Crock Pot Picadillo

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Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.

Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.

Picadillo is a dish I grew up on and my friends loved eating over whenever my mom made it for dinner. It was probably one of the first recipes I ever learned how to cook and I make it at least once a month, although I usually make this stove-top version. Since so many of you are always asking me for slow cooker recipes, I adapted it and it worked out great.

I knew this would adapt nicely for the slow cooker. In fact, I think it’s even better since the lean beef cooks longer and becomes very tender the longer it simmers. It’s a great recipe to prep-ahead then turn on in the morning when you know you will have a long day ahead. And if you have a pressure cooker, you can also try my Instant Pot Picadillo version.

This makes a lot, so you’ll get several meals out of it. We serve it over rice the first night, then make tacos, empanadas, stuffed peppers, or quesadillas with the leftovers. Don’t you love a recipe that can serve as two different meals!

Helpful Tips

  • Anytime you use ground beef in the crock pot, you’ll need to brown it first on the stove. Since the skillet is already out, I also saute the onions, peppers and garlic in with the meat to let the flavors bloom.
  • If you want to prep this the night before, the meat is fully cooked, so you can add all the ingredients into the crock pot, then refrigerate. The next morning plug it in and go to work, or go on with your day. When you come home, you’ll just have to make some rice and a salad and dinner is ready!
  • By the way, lean beef is the meat of choice for this dish in my house. But you can also use lean bison or ground turkey if desired. Raisins are commonly added to this dish, but we prefer this without.
  • Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months, or refrigerate up to 5 days.

Can You Freeze Picadillo?

Absolutely! To freeze, let it cool then transfer to freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. You can reheat in the microwave or thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove.

And since so many are asking, although I have and love my Instant Pot, I still love my slow cooker! I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!

Browning meat in the skillet to make picadillo in the slow cooker.Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.

More Slow Cooker Recipes You Will Love!

Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices.
Print WW Personal Points
4.66 from 46 votes
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Crock Pot Picadillo

207 Cals 28 Protein 5 Carbs 8.5 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs 12 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs 27 mins
Yield: 11 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Cuban, Latin
Crock Pot Picadillo is a flavorful Cuban dish made with ground beef and a sauce made from simmering tomatoes, green olives, bell peppers, cumin, and spices. 


  • 2 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado, manzanilla olives, pimientos, capers or green olives
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste


  • Brown meat in a large deep skillet on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and a little pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces.
  • When meat is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan. Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the meat and cook an addition 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups water, alcaparrado (or olives) [I usually add some of the brine from the jar for added flavor] then add the spices.
  • Set slow cooker to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8.
  • After it's ready, taste for salt and add more as needed [I added a little more cumin and garlic powder at the end as well since the crock pot tends to mute the flavors of herbs and spices].
  • Discard the bay leaves and serve over brown rice.
  • Makes about 5 3/4 cups.


Serving: 1/2 cup, Calories: 207kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 8.5g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 477mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g
WW Points Plus: 4
Keywords: crock pot picadillo, low carb, Slow Cooker Picadillo, Slow Cooker Recipes, Whole 30 Recipes

Slow Cooker Cuban Picadillo Recipe

Photo credit: Erin Alvarez

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  1. I don’t see the Brine in this recipe! Could You Verify? Thanks in advance, Gina!

    • Hey Tonja! Step 3- Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups water, alcaparrado (or olives) [I usually add some of the brine from the jar for added flavor] then add the spices. 🙂

  2. I’ve been referring to this recipe for years, i love it so much! It’s easy, delicious, and all of my kids LOVE it too! A win all around! 

  3. I like that this recipe is light and lean but I do agree that it is bland. I followed the recipe except to add carrots and celery for added veg, and my olives did not have brine so I missed out on that bit of flavour. I would consider maybe adding tomato paste with the tomato sauce (assuming this is passata as in Australia we call ketchup tomato sauce 😊) and chilli flakes.

    • It’s def so much better in the skillet! The slow cooker mutes some of the flavor, but the olive brine is a must here!

  4. Really great recipe.. Thanks!  I am a fan of spice so I used Mexican tomato sauce.  

  5. How much garlic powder and cumin do you add at the end?

  6. I made this today and I’m glad I did – It’s very tasty. I put olives marinated in smoked paprika in the crock pot. They were so good and not as strong as regular green olives, which was perfect for me.

  7. I made this recipe tonight. It was delicious. I added in extra garlic powder and cumin at the end as suggested in the recipe. I browned the meat and veggies first then cooked it on low for 5 hours. Very flavorful. I served it over Trader Joe’s stir fry cauliflower rice. 

  8. I tripled the spices and used beef broth instead of water and still found this recipe to be very bland. Also, doubles the amount of capers plus pimentos too. I really wanted to like it, but was lacking flavor. Other recipes by Skinny taste have been great! 

    • Could not agree more. I was so disappointed in how bland this was and I did pretty much exact same as you. I had to put so much salt and red pepper flakes on while eating just to taste anything. Big disappointment.

  9. I froze this and now wonder if I can heat it up on the stove as you said above, or shouldn’t I put it in the crock pot now (since I never did that part?). I’m new to this freezer meal stuff… TIA!

  10. Wasn’t sure about this but I had most of the ingredients without a trip to the store (Yay).
    I used capers, no raisins, 1# Hamburg/1# gr Turkey and only had a green pepper on hand. 
    It was delicious and super easy! 
    I’ll do this again for sure! 

  11. I bought a multifunction Cuisinart slow cooker. Can brown and slow cook in same place. Saves extra mess.

  12. I replaced the ground beef with veggie crumbles for meatless Monday. Cooked it in the instant pot! Turned out great!

  13. Question: I’m going to use ground turkey…can I avoid the browning step, and treat as a “dump” recipe, like your “Tex Mex Turkey Tacos” from “One And Done”?

  14. This is my all time favorite Skinnytaste recipe! It’s so flavorful! Your recommendation for the additional garlic and cumin at the end makes it perfect. I like to serve it over basmati rice. It makes enough to have leftovers which we love in our house. I’m making your instapot refried beans later this week and plan to spoon some picadillo over the top of the beans for another hearty meal.

  15. I made this with ground turkey. We thought it was good but a little bland. I will make again but may double the spices. Served over brown rice.  

  16. Just made this for the first time and it’s definitely a keeper. I used ground turkey because it’s what I had. I LOVE olives so I doubled them. The ones I used were stuffed with jalapeños and garlic and added a nice flavor.  And I didn’t have tomato sauce so I used tomato juice. It wasn’t quite as thick but still very tasty and we will be making again!

  17. Can you make this stovetop 

  18. My husband and I make this all the time. It’s definitely a frequent in our rotation. We use the capers and I add some beef broth (just our preference) and it’s always a hit! 

  19. My family loves it. I actually triple her spices and add oregano. I also put more olives and brine in my recipe. I’ve been making this one for a couple of years. 

  20. Used capers instead of olives, and this recipe is a total winner!

  21. Awesome! lean, delicious, easy

  22. Yum! This was a hit with everyone at my house. I served it over white rice but could substitute cauli rice for lower calories. It was even better the next day as leftovers.

