This picadillo recipe is a blend of ground beef, olives and vegetables, all simmered together with spices and tomato sauce. A classic dish that takes just minutes to put together and always gets rave reviews!
When I’m looking for unique and delicious ways to use ground beef in dinner recipes, I turn to dishes such as homemade hamburger helper, beef enchiladas, Korean beef bowls and this super easy picadillo.
Whenever I go to my local Cuban restaurant, I always order the picadillo. I love the sweet and savory blend of beef, olives, raisins and veggies. I’ve since learned how to make this dish at home, and it comes out just as good as the restaurant version!
Table of Contents
To make this recipe, you will need olive oil, onion, red bell pepper, ground beef, garlic, salt, black pepper, green olives, raisins, cumin, oregano, a bay leaf, tomato sauce, beef broth and parsley or cilantro.
How Do You Make Picadillo?
Start by cooking onions and bell peppers in a large skillet until they’re soft. Add ground beef, olives, raisins, spices, tomato sauce and beef broth to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is thick, then add a sprinkle of parsley or cilantro and serve.
Tips For The Perfect Dish
- I typically use 90% lean ground beef as it has plenty of flavor but is not overly greasy. If you use ground beef with a higher fat content, make sure to drain any excess fat from the meat after it’s cooked before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
- This dish stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, which makes it great for meal prep.
- I typically start a pot of rice at the same time as I start making the picadillo so that all of my dinner components are done at the same time. Try serving this dish with my cilantro lime rice or black beans and rice and some sweet plantains for a memorable meal.
You can also make this recipe in the slow cooker. Brown the onions, peppers and beef in the pan, then add it to a slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine, then cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
This dish is popular in Latin American countries, and almost always features a blend of ground beef, tomatoes, olives and raisins. The ingredients can differ from region to region, and include other items such as potatoes and eggs. Picadillo is often served with rice, or can be used as a filling for empanadas or tacos.
This dish will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months. Store the picadillo in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container. Thaw the food overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stovetop until warm.
Both dishes contain ground beef mixed with spices and tomatoes. Mexican picadillo tends to have a spicy kick from chilies or hot sauce and also typically contains potatoes. Cuban picadillo is more of a sweet and savory flavor with the raisins and olives.
This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Meat: You can swap out the ground beef for a different type of meat such as ground turkey or chicken.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add other veggies such as diced cooked potatoes, peas, carrots or green chilies. You can even add a topping of pico de gallo!
- Eggs: It is common to serve picadillo either with hard boiled eggs or with a fried egg on top.
I make this dish on a regular basis and there are never any leftovers – it’s just that good!
More Great Ground Beef Recipes
1 hour hr 10 minutes mins
Taco Cups with Beef and Cheese
30 minutes mins
Beef Noodle Casserole
40 minutes mins
Baked Beef Tacos
25 minutes mins
Tamale Pie Recipe
1 hour hr 15 minutes mins
Love This Recipe?
Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 3/4 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef I use 90% lean
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed green olives sliced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the ground beef and cook for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned and cooked through.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season the meat and vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the olives, raisins, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, tomato sauce and beef broth to the pan. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until sauce is thick. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro, then serve.
- I find that 90% lean ground beef does not generate much grease. If you use meat with a higher fat content, you’ll want to drain off any excess grease after it’s cooked.
I know that my family will love this! 🙂 Such a great dinner idea.
I know this is a common recipe but your version is really good, will definitely make it again.
Surprised to find out how easy this was! Adding to my recipe book for the future.
This picadillo recipe was absolutely delicious! The blend of flavors from the ground beef, spices, and vegetables created a mouthwatering dish. It was comforting and satisfying, perfect for a cozy weeknight dinner.
I’ve not heard of this before but I am thinking I could make this with soya mince for a veggie version.
Loved this recipe! Tasty and I did make it a day before and the flavors really popped!
What a great idea for a ground beef dinner! Will go great with a salad and some pasta.
I always forget about picadillo, but it is SO GOOD! Yours looks fantastic!
This was such a treat! I’ve had picadillo out, but this was my first time making it at home, and it was just as good as one of our fabulous restaurants in the area. Will definitely make this again!
I had absolutely no idea what this would be when I saw your recipe. I just had Piccalilli stuck in my head
Yum this is delicious, love all the flavour combinations!
Another delicious meal for my family!
Yum! Such a fun recipe to add to the dinner rotation. Not something you see everyday, thank you!
I never would have thought to put olives in ground beef like this, but it sounds delicious. Super comforting too.
Such a classic recipe that I love making for get together. Goes great with so many different foods.
We have some plant-based “beef” that I’ve been trying to find a fun way to use and this recipe is going to be perfect! My husband is excited to try picadillo!