount would be different as well. Adding cooked white rice, brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa, would be a great idea.
That’s the awesome thing about using a cast iron skillet- it can go directly from the stove to the oven! Once you’ve added all of your ingredients, instead of simmering it on the stove you could transfer it to the oven. You could also decide to use the oven for broiling the top of the cheese to brown it.
How Do I Serve Pan Fried Sweet Potatoes?
Serve Tex Mex skillet hot with a dollop of cooling Greek yogurt and salsa if desired. I feel like this skillet doesn’t need too many toppings because it’s got so many flavours and textures going on already.
I would make a simple kale salad or lettuce salad to go with it. Or frankly, we often make a refreshing green smoothie to pair it with. No shortage of veggies here!
Feeding an extra hungry crew? Serve some shrimp tostadas, air fryer nachos or black bean nachos, too!
Love sweet potatoes? Make healthy oven roasted sweet potatoes or baked sweet potatoes next!
How to Store Sweet Potato Dinner?
Store: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Make Ahead: You can refrigerate diced sweet potatoes in a bowl with cold water for up to 2 days. Refrigerate chopped green onion, garlic, and bell pepper in another covered container for the same period.
I do not recommend freezing this dish. There are too many veggies that hold water so when thawed, it would become too watery.
More Quick Healthy Recipes
Tex Mex Skillet Sweet Potatoes
- 1 1/2 lbs sweet potato cubed
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp coconut or avocado oil
- 2 large red bell peppers diced
- 14 oz can low sodium black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 cup corn frozen or canned
- 14 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 tbsp cumin divided
- 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 3/4 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 lime juice of
- 1 cup 4 oz Tex Mex cheese, shredded
- 2 medium avocados diced
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
- Greek yogurt and salsa for garnish (optional)
- Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add sweet potatoes, 1/2 tbsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add onion, garlic, bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, remaining 1/2 tbsp cumin and 1/4 tsp salt, taco seasoning and pepper; then stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
- Turn off heat. Add avocado, green onion, cilantro, lime juice and stir. Sprinkle with cheese, cover and let stand until cheese has melted.
- Serve hot with Greek yogurt and salsa if desired.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
- Add protein: You could add some ground turkey, diced chicken breast or tofu for extra protein. Cook it in the skillet first and then proceed with the recipe.
- Sodium: Use less salt if you use canned beans or tomatoes that are not low sodium.
- Be prepared: Woks or large deep iron skillets are meant for fast cooking and they tend to capture steam. It is a good idea to make sure to prepare everything ahead of time so that you’re not cooking everything longer than necessary.
- Substitute sweet potatoes: For butternut squash or regular Yukon Gold or red potatoes instead.
- Toppings and garnishes: Swap parsley for cilantro isn’t your thing and yogurt for sour cream. Serve with guacamole vs. diced avocado.
Absolutely delicious, my veggie haters even loved this! I did saute the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes and then cooked it in the final stage for about 25 minutes to make the potatoes soft enough for my elderly grandparents but also firm enough to not turn to mush. Added a fried egg on top and everyone was full and happy for hours!
I’m so happy your family loved the recipe. Thanks for sharing that with me!
This was SO GOOD! I cut the sweet potatoes quite small and they still took longer than 15 minutes, but the pan I used was likely to blame for that. I added ground turkey and I used a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles. SO GOOD – even my 1 year old ate it! It did make a lot with the addition of the ground turkey, but I am absolutely looking forward to having it for lunch, dinner, then lunch again. Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it and sounds like you have some great leftovers planned!