This easy, one pan, Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Rice Skillet is a hearty and healthy vegetarian dinner the whole family will love! Made with brown rice, sweet potatoes, black beans, green chiles, spices and topped with melted cheese. On the table in 30 minutes and great for leftovers the next day!
If you’re looking to add more vegetarian meals to your weekly dinner plans, but are worried you’ll still be hungry because there’s no meat in the recipe, fear not! This Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Rice Skillet is so hearty and full of flavor you won’t think twice about it being vegetarian.
This easy one pan dinner was inspired by one of my most popular recipes, Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet. It has many of the same flavors, but without the chicken and the addition of brown rice.
Ingredients For Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Rice Skillet
- sweet potato
- chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, garlic powder
- diced green chiles
- salsa or salsa verde
- brown rice
- black beans
- cheddar, Colby Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
How To Make Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Rice Skillet
Heat a some olive oil in a large skillet, preferably one with a lid. If you don’t have a skillet with a lid use a piece of foil or a large plate. Add in the diced sweet potato, salt and pepper, and sauté it over medium heat for about about 8 minutes. It won’t be completely soft at this point.
Add several tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover it with a lid so that the sweet potato steams and doesn’t get overly browned while it continues to cook. Once the sweet potato is fork tender add in the green chiles, black beans, rice, dried spices, salsa, cilantro, lime juice, and additional salt and pepper.
Stir everything together and let it heat through for a few minutes. Add the shredded cheese on top and cover the skillet with the lid. Let everything cook for another couple minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is warm.
Time Saving Tips
- Use leftover cooked brown rice, minute rice, microwaveable bagged rice, or frozen rice to save 40 minutes of cooking time.
- If you have leftover roasted sweet potatoes those can be used instead.
Toppings For Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Rice Skillet
Avocado – Since this is a vegetarian meal, avocado is a great way to add healthy fat, fiber, and a little protein to make it more satiating.
Greek yogurt or sour cream – The added creaminess and tang of the Greek yogurt goes so well with the spices, green chiles, and salsa in this recipe. Greek yogurt is also a good way to add in additional protein.
Tomatoes – They add a nice bit of sweetness.
Black olives – briny, salty, and a great addition if you enjoy olives.
Crushed tortilla chips – If you want a crunchy element to this dish, add the crushed tortilla chips when you add on the cheese. Sort of like nachos on top! Be aware that they’ll soften and won’t be crunchy if you plan to have this for leftovers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cooked white rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice for a lower carb option would all work well and be delicious.
Yes. Pinto beans would be a great alternative if you or your family prefer them.
Regular salsa or salsa verde both work. I suggest not using a thick and chunky salsa because you’ll want the liquid to help create the sauce. I used Saso Classic Verde Salsa.
Try adding corn, diced zucchini, spinach, and/or a can of fire roasted tomatoes.
More Skillet Dinners
- Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- Greek Meatballs and Orzo Skillet
- Turkey and Vegetable Skillet
- Skillet Enchilada Chicken with Black Beans and Corn
- Southwest Ground Beef Sweet Potato Skillet
Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Rice Skillet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups peeled and diced sweet potato
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup salsa or salsa verde
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 15 ounce can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Juice of a lime
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, Colby Jack, or Monterey Jack cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add in the diced sweet potatoes, salt and pepper, and sauté over medium heat for about about 8 minutes. Add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover it with a lid. Let the sweet potatoes steam until they're fork tender, about another 4 minutes depending on the size.
- Add the green chiles, black beans, rice, spices, salsa, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir everything together until combined.
- Add the shredded cheese to the top and cover the skillet with the lid. Let everything cook for another 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is warm. Serve topped with additional cilantro, avocado, and plain Greek yogurt or sour cream if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 540mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 13gSugar: 6gProtein: 14g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.
Should rice be already made?
Yes. You’ll want to use cooked rice for this recipe.
I used quinoa cooked in taco seasoning in place of rice – this recipe is especially yummy in a burrito with sour cream and guac!
I made a double batch and portion froze this – it turned out really well
Deadra Fischer says
Delicious! How much is a serving, 1 cup or 1 1/2…something else?
Cheryl Konrardy says
Made this tonight. I used frozen Cauliflower rice in place of brown. I added onion that i sautéed with the sweet potatoes, i added ground sausage also. I doubled all the spices. Turned out great. Would add corn next time. Also left out cheese. Will add to individual servings. Very good
I did it today and it was great! Definitely will do again 😍😋
Clementine Bernhardt says
Such a great recipe! Very very simple and quick. I added chorizo and caramelised onions in a separate pan and combined it all at the end. Worked very well with some smoked salt and smoked cheddar, topped with half an avo and some oat creme fraiche.
This was amazing! I didn’t have salsa verde but had a can of green enchilada sauce tucked away in the corner of my pantry that saved the day. Adding this to my favorites. Thanks for sharing!
I would like to make this for meal preps,how many days would this last in the fridge?
I’ve had the leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days and they’ve been fine.
What are the nutrition facts?
All of the nutrition information is listed under the instructions in the recipe card.
Can this be made ahead and frozen?
Yes, however I would leave the cheese off before freezing and add it as you reheat it.
Really tasty! We loved it, and I love the fact it was done in 1 pan. I used a fresh green chili (ingredients are limited here – small Scottish island – no tinned chilis or Jack cheese 😕) but found everything else I needed. Thank you!
I just made this version using Eating Well’s recipe for sweet potato black bean chili, and shared with my Diamond, daughter, Jessica. I put this over Uncle Ben’s brown basmati rice. Soo delicious!!💜🦋🌷💯
Marie Rampino says
A great way to use up leftovers! I added corn, garlic and black olives. It came out great!
Always a good idea to add olives! Thanks for trying the recipe Marie.
Thanks for the recipe! It turned out GREAT!
Had to add a little extra water to boil out so the spices weren’t too overpowering. Also added black olives as suggested! Love love love it!
Next time I plan to add some corn as well since it reminded me of a healthier chipotle bowl, and I gotta have my corn salsa on it!
All I can say is yum! LOVE this healthy, vegetarian dish! So easy to make and in my opinion, tastes just like the burrito bowl I get from chipotle minus all the unnecessary salt chipotle pours on their food! I make a pan for just me and have it for lunches throughout the week. Thanks for this recipe!
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it Courtney! Thanks for trying it out.
Robert H says
Just about to make this delicious looking recipe! I’d be grateful to know how much dried rice produces 2 cups of cooked rice..?
It’s about 3/4 cup uncooked rice, but I would just make it easy on yourself and do 1 cup uncooked since most packages of rice have the cooking directions on the bag for that amount.
This recipe is amazing! I’ve made similar recipes I found online, but the flavors are superior here. I didn’t have canned chili’s, so I subbed fresh. I only had white rice. And I served with a fried egg and a few avocado slices on top. Incredible! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for trying the recipe Liz and for the review! I love your addition of the fried egg on top too.
nice, great set of ingredients, love black beans and sweet potatoes, thank you!
Thanks Sabrina! I hope you give it a try.
Eric Anderson says
Wow!!! This is a great recipe. I didn’t have the Verde so I used Chipotle Salsa. It was not complicated, very simple ingredients The finished product completely shocked me how tender the sweet potatoes were, I guessed they would not be done. The flavor profile was great this is my meal prep for week. Definitely making again. Thank you