  23. Great dinner! I used leftover Picadillo for the meat topping in your Jalapeño Nachos recipe. All of your recipes are delicious! Thank you!

  24. Made this tonight … DELICIOUS! I forgot to buy the olives yesterday at the grocery store but I always keep capers, so like other reviews mentioned, I added the jar of capers along with the brine and I also did 2 tsp of cumin because I love cumin.

  25. I made this but this way-
    85% lean chop meat about 1.30 lb 
    3 med potatoes peeled cubed and cooked in water  then drained 
    1 Red bell pepper diced ,1 med onion diced -6 cloves garlic diced ,
    1/2 cup raisins ,1/2 cup or 1 cup Spanish olives. 3/4 cup dry white wine pino ,
    Season w Pepper  & cumin . 3 cans Goya sauce 2 reg one hot -jasmine rice 
    Brown the chop meat  season w cumin ,drain it. Set aside.  Sauté  the pepper  Till soft ,then the onion ,then Garlic ,add back The chopmeat  , put the cook potatoes in,  add the olives,raisins, the sauce and the wine stir all simmer on low About 1 hour.  Amazing !!! Serve over jasmine rice. 

  26. Do you think I could substitute ground beef for ground chicken?   Also, I don’t have a whole tomato on hand…could I do a certain amount of canned diced tomato instead? 

  27. Can’t wait to try it Let you know!

  28. Love it! Thank you for sharing your recipes!

  29. Love this recipe, anyone ever try to add green peas? Would that work?

  30. I made this tonight!! It is so delicious just the way it is!!

  31. How would this taste with 93% lean turkey instead? What would that make the points on purple?

  32. This is a silly question I’m sure, but I’m new to WW and curious if the 3 Sp is with the brown rice?

  33. This was really good. I used beef broth instead of water for some extra flavor. I forgot an onion so I substituted with onion powder, and we used capers and their brine. Super delicious.  Definitely going into our rotation! 

  34. So delicious! Added a jalapeño and taco seasoning. Put it over riced cauliflower.

  35. Made this today, and we both loved it.  Made a few tweaks to the recipe:  omitted the cilantro as we are not fans of that herb; added a little fish sauce and smoked paprika for flavor boost.  It came out so delicious. 

  36. Love this recipe! My husband added a jalapeño which was a nice edition. He also added carrots because we like extra veggies and that was also a good choice! Thanks for the recipe!

  37. It has a mild flavor that was good for children. Overall, while it was good, the family didn’t feel that it was worth adding to the rotation. 

  38. I got a little lost- what do you do with the bay leaves? I see where I disgard them, but in the beginning, do I add them to the crock pot?

  39. So good and flavorful. 
    Made it twice so far and everyone has loved it!  Second time I only had 2 # of ground turkey so I added a can of black beans which was great too.  

  40. I didn’t think this recipe would come out very, but boy was I wron.  I was delicious !  Something different yet simple.  I added diced carrot for more vegetables and color.  I will make it again. 

  41. I often love the recipes from this site, but I found this one pretty bland. I even doubled the cumin and added more garlic halfway through, and still pretty bland.

  42. Curious If you or anyone else has ever substituted the meat for mushrooms instead? And if so how it turned out? Or if you have another recommendation to make it vegetarian 🙂

  43. Is it 1/4 cup alcaparrado or manzanilla olives or pimientos or capers or green olives?
    Or is it 1/4 cup alcaparrado and manzanilla olives and pimientos and either capers or green olives?

  44. It never fails to amaze me that people will come here to a website that give FREE recipes and then criticizes those recipes. Hey, unsolicited feedback person, if you don’t like it, keep it to yourself.

    • The comment section isn’t just for people who like the recipes. I would like to know when someone doesn’t like a recipe & why. Everyone has different preferences & not everybody likes every recipe.  She was not rude & I appreciated her review.

    • I come to the comment section for honest reviews, not blind praise. Most of us come here because we already love Gina’s recipes, but not all of them are winners for every single person. It’s very helpful to know if someone didn’t like a recipe and why. I imagine it would also be helpful for Gina to get honest feedback. She chooses to have a comment section here, so it’s not exactly “unsolicited.”

      As long as no one is being rude, which they weren’t as far as I can see, there’s absolutely no reason not to be honest about whether a recipe worked for you or not. That’s how basically every recipe blog works! 

  45. You said that this recipe actually calls for raisins. What kind of raisins and how much would I add so we can try it and see if we prefer it with or without.

    • I personally don’t like it with raisins, but I would suggest regular raisins and no more than 1/2 cup.

      • For the non-raisin fans or raisin-curious – I suggest golden raisins that you then chop up really well. It gives you that hint of sweet without the unfortunate experience of biting into dinner and seeing a whole raisin. which is not my thing personally. Note: I use this same technique for the unstuffed cabbage recipe to great results. Thank you, Gina!

  46. I typically love skinny taste recipes, however I would say this is my least favorite.  The recipe was extremely bland.  I even tried to add chili powder, more olive brine and extra salt, pepper and cumin but it was still so flavorless.  I will not try this recipe again.

    • Curious. Did you use a Crock-Pot or a pressure cooker? I find with the pressure cooker I have to use double to triple the spices.

  47. How on earth can this be 3 WW Freestyle points and the turkey version is 5 WW points?  That makes no sense. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

  48. I just tried this last night but added mango/peach salsa. So great!!

  49. I’ve added diced carrots to the picadillo, I usually have a green salad on the side, or a side of tomatoes & cucumbers. I’ve had a small bowl of steamed broccoli on the side as well. 

  50. Does anyone have recommendations for a vegetable side to go with this?

    This is so delicious as others have been saying! Also I did calculate using the recipe builder for people doing smartpoints and I do get the 3 points per serving as is noted.

    • I make cauliflower yellow rice with this.  Take a bag of frozen riced  cauliflower or fresh if you prefer.  I microwave per directions, heat a sauté pan with a tiny bit of Olive oil and place the microwaved riced cauliflower in the pan add a little salt and pepper,  a packet of Vigo Flavoring and Coloring (a Spanish seasoning  for yellow rice)  and a pinch of saffron ( optional).  I add a little chicken broth to get everything mixed together and then simmer until the broth is gone.  Tastes and looks like yellow rice!! 

  51. I’m hosting bookclub and expecting 12 people. Could I double this recipe as is or would I need to make changes?

  52. Have you ever tried this recipe using soy crumbles? If so, how did it turn out? Any tips or suggestions?

  53. Okay, made this today for the first time. As written, this recipe is good, not great. I needed to add more salt, and some chili powder for more flavor. Served over rice, it definitely needed some shredded cheese! I imagine the leftovers will be better because the flavors will have even more time to marry. Plan to use leftovers as burrito filling.

  54. Do you think this recipe can be done in the InstantPot?

  55. Hello there thinking of making this this afternoon! I’m super excited. I’m Boricua but I loooove Latin foods from all over ! One of my favorite theme of foods to eat. My question is have you tried putting brown rice in the crock pot as well? I know sometimes brown rice is a tad crunchy in nature if not cooked for a while. But is it possible to put brown rice in the last hr of the meal time to be ready for serving along with the rest of the dish? Thanks so much ! 

