Beef Picadillo

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Picadillo is a spicy, but not “hot,” chopped or ground meat dish that falls somewhere between hash and mincemeat. It is usually made with beef, but there are also versions with pork, lamb, turkey, or fish. Picadillo is tasty and versatile. In Cuba, it is often served as a main course over fluffy rice, with black beans and fried plantains, or used as a filling for empanadas, stuffed potatoes, or shepherd’s pie.

Serves4 to 6

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturemeaty, savory


  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced onion
  • ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1½ tablespoons brine-packed capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • Salt to taste


In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the beef and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, olives, raisins, capers, vinegar, cumin, oregano, sugar, and salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the mixture’s consistency is like that of a sloppy Joe. Serve hot or use as a filling.



Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Sign In using Email and Password