Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CrockPot Recipe for Sweet and Spicy Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk

This Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk was made in the crockpot.

I'm the kind of cook who has a hard time following a recipe without changing it up a bit.  In this case, the recipe started out as a sweet and spicy pork stew I spotted in Real Simple Magazine, and ended up as this Sweet and Spicy Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk.  I confess, I changed just about everything, except the idea of using the CrockPot to make a sweet and spicy stew!  I ate this over brown rice for a delicious one-dish meal, but you could also eat the stew plain, with a salad or some bread on the side.

I made this with the Granulated Stevia in the Raw that I'm becoming quite fond of, but I did use two tablespoons of regular brown sugar for better flavor.  If you don't want to use brown sugar, just replace it with two tablespoons more of the sweetener of your choice. 

Heat a little olive oil in a heavy frying pan and brown the ground turkey well; then add it to the CrockPot.

Add a little more olive oil if needed, then brown the onions and add to the CrockPot.

Peel the sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces, and add to the CrockPot.

Mix together soy sauce, chicken stock, sweetener of your choice, brown sugar, Chili Garlic Sauce, minced ginger, and minced garlic to make the sauce.

Pour the sweet and spicy sauce over the turkey-sweet potato mixture and cook on high.

After 2 1/2 to 3 hours, the sweet potatoes should be done and starting to fall apart a little.

Add one can of light coconut milk and 1/2 cup sliced green onion pieces, turn heat to low and cook for 30 minutes more.

Here's how the stew looked in the CrockPot after the final 30 minutes of cooking time.  You want some (but not all) of the sweet potato to break apart and thicken the stew.

I cooked some Uncle Ben's Converted Rice in my beloved rice cooker to serve with this, but you could also eat it plain with a salad or vegetable on the side.


CrockPot Recipe for Sweet and Spicy Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk
Makes 4-6 servings; recipe inspired by Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder from Real Simple Magazine.

Ingredients:
1 - 1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey (I use ground turkey with 7% fat, but not turkey breast)
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces about 1 inch
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup sugar, Splenda, or Stevia granulated (I used Stevia; use Splenda or Stevia for South Beach Diet)
2 T brown sugar (or use 2 T more of the sweetener of your choice)
2-3 T Chili Garlic Sauce (I used 2 T, which was plenty spicy for me!)
2 tsp. minced ginger (I used minced ginger from a jar)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup green onions sliced in 1 inch pieces + more thinly sliced green onion for garnish if desired
cooked white or brown rice for serving, optional

Instructions:
Spray CrockPot with non-stick spray.  I used a 3.5 quart CrockPot for this recipe.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a heavy frying pan and brown the ground turkey, breaking it up with the turner as it cooks.  This may take 7-8 minutes but don't rush the browning step.  Put browned meat into the CrockPot.  Add 1 tsp. more olive oil if you need it and saute the onions until they are soft and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Add onions to the CrockPot.  Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into pieces about 1 inch square.  Add sweet potatoes to the CrockPot.

Mix together the soy sauce, chicken stock, sweetener of your choice, brown sugar (or more sweetener), Chili Garlic Sauce, minced ginger, and minced garlic and pour over ingredients in the CrockPot.  Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the sweet potatoes are done and starting to fall apart just a little.  (I stirred it a couple of times, but it's not essential.)

When the sweet potatoes are done, add the can of light coconut milk and the green onion pieces, turn heat to low, and cook 30 minutes more.  Serve hot, with brown or white rice and garnished with thinly sliced green onions if desired.

To Make with Leftover Turkey: 
Add the leftover chopped turkey about 10-15 minutes before you add the coconut milk.



South Beach Suggestions:
If you're making this recipe for the South Beach Diet, it's important to use lean ground turkey (with less than 10% fat) as well as light coconut milk.  The addition of sweet potatoes would make this recipe limited to phase 2 or 3 on South Beach.  I wouldn't worry too much about using a little brown sugar for flavor in a dish like this, but definitely it would be more South Beach friendly if you replaced the brown sugar with Splenda or Stevia.

More Tasty Ideas with Ground Turkey:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Turkey Larb from What We're Eating
Greek Turkey Meatball Sandwich from Cookin' Canuck
Christine's Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce with Ground Turkey from Christine Cooks
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

90 comments:

Barbara Bakes said...

What a great, easy meal. Love the color!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Barbara! It was easy and good!

Joanne said...

Wow that just sounds delicious! I have a definite addiction to Thai flavors and I know I want to make this soon!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love sweet potatoes in stew - it's something I really hadn't tried until a couple of years ago, but it adds a nice texture and it's so healthy. This looks beautiful - the photo just pops!

Kalyn said...

Joanne, I am a huge fan of Thai flavors too. Hope you like it.

