Pakistani Kima Recipe (One Pan Meal)

Pakistani Kima Recipe - One Pan 30 Minutes or less

It has a weird name, but Pakistani Kima is one of my favorite fast dinner recipes. This is a recipe that a friend suggested, and I adapted slightly to fit our family’s preferences. It is typically made with white potatoes, though sweet potatoes gives is a great complex flavor. This is another great recipe that is more traditional if you prefer it that way.

healthy paleo pakistani kima with sweet potatoesPakistani Kima is a one-pan delicious pan stir-fry that also reheats very well and makes a great omelett when mixed with eggs. It’s also one that kids (depending on age) can help make, which always makes them more likely to eat it. It has complex and delicious flavors and makes the house smell amazing! Many thanks to reader Sara for sending in the photo 🙂

Pakistani Kima Recipe - One Pan 30 Minutes or less

14 votes


Pakistani Kima




Yield 4 -6

An easy one-pan skillet meal with delicious flavor and aroma. Kids love this!


  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 pound ground beef (or venison, buffalo, etc) (I get from US Wellness meats)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can or jar of diced tomatoes (organic, no BPA), drained or 2 medium fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder or more to taste
  • 3-4 medium sweet potatos, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic powder (or more to taste)


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet and add diced onion. Cook three minutes or until starting to become translucent.
  2. Add ground meat and cook until well browned. While cooking, add curry powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic salt.
  3. Once meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes (drain off liquid first!), peeled and diced sweet potatoes, green beans and any additional spices if needed.
  4. Cover pan and simmer 20+ minutes or until sweet potatoes have softened. Check after ten minutes and add a couple tablespoons of water or chicken broth if needed.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

Courses Main

Cuisine Pakistani

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What’s your best healthy “fast food?” Please share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. you do realize that the Garlic powder listed in the ingredient list and the garlic salt called for in the directions are different things?  which do YOU use?

    • Garlic powder… forgot a comma between garlic and salt, I think… Thanks!

      • Totally overlooked the garlic powder. Turned out great anyway. Will be making this one again.

  2. Made this a couple of days ago … it was delicious!! Thanks!

  3. I made this tonight for my family and it was a huge hit! Delicious! I jumped into the wellness challenge and have been thankful for the recipes you’ve posted to help on the journey. Thanks!

  4. Made this tonight for the family…definite hit! It was delicious.

  5. This is an awesome quick dinner! I don’t keep curry powder on hand, so I just added a little extra fenugreek, cardamom, coriander, et al. It was amazing with ground bison, but next time I’m going to add cauliflower too, as many of the other Pakistani Kima recipes I’ve found call for it.

  6. Wow! I made this tonight and it was awesome. My kids loved it, which makes it even better. Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful meals. You have made dinner at my house so much easier!

  7. This is delicious! I cant even imagine it without the sweet potatoes. They go so well with the cinnamon! It almost reminds me of thanksgiving. This will definitely be a regular dish in our household!

  8. I have made variations of this several times… we love it!

  9. While this is very different from traditional Pakistani Kima (which literally means “ground meat”), it looks amazing and I cannot wait to try this! Being Pakistani, I grew up with tons of deliciously flavorful and spicy food but realized when I was more grown up how fattening a lot of it is!! I’m so glad I found a healthier alternative to one of my favorite dishes! Thanks!

  10. delicious! very happily surprised with this recipe!

  11. What do you do when your child refuses to eat any of the meal? (She’s 8). Do you give her something else or would she eat nothing and then not get any snack before bed?

    • My rule is that everyone eats the same thing. No one is forced to eat if he/she is truly not hungry, but I don’t allow complaints or negative comments either. I absolutely will not make special food for anyone short of homemade soup during an illness.

      • I would like to try that. If they don’t eat supper would you still give them a bedtime snack? Thx!

        • Nope… but I will let them eat the food from dinner if they decide they are actually hungry.

          • Same school here Mama. If you don’t eat what I make go hungry. I never made allowances for my son and he learned to like a wide variety of foods. It irritates me when my friend’s kids won’t eat anything but McNuggets, mac and cheese or pizza. Feed them a variety at a young age and they will learn to like it.

  12. Wonderful, love it but the food wimps in my home wont even try it. Super, left overs all for me

    • also, took a long time for the sweet potatoes to cook. I would add the beans when the potatoes are almost done

  13. I want to make this but I need to know if I am supposed to drain off the ground beef after it has browned?

    • If it is grass fed, then no, but if not, then drain.

  14. is there anything you can substitute the butter with?.. im sick and have asthma and i cannot have anything thats made from milk due to the fact that it causes bad congestion, and id really like to make this

    • You can use ghee (clarified butter) instead of butter; it has no dairy content.

  15. Yum, this was great. I loved the flavors! My husband won’t eat it so I won’t have it often but it will be one of those go to’s for having women over.

  16. Hmmm… I was hoping for some ideas for fast food. My go to I guess would be stir frys. Cooks quickly. Or fish because it thaws and cooks quickly.

  17. My healthy, vegan and gluten free, go to fast food is: hummus, mock tabbouleh (I use rice instead of bulgar wheat), and corn chips. I will also add variety with chopped up cucumber, onion, and avocado. Such a quick dinner and my entire family LOVES it. The rice mixture is what takes the time, but not much at all. And for anyone who does meat and dairy you can always have that option on the side as well. ENJOY!

  18. Just curious, but how can you tell if a can has BPA in it or not? is there any way to tell (or do you look at the label?)