  56. I don’t do WW so this is probably not a good move points-wise, but we love this on top of baked potatoes! 

  57. This is one of my favourite recipes (of many)! Do you know how I can recreate this dish as a vegetarian option? I’m not sure what I can substitute the beef with. Thank you in advance for your help!

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  60. Would love for you to publlish a similar one for Turkey Picadillo! Or you think it’s safe to follow and just replace ground beef with ground turkey?

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  62. Not crazy about cilantro.   Can I substitute with parsley?  Or do you have a better suggestion?

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  65. I just made this – and wow!!! My husband judged how quickly I ate it!!! Oops!!!

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  68. In your original posting you mentioned you would be doing a separate posting of ways to use piccadillo sauce leftovers for other recipes.  Have you done this?  And how would I find it.  I was thinking I might try stuffed peppers as one option beyond tacos and over rice.  

  69. Does anyone know if this freezes well?

  70. Has anyone ever tried with ground chicken or turkey? We aren’t big beef eaters. 

  71. Gina, – we made the Crock Pot Picadillo and Naked Greek Feta Zucchini Turkey Burger Salad recipes from your cookbook last weekend (both staples in our house).  We love making the turkey burger salad to go with many other things by the way.  This morning I was perusing breakfast ideas and came across your Leftover Turkey Frittata recipe.  It inspired me to used the leftover Picadillo, cherry tomatoes, and red onions from last week to follow the frittata recipe in your cookbook and it came out awesome (I strained the Picadillo in a paper towel after reheating it to strain the sauce out).   Total hit!

    Thanks for inspiring me to keep cooking and have fun with it!

  72. Can you cut this recipe in half?

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  74. Gina, We just love your recipes, and this one was no exception! SOOOO GOOD!!! I have never had Picadillo before, but you can bet I will be making it again and again! I have 2 binders filed with your recipes, and starting on the third. Ypu have really been Blessed! Thank you for all that you do.

  75. Recipe omits water.. damn!

  76. Hi Gina, I love your recipes, and I am going to try the Crock Pot Picadillo tonight. In the directions it states 1-1/4 cup of water, but it was not on the ingredients, did I miss something. Please can you clarify this for me, I don’t want to mess it up.


  77. Made this for dinner and it was SO easy and SO good. I HATE olives. I used capers and it was delicious. I also used ground turkey bc that’s what I had. Legitimately took 15 min of prep and smelled so good while it was cooking in the crock pot. Def will make again and highly recommend 

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  79. Hi! How do you think this recipe would do with tofu crumbles? Would it require much modification? Thanks! 🙂

  80. I made this last night and it was delicious. It is light, savoury and unctuous. Perfect for a chilly autumn night and so easy in the slow cooker. I served it with mashed potato and steamed green veg. This recipe will be on frequent rotation.

    Your website has made my transition into managing diabetes much more doable. Thank you so much Gina! 🙂

  81. Make this tonight!  Delish!  My only complaint is when I enter the recipe into the WW app, and also when I just calculate the smart points based off the nutrition info on the recipe – it comes out to 5 smart points per serving, not 3. Still delish though. 🙂

    • Are you using the recipe builder? The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

    • I did this both ways tonight and came up with 5 pos. both times.  🙁 Still decent for dinner though, just had to stick to one portion!

    • Same for me!  Still decent for dinner though, just had to stick to one portion!

  82. can the tomato sauce be replaced with something else? Nightshade allergy thanks

  83. I have this in my slow cooker right now.  The recipe photo looks so “rich” but what I have cooking looks much more watery and doesn’t have much flavor.  I am afraid to season it more because I don’t know if the salty olives will cook down into the overall flavor?  This recipe seems to be missing something, maybe tomato paste to thicken the base?  I added a cup of beef broth instead of plain water but that didn’t add much flavor.

  84. Where did you find this brand/mix of olives?

  85. How would you make this in the instant pot?  I make this 2x a month, it is yummy!  

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  87. Do you think this would go well with cauliflower rice?

  88. Would this even be worth making if I left out the olive mixture? Not a fan. Thanks! 🙂

  89. Sorry Gina, I found that you answered this earlier. Makes perfect sense. Thank you!!

  90. Hi Gina! I adore your recipes and use them ALL the time. Can you help me with the smart point value for this recipe. When I enter your nutritional value in the WW calculator it comes up as 5 smart pts per serving? What am I doing wrong?

    • The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, that is why.

    • I just made this tonight for the first time!  I LOVE it!  However, I came up with the same as above, 5 points per serving.  I have put in both the stats at the bottom of the recipe and used the recipe builder with all the ingredients.  I’m a little bummed because I was hoping to have two servings but the points difference changes that a little.    I’m not a rice fan so I served over quinoa!  It’s delicious!

      On another note:  I also made the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad today and got differing points values than stated here.  In that case, I got 3 vs. 5 so I guess it all evened out in the end!  😉

      Loving the new WW Smart points! ~ 27 lbs down in 3 months!  

      • Congrats Amy, that is awesome! Are you using the recipe builder? The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

        The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

  91. A wonderful recipe for the slow cooker as it is.

    I think that it could adapted to stuff empanadas

    and bake.

  92. Looking forward to trying this, and my family adores green olives…how much of the olive juice brine would you suggest? Thanks! 

  93. Please share what’s in the rest of your rotation. Thank you!

  94. Does the nutritional info include serving it over a serving of brown rice? 

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  98. Made this tonight as my first recipe from the site. Knowing my Cuban mother-in-law made this often for my husband when he was growing up, I knew I had big shoes to fill since she left us last year. Two thumbs up!! His only suggestion is how to make the juice a little thicker. Any ideas?

  99. Could you make this without cooking the meat first?

  100. This was delicious! My daughter loved it as well and it is a very satisfying dish. Highly recommend!

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  102. How large is a serving for 3 Smart Points?

  103. Help! I cannot find the Alcaparrado in any of my local stores. If I am adding the olives and capers separately, how much of each do I use? How much brine from each would I add? Thank you!

  104. I’m making this for a work party. 60 people. Should I just double the recipe?

  105. For my picky eaters I know they wouldn’t like the olives (I would love them) Idea’s on how I could sneak them in? Blend them? haha. Or, would it make that much of a difference if it was omitted?

  106. I love your recipes. What book is this recipe out of?

  107. I am cooking this now from the cookbook and noticed that if I plug the nutritional information for one serving into the points calculator, one serving is 5 Smart Points, not 3.

    • The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

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  109. I use this recipe as a starter.  What I mean is I add other ingredients.  I don’t eat red meat, neither does my family, so I use ground turkey.  I add 1 chipotle in adobe sauce (you can freeze the rest of the can for later), a bit of crushed red pepper, sofrito (homemade or jarred if no time to make it), some lime juice, cilantro (I use dried but fresh will work), and canned diced tomatoes.  I cook down the onion, garlic, and peppers first, seasoned of course-I actually put the spices in here to roast them a bit. Then I add the sofrito and cook that down a bit.  Then I add lime juice and cook that down.  I then remove this from the pot and add the ground turkey, again seasoned, and cook through.  I drain the meat and add back to the pot.  I then add the pepper and onion mixture back to the pot.  I add the olives and some brine.  I add the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes.  I cook in the crockpot on high for 4 hours or so.  DELISH!!!  My Cuban friends can’t believe how authentic this dish tastes!  I do not put raisins in as other traditional recipes do.  And I don’t measure anything, I go by smell.  Lol Oh, and for me this is a pot dish because I have an amazing Ninja cooking system that lets me prep like I would on the stove and then I can set it on the crockpot setting!  

