How to Brine a Turkey for the. Juiciest. Bird. Ever.

Thanksgiving was always at our house. Every year, friends, family, neighbors we barely knew wound their way through the fog to our home in the Berkeley hills, bearing pecan and pumpkin pies, sweet potato casseroles bobbing with marshmallows, tureens of…

Thanksgiving was always at our house. Every year, friends, family, neighbors we barely knew wound their way through the fog to our home in the Berkeley hills, bearing pecan and pumpkin pies, sweet potato casseroles bobbing with marshmallows, tureens of green beans, and bowls of guacamole (this last one always arrived with a particularly time-challenged guest after dessert, but was polished off nonetheless).

My father, a vegetarian since his twenties, was for some inscrutable reason in charge of the turkey. A few hours before guests arrived, he’d pull the bird out of its bag of brine (a major Snowden-level leak one November left our fridge permanently frosted in turkey salt) and haul it onto the barbecue. He’d bring out bottles of liquor that had accumulated at the back of our cabinet over the year, and pour them over the bird in their entirety, to dubious effect. There was a lot of head-scratching and bird poking, and eventually he’d decide the turkey was probably done. Someone would take the electric turkey saw to it, and a few minutes later we’d be heaping our plates with steaming slices of miraculously succulent meat.

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skillet turkey chili

Right around the time quarantine cookies and tacos became a habit this spring, I also realized that that none of my existing chili recipes exactly fit the bill of what I wanted for dinner — namely, to focus on ground turkey, have a minim…

Right around the time quarantine cookies and tacos became a habit this spring, I also realized that that none of my existing chili recipes exactly fit the bill of what I wanted for dinner — namely, to focus on ground turkey, have a minimized ingredient list, and not take terribly long because it turns out that even with all day, every day at home, I just don’t have enough time to plan ahead for dinner and please don’t try to use reason or psychology to suggest there are other forces at play, okay?

what you'll need (cornbread optional, but not for us)

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Weeknight Maple Turkey Chili.

This easy turkey chili might be the only soup recipe I need all season.  It’s going to be your weeknight go-to.  It’s ridiculously simple, but flavorful. It comes together FAST. It’s really, really good!  I know, I use way to many “reallys” but it’s worth it. This chili is worth it. Chili is a dish […]

The post Weeknight Maple Turkey Chili. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This easy turkey chili might be the only soup recipe I need all season. 

easy weeknight turkey chili

It’s going to be your weeknight go-to. 

It’s ridiculously simple, but flavorful. It comes together FAST. It’s really, really good! 

I know, I use way to many “reallys” but it’s worth it.

This chili is worth it.

maple turkey chili in pot

Chili is a dish that I’ll never stop experimenting with. I have so many versions and they are all different but all wonderful, depending on the mood or setting. Of course, I can’t resist trying a new one when fall is just around the corner. And it uses so many of my favorite ingredients! I adore it.

easy weeknight turkey chili

It’s no secret that Eddie is a major carnivore, but over the years he’s cut down on his red meat consumption a lot. It wasn’t for any particular reason – it just seemed to happen! I still may make a dish with beef every other week or so (sometimes less, sometimes more), but most of the time, especially during the week, I use ground turkey. 

And I don’t have a turkey-specific chili recipe here on the blog, so here we are! 

easy weeknight turkey chili

This does not make an enormous pot of chili. I’d say it makes a pot for a family of four and is easily multiplied if you have more people in the house. It’s also a really nice size if you’re single or in a household of two, because you can freeze an extra portion. 

You could also eat chili one night, then make chili dogs, then make chili cheese nachos too. Love.

I mean, just an idea. 

easy weeknight turkey chili

Anyway – the chili! 

I use one onion, one bell pepper, one pound of turkey and then a whole bunch of spices. Chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika are the main ones. So good! Then one can of fire roasted tomatoes and one can of pinto beans (my fave – but any beans work) – and voila! 