  19. I tried this last night and everyone loved it! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing:)

  20. Can you suggest a substitute for the green beans? We have some people in our family who do not like green beans.

  21. I absolutely ADORE this recipe! Never tried Pakistani food before this, but WOW! I’m sure that true Pakistani food is much spicier, but this was just perfect for me, considering I have no tolerance for spice (when eating out I would always ask if they could do zero stars :P) Thank you Katie, for such a wonderful recipe, I think it’s my new favorite dish! Who knew that eating healthy could be SO delicious!

  22. I am of Pakistani origin and “Keema” was one of the dishes that I was brought up on. It may seem to be a weird name to yourself but infact “Keema” in Punjabi just means “minced meat”.

    The traditional way of cooking it is with minced meat, potatoes and green peas. You can use a good healthy oil such as unrefined coconut oil instead of ghee (purified butter). Using a good spice mix that includes ground coriander, paprika, cumin, turmeric according to taste – be that 1/2 tsp or more! Also I prefer fresh garlic as opposed to the powder. The powder is quite concentrated taste which is great because a little goes a long way but there can be a bitter taste to it. Green chillies (use according to taste). Fresh coriander for seasoning.

    • I love your website so much but like Samina says, the name of the dish has a meaning. You shouldn’t call something weird just because it’s unfamiliar or new, in this case, it is a word in another language from another culture. Not weird!

      • Ditto! It’s so important that we pause before labeling, even off-handedly. Kima IS weird, if you haven’t heard it, but that word “weird” has a lot of derogatory meanings (I’m sure that weren’t meant here). At the very least, since we know this dish is from Pakistan, I’m sure glad it was a pretty name! I love kima/keema, and am making this yummy version tonight!

  23. I made this last night, and it was delicious. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  24. I have a freezer full of venison and a produce stand across the street selling local green beans. Guess what I’ll be making tonight!!!

  25. My go-to recipe when I need something quick and easy is chicken stir-fry, especially if I’ve precooked the chicken! 🙂

  26. I made this a few nights ago using organic chicken mince (what I had) with sweet potatoes, zucchini and peas – both added toward the end of cooking. I also found that the sweet potato took longer to cook. The meal itself was enjoyed by all – it was great to find a curry style dish that didn’t end up ‘too spicy’ for the kids. My husband commented when eating leftovers the next day ‘actually, this tastes REALLY good’. I will try it with beef next time. Many thanks.

  27. This is the second time I have made this and due to a tomato allergy of all things I substituted the tomatoes for carrot juice (had it leftover form making a raw carrot cake).
    Thank you Wellness Mama!

  28. I made this the other night and took the leftovers for lunch the next day. It was AWESOME. I am surprised but my husband even liked it. Definitely keeping this recipe, so quick and easy too. Thanks for posting.

  29. I veganized this recipe using sprouted lentils instead of the beef, olive oil instead of butter, zucchini instead of the tomatoes (because we had no tomatoes in the house), and a Pakistani curry powder instead of the extra spices. Phenomenal! Will be making again.

    • Veronica, thanks for the great idea.. sprouted lentils.. Will try that too. No meat for me!!

  30. Made this for dinner tonight. Yummy. Thanks!

  31. This is an amazing dish! I have made it a few times last month and twice this month. Today is the first time I’m tweaking it a smidgen. Adding more grass fed ground beef, subbing half the green beans with cauliflower upping the spices a bit (because of the added beef). And I’m going to throw it in the crock pot so the hubby has something for when he comes home. I have used this before in the crock pot. I cook what I need to the night before then throw it on in the am turn on low. 6 hours later done and DELISH!

  32. Made this tonight…amazing flavour and so easy to make!! Thanks for sharing; this is going on my regular dinner rotation!

  33. I wish I can post pictures ( of my plate ) … My Kima was a total hit !! My boyfriend loved it !! Thank you Katie my life is 100% healthier thanks to you ! Xoxo

  34. I love this recipe …is there anyway you can make more Indian recepies ?? or hispanic …yum !

  35. I absolutely love this recipe and have made it for my family many times. Thank you for that. I must say though I find it extremely rude to borrow a cultures traditions and call them “weird” in the same breath. I sure hope you rethink that first line.

  36. Hi Katie, goodness you are great! I can’t get enough of the recipes, blogs, etc. I just wanted to say thanks and there’s more of us that are grateful that you take the time from your family and life to share these things. I just can’t believe how presumptuous some of these commenters are!

  37. Does this turn out too sweet because of sweet potatoes? I can’t eat sweet dishes I just don’t like sweet food. Thanks

    • I don’t think it is particularly sweet…

  38. This turned out very dry. There is no moisture in the recipe at all. I used peas instead of green beans but otherwise followed the recipe. It needs to be saucy somehow. I dont get it.

    • I put in a jar of diced tomatoes and a cup of bone broth. This helps make a great juice.

  39. This recipe is a keeper! I made it with butternut squash instead of sweet potato and replaced the green beans with a bag of frozen green kale. I also used about 2 1/2 tbsp of curry. Really yummy!!

  40. Just made this with ground Elk. Wow, delicious!!! Thank you for a great recipe!!

  41. Wow, great recipe! Just made this for dinner and my husband went back for seconds. Definitley a keeper. Thank you for creating and sharing this very yummy recipe!

  42. Based on aall the comments, I’m going to try this for sure!!!! I will use fresh garlic and substitute the green beans for a few other preferred veggies!!!!! My daughter loves sweet potatoes so I may do 2 versions!!!! Thank you ever so kindly!!!!!

  43. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! It was a hit with the whole family, even my husband who can’t stand sweet potatoes! YUM!