Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo is classic comfort food that is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal that your whole family will love.  Serve it with white rice and a green salad for a complete dinner that’s full of flavor!

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Top view of a black bowl of Cuban picadillo and steamed white rice on a white wooden table with a blue gingham napkin.

If you enjoy a sweet and savory flavor combo, then this is the recipe for you!  The dish used capers, two types of olives, spices, and Worcestershire sauce, which lends tons of savory tang.  Tomato sauce, raisins, and a kiss of sugar add sweetness. 

One of my family’s favorite meals is a starter of Crispy Avocado Fingers With Lime Crema,  then Cuban Picadillo, a Grilled Romaine Salad, steamed white rice, Easy Sugar Snap Peas, and Strawberry Cheesecake Paletas for dessert.

What Is Picadillo?

Picadillo, in English, means “all chopped up”.  The dish is a traditional Latin American, Cuban, and Philippino recipe that uses minced meat and vegetables simmered in a sauce with ingredients that vary by region.  

The mixture can be eaten alone over rice or as a filling or stuffing for other recipes.

Close up view of a black bowl of Cuban picadillo and steamed white rice on a white wooden table with a blue gingham napkin.

Ingredients Needed For Cuban Picadillo

  • Oil for sauteing the vegetables – I use olive oil, but any light-tasting oil will work.
  • Onions, bell peppers, garlic – I like using sweet onions and yellow, red, or orange bell pepper to enhance the sweetness of the dish.
  • Ground beef – Use lean ground beef for this recipe.  I like using a 90-10% blend for the best flavor with the least amount of fat.
  • Adobo seasoning – this is a common Latin American spice blend that you can find in your international food aisle or in the spice section of your grocery store.  It is a blend of salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, oregano, and sometimes a bit of citrus.  It adds tons of flavor.  I like Badia Adobo brand.
  • Tomato sauce and tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dry white wine – I used chardonnay.
  • Olives – I like using both green olives that are stuffed with pimentos and black olives for a more complex flavor, but you could use either one by itself.
  • Raisins
  • Capers
  • Sugar

Steps To Make This Recipe

  1. Saute the onions, peppers, and garlic in the oil until soft.
  2. Crumble in the ground beef and adobo seasoning.
  3. Cook the meat until brown.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve over white rice.

Side view of a black bowl of Cuban picadillo and steamed white rice on a white wooden table with a blue gingham napkin.

Looking for more Cuban flair?  Try my Cuban Rice And Beans or Cuban Black Bean Soup!

Print
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Close up view of a black bowl of Cuban picadillo and steamed white rice on a white wooden table with a blue gingham napkin.

Cuban Picadillo


Description

Cuban Picadillo is classic comfort food that is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal that your whole family will love.  Serve it with white rice and a green salad for a complete dinner that’s full of flavor!


Ingredients

Scale

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 medium yellow or red bell pepper, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

1 teaspoon adobo seasoning

1 cup (8 ounces) tomato sauce

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup pimento-stuffed olives, chopped

2 tablespoons olive brine from the pimento-stuffed olives

¼ cup black olives, roughly chopped

½ cup raisins

2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon 

1 tablespoon sugar


Instructions

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions and red bell pepper in the olive oil until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are soft – about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and saute until fragrant – about 1 minute.

Crumble in the ground beef and sprinkle the adobo seasoning over the meat.

Cook the meat, breaking it up into small bits until it’s browned.

Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, wine, green and black olives, raisins, capers, cumin, oregano, and sugar.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture, stirring often to prevent it from sticking, for 20 – 25 minutes until thickened.

Serve hot over white rice.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish - Beef
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Cuban

Keywords: Cuban picadillo, Cuban recipes, beef recipes, easy weeknight meals, comfort food,

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