The secret is obviously in the maple syrup. I love the addition so, so much, which I first discovered in this game day chili recipe

Then it’s ready. Seriously the best for a weeknight chili. Goes with everything. Tastes like heaven.

And it’s perfect! 

easy weeknight turkey chili

Easy Maple Turkey Chili

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Quick and Easy Maple Turkey Chili

This easy turkey chili is the best! It's super simple and comes together quickly. Loaded with fall flavors and a great dinner staple.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the ground turkey and another pinch of salt and pepper. Break it apart with a wooden spoon and brown it, about 6 to 8 minutes. Once the meat is browned, add in the chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the tomatoes, beans, stock and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream or whatever you love on your chili!

Notes

Note: you can easily double this recipe to make it for a crowd. You can also let this simmer, covered, on the stove for a few hours or as long as you need.
Note: you can easily make this in a slow cooker! Brown the turkey ahead of time then add everything to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8. 

easy weeknight turkey chili

Give me all the toppings.

The post Weeknight Maple Turkey Chili. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

How to Stuff a Turkey the Right Way (for the Juiciest, Most Flavorful Result)

Let’s be real: A plain, bland turkey just won’t cut it for a Thanksgiving feast. If you’ve been assigned the nerve-wracking task of roasting the turkey, one of the best ways to make it a success is with a killer stuffing everyone will talk about all ye…

Let’s be real: A plain, bland turkey just won’t cut it for a Thanksgiving feast. If you’ve been assigned the nerve-wracking task of roasting the turkey, one of the best ways to make it a success is with a killer stuffing everyone will talk about all year long. Surpass the high expectations of your friends and family with a flavorful, juicy, and exciting mixture to give your bird the flavor it deserves.

Now, before you get to it, there are a couple of important factors and steps to keep in mind, like: how to safely stuff your bird to prevent foodborne illnesses, what ingredients you'll need to make an unforgettably tasty stuffing, and, of course, how to actually stuff it!

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Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese with Spicy Basil Breadcrumbs.

Okay this zucchini lasagna bolognese may be my favorite dish of the entire summer. And that sure is saying something. Right?! I can’t even TELL you how obsessed we are with this meal. It was one of those that I couldn’t get out of my head. Honestly, I was inspired a few weeks ago by […]

The post Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese with Spicy Basil Breadcrumbs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Okay this zucchini lasagna bolognese may be my favorite dish of the entire summer.

zucchini lasagna bolognese

And that sure is saying something. Right?!

I can’t even TELL you how obsessed we are with this meal. It was one of those that I couldn’t get out of my head. Honestly, I was inspired a few weeks ago by our August book club pick – the School of Essential Ingredients – where she talks about a bolognese. And if you have my book The Pretty Dish, you know it holds our all-time favorite bolognese recipe.

zucchini sweating

So THEN, combined with my obsession with zucchini? I could not be stopped. I basically made it for breakfast one day.

It.was.incredible.

making turkey bolognese

I don’t always love replacing noodles with zucchini. And I’m not saying this should replace your favorite lasagna. I’m saying… make this in addition to it. Let this be your summer lasagna. It is so fantastic and I need you to experience it! 

It’s cheesy. Bubbly. Saucy. Comforting. Absolutely delicious. It is all the things!

turkey bolognese

Let me tell you about the zucchini lasagna bolognese layers:

We have zucchini, obviously. 

We have a turkey bolognese, which is a little riff on my favorite one in second cookbook, and it uses a jarred sauce, but it is still loaded with flavor. It’s very semi-homemade, if you will. 

Then, there’s the cheesy ricotta layer. 

Lots of grated cheese.

And then!

In addition to our slightly high-maintenance lasagna, we’re adding in an extra step. I promise it’s worth it. While the lasagna is in the oven, making some spicy basil breadcrumbs.

Yes, spicy basil breadcrumbs!!

layering the zucchini lasagna bolognese

Making these separate allows them to add extra crunch to the top of the dish. They don’t melt into the cheese layer. Instead, they blanket the top, adding excellent crispy crunch. And flavor, of course.

