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Dietitian Dishes: Ground Turkey Skillet

Check out this savory ground turkey skillet recipe straight from the kitchen of Skyland Trail dietitian, Isabel Alvarez, RD, LD.

A key component of taking care of one’s mental health is to also take care of one’s physical health. Cooking and eating nutritious, balanced meals is a simple and effective way to practice self-care and mindfulness while keeping inflammation and other physical ailments like heart disease and diabetes at bay, which have been proven to be connected to mental health diagnoses.

An overhead photo of the finished ground turkey skillet cooling in the cast iron pan alongside a slide of zucchini.
Ground Turkey Skillet

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 lb. of ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp. of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 2 or 3 large zucchinis
  • 1/4 cup of diced black olives
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. of avocado oil (or any other cooking oil)
  • Optional: 4oz of your favorite shredded cheese

Cooking Directions

First, rinse all produce. Chop sweet potatoes into bite-sized cubes. Soak the sweet potato cubes in cold water for about 20 minutes to remove excess starch, which will help the potatoes crisp. While the potatoes soak, chop the zucchinis, dice the black olives, and mince the garlic.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the potatoes are done soaking, heat a tablespoon of oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato cubes and cook on the stove for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, pop the cast iron skillet with potatoes into the oven on the center rack.

While the potatoes continue to cook in the oven, grab another pan and heat a tablespoon of oil to medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic, ground turkey, and cumin to the pan. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until it is lightly browned throughout with no pink remaining.

Next, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and zucchini to the pan with the turkey. Mix and let simmer for a few minutes. Add in the spinach and diced black olives and mix together until the spinach begins to soften (about 2 minutes covered).

Carefully pull the cast-iron skillet out of the oven and pour the ground turkey mixture over the sweet potatoes. (Optional AND delicious: add a handful of shredded cheese evenly over top of the skillet mixture).

Place the cast-iron skillet with all ingredients back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

Finally, remove the skillet from the oven, serve in bowls or on plates, and enjoy!


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Isabel Alvarez, RD, LD, Adult Dietitian
Isabel Alvarez, RD, LD
Dietitian

Isabel Alvarez, RD, LD, is a registered and licensed dietitian who works with adult and adolescent clients in residential and day treatment programs at Skyland Trail to help individuals foster a healthier relationship with food, nutrition, meal planning, and grocery shopping. Alvarez earned her BS in Nutrition Science from Cornell University and completed a dietitian internship at Emory University prior to joining Skyland Trail in 2020.

Follow her on Instagram at @nutrition_isabelalv to see her latest kitchen creations.

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