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Best Picadillo Recipe

  • Author: ashley
  • Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A family-favorite dinner with perfectly seasoned ground beef, garlic, and onions simmered in a light tomato sauce.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of carrots, peeled, medium dice or diagonal-cut
  • 1 tsp kosher salt divided* you will add 1/2 tsp to the onions and the other 1/2 tsp to the ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 4 cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup green pitted olives
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 tbsp tomato paste + 4 tsp water
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, and carrots. Season with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and black pepper. Sautee until the onions have softened. 
  2. Next, add the garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir-fry just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. 
  3. When ready, add the ground beef, the other 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and stir-fry until the meat gets crispy and brown. Then, add the frozen peas, olives, and tomato sauce. Mix to combine. Then, cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. 
  4. Finally, open the lid, give a quick stir, squeeze lime juice all over the seasoned meat, sprinkle in the chopped cilantro, and enjoy immediately. 


When you first add the tomato sauce, it may look as though it’s not enough. However, because we are not making a stew, the added tomato is only to provide additional flavor. 

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish-Inspired

Keywords: cuban picadillo recipe, mexican picadillo recipe, spanish picadillo recipe, puerto rican picadillo recipe, easy picadillo recipe, beef picadillo recipe,