Doesn’t that all sound insane!?

zucchini layers in lasagna

So here’s the kicker.

The dish is not difficult to make. But it does require a few steps and there are two important things you MUST do if you want this to work.

First, you must must must sweat out the zucchini before making this. So slice your zucchini, sprinkle it with salt, and then let it go for at least 30 minutes. Make the bolognese, make the ricotta, do laundry, whatever. Just let it sit and sweat out the water so your dish isn’t liquidy!

zucchini lasagna bolognese

Next, you also must let it sit for at least 30 minutes (or more) before slicing into it. Just like a regular lasagna. You have to let this settle once it finishes baking. Then (as you can see in the pictures below!), it will slice nicely and not be a watery mess. 

zucchini lasagna bolognese

Those two things are KEY to perfect zucchini lasagna. Unfortunately, they do add some time to this dish. It’s mostly passive time, so don’t freak out when you see how long this takes! I promise you it’s worth it. 

zucchini lasagna bolognese

I already have an incredible lasagna bolognese recipe here on the blog, but I’m telling you… this one… it’s is SPECIAL.

Plus, vegetables!

zucchini lasagna bolognese

Hello dinner tonight!

sliced zucchini lasagna bolognese

Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese

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Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese

This zucchini lasagna bolognese is summer dinner perfect. It's loaded with flavor and topped with spicy basil breadcrumbs. Delish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 medium-sized zucchini squash
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 16 ounces freshly grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
  • fresh basil, for topping

spicy basil breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Cut the zucchini into thin slices, about ⅛ inch. I find this works best with a knife, as I actually like the slices about ⅛ inch thick. If you’d like thinner slices, use a mandolin or vegetable peeler. You are going to need 4 layers of slices, and with the 9x13 inch dish, I usually need approximately 7 slices across for each layer. So in totally, roughly 28 to 32 slices.
  • Place the zucchini in a single layer on paper towels or kitchen towels. Sprinkle it all over with salt. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, but even up to 60 minutes. This will remove the water so the lasagna isn’t watery. While the zucchini sweats, make the bolognese.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions, mushrooms and garlic with a pinch big of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring often, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the ground turkey. Cook until browned, stirring and breaking apart the meat, about 5 to 6 minutes. Once browned, stir in the tomato paste, basil, oregano and pepper flakes.
  • Add in the marinara sauce. Stir in the half and half and the parmesan cheese. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it! This will differ depending on the brand of sauce you use. Let this sit over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you make the ricotta mixture.
  • In a bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan and basil until combined.
  • Now it’s time to make the lasagna! Press towels over the zucchini very well to remove all the liquid. Place a few spoonfuls of the bolognese sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer one row of zucchini slices in a single layer.
  • Spoon some of the bolognese all over the zucchini slices. Take a third of the ricotta mixture and dollop it all over the meat, using your spoon to spread it out if you’d like. Sprinkle on a few handfuls of the grated mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of the zucchini slices.
  • Repeat what you just did. Add the bolognese sauce, a third of the ricotta mixture, then a sprinkle of cheese. Add another layer of zucchini slices. Add more bolognese sauce, the remaining ricotta mixture, and a sprinkle of cheese. Top with the final layer of zucchini slices.
  • For the final layer, add the bolognese sauce. Top with the fresh mozzarella slices. Add any remaining grated cheese. Bake the lasagna for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Once finished, let it set up for another 30 to 45 minutes. I know this is difficult, but just like with regular lasagna, it will cut so much nicer if it sits and settles. This will NOT slice into perfect layered slices, but if you let it sit before slicing, it will slice nicely and shouldn’t be a watery mess!
  • Before slicing, top with the basil breadcrumbs, extra parmesan and fresh basil. Devour!!

spicy basil breadcrumbs

  • While the lasagna is baking, make the breadcrumbs. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the breadcrumbs, basil and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing, until browned and crispy. Sprinkle on the lasagna when it comes out of the oven.