TW, I agree about the sweet potatoes. Glad you like the photo, thanks!

Kirsten@My German Kitchen...in the Rockies said...

Great twist on the original recipe! Thai is one of my favorite, too.
I have all the ingredients in the house, this will be dinner tonight. Love it.
Thanks Kalyn.
Kirsten

Kalyn said...

Kirsten, great; hope you enjoy it!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm excited to try new recipes in my slow cooker this Fall. I love how the sweet potatoes collapse a bit into the stew in this recipe. I'm bookmarking.

Rebecca said...

Yum! I hope that you post more crock pot recipes like this! 'Tis the season to start using it more often ;)

a Big Mouthful said...

Fabulous idea! Looks really good. Saving this recipe!

Val said...

Oh, yum! I can't wait to try this =P~

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a healthy and tasty dish Kalyn. I love the coconut milk in it. I should remember to use it more often. It brings such nice, healthy flavors to a dish.
Sam

Kalyn said...

Thanks Sam. I loved how the coconut milk brought the flavors together in this, because there was not a lot of sauce without it.

Mary said...

This sounds delicious and I love the Asian flavors and ingredients you have used here. This is the kind of meal my family loves. We'll be having it soon. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Kalyn said...

Thanks Mary! Glad you like it.

Jeanette said...

I've been loving my crockpot and rice cooker lately for busy weeknights - this recipe is perfect for one of our dinners during the week.

Donna said...

This is so so funny- I just went to your page to search for your brown rice and ground turkey (which I couldn't find) recipe and this one popped up! I bought the ground turkey for the other recipe, but now will make this one!! You never fail me Kalyn!!!

Laura said...

Would this work with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and Christmas? I'm already on the lookout for such recipes, and I love the idea of these flavors.

Kalyn said...

Donna, was it this Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Turkey Italian Sausage you were looking for? (I found it by searching "turkey brown rice" in the search bar. Anyway, hope you enjoy this one.

Laura, it might work to use leftover turkey for this, although it does tend to fall apart in the crockpot when it's already cooked. I'd cook the sweet potatoes with the sauce and then add the chopped cooked turkey when you add the coconut milk. There are also quite a few recipes using leftover turkey in the Thanksgiving Recipes.

Erica said...

Love all the ingredients, Kalyn!I really like the sweet potato-coconut milk combo!Sounds fantastic.

mountain mama cooks said...

Easy is always good! Plus I happen to love coconut milk and think the sweet potatoes and spicy turkey would make a lovely combination!

Kalyn said...

Erica, I did think it was a great combination.

Thanks Kelley. I am with you on the love for coconut milk!

3LittleMonkeys said...

Making this right now!

Kalyn said...

Hope you like it!

Mini said...

Planning this for Friday night dinner w/ the future in-laws... do you think if I did it on LOW for 6hours (and "hold" until I get home)-- it'll be okay?

Kalyn said...

Mini, I hesitate to say yes, because the sweet potatoes were very much falling apart after the shorter cooking time on high. I just don't know how that much longer of a cooking time would work. I might choose a different CrockPot recipe like Southwestern Pot Roast or Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro if you need it to cook all day.

Sue said...

The recipe you invented sounds great! I love sweet potatoes and coconut milk! Unfortunately, the only crockpot I have is double your size and turkey is not widely available in Switzerland. I bet this would also taste fine over shirataki noodles or cauliflower rice. I'll save the recipe and will buy ground turkey when I come across some.

BTW slow cookers are even harder to get than turkey in Switzerland. I've ordered mine from the United States and I paid more than $150 for shipping. I must own the most expensive slow cooker in the world because in addition to that I paid about $240 for a transformer!

Kalyn said...

Sue, wow that is incredible that a slow cooker is so hard to get there. Next time, let me mail it to you! Hope you get a chance to try this.

Nicole Bush said...

This is the most satisfying stew I have ever had!! Love it! Just tried it last night. I really love the coconut milk, it really made the dish unique.

Kalyn said...

Nicole, so glad you enjoyed it. I really liked the coconut milk too. Thinking I will have to try more things with coconut milk in the slow cooker.

Donna said...

Well I thought I had bought ground turkey but instead bought sausage!! How could I have done that!! And thank you for the brown rice link, and yup that was the one!! Anyway I did make this tonight but instead of turkey I used ground beef! It was all I had and I wanted to make this so bad. But guess what - it was fantastic!! I know it would have been healthier with the turkey but this was, as my husband said -- give it two yums!!! Thanks again Kalyn!!

Kalyn said...

Well Donna, it's good to know that it's good with ground beef as well!

Laura said...

This looks awesome! Glad to hear it was good with beef too, as that is what I am more likely to have on hand.

a Big Mouthful said...

