In the past I’ve made some breakfast casseroles and some pasta casseroles but wanted to make something from a different category, to try something new. Egg-free and pasta-free led me to this delicious Tex Mex-inspired casserole. Veggies, meat, and sweet potatoes make a satisfying, well-balanced meal in this delicious spicy Southwestern casserole.
This recipe is ideal for multi-taskers. One or two things can be on the stove while yet another is being prepped. There is no problem with doing the steps one at a time, but it will take you longer. So let me walk you through the process to get dinner on the table sooner.
Start with lightly cooking the meat. I usually use lean ground turkey, but beef would also work just as well. Stir in a little taco seasoning and diced tomatoes, then remove the meat to a plate and set aside. While the meat is cooking, you can prepare and chop the veggies. (If you do not want a really spicy casserole, I suggest removing the jalapeno seeds.)
The jalapenos are then sautéed on the stove with bell peppers, onions, and garlic. This step should take 8-10 minutes, so it is the perfect time to grate the sweet potatoes – and also preheat the oven. You can grate the sweet potatoes by hand or use the shredder disk attachment on the food processor. Once the potatoes are shredded, toss with melted coconut oil and some chili powder for added flavor.
By this time the veggies should be done cooking and the casserole is ready to be assembled. Stir the meat mixture back into the pan with the veggies and add some fresh spinach. Transfer all of that bulk into a large baking dish, and then top with the sweet potatoes. I suggest covering the pan with foil so that the potatoes cook properly. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil. Turn the oven to broil so that the sweet potatoes can brown and crisp up a bit. Then the casserole is ready for the table.
We had leftovers for days because this made so much food – not saying that was a bad thing!). And there are many different garnishes that go great with this casserole. Simple ketchup, hot sauce, avocados, green onions, or salsa verde (as shown in the photo) are all suitable toppings for this deliciously spicy casserole.
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
- 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2-3 tbsp taco seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 2 jalapenos, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 3 large sweet potatoes, shredded
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey. Cook until browned, and then stir in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, then remove to a plate and set aside. Discard any fat from the pan.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet and add the bell peppers, jalapenos, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 8-10 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and toss with the melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with chili powder and toss to coat.
- Add the meat mixture back into the pan with the veggies. Mix in the spinach and stir to combine. Transfer the entire mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish. Top with the sweet potatoes and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for 5-10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are slightly browned. Top with cilantro to serve.
- Servings: 6-8
- Difficulty: Medium
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