  110. Whenever I slow cook meat – any kind of meat – I always brown it before adding to the slow cooker. I have found that by doing that, it will give more flavor to the meat.
    However, I will definitely make your picadillo. It sounds really good. And stuffing left overs in bell peppers, yum! Since I am only cooking for one most of the time, I will probably freeze most of and use it later in some form or another.

  111. I have been making this for the past four weeks, my husband and I love it. We double the recipe and we both bring a cup with Jasmine rice for lunch. I have gotten to the point where I don’t measure anything and just ‘guestimate’ and it turns out better than the last every time. It’s a staple in our house. I use a whole jar of olives with juice, and don’t slice the olives. I also add some dried garlic and onion from Tastefully Simple along with the onion and garlic the recipe already calls for. It’s delicious with some shredded cheese on top as well. I ALWAYS top it off with Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Seasoning,. Need some more crock pot recipes with ground beef.

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  113. Very, very good!!!!!  I used the instant pot for this…I will make in slow cooker next time and sauté beef in a skillet.  I can’t say I love the texture of the ground beef from instant pot.  

    I served on top of your spicy slaw from cookbook and topped with avocado!  Great Whole30 meal!!!!

    Also my toddler ate a quesadilla stuffed with the picadillo!!

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  116. Made this tonight for the first time. I didn’t have bay leaf so I used tarragon. So good. I will definitely be making this again. 

  117. This looks great! Can you do this in a electric pressure cooker?

  118. Would this be good with ground turkey too?

  119. Hi there! I’m wanting to make this and your stuffed peppers all today. I don’t see a stove top version of this though, how long should I cook it? Maybe simmer for like an hour to let the flavors meld together, like I would do with spaghetti sauce? Please advise!

  120. I usually do one slow cooked meal every week .This one looks  great easy and inexpensive. Use for Tacos, Burritos, maybe even add a potato  all good.

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  122. I just got my new Instant Pot during Amazon’s Prime Day sale. Do you have any suggestions on how to use it with this recipe? I love making this for the whole week! Can’t wait for your new cookbook!! 

    • Sure, same directions using saute button. Once you add the liquids, cover and cook using the chili button!

      • Gina, I always make this in my instant pot now. Manual for 10 minutes and 10 minute natural release then quick release. It worked great and is fast. Oh also I use 2 1.3# packages of frozen 93% ground turkey. You don’t even have to thaw first. Brown the block either side in the IP and then break up.

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  124. Would it be good to substitute ground turkey? I don’t eat red meat.
    Thank you!

  125. Should the crock pot time be reduced if cooking with ground turkey?

  126. This was super yummy. Next time we will use a little more tomato sauce since my favorite Cuban place has more tomato sauce to dip up with Cuban bread. This is my favorite dish when we go out for Cuban food. You saved my family about $100 (taking into account how many servings we got vs what it would have cost getting that many serving eating out). THANKS!

    Next time we will have it have dinner, lunch the next day and freeze the leftovers for another dinner and leftover lunch.

  127. Hi! I’m making this now and I’m nervous about only 8oz can tomato sauce. It seems it will need more ???? Does it get more juice as it cooks? 

  128. I am going to prepare this tonight for tomorrow… I just realized the recipe calls for 2+ lbs of ground beef and I only have 1lb or so. Can I halve the recipe?

  129. Wonderful! I used venison and it was delicious. Not a ground beef fan! Love easy crock pot meals

  130. I love this recipe so much. It was the very first thing I made out of your cook book. My favorite is to serve it in soft tortillas with avocado and the confetti slaw on top. SO GOOOOOOOOD!!!

  131. I just have to say this recipe is the all time favorite in our household! Maybe even life changing. 😛 My husband used to do all the cooking, but after I had my second daughter I only went back to work part time and decided I’d finally learn how to cook. Also since having my second daughter, I’d put on weight and wanted to keep calories in check. I was given your cookbook for Christmas 2014 and this was the first recipe I made out of it. I actually didn’t think I’d like it much (not a fan of olives), but I figured it would be perfect for my meat loving husband. Turns out we both loved it! So do the kids. And anyone else who I’ve ever made this for. EVERYONE loves it. I’ve made several other recipes from your book and blog and they are all amazing and the instructions are so clear that even I can handle it! I do a whole lot of cooking now and it really  all started with your book and this dish. Thank you so much for all your recipes and I love love love that you give the nutritional information. I have friends and family members now hooked on your recipes too.  Up this week…chicken taco chili and Asian turkey meatballs!

  132. Gina, I just purchased an Instant Pot. Have you tried making this recipe in yours yet? I’d love the cook time and results if you did. Thank you.

  133. Hi Gina, I hate olives…but love capers, can I just use capers in place?

    • Betsy, I just made this for the first time tonight and used capers instead of olives.  My husband and I loved it!  I used 2 Tbs. of the caper brine also. Very flavorful dish……used it over brown rice as Gina suggested.  Do try it!

      • Hi, just wondering how much capers did you use? I’m not a fan of olives either but never had capers so not familiar with the flavor to know how much would be good or bad.
        Thanks a bunch!! 🙂

  134. Hi Gina! Was wondering how you would adapt this recipe for the instant pot? Thanks!

  135. Hi I have a question can you freeze these ?

  136. This dish is amazing!! So simple and flavorful. I didn’t have a fresh tomato so I used a can of diced tomatoes and it was delicious!! Whole 30 compliant too. This will definitely become a popular dish in our house. 

  137. I’m making this for the second time. The first time I used ground beef today it’s ground chicken. House smells so good right now. Can’t wait to eat dinner later. This time I am adding the cilantro at the end. I also serve this over cauliflower rice. 

    • How was it with the ground chicken. I was thinking about doing the same thing. We LOVED the ground beef! I just need to eat less red meat. 

  138. I made this last night and it was excellent. My husband loved it and ate it all. I really enjoyed it as well. I think the olives are very key to this dish and will definitely be making it again. I also made the Thai basil chicken the night before. Again, great recipe. Thanks.

  139. Not being a big fan of olives, I've passed on this recipe so many times. I finally made it for dinner last night, and I wish I had tried it sooner. I loved this! The alcaparrado and its brine gave it a little something extra. The one thing I wish I had known was that the olives in my jar of alcaparrado had pits. Next time I'll try to rough chop them to find and remove the pits. I left out the cilantro because I forgot to put it on my shopping list. I may add it next time, but I didn't really miss it. I'll also try adding some raisins next time as another commenter suggested.

    • Thanks for your comment! I am not a fan of olives either, but am always looking for a good crockpot recipe and this looks delicious. I will definitely try this soon. : )

  140. I know this isn't a new recipe, but I just tried it for the first time and LOVED it! If you're thinking about it, give it a shot. Super easy and flavorful. Thank you!!