I'm going to make this for dinner tonight! I'm going to make it on the stove instead of the slow cooker, though. Thanks for the lovely dinner inspiration! :)

Kalyn said...

Hope you enjoy! I think this should be easy to adapt to cooking on the stove. Love to hear how it turns out.

Michal said...

Wow! Delicious! We just had it for dinner tonight. We are a big family so I had to double the recipe (used splenda). It was out of this world! So delicious! Everybody loved it and enjoyed it so much. This recipe is a winner. Thank you for posting it!

Kalyn said...

Michal, so glad you enjoyed it so much! Have fun cooking for that big family. I grew up in a family of 12, and used to cook sometimes when my mom needed a break. (Of course now that I'm grown up I wish I had cooked to help her a lot more!)

Corey said...

Hey Kalyn ! I'm Chef Corey from Family Fresh Meals. This crockpot recipe is so unique! Love it :)I just started a new recipe Linky called Sunday Funday: Recipe of the Week.This recipe would be perfect for the first week theme CROCKPOT.Hope come join the fun. Hope you stop by and join!
XO Chef Corey

Lescargot said...

I made this yesterday and it was wonderful. I used regular sugar, but everything else as you suggested. It was really spicy but this dish would have been too bland without it!! Next time I might use a little less than the 2 T of Thai Garlic Chili that I used this time (but not a lot less). Thanks for the great recipe.

Kalyn said...

So glad you enjoyed it!

Becky said...

Kalyn,
I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes... I printed this one and shopped for it over the weekend, but didn't have time to make it until last night (even though it's pretty quick). What can I say? It's amazing... just thinking about it makes me want to go heat up my lunch (leftovers!). Hubby loved it too... and I'll be passing it on to several people! Thanks so much -- btw: I didn't have quite enough time to let it slow cook for 2.5 - 3 hours, so I microwaved the sweet potato cubes for about 8 minutes to give them a jump start... got done quicker and was still so amazing!

Kalyn said...

Hi Becky,
So glad you liked it. And the idea of microwaving the sweet potato for a little bit is pure genius!

kay said...

holy cow!! this is so amazing!! feel like i have gone to Asia! thanks so much. my husband thanks you too!!

Gigi said...

DELICIOUS!! This recipe is top notch & I can't believe I made something this flavorful! Thank you so much -- I'm a novice cooker & am looking for great slow cooker recipes... the sweet potatoes are setting this stew off & the flavors are amazing!

Kalyn said...

Kay and Gigi, so glad you liked it!

Rebecca said...

Kalyn, do you think I could substitute agave syrup for the brown sugar in this?

Kalyn said...

I can't think of any reason agave wouldn't work. I'd use the amber kind if you have it.

Rebecca said...

Reporting back: I used three packets of Splenda (I didn't have the scooopable kind) and a little over 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. of the amber agave syrup. The flavors were wonderful--a perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory. I also had a little cilantro lying around and chopped some up, figuring that it would complement these flavors--it did.

Kalyn said...

Rebecca, thanks for letting us know. (And I am always in favor of adding cilantro!)

the mama said...

I'm on a cleanse and I can't have soy sauce. Can you think of a good sub?

Kalyn said...

Since the recipe has quite a bit of soy sauce I'm having a hard time imagining it without it. Maybe beef stock would work, but I'm not sure.

Kiki said...

I tried this last night after finding it on Pinterest and we loved it! It's definitely on my list to make again!

Kalyn said...

So glad you liked it!

Nikki said...

WOW! This came out so delicious! I do the same thing, taking inspiration from a recipe and then changing it up. I had some left over roasted sweet potatoes so I just carmelized onions, browned the turkey in a pan, added some other vegetables, red thai chili paste, and a bit of lemongrass (along with everything you put in the recipe) and it came out amazingly delicious! My fiance was shocked because I put it together rather quickly and it was so yummy :)

Erin said...

I loved this the first time I made it using brown sugar but tonight I made it with Stevia not realizing that the ratios are so different. A word to the wise, if using a substitute use a LOT less. We had to throw the whole thing away!

Kalyn said...

Erin the Stevia packets are a lot sweeter than the granulated Stevia, so I assume that is what you used? I have only used the Stevia in the Raw Granulated Stevia but have had good results using that 1:1 like sugar.

Mamafritz said...

I made this recipe tonight. I skipped the chili garlic sauce and added a teaspoon of chili powder instead (as we are spice wimps at my house). It was so good and different. My 3 & 5 year old both liked and ate it as well.

Kalyn Denny said...

Mamafritz, especially glad to hear that the kids liked it!

Lindsey said...

