Southwest Turkey Vegetable and Rice Skillet is creamy, cheesy, full of vegetables, lean ground turkey and brown rice. Easy and on the table in 30 minutes!
This recipe and photos have been updated since they were originally published on 8/8/2016
Skillet dinner, one pan meal, one pot dinner, there’s several names for this type of cooking and it’s the way I make most of my dinners. As someone who hates doing dishes skillet and one pot meals have earned their own category on Recipe Runner.
A few of my favorite skillet and one pot meals are Mexican chicken, sweet potato and black bean skillet, turkey and vegetable skillet, and when I’m craving lot of carbs, one pot parmesan chicken, spinach and orzo.
I’m guessing if you’re looking at this recipe, you might also not be a fan of dirtying ever dish you own just to make an easy weeknight dinner. If that’s the case, I think that you will find many dinner recipes to try out while you’re here. I highly recommend starting with this Southwest Turkey Vegetable and Rice Skillet, especially if you’re a fan of Mexican and Southwest inspired cuisine.
Ingredients For Southwest Turkey Vegetable and Rice Skillet
- Ground turkey
- Yellow onion
- Canned or frozen green chiles
- Cooked brown rice
- Chili powder and ground cumin
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
How to Make Southwest Turkey Vegetable and Rice Skillet
Add some olive oil to a large skillet. I like to use one that’s a little deeper and that has a lid, but it isn’t a requirement. Heat the oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the turkey, onion, spices, salt and pepper to the skillet and crumble the meat with a wooden spoon or a potato masher works well.
When the turkey is nearly cooked through add in the garlic, green chiles, tomato, zucchini and corn. Continue to cook everything until the zucchini is tender, but not mushy. Remember the zucchini will continue to cook for several more minutes.
Add in the cooked rice and half of the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and then remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt until it’s thoroughly combined and then top with the remaining cheese.
Cover the skillet with a lid or a piece of foil and let it sit for several minutes until the cheese on top is melted. Garnish with chopped cilantro if you’d like and serve.
Rice – Use long grain white, Jasmine or Basmati rice instead of brown. You can also use cooked quinoa or farro.
Vegetables – Zucchini may be replaced with a red or green bell pepper, yellow squash or even a can of black beans.
Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt can be replaced with low fat or full fat sour cream.
Ground Turkey – Try substituting with ground chicken or ground beef.
Time Saving Tip
If you’re like me and hate cooking rice, especially brown rice, I highly recommend using a pouch or two of pre-cooked rice. They come in all varieties and only take 90 seconds in the microwave to heat up. You can even skip the microwaving for this recipe because it will warm up and finish cooking on the stove with the turkey and vegetable mixture.
More Skillet Dinner Recipes
- Skillet Chicken Fajitas
- Southwest Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Skillet
- Greek Meatballs and Orzo Skillet
- Skillet Thai Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry
- Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet
Southwest Turkey, Vegetable and Rice Skillet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey, I use 93/7%
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup plain non fat or low fat Greek yogurt
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot swirl the oil to coat the bottom and add in the ground turkey, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to crumble the meat.
- When the turkey is almost cooked through, lower the heat to medium and add in the garlic, green chiles, zucchini, corn and tomato. Cook for several more minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
- Add in the cooked rice and half of the cheese. Stir everything together until heated through and the cheese is melted.
- Turn off the heat and remove the skillet from the hot burner. Stir in the Greek yogurt until everything is combined and then top with the remaining cheese. Cover the skillet with a lid or piece of foil and let it sit for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 42g
This is so yummy! This looks like it might be a good freezer meal for my “feed the new mommas” campaign. Leaving out the zucchini and tomatoes but precooking everything else and freezing – does that sound about right?
Hi Rachel, yes, if planning to freeze leave out the zucchini and tomatoes unless the mushy texture isn’t an issue for you.
Hi, it says serving size is “1” and I was wondering what that means? 1 oz? 1 lb? Thanks
Did you put cilantro on top? I don’t see that in the recipe but it looks like there’s something like cilantro or parsley sprinkled on top.
Sorry about that Sarah, yes there is cilantro sprinkled on top. It’s totally optional, but I tend to add it to all my Southwest/Mexican recipes. :-)
Haley Roth says
Is there a reason why the fat content is so high per serving? I feel like everything in this doesn’t have that much fat, besides the greek yogurt and cheese. If I used 99% lean ground turkey, would this help?
