Black bean, sweet potato, ham, and tomato breakfast skillet

Disclaimer: I was given free product to use from Petit Jean Meats. All opinions are my own. 

As we just returned from our big Europe trip last Thursday, we weren’t quite ready to venture out for holiday shopping the second weekend of December. That left last weekend – otherwise known as the last shopping weekend before Christmas – for Team Sparkle to hunt down all of the Christmas gifts that we already knew that we wanted. To motivate the troops, I knew I had to pull together a spectacular little breakfast. One that would sustain us* for hours of holiday shopping. 

*When I say “us”, I actually just mean “me”. Husband loves finding the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on his list. I hate leaving the house on the weekends. He is in charge of morale, I’m in charge of snacks. It works. 

The breakfast that I pulled together was supremely satisfying, but tasted fresh enough that we didn’t sink into a food coma afterwards (admittedly, I wouldn’t have been too disappointed if we would have had to delay shopping just a bit longer). 

I started with a base of sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, and olive oil. I cook the potatoes first uncovered, then reduce the heat and cover loosely to let them steam a bit. I have no idea if this is an efficient cooking method. I just know that this methodology has been honed over years. 

After cooking the potatoes a bit, I added canned black beans, diced tomatoes, fully-cooked spiral-sliced ham from Petit Jean Meats, and spices including cumin, paprika, and cayenne. I also use a cup of vegetable broth in skillets like this. I find that it helps the flavors blend and also keeps the bits at the bottom from burning. 

I topped the skillet with a soft-fried egg each, plus purchased tomatillo salsa. Mine also had avocado and cilantro, both of which Husband skipped in favor of tortillas. 

Although the total cooking time is about thirty minutes, don’t let that put you off. This is an easy dish that requires very minimal supervision. You can easily multi-task while the skillet simmers away. 

Black bean, sweet potato, ham, and tomato breakfast skillet
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

You will need:
  • 1/2 medium sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. each cumin and dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. each paprika, sea salt, and black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (adjust down to 1/8 tsp. for a less-spicy dish)
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 to 3 cups spinach and baby kale 
  • 3/4 cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cups spiral-sliced Petit Jean ham, diced
Optional toppings:
  • Poached or fried egg (one per serving)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced avocado
  • Tomatillo salsa
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium. Add onion, sweet potato, garlic, and olive oil. Cook uncovered for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Loosely cover the skillet with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook for 8-10 minutes, until potato is slightly softened. 
  • Remove lid, add spices and veggie broth. Cook for ten minutes, then stir in black beans, sliced ham, and tomatoes. 
  • Cook for another ten minutes, then add spinach/kale blend. Cook until the greens are softened (about four or five minutes). 
  • Serve hot, topped with an egg, tomatillo salsa, sliced avocado, and scattered fresh cilantro. 
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