This Picadillo Recipe is the BEST quick and easy weeknight dinner. Perfectly seasoned ground beef and veggies are simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce, then served over rice or as tacos!

plate of picadillo over rice held

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    <li class="nav-heading">General</li><li><a class="" href="#what_is_picadillo">What is picadillo?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#what_does_picadillo_mean">What does picadillo mean?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#ingredients">Ingredients</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_make">How to make</a></li><li><a class="" href="#recipe">Get the recipe</a></li><li><a class=" watch-video" href="#recipe_video">Step-by-step video</a></li><li class="nav-heading">Frequently Asked Questions</li><li><a class="" href="#what_is_picadillo_meat">What is picadillo meat?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#variations">Variations</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_serve">How to serve</a></li><li><a class="" href="#pairing_suggestions">Pairing suggestions</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_store">How to store</a></li><li><a class="" href="#nutrition_info">Nutrition information</a></li></ul></div>

What is picadillo?

Picadillo is a classic Latin-American dish made up of ground meat cooked with potatoes and other veggies in a tomato sauce.

The great thing about picadillo is that it’s super customizable! Ingredients vary based on region so you can really make it however you like it. 🙂

What does picadillo mean?

The word “picadillo” translates to “hash” which, in cooking, is a dish made up of fried chopped meat, potatoes, and onions…which is exactly what this picadillo is!


This flavor packed dinner couldn’t be easier!

  • Ground Beef – I recommend using a leaner ground beef (80/20) so the picadillo isn’t too greasy.
  • Cumin – adds a warm, earthy flavor.
  • Salt – enhances other flavors.
  • Potato, Carrot, and Onion – our veggie mixture that gives this dish so much flavor, nutrients, texture, and color.
  • Garlic – adds that amazing nutty flavor.
  • Frozen Peas – give a pop of color and texture.
  • Tomato Sauce, Beef Broth, and Hot Sauce – make up a super flavorful, perfectly spicy tomato sauce.
  • Cilantro – adds freshness.
  • Feta or Cojita, Sour Cream, Rice, Tortillas, Chips, Etc. – all optional, for serving!
Pro tip
Serve this as a “taco bar” with rice, tortillas, and tons of toppings! Then people can decide how they want to eat it.

How to make

  1. Cook beef with cumin and salt in large non-stick pan. beef being cooked in skillet
  2. Add in potatoes, onion, and carrot and continue to cook.potatoes, onion, and carrot added to beef
  3. Stir in garlic, peas, tomato sauce, broth, and hot sauce then simmer until the potatoes are tender. all ingredients added and simmer in skillet
  4. Stir in cilantro then serve and enjoy!finished picadillo being scooped with ladle
Pro tip
Make sure the potatoes are all uniformly diced. This ensures that the potatoes cook quickly and evenly – nobody likes being surprised by a crunchy, undercooked potato!

What is picadillo meat?

Classic picadillo meat is ground beef, which is what we’re using today. Feel free to try this with ground turkey, chicken, or pork if that’s what you have on hand.


The great thing about picadillo is it’s SUPER customizable. Make it just the way you like it! Here are some variation ideas:

  • Add more veggies. Mix in green beans, mushrooms, green olives, etc.
  • Sub the potato. Give it a flavor twist with sweet potato instead of russet potato.
  • Heat it up. Add a spicy kick with some diced jalapeño.

How to serve

Picadillo is delicious just eaten as-is by the spoonful but there are a few other ways to enjoy it as well! Here are some ideas.

  • Over rice. Try white rice, Mexican rice, or cauliflower rice for a low carb version.
  • In tacos. Soft shell or hard shell, they’re sure to be delicious!
  • In a burrito. Serve it in a tortilla with some rice and all your favorite burrito fix-ins.
  • Over quinoa. Make it higher protein by serving it over a bed of quinoa.
  • As a low-carb meal. Stuff it into bell peppers or serve it in lettuce wraps.

What to serve with picadillo

Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve alongside this picadillo recipe!

plate of picadillo over white rice above

How to store

Leftover picadillo will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or heat on the stovetop.

– Jennifer

plate of picadillo over rice above



This Picadillo Recipe is the BEST quick and easy weeknight dinner. Perfectly seasoned ground beef and veggies are simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce, then served over rice or as tacos!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword easy, ground beef, healthy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 291kcal
Author Jennifer Debth



  • 1 pound ground beef I used 80/20
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 pound russet potatoes peeled and diced (about 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro + more for serving
  • Crumbled feta or cotija sour cream or crema, rice, tortillas, chips, etc., for serving


  • Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add beef, cumin, and salt.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, breaking the meat up as you go.
  • Add in potatoes and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in onion and carrot and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in garlic, peas, tomato sauce, broth, and hot sauce.
  • Bring to a simmer, then simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Stir in cilantro.
  • Taste and re-season, if necessary.
  • Serve with optional toppings and vessels and enjoy!



Serving: 1person | Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 876mg | Potassium: 926mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2999IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 4mg

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