Hi Haley! Thanks for noticing the high fat content in the recipe, there was definitely an error. I recalculated the nutrition and everything looks much more accurate now. Generally for ground turkey I use 93/7 lean and every once in a while 99%. I find the flavor much better in the 93/7.
Jonny Tsunami says
My friend made this and thought it was terrible. However, its his fault because he left out the greek yogurt. If you want to have a bad time, leave out ingredients. If you want to enjoy this, follow the instructions like a good human would.
I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate this comment, thank you. :-)
So I have like four recipes I want to print off from your website, but I can’t find a single one! Where do I find the recipes? I might be dumb….totally possible :-)
It’s not you, there seems to be an issue with my recipe card plugin at the moment. I’m working on getting it fixed. Try checking back later tonight or tomorrow. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.
Could this be used as a meal prep idea and stored in fridge for days ?
Do you have the nutritional facts for this recipe?
This was so good – everyone went back for seconds! I had a random can of pinto beans, so I added those. Thanks for a keeper!
I love the pinto bean addition Stacy! I’m so glad you and the family liked it.
Could you sub the Greek yogurt with heavy cream?
I haven’t tried doing that, but I’m sure it would work fine. I would maybe start with a 1/4 cup of cream and check the consistency then add more if needed.
What is the calorie count for this dish?
Melinda McGowan says
Can this be frozen? I want to make it for just two people and hope I can have an extra dinner in the freezer.
This can absolutely be frozen, however the texture of the zucchini will get a little mushy, so if that bothers you, you may want to leave it out.
I had some leftover brown rice and some ground turkey to use up and this recipe was perfect. Thanks
Glad to hear you liked it Mike!
Just made it. So good the whole family loved it. ????
I’m happy to hear your whole family loved it Stephanie! Thanks for trying it out. :-)
Joann Egrie says
What is the approximate measurements of the serving size It states 5-6 but how many ounces or cups are those servings
Was panicking about what to make for dinner tonight, so Pinterest to the rescue. I searched for ground turkey recipes and this one came up. Can you believe I had all of the ingredients on the list? My husband, son and I all loves it! Quick, and flavorful! Thanks! ????
Nothing is better than finding a recipe and having all the ingredients to make it! Thanks for trying it out Alissa!
I’ve made this twice to meal prep with and it’s been great both times!!
Happy to hear you like it Alyssa, one of my favorites!
Do you think cauliflower would be a good substitute for the rice?
I haven’t tried this recipe with cauliflower (I’m assuming you mean cauliflower rice). However, I think it would work well in here. If you do try it that way I’d love to hear how it turns out. :-)
I gave this a try substituting cauliflower rice instead of regular rice to lighten it up a bit so I could enjoy a larger portion ;)
Turned out great in my opinion.
Hello! I am making this tonight. I have everything except for the yogurt and don’t have time to stop at the store. What would make great substitute? Sour cream maybe?
You can absolutely use sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt. Enjoy!
danita watson says
Was i supposed to cook the zucchini first?
Nope, it goes in raw. Zucchini cooks fast so by the time everything else is cooked the zucchini should be as well.
Amy B says
Made this tonight and it was so good! I was a little nervous at first because it didn’t look like the picture, but as soon as I added the cheese and greek yogurt it became super creamy. Will definitely be making again as I’m always looking for new groupd turkey recipes!
Thanks for trying the recipe Amy and I’m glad you liked it! Isn’t it wonderful how creamy Greek yogurt can make a dish?!
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
Easy meals like this are my favorite! So perfect for busy weeknights!
This is back-to-busy perfection. All of the deliciousness in one simple and easy dish! This is why I love stopping by!
Thanks for stopping by Karly! :-)
Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says
I gotta make this STAT!
Taylor Kiser says
Love how quick and easy this is! It looks so delicious!
Cynthia | What A Girl Eats says
Love anything that can be made in under 30 minutes! Boy you guys are back early. I’m a teacher and while I start this week…we don’t get kids until the 15th. (Still too early for me!)
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life says
We still have 2 weeks until school starts here, but this would be a perfect dinner to have ready on those busy nights! I haven’t been to many ranches lately either…LOL…so I love the new name and the healthier substitutions!
Thanks Jocelyn, glad you like the new name! ;-)
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says
I’m starving and could totally eat this for breakfast lol It looks SO good!
I’m all about leftovers for breakfast some days and this one totally was! :-)
Kristen Chidsey says
We still have 3 weeks until school starts here, but I am bookmarking this–because it will be such a great go-to those busy nights!