Picadillo Recipe {A flavorful Latin American dish}

Picadillo Recipe {A flavorful Latin American dish}
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Picadillo Recipe
A flavorful Latin American dish, Beef Picadillo combines lean ground beef with a medley of onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices, simmered to perfection for a comforting meal in under an hour.

Howdy, folks! Austin here from Beyond The Bayou Blog and I’m excited to share today’s culinary adventure: Picadillo. This dish has a special place in my heart—it takes me back to a rainy day when I first tried my aunt’s Picadillo recipe. I remember the comforting aroma that filled her kitchen, a mix of spices and memories that made every bite feel like a warm hug.

Picadillo is like a culinary journey, blending lean ground beef with a symphony of flavors: onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro dancing in a rich tomato sauce. It’s simple yet soul-nourishing, perfect for cozy family dinners or casual gatherings with friends. Whether you are trying it with Chicken Fried Rice for a complete meal or just want to try it with Red Sangria for a beautiful blend of flavors, this recipe is not going to disppoint you.

So, join me as we recreate this timeless classic, adding our own twists and savoring each delicious moment. Let’s dive in and create some lasting memories around the table!

Overview: How To Make Picadillo?

Overview How To Make Picadillo

In my kitchen, I whip up a savory dish that’s a family favorite: Beef Picadillo. It starts with browning lean ground beef until it’s perfectly cooked, then adding a medley of flavors like chopped onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro.

The secret? A splash of brine from green olives or capers infuses every bite with tangy goodness. Seasoned with cumin, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, this dish simmers to perfection in a rich tomato sauce.

The result is a comforting blend of tender beef and vibrant veggies, ideal for spooning over rice or stuffing into tacos. It’s a go-to recipe that never fails to satisfy with its hearty, flavorful appeal.

Picadillo Recipe {A flavorful Latin American dish}

Picadillo Recipe

A flavorful Latin American dish, Beef Picadillo combines lean ground beef with a medley of onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices, simmered to perfection for a comforting meal in under an hour.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Austin Carter
Servings: 6


  • Large sauté pan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring Spoons


  • 1/2 large chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1/2 pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1,1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 4 oz tomato sauce 1/2 can
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp pitted green olives or alcaparrado capers would work too


  • Brown ground beef in a large sauté pan.
  • Season with salt and pepper, then drain excess juice.
  • Chop onion, garlic, pepper, tomato, and cilantro.
  • Add vegetables to the meat, along with olives, brine, cumin, bay leaf, and more salt if needed.
  • Mix in tomato sauce and water, simmer covered for 20 minutes.


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 477mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g
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Customize Your Picadillo This Way!

  1. Cilantro Alternatives: If cilantro isn’t to your taste, simply leave it out of the recipe.
  2. Protein Substitutions: Swap ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option.
  3. Olive Alternatives: Use capers instead of green olives if you prefer their flavor profile.
  4. Additional Ingredient: Add diced potatoes to enhance the texture and heartiness of the dish.
  5. Traditional Touch: For a more traditional twist, include raisins in your Picadillo recipe.

Tips that I Will Recommend!

  1. Enhance Flavor: For a deeper flavor profile, consider toasting the ground cumin in the pan before adding the meat. This technique unlocks the spice’s aromatic qualities.
  2. Texture Boost: To add a textural contrast, try adding a handful of diced potatoes along with the vegetables. They’ll absorb the savory juices and add a delightful bite to each spoonful.
  3. Balancing Flavors: Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning accordingly. A pinch of sugar can help balance the acidity from the tomatoes and add a subtle sweetness to the dish.
  4. Raisin Option: While not in the classic recipe, adding a small amount of raisins towards the end of cooking can provide a hint of sweetness and a nod to traditional variations.
  5. Embrace Salt: Don’t shy away from salt. It enhances the flavors of the tomato sauce mixture, creating a harmonious blend with the meat and potatoes.
  6. Adjust to Taste: Taste your dish as you cook. If the spice level or saltiness isn’t quite right, feel free to add more jalapeño or salt to the sauce. Jalapeños can vary in heat, so a small taste test can guide your adjustments.
  7. Moisture Maintenance: If the meat seems to be drying out while cooking, add 1/4 cup of water to keep it moist. This ensures a juicy and tender final dish.

What to Serve with Picadillo?

What to Serve with Picadillo

Store Your Recipe This Way for Later!

  • Store for Enhanced Flavor: This recipe is known for its improved taste the day after cooking. Store your cooled Picadillo in an airtight container, ensuring to cover the surface with plastic film or wax paper directly.
  • Extended Freshness: Keep your Picadillo in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for longer preservation, up to 3 months.
  • For Reheating: When ready to enjoy again, thaw frozen Picadillo overnight in the refrigerator. Then, warm it either in a pan over medium heat or in the microwave until it’s steaming and ready to serve.

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