Made this a few weeks ago and my husband, 18 month old son, and I all LOVED it! Crockpot recipes are my go-to on evenings that I won't have time to make dinner and this is one of our favorites already. We are having it for the 3rd time tonight!!! Thanks to Pinterest for helping me find you!

Kalyn Denny said...

Lindsey, so glad it was a hit!

Kalyn Denny said...

Lindsey, so glad you enjoyed it so much! (And yaay for Pinterest; love it!)

Michelle McCallister said...

I'm thinking about making this for dinner tonight! However, I have some broccoli that really needs to be eaten. Do you think it'd be good in the stew (like added at the time you added the green onions) or just better to have it on the side?

Kalyn Denny said...

I'd probably just serve the broccoli on the side. Hope you enjoy it!

MBRox said...

This was absolutely delicious!

Kalyn Denny said...

So glad you liked it!

Anne Johnson said...

Good starting place but way too sweet...will increase the spices and eliminate the sweetness except for the brown sugar.

Kalyn Denny said...

Anne, we did not find it overly sweet but everyone has their own tastebuds!

First Mate Clarke said...

I made this tonight and it was amazing! I used Truvia for the sweetener (about 1/4 cup). Thank you for posting this. It warmed our house up on a dreary day in Nome, Alaska.

Kalyn Denny said...

So glad you liked it!

Sharon said...

I made this last night for company and everyone loved it! It was great - simple and flavourful. I deal with a lot of food sensitivities - sugar being one of them, so I used coconut sugar. Thank you!

Kalyn Denny said...

Sharon, glad to hear it was a hit. I am curious about experimenting with coconut sugar.

Sharon said...

Re the coconut suger - I haven't found that it chances the flavour of any foods yet. I'm going to try some baking this weekend, so we'll see how that works. FYI - I also had one person attending who doesn't like coconut. He had a hard time reconciling the fact that he loved his dinner!!

Sharon said...

Oops - previous post should have read "changes", not "chances".

Jennifer Booth said...

I found this recipe via pinterest and wanted to take the time to comment on this wonderful dish. Very easy to make, delicious flavours and easy to follow directions. I added 2 tbsp of sriracha sauce and found the spice level good for hubby and I, but a bit zippy for the kiddo's (which can be easily fixed with less spice). Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

Kalyn Denny said...

Jennifer, so glad you enjoyed it! I love Sriracha, so I approve of using it here!

M. Cubernet said...

This was great! Really enjoyed it - thanks for sharing. I do agree with another commenter who said it was a bit sweet - I will definitely reduce the sugar next time (I used regular granulated sugar).

Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow! :)

Kalyn Denny said...

Glad you enjoyed it!

Erin Lavin said...

I don't usually post on recipe blogs, but I just had to say how delicious this was. I made it exactly as the recipe states, and it was just absolutely divine. Making it again this weekend for a friend who doesn't eat dairy. Thanks so much!

Kalyn Denny said...

Erin, so glad you enjoyed it!

Shannon Franklin said...

This was awesome! I added extra veggies ( zucchini and bell peppers). Loved it.

Kalyn Denny said...

Shannon, so glad you liked it!

NaomiMarie said...

Sounds delicious. Out of coconut milk, any substitutions or can do without it?

Kalyn Denny said...

I think the coconut milk is a pretty important part of the recipe here, so I would hesitate to recommend something to substitute. Sorry.

Lego315 said...

This was excellent! I made it for dinner this evening. I substituted the coconut milk with almond milk (since I didn't have any coconut milk) and it was delish! Thanks for the awesome recipe. My 2 picky eaters ate it too. This will definitely be a new recipe to add to our routine meals list. Yum!

Kalyn Denny said...

Great idea to use almond milk, and I am so glad to hear it was a hit.

sincethesplit said...

This recipe was super easy and had great flavor. I do agree with some of the other commenters though - this was too sweet for my taste. I'd probably use a quarter of the white sugar. Otherwise a great dish, I will definitely be making again! I think I may even add some chick peas or kale next time. :)

Kalyn Denny said...

I didn't use white sugar, I used 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Not sure if that made a difference, but less sugar is always good!

Dustin Starkey said...

This is amazing! We arent eating it for a couple more hours and I have yet to put in the coconut milk. But what I have tasted is awesome! Thanks for the recipe!!!

Sara said...

Any advice on how to make this on the stovetop? I've made it many times in the crockpot and love it! But I've just moved and my crockpot is still being shipped to me! Please help!

Kalyn Denny said...

I can only guess, since I haven't made it that way. I would use about 2 cups chicken stock to simmer the ingredients on the stove, then add the coconut milk when the sweet potatoes are tender. Be sure the stock is mostly cooked away before you add the coconut milk.

Blogging tips