Notes

If you have extra bolognese, store it in the fridge and serve with pasta.
If you want to make this in a 9x9 inch dish, you can halve everything and it will work!

zucchini lasagna bolognese

I mean, the CHEESE!

The post Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese with Spicy Basil Breadcrumbs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Turkey in White Wine Sauce

Being a baker, braising wasn’t something I did a lot of. I also didn’t cook a lot of meat or poultry. Actually, I didn’t cook much at home as I ate most of my meals on the fly when working in restaurants. (I was also going to say that when I lived in California, I tended to grill as much as I could on my…

Being a baker, braising wasn’t something I did a lot of. I also didn’t cook a lot of meat or poultry. Actually, I didn’t cook much at home as I ate most of my meals on the fly when working in restaurants. (I was also going to say that when I lived in California, I tended to grill as much as I could on my patio but someone sent me a rather pointed message to stop talking about living in California…so I guess I should work on that.) It wasn’t until I came to France, which has a plethora of butchers and volaillers (poultry sellers), that I started branching out from my usual fall-back meals from when I was a professional baker and line cook in San Francisco (if that woman is reading this…sorry!), which included chips & salsa, bbq from Flint’s in Oakland, or a burger at The Smokehouse.

Another thing that happened when I no longer had to work in the evening was that I began to have people over for dinner. But I’ve learned in France not to make something that needs to be served at a precise time. That’s because it’s considered impolite to arrive on time. If you do, you’ll surprise your hosts which I did recently when I was invited to someone’s place for dinner who I didn’t know. I arrived 15 minutes after the time I was told, and I was the only one there, except for the host, who was surprised to see my standing in his doorway. And it was a somewhat uncomfortable twenty minutes I spent making small talk, and watching him put the last-minute preparations on things while I just stood there like a dope. Oops.

Continue Reading Turkey in White Wine Sauce...

French Onion Meatballs For The Weekend!

Here’s how we’re going to handle the weekend: by making french onion meatballs immediately! Hi. It’s me again. Back with another french onion recipe. I KNOW. I’m sorry? I realize I’ve tried to french onion the entire world this this year but I just can’t help it. I mean, this HAS to be the last […]

The post French Onion Meatballs For The Weekend! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Here’s how we’re going to handle the weekend: by making french onion meatballs immediately!

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

Hi. It’s me again. Back with another french onion recipe.

I KNOW.

I’m sorry? I realize I’ve tried to french onion the entire world this this year but I just can’t help it. I mean, this HAS to be the last recipe, right? There can be no more french onion-ing of any things in this house. 

Unless… never mind.

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

Just this year alone I’ve done french onion sweet potatoes and french onion lasagna roll ups and french onion soup. But I also have a french onion grilled cheese and french onion dip and french onion deviled eggs!

I think I have a french onion problem. But it’s a good problem to have? 

P.S. you can find me making these on instagram today!

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

So, as usual, anything french onion-ish is going to take a little bit of time because you have to caramelize those onions! It’s the key to all the flavor. Once that part is done though, these aren’t too difficult to make. 

And bonus, you can make the onions ahead of time. Heck, you can make the meatballs ahead of time!

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

Also! You can use ground turkey or chicken for this recipe. You could even use ground beef, but I find that turkey or chicken makes the meatballs taste best – they really allow the flavor to shine. 

After you decide on that, we deal with all the other additions. Basically whatever goes in that soup is going into our meatballs!

Gruyere! Parmesan! Thyme! Breadcrumbs!

Delicious things like that and of course, the onions too. 

Enter all the exclamation points.

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

It is nearly impossible to not eat these all out of the pan. You brown the meatballs, then throw a little stock into the pan and bake with some cheese. These practically melt in your mouth. They are divine.

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

Now what to serve these with!

Um, can we still be friends once I tell you that I placed mine on top of a piece of toasted sourdough? It was basically the best decision in quarantine (aside from this banana cake) and I essentially made a meatball MELT. Love it.

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

Another option is to serve these just like this, out of the skillet, with some roasted vegetables or your favorite side. They are SO good on their own. They have enough flavor and they are juicy enough too! 

