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Southwest Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Skillet

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This Southwest Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Skillet is a delicious addition to your breakfast plate! Eat it on its own to keep it vegan, or build a plate with eggs, avocado and tomato. Perfect for meal prep!

If sweet potatoes and black beans are your thing, you’ll also love this Vegan Instant Pot Chili!

Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Breakfast Skillet in a black skillet viewed from overhead

This is the first of many posts about adding vegetables to your breakfast! It’s so easy to reach for carb-loaded foods in the morning (think bagels and cereal…or Tim Horton’s drive through, if you’re Canadian like me), but with a little planning and prep, you can have a delicious, colourful meal waiting for you in the morning.

Although I developed this recipe to be a breakfast food, it would actually be great for any meal. It works as a lunch bowl, or as a side at dinner. No matter when you eat it, you’re doing your body a favour with all the amazing nutrients and fibre that are packed into this dish!

Ingredients

For the spice blend you’ll need

  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Sea salt
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper

For the skillet you’ll need

  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Red bell pepper – one large
  • Sweet Potato – about 1 large, grated
  • Green curly kale – 4 cups of bite size pieces (one large bunch should give you enough)
  • Black beans – a 15oz can, drained and rinsed

For serving, you could add

  • Eggs, if not vegan. I like to make egg “muffins” for meal prep – see below for instructions.
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes or salsa
  • Grated cheese, if not vegan or dairy free
  • Hot sauce, especially Frank’s Red Hot
Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Breakfast Skillet on a white plate served with avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes and an egg muffin

How to make it

1. Make the spice blend: in a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, sea salt, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, garlic powder and black pepper. Set aside.

2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet (you’ll need a skillet with a lid, or if you don’t have a lid, you can use a pizza pan as long as it’s large enough to cover your skillet…I’ve been known to do this in a pinch!). Once the oil is warm, add the diced onion and sauté until turning translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the diced bell pepper and continue to sauté another couple minutes, until the pepper starts to soften, then add the minced garlic and stir continuously for about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in the grated sweet potato, then spread it evenly across the bottom of the skillet. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes (covering allows the sweet potato to steam and cook faster). Stir the mixture, then cover again and cook for another couple minutes.

4. Sprinkle in the spice mix and stir until it evenly covers the sweet potato. Add the kale and black beans on top, but don’t stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cover to wilt the kale for about 3 minutes, then mix it up until the beans and kale are well distributed. Serve immediately or divide among 4 glass containers for meal prep. Cool completely before putting in the refrigerator.

How to make easy egg muffins

When I’m making eggs for meal prep to go along with another recipe, I keep it simple and bake eggs in a muffin tin.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a regular-sized muffin tin well, OR use 12 silicone muffin cups on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Crack one egg into each spot in the muffin tin (or one per silicone cup). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Silicone liners may need about 5 minutes more.
  3. Cool for a few minutes in the pan and serve. If storing for meal prep, remove the eggs from the muffin tin to cool completely on a baking rack. This will prevent over cooking the egg. Overcooking eggs can bring on a chemical reaction that will cause a green/grey colour to form on the bottom of the egg muffin (it would still be fine to eat, but it’s not very pretty!).
Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Breakfast Skillet in glass meal prep containers served with egg muffins

Do I need to grate the sweet potato?

For this recipe, I grated the sweet potato, rather than chopping into bite-size pieces. I did this for two reasons: one, it cooks faster when it’s grated and, two, it gives a nice texture to the dish! Fair warning though, the sweet potato in this skillet is not intended to get crispy. Crispiness wouldn’t hold up well to refrigeration and reheating, so that wasn’t the goal with this meal prep recipe.

How do I grate sweet potato?

I use my box grater because I prefer to clean fewer dishes. But, if you want to grate it faster (and with less arm muscle required), use a food processor with the larger-sized grating attachment. Be sure to peel the sweet potato first.

Tips for Success

1. Don’t let the sweet potato cook for more than a few minutes at a time without stirring. Some browning is great, but you don’t want it to burn! Be sure to start with a well oiled skillet.

