You know those nights you have nothing planned for dinner so you go searching all your cabinets and fridge for something to throw together? Yeah, me too. But fortunately, my lapse in planning can turn into something delicious and that’s exactly what happened with this recipe.

After a long, uphill hike on San Juan Island, we got back to the house around 7:15 pm and I hadn’t even begun to think about dinner. I looked around the kitchen and low-and-behold, I had a sweet potato, 1 lbs ground turkey, a jar of tomatillo salsa, and some frozen riced cauliflower. I thought, what the heck?! This could be interesting. It was so much more! It was delicious and is now one of our favorites.

This recipe is easy to make and even easier to eat since it is so flavorful — zesty, spicy, and creamy with a hint of sweetness from the sweet potatoes. You could also make it ahead of time, or make parts of the recipe ahead of time (such as roasting the sweet potatoes or cooking the ground meat).

Turkey Tomatillo Casserole | Paleo, Low-carb, Keto | The Real Food Effect by Candace Kennedy, Holistic Nutritionist

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lbs ground turkey, pasture-raised (you could also use ground beef, lamb, or shredded chicken)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, riced
  • 3/4 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 3 T cultured sour cream (I like Nancy’s)
  • 3/4 cup raw cheddar cheese from grass-fed cows, divided into 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup (optional. Omit if you don’t tolerate dairy well.)
  • 3 T olive oil or butter, divided (duck fat would also be delicious here)
  • sea salt
  • pepper


Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 T olive oil (or butter) and sea salt. Roast for 25 minutes, tossing once half-way through, until soft throughout. When the sweet potatoes are finished roasting, keep the oven at 375 (you’ll still need to bake the casserole).
  3. Meanwhile, add 1 T cooking fat to a medium skillet and saute the onions over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize. Don’t skip this step. Get those onions nice and golden.
  4. In a separate skillet, add 1 T cooking fat and brown the ground turkey over medium-high heat. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Once the onions are golden, add the riced cauliflower to the skillet and saute over medium heat until the cauliflower begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Toss in some sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Combine the softened cauliflower and onions, browned turkey, and roasted sweet potatoes into a large glass pyrex. Add the sour cream, tomatillo salsa, and 1/2 cup raw cheddar cheese. Give it a good stir until all of the ingredients are combined. Spread the mixture out in your pyrex into one layer. 
  7. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and bake the casserole in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese melts and starts to turn golden.


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Turkey Tomatillo Casserole | Paleo, Low-carb, Keto | The Real Food Effect by Candace Kennedy, Holistic Nutritionist