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

Of course, you could throw them in with some pasta too, whether you do buttered noodles or marinara or whatever! Because the meatballs are so ridiculously flavorful, they don’t need much! They can carry an entire meal, trust me. 

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

HELLO.

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

Okay so now that I’ve convinced you to stand over the stove and caramelize onions AGAIN, dinner should be great this weekend! xo

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

French Onion Meatballs

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French Onion Meatballs

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 16 meatballs
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken, I like 94%
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely grated gruyere cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, for browning the meatballs
  • 1 ½ cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon flour

Instructions

  • Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the onions with a big pinch of salt. .Cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize, about 30 to 40 minutes. Once the onions are golden and caramelly, transfer them to a plate. (Note: if you’re really in a rush, you can add 1 teaspoon of sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc to speed along the caramelization process. Be sure to stir often and check on the progress!)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Take half of the cooled caramelized onions and chop them up a bit - just so they easily mix into the meatballs.
  • In a bowl, stir together the turkey, garlic, ½ cup gruyere, all the parmesan, the breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Add in the chopped caramelized onions. Mix until the meatballs are just combined - do not over mix!
  • Use your hands to form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. It helps if you wet your hands with water before rolling. It’s okay if the meatballs are not perfect rounds!
  • Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the meatballs in a single layer and brown them on all sides - let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes, before flipping.
  • Once the meatballs are completely browned, fill a shaker cup or water bottle with the stock and flour. Shake it for 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into the skillet with the meatballs. Add in the remaining caramelized onions. Top the meatballs with the remaining gruyere cheese.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through (you want the internal temp to read 165 degrees F). Serve immediately! I love serving these on sourdough bread, like a meatball melt!

These french onion meatballs are super delicious! All the flavors of french onion soup made into juicy meatballs. Cheesy, saucy goodness!

This is mind blowing comfort food!

The post French Onion Meatballs For The Weekend! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Greek Turkey Meatballs

Greek Turkey Meatballs-these easy baked meatballs are full of great flavor and make a delicious healthy dinner! Serve the meatballs gyro style, over rice, or on top of a salad! Greek Turkey Meatballs My boys LOVE classic Italian meatballs, they are a v…

Greek Turkey Meatballs-these easy baked meatballs are full of great flavor and make a delicious healthy dinner! Serve the meatballs gyro style, over rice, or on top of a salad! Greek Turkey Meatballs My boys LOVE classic Italian meatballs, they are a very popular dinner at our house. They also love these Greek Turkey Meatballs.…

The post Greek Turkey Meatballs appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Turkey Taco Skillet

I’ve probably made a hundred iterations of the bean-salsa-corn combo over the years, and yet I still keep making more. Why? Because it never stops being delicious, it’s super versatile, and I love making new versions to fit new different lifestyles. This Turkey Taco Skillet version is super fast (unlike the original Slow Cooker Taco […]

The post Turkey Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’ve probably made a hundred iterations of the bean-salsa-corn combo over the years, and yet I still keep making more. Why? Because it never stops being delicious, it’s super versatile, and I love making new versions to fit new different lifestyles. This Turkey Taco Skillet version is super fast (unlike the original Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls), it doesn’t include rice  (unlike the Southwest Chicken Skillet), and is every bit as delicious. This version literally takes about 15-20 minutes, you can serve it several different ways, and is a great make-ahead, stock-your-freezer type recipe!

Ground Turkey Taco Skillet

Turkey Taco Skillet next to tortilla chips, toasted corn tortillas, and a bowl of sour cream

How to Serve Turkey Taco Skillet

My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can do so many different things with it. The most obvious use for this delicious skillet mix is to use it as a taco filling. Simply toast some tortillas, add a scoop of this turkey taco filling, and top with whatever you fancy (cheese, sour cream, pickled red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, etc.)

Another option is to use it for taco salads. Just fill a bowl with your favorite greens, top with the ground turkey taco mixture, and add any extra toppings you might like.