2. Don’t skimp on the salt and pepper. Season to your taste!

More breakfast meal prep recipes

Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Breakfast Skillet in a black skillet viewed from overhead

Southwest Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Skillet

Laura Lawless, BASc
This Southwest Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Skillet is a delicious addition to your breakfast plate! Eat it on its own to keep it vegan, or build a plate with eggs, avocado and tomato. Perfect for meal prep!
5 from 7 votes
Servings 4
Calories 293
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients

For the spice mix

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ground black pepper (to taste)

For the skillet

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups grated sweet potato (about 1 large)
  • 4 cups kale, torn into bite size pieces (I used green curly kale)
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

Instructions
 

  • Make the spice mix: In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until turning translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the diced bell pepper and cook another 2 minutes, then add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the grated sweet potato and stir to combine spreading it evenly across the skillet. Cover the skillet. After about 3 minutes, stir the sweet potato mixture and cover again to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the spice mix and stir until it evenly covers the sweet potato. Add a splash of water if it looks like the mixture is drying out, then add the kale and black beans on top (don't stir). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover for 2-3 minutes to wilt the kale, then uncover and stir to evenly distribute the kale and beans. Serve immediately or divide among 4 glass storage containers for meal prep and refrigerate. Eat within 4 days.

Equipment

Skillet with Lid
Box Grater
Chef’s Knife
Wooden Spoon

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 1069mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 17650IU | Vitamin C: 123mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 4mg
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If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review below!
I’d love to hear from you!

Portrait of Laura Lawless in a green sweater standing in front of white shelving filled with food photography props.

Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Waaauw! I looved this!
    Great flavors and the grated sweet potato makes it so special and different.
    I really loved this dish and will definitely try more of your recipes.

    Just 1 note: for me it were only 2 portions:)
    Maybe I’m a big eater, but if you are cooking for a family I would double the recipe.

    Thank you for this recipe! It was delicious:)

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy you loved it! Thanks for leaving a review!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I wrapped it up in whole wheat tortillas with some tofu scramble, black bean/corn salsa and froze. Great, healthy breakfast burritos on the go. Thanks for the terrific recipe!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Sounds like an amazing way to use this recipe! So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Cooked this for the 1st time this morning. I was specifically looking for a recipe with sweet potato, black beans and kale. Easy to cook and super tasty. Saving this recipe! ❤️❤️

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Dana!

    2. 5 stars
      Loved this. Was looking for a new recipie for kale. Didn’t have sweet potato so made it with normal ones instead. Still tasted amazing and ate the lot in one sitting.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is great! The combination of everything and the spices work so well together. As you recommend I agree- I will add an egg for my next portion. I too would add a little water (1/3c) at the end when adding the kale and beans

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy you enjoyed it, Rhonda! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  5. Very good! Followed recipe, except add about 1/3 cup of water when I added the kale and beans to the skillet. Will definitely make again.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  6. 5 stars
    I really really like this! I added a Jalapeño. I added grilled shrimp! I can’t wait to try it for breakfast!!! Thanks for the great easy recipe .

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear this, Sara! Great idea to add shrimp and jalapeño!

  7. Jessica McNash says:

    5 stars
    Loved it! Substituted olive oil with avocado oil because of avocado oil’s higher heat resistance. Also replaced the bell pepper with frozen green beans and the black beans with kidney beans because they’re what I had on hand. Turned out amazing though! Definitely keeping this recipe!!

  8. Renee Schouten says:

    Hi Laura,

    Can i freeze this meal? I was thinking of doubling the recipe. I just thought it could go bad if I cant eat it in time.

    Thanks,
    Renee

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Renee, I haven’t frozen this dish myself, but I think it would work fine! I’ve seen freezer breakfast burritos that use sweet potato and black beans, so I think this would be similar. I would just be sure to let it cool completely before putting it in the freezer, so that you don’t have excess moisture.

      1. Renee Schouten says:

        Okay. thanks for your response!

  9. 5 stars
    Best meal ever!! This recipe is the perfect way to get more veggies into your life! Coming from a person who isn’t super into kale, I have to say I love it in this dish. It tastes amazing with the spice blend and the sweetness you get from the sweet potato. 10/10 would recommend this dish to anyone.

    1. Laura Lawless says:

      Thanks Danielle! You’re so sweet! And thank you for being a taste tester 🙂