  141. We really enjoy this recipe. Have you ever attempted/experimented with " baked" version of papa rellenas?

  142. I love your site, thank you. I was wondering in your calculations for fats how much is saturated fats

    • I cook almost exclusively from ST and I’ve lost almost 50lbs. I rave about the recipes all the time, but this one sort of missed the mark for me. I followed the recipe to the letter which I always do the first time around. I added more salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder at the end.  I didn’t want to start adding random spices to it, since that takes away from what the dish actually is.  It just didn’t pack all of the flavor that the smell suggested while it cooked in the crockpot all day.  We will have leftovers tomorrow. Maybe Day 2 is better, as is the case with so many dishes.  

  143. why do you have to brown the meat first? is it just flavor? what happens if I just throw it all in crock pot?

    • Any time you can brown meat or brown onions first you will get superior flavor!

    • I think I have heard that raw grounds beef cooked in a crockpot turns into a giant lump . Not sure. I have never done it.

    • I’m going to try it. I cook raw ground beef  in the crockpot for taco meat all the time and it turns out great. 

  144. Just making this for the first time right now and before throwing in the crock pot, I noticed that the 1/4 olives didn't seem like a lot for the size of the recipe! So, I doubled it and chopped the olives into large chunks. Am I going to regret this later?? haha Will it be too salty? I just didn't want one or two olives per serving. Didn't seem like a lot but I could be wrong.

  145. Ok, I have enjoyed this at least 5 times without taking the time to leave you a comment about how yummy this is! Thanks so much for sharing. All Y'all that haven't tried this yet, do it now!

  146. Just made this for dinner – was delish! Even my 2yr old loved it. She ate a whole "burrito" (soft taco) filled with this.
    Keep up the yummy posts 🙂

  147. Hi – I'm not sure if this will come through since this is an older recipe, but I love all of your recipes! One question on this one – our grocery store didn't have 93/7 beef this time, only 85/15. I imported the recipe to MyFitnessPal so I could adjust it and re-calculate points, but I noticed even before changing the beef, the calorie and other stats were much higher than what is on the site. Do you know what could account for this? Thanks for your help!

    • Do you check the counts of each food to be sure they look accurate? For me – My Fitness Pal always completely over states garlic cloves by over a 1000 calories.

    • I realize this comment is super old, but did you make sure you put in the correct amount of servings? Mine defaulted to 2 servings (so I had to change it to 11). If you leave it at 2 it’s like 900 calories LOL!

  148. Hi!!! Absolutely love all your recipes:)) Thank u! For this amazing one, I only have black olives & capers, what would u suggest I do? Add them both or just one or the other? �� Or wait til I can get the proper ingredients & make another one of ur wonderful crock pot recipes? Thanks:)

  149. GAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! This stuff is SO GOOD!!!

  150. Made this over the week. Having grown up in a Cuban household, we had Piccadillo all the time. This recipe was delicious and the crock pot cooking made it so easy. Thanks so much!

  151. I found the cumin in this to be quite overpowering and the only thing I tasted. Was pretty bummed as now that's what I have to eat all week. Maybe less cumin next time.

  152. Can you please clarify…just got your cookbook and the recipe works out to 5 smartpoints, not 3 as stated above? The nutritional values are different for the same ingredients?

  153. I try this… It's delicious 😉 Thank you for recipe 😀

  154. I make a very similar recipe to this but I add capers. Really makes the dish.

  155. Mmm! I make a recipe identical to this only it also has a handful of soaked raisins in it. It's wonderful mix of savory, salty and sweet. And I just let it all lightly bubble away for about an hour right in the same pan, covered. Less dishes that way 🙂

  156. I'm on Weight Watchers and my boyfriend is very particular when it comes to food. We cook mostly from this website because your recipes are the only recipes that are healthy for me and very tasty for him. Thank you for all of the hard work and passion you put into Skinny Taste! This Picadillo is awesome! It brings me back to my childhood when my mom would cook Picadillo for special occasions.

  157. I made this for dinner tonight. Was SO good! We loved it!

  158. We always add 3/4 cup of white raisins…So good!

  159. Making this today but 11 servings is quite a lot…does this freeze well? Also, besides serving with brown rice- do you have any other suggestions for what to serve this with?

  160. I have used many of your recipes, Gina. I've recommended your site many times, yesterday being the most recent. I have to say this recipe is amazing. I made it on Sunday in the crockpot. It was strong, had smells my boyfriend and I weren't used to smelling so I was a bit nervous. It turned out to be the best recipe I've ever tried from your site. We had quesadillas Sunday night and Picadillo taco salads last night and probably still have enough left over for two more meals. I will definitely be making this again in the future. Thanks for all you do!

  161. This is great! I'm currently making it right now in my crockpot and excited to taste it tonight! I'm Cuban so I am interested to see how it tastes this way with cilantro.

    I added in vino seco instead of water to give it some added flavor 🙂

  162. I made this last night and put it over roasted sweet potatoes instead of rice. OMG. it was amazing – even my super picky fiance loved it.

  163. Thank you fro including freeze ability. Depending on the day there may be only myself to cook for.

  164. This was absolutely delicious! Made no changes and it was perfect

  165. i just keep coming back to this recipe! I made it once and did the stuffed peppers. Then I used the leftovers to make another dish. Now I'm going to make a tray of enchiladas this weekend and this is what i come back to for the filling. Love it!

  166. I'm making this today for our family dinner. I've added some mushrooms to the recipe and a few extra seasoning and it smells amazing in the crock pot already. Thank you, Gina @ Skinnytaste for sharing all your amazing recipes.

  167. is this something i can prep and freeze?

  168. This is one of my favorite go to meals for dinner! Gina's recipe is perfect! So flavorful and so easy to make! Thanks Gina!

  169. This was sooooo good! We ate it over rice, over potatoes, with plantains, over bread and even on a pizza! I will make this over and over and over again. Thank you so much for this recipe. It's one of my new favorite meals.

  170. making this today. smells great in the crockpot. cant wait to eat it tonight!! i chopped up my olives as i have picky eaters. love crockpot recipes. thanks for the delicious meal ideas!!

  171. I loved this recipe! I served it over brown rice and it was perfect. To anyone that is thinking of omitting the green olives, please don't. There are only a few olives in the entire recipe, but the flavor is amazing. Even if you don't like the olives, it's easy to pick them out and you'd really be missing out on the flavor.

  172. Hi Gina ! I'm making this for dinner tomorrow and was wondering where u found the Goya caper olive mix? Does it make much of a difference if you only use olives ? Thanks michelle

  173. Where do you buy the Goya product? I haven't been able to find it! Thanks!

  174. Hi Gina! this sounds so delicious!! i dont own a crock pot but i really would like to invest in one! which brand/kind do you have? could you give me a link by chance to where i can buy the one you use? thanks!

  175. Another Weight Watcher's Lifetime Member here and this sounds so good. I think I would even use the olives suggested even though we don't like olives. Strange, because we use olive oil all the time. Pinning it!

