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Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash

Do you have a treasured family recipe or favorite weeknight dish that you just love…..but after all of your reading about nutrition, you suspect that it’s not especially good FOR you?

For some occasions, you have to be true to the recipe and make it just like Grandma did. But for many dishes, with a little creativity, there are tweaks and substitutions that can make it more prostate-healthy and heart-healthy, without sacrificing taste.

The original recipe for this meat-and-potato hash calls for ground pork, potatoes, and no added veggies. Fresh ginger, soy, and Worcestershire sauces add savory umami flavor. While keeping the delicious flavor, a few simple changes made it healthier. We swapped ground turkey for the pork and sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes. Chop and sauté any veggies you like, and throw them in the mix: think bell peppers, pre-washed baby spinach (no prep required!), or zucchini.

Why these changes? In their recent nutrition guidance, Drs. June Chan and Stacey Kenfield of UCSF recommend eating a variety of plant-based foods, including colorful vegetables, as well as healthy proteins such as skinless poultry. Adding sweet potatoes (Vitamin A!) and extra veggies to the pot makes it easy to boost your veggie intake.

And, if your doctor has advised you to lower your sodium intake, feel free to reduce the amount of soy sauce/tamari to taste.

Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1 ¼ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking the veggies
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups chopped veggies of your choice


    1. In a medium skillet, sauté chopped veggies in a little olive oil over medium-high heat until tender. Set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the cubed sweet potatoes, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ cup water. Cover with plastic wrap or a plate and microwave on high until almost tender, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Drain the potatoes. Note: do not microwave until fully cooked, or they will turn mushy in Step 4.
    3. In a medium bowl, mix the turkey, ginger, sugar, tomato paste, scallion whites, and ¾ tsp pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, heat 1 Tbsp oil until shimmering. Add the turkey mixture and cook, breaking it into small pieces and stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and wipe out the skillet.
    4. Set the skillet over medium-high, add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil and heat until shimmering. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisped, about 15 minutes.
    5. Return the turkey mixture to the skillet, add the sautéed veggies, and add the soy sauce/tamari, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Toss, then stir in half of the scallion greens and half of the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the remaining scallion greens and cilantro sprinkled on top.

Adapted from Milk Street Tuesday Nights