This Meal Prep Skinny Taco Bake is a delicious and healthier take on a taco dinner filled with ground turkey, sweet potatoes and bell peppers.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – any neutral oil will work like grapeseed oil, canola oil or avocado oil.
- Sweet potato – yams or butternut squash can be used instead or you can use a white or red potato.
- Ground turkey – ground chicken, ground pork or extra lean ground beef would all be good in this recipe.
- Yellow onion – red onion, sweet onion or shallots would be the best substitutes here.
- Garlic – use fresh or jarred minced garlic in this recipe.
- Chili powder – cayenne pepper or crushed chili flakes are great alternatives to chili powder.
- Cumin – ground coriander, curry powder or caraway seeds will provide a similar flavour.
- Paprika – cayenne pepper is a great alternative to paprika. Chili powder or taco seasoning can also be used as a substitution.
- Green, red and yellow bell peppers – use any or all colours of your choice. Poblano peppers can add a touch of spice.
- Cheddar cheese – use any shredded cheese blend of your choice. Tex Mex, habanero cheese blend or a sharp cheddar cheese are all great options.
- Tomatoes – beefsteak tomatoes are great but any tomato of your choice can be used.
- Green onions – swap out for some red onion or leave this off altogether.
- Cilantro – leave this off altogether if you don’t have any on hand.
- Tortilla chips – any tortilla chip brand you like can be used.
How to make taco bake
- Bake the sweet potatoes.
- Cook the turkey mixture.
- Combine the turkey mixture, bell peppers and sweet potatoes.
- Top with cheese.
- Bake until the cheese has melted.
- Serve and enjoy!
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What to serve on the side
The great thing about this taco bake recipe is that it makes a pretty complete meal all by itself. It already has meat, cheddar cheese, onions, bell peppers and diced tomatoes.
If you do want to serve a healthy side dish, black beans are a good choice. You can also serve this taco bake with cauliflower rice or your favourite tortilla chips. If you can find them in your grocery store, there are quinoa tortilla chips and lower carb flour tortillas available. Any leftover taco bake can be used as an easy pre-made nacho topping or as filling for a tasty burrito.
Oh, and don’t forget, you can customize the toppings! I like to serve the taco casserole with sour cream, some green chilis, pickled jalapeno slices and slices of avocado or fresh guacamole.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your family loves tacos, this taco bake recipe may become your new favourite for taco night! Taco bakes are a casserole that are low-carb but has all the taco flavours you love. There are several different versions of a taco bake recipe floating around the Internet but they all were made with Doritos, mac and cheese or tortilla layers. I wanted to make a taco bake that was meal prep friendly, lower in carbs and that could be served any way you prefer!
This taco casserole bakes in the oven at 400° Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes (keep in mind that the sweet potatoes and turkey mixture are cooked beforehand).
There are 453 calories per serving in this delicious taco bake. It’s a healthier alternative for taco night that doesn’t sacrifice on any of the flavour!
Storing and reheating
Store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. When storing, I recommend transferring the taco bake into individual servings so that they're the perfect grab-and-go lunch or dinner for the week.
When you’re ready to reheat, pop the individual servings in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until fully warmed. Another option is to place the leftovers in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit until heated throughout.
Freezing this recipe
Just like most of my meal prep dinners, this meal prep taco casserole is very freezer-friendly. As long as it's covered well, taco bake will keep well in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. It’s a versatile meal prep idea, too. You can divide the mixture out into meal prep containers, or freeze the casserole whole if you want to.
Regardless of how you want to freeze it, be sure that the taco casserole is cool before placing it in the freezer. If the casserole is too warm when you freeze it, condensation will form into ice on the top. That's how freezer burn begins, and you don't want that to happen. Let it defrost in the fridge overnight then follow the reheating instructions above.
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More Tex Mex recipes
- Low Carb Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Meal Prep Individual Taco Pizza
- Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Chipotle Copycat)
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on using the taco casserole in your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
Meal Prep Skinny Taco Bake
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 large sweet potato, diced
- 1 lb ground turkey or chicken (can also use ground beef)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 each red, green and yellow pepper, diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Tortilla chips for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss sweet potato with 1 tbsp olive oil in an 8×11 or 9×13 baking dish then season with salt & pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until sweet potato is fork tender.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining tbsp olive oil over med-high heat in a large skillet. Add ground turkey, onions and garlic, breaking up meat with a slotted spoon, then add chili powder, cumin, paprika and salt. Mix to combine well and cook for 5-6 minutes until meat starts to brown.
- Remove sweet potatoes from oven and add in turkey mixture along with bell peppers. Top with cheddar cheese then bake for 10 minutes until cheese is fully melted.
- Top with tomatoes, green onion and cilantro then serve and enjoy!
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