  176. If I use ground turkey does that later the cooking time in the slow cooker at all?

  177. I really want to try this recipe but I don't like olives. Does the recipe really takes like olives? Can I replace the olives with something else?

    Thanks for your input!

  178. I made this recipe for the first time last night. It was so amazing!! Easy, delicious and a crowd-pleaser! My boyfriend couldn't stop raving about it. Thank you so much for all of your recipes and culinary inspiration.

  179. Ground deer/elk works great for this!

  180. Made this tonight, and it was wonderful- thank you!!

  181. I just made the picadillo tonight! I hope I did it justice…no cilantro but I really enjoy the blending of flavors. It was so fun to make! 🙂

  182. I make a vegetarian version using soy crumbles. My whole family loves it! I might try it in the crockpot next time.

  183. I tried this and it was good, but I still didn't care for the olive part. The second time I made it I used Mezzetta Deli-Sliced Tamed Jalapenos and it was fabulous!

  184. Hi Gina, like everyone here, I love your recipes! Question: This calls for 2 1/2 lbs. of ground beef, which I am guessing is not yet cooked. How many cups of already cooked ground beef do you think that would equate to? I will be making this recipe with meat from my freezer that I have already browned and frozen. Thanks!

  185. I added raisins and a little bit of tomato paste and cooked on the stovetop instead. (More because I started too late!) I put the mixture into rolls, like you would a sloppy joe. It was great!

  186. This was a hit in our house. My husband and I both loved it!

  187. HI! Can I double the recipe and still have the same cooking time?
    Thanks this looks great!

  188. Gina, what do u think about beef stew meat be used instead of ground beef?

  189. I made this last week and it was so good. My 4 yo ate it up. One of my favorite leftovers by far.

  190. Hi Gina, I"m made this for tonights dinner, as it has been cooking for the past 6 hours…if you do add raisins when do you put them in the dish?

  191. This is such a simple yet brilliant idea, this would go perfectly in my whole wheat empanada dough :)! Kudos for thinking outside the box, and representing Latinas with these creative & delicious dishes!

  192. This has become one of our favorite meals. I use this as taco meat for "taco night." Then we enjoy the leftovers with taco salads. Absolutely delicious. I don't normally eat olives, but they're very important for this dish. I usually pick them out when the dish is done cooking.

  193. I love love LOVE this! I did not have tomato sauce or tomatoes so I used a can of stewed tomatoes. We liked it so much I made it twice in 2 weeks.

  194. Nice crock pot recipe! I can confirm both kid and adults enjoyed!

  195. Currently in the crock pot! I upped all of the veggie amounts and added in some diced mushrooms and jalapenos that were about to go bad. I got everything into the pot when I realized I didn't have the olives/peppers/capers, so I had to make a quick run to the store! Planning to serve over quinoa.

  196. I just made this today and it was FANTASTIC!! I followed the recipe as directed and served over brown rice. I don't like olives etc, but I put some in anyway. I chopped them up really small and I couldn't tell they were there.
    Thanks for a great meal!!

  197. Made this with the stovetop version last night. SO yummy! I did add a chopped jalapeno and some paprika. We love things spicy! I used this as the center for papas rellenas (mashed potato balls stuffed with ground beef), then rolled the balls in flour, egg, and panko, baked at 450 for 10-15 min, rotating the balls mid way. They were AWESOME. Definitely recommend Gina's great picadillo recipe 🙂

  198. A wonderful recipe! I made it as written and my family loved it!! I think the next time, I may add raisins as I'm curious to see how it would taste and my family doesn't mind raisins in cooking. I did add a bit more cumin/salt/pepper at the end of cooking. THANKS GINA for another great recipe that my entire family loves.

  199. God, I love this recipe. I've made it twice now. Because it made so much meat, I froze a ton of it and it's been a regular pack-in for lunches at work.

    I've never been able to find alcaparrado on its own, so I've just been putting in capers and olives to my tastes. I have to say, I normally hate green olives, but I decided to go ahead and put them in on the first try and I found I loved them in this dish.

  200. This is so good! This is the second time I'm making this an my house smells ah-ma-zing! I have made the leftover piccadillo stuffed peppers too! SOOO YUMMY!!! Going in my recipe book! THANK YOU!

  201. Thanks so much! Picadillo is one of our favorite meals but I have never done it in the crockpot-thanks for the idea! It was delicious with some brown rice and a side of plantains! 🙂

  202. Getting ready to cook this for dinner. Love crockpot recipes on the weekends, because after chasing family around all day too tired to stand at the stove to cook. In the crock, it's ready and just gotta throw together sides! I love your recipes Gina, thanks for sharing!

  203. Hi Gina! I must admit I was a little skeptical of this picadillo being "Kid-friendly" due to the green olives but Holy smokes!My toddler asked for THIRDS! She absolutely loved it! And my husband asked me twice if I saved the recipe for future use 😉 Thank you so much- healthy and delicious and soooo easy!!

  204. Picadillo, a Latin American-style hash, is usually made with ground beef. This one uses bison or lean beef

  205. We ate this tonight and it was so good! It is sort of like a chili but better. I put sour cream in mine and my fiance ate it over rice and we both loved it 🙂

  206. Tried it this week! Easy & delicious! My husband loved it! Also made awesome leftovers for taco night!! Thank you!

  207. We had this tonight for dinner and it ROCKS!!! Absolutely loved it!

  208. for those of us who love cilantro, I like to add it at the end. I think it losses its flavor with being cooked a long period of time.

  209. The recipe seems great!!! As lean beef has been used it has many health benefits as well. A Heart healthy Food and controls body weight. Thanks for the recipe

  210. Love this recipe, making it for the second time. Just a tip to add though – be sure to buy the PITTED Alcaparrado. I didn't see that and bought the kind with pits. Certainly trickier to eat!

  211. What other veggies would you recommend putting in this?! I need more veggies in my daily life and I usually have this all week for my lunches or dinners. lol! Thank you!!

  212. I am as white as they come and I am always so jealous of the spanish culture and their love of food, and how recipes just get carried down and and the use of onion and peppers in everything!! I have this in the crock pot now and my house smells AMAZING! Thank you for the recipe!! Hope it tastes as yummy as it smells!!

  213. Just made the Crock Pot Picadillo and my family loved it! My 3 year old thought is was yummy and her favorite part was the olives…ha ha!!

  214. OMG!!! This was so good and also used leftovers to stuff bell peppers. Will be making this again.

  215. I made this last week and it was AMAZING! I am so happy to have found this recipe – it made a TON…. so much so that I was able to feed my neighbors, myself and my husband, and then have enough leftovers for your stuffed peppers, and to make picadillo quesadillas for lunch (helllloooooo, delicious!!) Love all your recipes!

  216. I've never heard of this- its in the slow cooker right now and looks and smells amazing.

    So far I've made 4 of your recipes and every one has been a winner. Thank you so much!

  217. Made tonight and it turned out great! Also wanted to say thank you for your amazing site, I refer it to all my friends and family and use it at least once a week. =)

  218. Just have to say that this has been a HUGE hit at my home. My husband and children beg for it. I made it for the first time last week and my husband asked TWICE when we were having it again!!