But my favorite? I love to just scoop it up with some tortilla chips and call that a meal. 😅

You can also make a bowl meal with a bed of rice, stuff this into a burrito, or put it inside a folded over tortilla with cheese and toast it up in a skillet for some quesadillas. And I’m sure there are other great ways to use this mix, as well.

Can I Substitute the Turkey?

Yep! This recipe works just as well with ground beef or ground chicken. 

Can I Substitute the Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles?

Yes, you can substitute that, too! (See? This recipe is so versatile.) If you don’t have access to Rotel or canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, you can either use 1.5 cups red salsa, or a can of plain diced tomatoes plus a 4oz. can of diced green chiles.

How to Freeze Turkey Taco Skillet

Chill your turkey taco skillet mixture in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to quart-sized freezer bags (I would do this in 1-2 serving sized portions), label and date the bag, then freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, either thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or cut away the bag, place the frozen mixture in a skillet, add a couple tablespoons of water, and heat over low with a lid, stirring occasionally as soon as it loosens up enough to stir. Or just pop it in the microwave and use the defrost then heat functions. :)

Close up of some turkey taco skillet being scooped up by a tortilla chip

 

Turkey Taco Skillet

This easy and versatile Turkey Taco Skillet takes about 20 minutes to make, is freezer friendly, and can be served several different ways.

Taco Seasoning*

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)

Taco Skillet

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey ($3.99)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles ($0.45)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($0.48)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.35)
  • 1/2 bunch green onions ($0.45)
  1. Combine the spices for the homemade taco seasoning, then set the seasoning aside.

  2. Add the cooking oil and ground turkey to a large skillet. Begin to cook the turkey over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks.

  3. While the turkey is cooking, dice the onion. Add the onion to the skillet with the turkey and continue to stir and cook until the onions are soft. Add the prepared taco seasoning, then continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

  4. Drain the black beans then add them to the skillet with the diced tomatoes (with juices) and frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir the ingredients in the skillet to combine, then heat through over medium.

  5. While the mixture is heating, slice the green onions. Stir the green onions into the skillet just before serving.

*You can use store bought taco seasoning if you do not have a well stocked spice cabinet.

Serving Suggestions:

Turkey Taco Skillet served with toasted tortillas and sour cream

Use to fill tacos, then top with your favorite toppings (sour cream, cheese, pickled red onions, jalapeños, etc.)

Turkey taco skillet used to make a taco salad

Serve it up taco salad style, over a bed of greens and with your favorite toppings.

Turkey taco skillet in a small bowl with tortilla chips for dipping

Or just scoop it up with some tortilla chips! 

How to Make Turkey Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Homemade taco seasoning ingredients in a bowl

First, make your homemade taco seasoning (you can use store bought, if that works better for you). In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne (optional), ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. I skipped the cayenne this day because I wanted a less spicy turkey taco skillet.

Cooked ground turkey and onions in the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and 1 lb. ground turkey to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the ground turkey as you stir. While the turkey is cooking, dice one yellow onion, then add it to the skillet and continue to cook with the turkey until the onion is soft.

Taco seasoning being added to the skillet with turkey and onion

Add the taco seasoning to the skillet with the ground turkey and onion. Continue to cook and stir for 1-2 minutes more.

Black beans, tomatoes with green chiles, and corn added to the skillet

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans, then add them to the skillet with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, and 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw). Stir to combine, then heat through over medium, stirring occasionally.

Sliced green onions added to the skillet

While the skillet is heating through, slice half a bunch of green onions (about 4 green onions). Add the green onions just before serving and stir to combine.

Finished turkey taco skillet

Look how colorful and delicious that is!! 

Overhead view of turkey taco skillet next to tortilla chips, a bowl of sour cream, and toasted tortillas

Dinner is served!

Close up side view of the turkey taco skillet

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Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and chili are totally made for each other. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes perfectly contrasts the smoky, spicy flavor of the chili. Add a little creamy cheese on top and you’ve got the perfect trifecta! These Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy, pre-portioned meal that is filling, delicious, and […]

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Sweet potatoes and chili are totally made for each other. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes perfectly contrasts the smoky, spicy flavor of the chili. Add a little creamy cheese on top and you’ve got the perfect trifecta! These Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy, pre-portioned meal that is filling, delicious, and works great for weekly meal prep!

