Sunday, June 27, 2010


I first learned how to make picadillo in college. There's only so much pizza delivery a poor undergrad can tolerate. One starving weekend, I called my mother up and asked for something Cuban that was within my minimal culinary capabilities. Mami suggested picadillo and I've been making it ever since. 

There are many ways to make Cuban picadillo. Growing up, we ate picadillo without potatoes. My husband's family made their picadillo with potatoes. I now love picadillo with potatoes and wouldn't dream of omitting them.

You will need ground beef, potato, onion, green pepper (or red if you are out of green), garlic (or garlic powder if you are out of fresh), tomato sauce, green olives, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and rice. The entire meal can be prepared in about 30 minutes. Betty Crapper loves that!

Start your white rice. By the time the rice is done, your picadillo should be as well.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook for about 6 minutes, until they begin to get some light color. Add chopped onions and green peppers and saute until vegetables begin to soften. If using garlic, add it in the last minute.

Once the potatoes, onions, and green peppers have softened, add your ground beef. Cook until browned. Use your wooden spoon to break up the ground beef into tiny pieces.

When your ground beef is browned, add tomato sauce, olives, and spices. 

Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small red potato, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/4 cup green olives, halved
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook about six minutes until they begin to get some color. Stir occasionally. Add green peppers and onions and saute until vegetables begin to soften, about four minutes. Add minced garlic and saute about one minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Use wooden spoon to break up clumps into small pieces. Add tomato sauce, olives, and spices. Stir and lower heat. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes until liquid has reduced and ground beef is cooked through. Serve over white rice.

Betty Crapper loves picadillo, for many reasons. Picadillo is
  • easy.
  • cheap.
  • fast.
  • tasty.
  • satisfying.
Have I sold you on picadillo? 


  1. Sounds easy and good, too bad I really don't care for Olives. Probably wouldn't be the same without them. :o)

  2. You've sold me! This is something I've always wanted to try.

  3. This Picadillo looks like something my family would love - with potatoes! It looks homey and comforting and very delicious!

  4. Yes, sold. I am always looking for new recipes with ground beef. My friend Deb supplies me with it. She raises her own cattle and the beef is so delicious. We also all love olives!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. That looks so good.

    Pizza toppings in our house are kind of boring these days--pepperoni, cheese. I want to try a twist on Spaghetti pizza. I love putting spinach and tomatoes on pizza.

  6. This sounds really good! I bet it would be good if I left the potatoes out and served it over mashed potatoes to.

  7. would you believe this is one of the first recipes i learned. i think i first cooked picadillo when i was 13...

  8. I haven't had much Cuban food but this looks delicious and so easy to make. I think I love it with potatoes! Seems to make it a whole meal. I'm going to try this soon for sure. The hubs will love the flavors in here.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

  9. We had this for diner last night and it was AWESOME! I used ground pork, a couple more potatoes and added a handful of golden raisins. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  10. You are most welcome. I'm glad you liked it.