    Tonight, we served it on tortillas and a bit of melted queso on top (hubby's request). I always make 2 cups of rice and put in the crock pot about 10 mins before serving.

    There are never any leftovers.

  219. I used ground elk meat in this recipe! It's in the crockpot now. I can't wait to taste it after it simmers all day! It already tastes awesome!

  220. Your recipes never disappoint. I made this last night and my five-year old daughter kept saying, "Mmmm! This is GOOD!" This recipe is a keeper. I think I'll make this to fill our beef tacos/burritos from now on, too! Thanks, Gina!

  221. I am Cuban and have been making this for years! My family doesn't like the olives in it so I put in sweet corn. I love it better than the olives anyways! I have never done it in the crock pot. Going to try it tomorrow! Gracias!

  222. Hi Gina, I've been cooking from your blog for months now and my husband and I think its the greatest thing ever! We haven't tried anything that didn't turn out to be delicious, and we now completely trust all your recipes. I even got him to eat cabbage via your stuffed cabbage casserole (last week) and cauliflower via your baked potato soup (tonight)! Amazing! 🙂 Thanks so much for all you do.
    I just had one question. You mentioned that you were posting a second recipe to use the leftovers for… is that up? I can't find it. Maybe I'm just blind…
    Thank so much!


  223. I absolutely loved this recipe! I made it two weeks ago, froze enough for testing in stuffed peppers, and then realized I had a ton left even after taking it to lunch for a few days! I really underestimated all the food 🙂 I couldn't find alcaparrado anywhere, so I just bought green olives (with pimentos) and capers separately and mixed em' in the same ratio 🙂 Tasted great!

  224. I'm so grateful for this site. I've made 3 meals so far and have gotten so many compliments from my fam and co-workers. This is the first recipe I attempted and it tasted as good as it looked! Thanks again!

  225. It's in my crock pot now. I love your site. It's helping me view being on weight watchers as a way of life. I love easy, delicious recipes and yours never disappoint.

  226. I'm a weight watcher leader, and can't wait to tell my members next week which new skinnytaste recipe I tried this week! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK GINA! 🙂

  227. Tried this last night as the snow began here in NJ….delish!! As other have mentioned, it is a personal preference but next time, I will omit the cilantro altogether, the cumin was more than enough for me. May try throwing raisins in, after reading the sweet/salty comments. I LIKE when people add their preferences; if you don't agree, then find one you do agree with and try it. Gina,you are a doll, please keep up the fab work. Thanks!

  228. This was soooo good! We couldn't find the olive mix, but I had capers and we bought green olives. We don't like olives normally, but they cook down so nicely in this dish and add such a lovely flavor. Wonderful as leftovers as well!

  229. I just wanted to say "Thank You!" for your recipes. I made this one yesterday and my boyfriend loved it. I had gastric bypass surgery in August and your recipes have helped me enjoy foods that I wouldn't normally be able to enjoy. I need to stick to everything I put in my body being under 10g fat and 10g of sugar. I have made the mozzarella sticks, breaded zucchini, chicken nuggets, stuffed pepper soup (sans rice for me) and am looking forward to cooking many more dishes. Thanks again.

  230. If I cut the recipie in half does the cooking time change?

  231. My husband loved this but it was very wet, almost like a loose chili. I think I'll use less water next time. I'm going to make empanadas with the leftovers for tonight's dinner.

    • It's supposed to be that way, the rice is lovely with it but if you like it drier, less water is the answer.

  232. Hi Gina!

    I made this for my husband and I last night and we loved it! We're very excited to try the 'Stuffed Peppers' with the leftover 'Picadillo' tonight! I'm so happy that I stumbled upon your blog. Your recipes are amazing and SO many to choose from!

    My husband is Celiac and Prediabetic. I've been cooking GF for over 9 years and have been cooking healthy and low fat for over 20 years (since our daughter was 2).

    I've been cooking this way long enough that I can now take most recipes and make them GF and healthy. I'm always excited to prove that Gluten Free and Low Fat/Carb can really taste good!

  233. I made this over the weekend and we thought it was delicious. I served it on top of spaghetti squash and am having the last of it for lunch today

    I couldn't find alcaparrado so just made my own blend of green olives and capers.

    I think it would be tasty on a thin bun as a sandwich.

  234. Hi Gina!
    Just curious why ground beef needs to brown before using the crock pot. Is it a sanitary issue or is best for the type of meat. I just cooked ground beef with spaghetti sauce the other day and it came out fine. The meat was even frozen when i put it on the crock pot. No one got sick 🙂
    I base my weekly menu on your recipes, love them! Thank you!

    • It's for taste mostly, it should brown first, and be seasoned with salt. Does it not come out like a giant meatloaf if you throw it in uncooked?

    • It does cook as a lump of meat but i usually poke it with a fork and i use a potato smasher minutes before we serve and it works. Im glad to know im not breaking a big rule in cooking or something like that. Thanks for your reply!

    • The reason I personally wouldn't do this is because I feel the seasoning wouldn't be even throughout, and I like the flavor you get from browning on high heat, but that's just me.

  235. Love this. I'm trying it tonight. My Cuban FIL used to make this all the time. I hope my husband likes it!

  236. I will have to try this. Never heard of it before but it looks very yummy. I'm count points and I love your site..

  237. So excited to have this tonight – it's in the crockpot now! I just tracked it on my meals for the day and can't wait to have it in a few hours.

  238. This is yummy! I have it in the crockpot right now but had to taste it! Delicious! I used broth instead of the water to increase flavor. Yum!!!

  239. Does your point calculation include the rice? This looks delicious! Thanks for posting!

  240. Made this two nights ago and was a huge hit! I have class on Tuesday nights so I made this for my husband to feed himself and my 5 year old. My 5 year old even had seconds he loved it so much! I think next time I would up the amount of cumin though, I think it needed a little more. But definitely delicious!

  241. I make lots of things from your site and my husband wanted me to come and comment on this to let you know how much he loved it. I thought he wouldn't like, but he did! My two year old wouldn't stop eating it! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, I talk about you non stop to people! Can't wait for the cookbook!

    • Kids love this recipe! This is probably both my children's favorite dish. Tell your husband I am so glad he liked it! 🙂

  242. I made this tonight and it was so tasty. The only difference to the recipe was I added raisins and used basmati rice. This is a keeper. Thanks

  243. Made this last night. It was awesome!! The whole family loved it. Unfortunately we loved it so much there weren't enough left overs to make another dinner:( Thanks Gina, another home run!!

  244. I made this tonight for dinner and put it over top of quinoa. IT WAS DELICIOUS and SO FILLING!

    I also cooked it over the stove and used diced, canned tomatoes since I didn't have tomato sauce without seasonings. It had such a nice flavor. THANK YOU!!

  245. Made this last week, so good. May try it with the raisins next time. Love your recipes, my daughter found the website in October and I've been using it several times a week ever since. Our entire Christmas dinner was made using skinnytaste, including the dessert. I complain at all of the steps to making these recipes, but, without the work, the food would not taste as good as it does. 4 kids, ages 7 to 20 and all love the food. Can't wait for the cookbook!

  246. Would freezing the leftovers work?

  247. I was wondering if it is okay if it cooks on low in the crock pot for 9-10 hours. I work a bit away from where I live and wouldn't be able to come back at 6 hours.