Originally posted 12-21-2015, updated 2-25-2020.

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Four turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a small white baking dish.

Can I Use Beef Instead?

Absolutely! The chili included in this recipe is basically a half batch of my basic Homemade Chili recipe, which is extremely customizable. You can swap out the protein, make it spicy or mild (reduce or eliminate the cayenne), or add other fun ingredients, like cocoa powder!

Can I Make them Vegetarian?

Yes, simply swap the 1/2 lb. of ground turkey for an extra can of black beans, or kidney beans, and you have a super delish vegetarian chili to top your sweet potatoes. :)

How do I Meal Prep These Sweet Potatoes?

After stuffing your sweet potatoes with chili and cheese, simply pack each one into an individual, microwave safe container. To reheat, simply microwave on high for about 2 minutes, or until heated through.

A fork digging into a turkey chili smothered sweet potato, on a white plate

 

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Tender baked sweet potatoes smothered with turkey and bean chili, then topped with melty cheddar. Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes are an easy dinner!

CHILI

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey ($2.00)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.59)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 of a 6oz. can) ($0.25)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($0.79)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt ($0.02)

POTATOES AND TOPPINGS

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (3/4 lb. each) ($3.94)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($0.43)
  • Cilantro or green onions for garnish ($0.25)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the sweet potatoes well, then prick the skins several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and bake for 60 minutes, or until soft and oozing from the fork holes.

  2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the small batch of chili. Add the ground turkey and olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the turkey over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.

  3. Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and water. Stir to combine. Allow the chili to come up to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sweet potatoes have finished baking, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

  4. Once the sweet potatoes are finished baking, carefully slice each one open lengthwise and slightly mash the insides. Spoon about 3/4 cup chili over each potato, then top with 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar. Return the potatoes to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top with cilantro or sliced green onions just before serving.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Front view of four turkey chili stuffed sweet potatoes in a small white baking dish

 

How to Make Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Step by Step Photos

Sweet potatoes in a baking dish rubbed in oil and pricked with a fork

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. Wash four small sweet potatoes (about 3/4 lb. each). Prick the skins of each potato several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, then bake the sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until they’re soft all the way through and are oozing sugary juice from the fork holes.

Cooked ground turkey, onion, and garlic in a pot

While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the small batch of chili. Add 1/2 lb. ground turkey and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot. Sauté the turkey over medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the yellow onion and mince 2 cloves garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.

Tomatoes, beans, spices, and water added to the pot.

Drain one 15oz. can black beans and add them to the pot along with one 15oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 3oz. tomato paste, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine. 

Finished turkey chili in the pot

Allow the chili to come up to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sweet potatoes have finished baking, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

Baked sweet potatoes in the baking dish with some juices bubbling out of the fork holes

Test the sweet potatoes to make sure they are baked all the way through by piercing with a fork or a small knife. The potatoes should be soft all the way through, and juices should be bubbling out of the fork holes that were made before baking.

Opened and mashed sweet potatoes in the baking dish

Once the sweet potatoes are baked and soft all the way through , slice them open lengthwise and slightly mash the inside of the sweet potatoes.

Turkey chili being spooned into the open sweet potatoes

Scoop about 3/4 cup turkey chili onto each sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes topped with cheddar

Add a couple tablespoons of shredded cheddar to each potato, then return the baking sheet to the oven for just a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes with melted cheese and topped with cilantro

Finally, top with a little chopped cilantro or sliced green onions (or hey, sour cream?) just before serving.

Side view of turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a baking dish, topped with green onion and cilantro

And then you have four incredibly delicious, single portion sized Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes! Bonus, I had some chili left over that will serve as an extra meal for me. :)

Turkey Chili Smothered Sweet Potatoes - BudgetBytes.com

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