    Will it still be okay?

  248. I made this Sunday on the stovetop and let it simmer for a few hours. I used manzanilla olives stuffed with pimento and added some capers to make 1/4 cup. Served it over brown rice. My three children, ages 15, 14, and 4, and my husband and I really enjoyed it! The kids removed the olives but there are so few in the recipe that it wasn't a big deal. We used the leftovers on Monday for tacos and taco salads. Great way to get two meals out of one effort!

  249. Made this on Sunday with ground Turkey. It was fantastic! Had it with brown rice last night and will try it in some burritos during the week. LOVE IT!

  250. Just made it and my 9 and 10 year olds made me promise they could take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! It was awesome. Thanks!

  251. We were given elk meat. Does anyone know if it will taste and cook the same in this? We were told you can't tell a difference but I've only ever had elk steaks and I could (they were good, but you could tell a difference).

  252. I actually MADE this and trust me I have the two pickiest eaters out there – in fact I have started to document what we eat in hopes of turning our unhealthy eating habits around as a family so thank you for the tip, I'll revist for more!!

  253. This was DELICIOUS!!!!! I had to tell my picky 3 year old it was Cuban "Sloppy Joe" haha!

  254. This sounds really great. However, it would be super to hear from anyone who has actually MADE it.

  255. I can count the number of foods I don't like on one hand – olives and capers are both on the list. I added some diced jalapeños and the juice and it turned out wonderfully! I'm sure it altered the flavour profile a bit, but it was still delicious which is all that matters =) Thanks Gina, for another great recipe!

  256. So YUMMY.. made it tonight served it on baked sweet potato. Hubby liked it too!

  257. I picked up the ingredients that I didn't have on hand to make it today. Of course, I didn't get a chance to prep the night before like I wanted to. I did want to ask. I have 2 lbs of lean ground beef. Do you think the portions of remaining ingredients can stay the same, like the tomato sauce or could there be too much liquid in the dish? I'm getting ready this prepped now so I can have a tasty dinner!

  258. I am cooking this tomorrow!! I forgot to buy a can of tomato sauce 🙁 But, i have tomato & basil Ragu spaghetti sauce. Is this okay as a replacement??

  259. It's in the crock pot! Looking forward to it for dinner.

  260. Made this for dinner tonight. I didn't have a tomato so used a can of fire roasted diced tomato instead. Came out great. Thanks Gina, this is delicious!

  261. I forgot the dried cilantro but I had already started it thinking that I had the right thing, which was sofreto, when I noticed what I really needed I asked neighbors nobody had it so I used the red cilantro and tomato packet (2) so I hope it turns out..thats the only thing missing. I've been waiting for 3 days to make this! I will let you know but I'm sure it will be good. Thanks for all the yummy recipes Gina, I made your white and chocolate cloud cookies, omg they were sooo good, the bad part was I couldn't eat just one!! 🙂

  262. This dish looks amazing! I know what I'm making tomorrow evening! Thank you for sharing! Love your blog, every dish I've tried so far is amazing!

  263. I think this dish looks great. Seems like a great freezer meal. Cook the meat mixture, dump in the spices and tomato sauce. Freeze half and prepare half…. Then when you want a supper fast supper just dump the bag of frozen ingredients in the crockpot and turn it on… You can even make your rice and freeze it. Just let it thaw in the fridge and then zap it in the microwave. I will have to try this. I don't care for olives but I think my kids might like them. Thanks Gina!

  264. This was awesome. We had it last night for dinner and I'm now eating it for lunch. Thank you so much for your great recipes. I have fixed many and they have all been great.

  265. I made this last night for lunch today. I tasted it before packing it away and MY OH MY, so flavorful!!! I can't wait to eat this for lunch today!

  266. Is the Point Value still the same if Lean Ground Turkey is used???

  267. Hi Gina,
    I'm Cuban and when I saw the word Picadillo, I had to stop by and put up a post. If you want to go another level, we add raisins. And to cut the seasoning s down, we use Sazon, by Goya! It makes a world of difference. With that said, please keep the recipes comin.
    Ben from

  268. Made this tonight – very good! I also did a spinach salad on the side with red onions and mushrooms in a mustard dressing.

  269. Hi Gina- my kitchen smelled so yummy this afternoon while the dish was cooking in the crockpot. This was my first time making this dish so I didn't know what to expect? I used one package of lean ground turkey which wasn't enough meat for the dish but it was all that I had on hand. However I filled the difference with a can of corn. I would definitely add more spices if you're using turkey, but otherwise YUMMY!! Thanks.

  270. This was a big hit with my almost 6 year old. She had seconds and asked to take it for lunch tomorrow! I will be putting this in the regular rotation! Thank you!

  271. Oh this looks delicious Gina! I've been wanting to make Piccadillo – love green olives!

  272. This would also be good if you used Venison for those ladies with deer hunting hubbies = )

  273. We love picadillo in our house too, will definitely give this version a shot and make the stuffed peppers with the leftovers!

  274. Making this tonight. I forgot to get a tomato so going without and I am using ground turkey instead since that is what I had.

  275. Is there much of a difference in taste using green peppers rather than red? Red peppers are quite expensive this time of year around here.

  276. If I made this with turkey meat, what would the cooking time difference be in the crockpot?

  277. If I made this with turkey meat, what would the cooking time difference be in the crockpot?

  278. Made it yesterday in the crockpot and it was a HIT!

  279. Made this for dinner last night – yum! I adjusted the recipe a little bit based on picadillo I've made before – added raisins, allspice, and cinnamon. We also just used capers because olives are one of the few no-no's for my beau. Can't wait to see what you do with the leftovers! I might make these:

  280. Made this last night for dinner and it was great! Using the leftovers to make tacos tonight. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

  281. I made this last night for dinner and my whole family loved it. I had ground turkey and only one pound of it so I used that but added black beans so that it would go a little further for my family of 6. It was so super duper! Thanks Gina 🙂

  282. You could use the Goya Discsos and make baked empanadas with the leftovers.

  283. One of my friends from Puerto Rico served Picadillo from a mini crock pot with hearty corn chips at her recent party. It made a delicious appetizer! (She used Frito Scoops) Can't wait to try your recipe Gina. Thanks!

  284. If using ground turkey instead of beef, how many WW points would it be then?

  285. Ah the eternal struggle in our house, Raisins or no Raisins. I love them but my husband hates them. My Abuela also puts in potatoes, so good!

  286. I don't often buy or cook with ground beef, but this just sounds way too good to overlook! The olives are what especially caught my eye.

  287. This is a great recipe. Thanks so much.

  288. I am trying this with whole pork chops (I really needed to use them up tonight). We will see how it comes out. I browned them first and threw them in the pot, then added everything else according to the recipe. Hopefully the chops will cook down until super tender and everything will blend well. That's what I am hoping for anyway. When I have some ground beef I will try it again!

  289. Smells great! It would be helpful if you could include the water in the list of ingredients. I almost overlooked it.

  290. Just piled it all into the crock-pot… can't wait!

  291. If you were to use the raisins, how much do you think you'd add? I was thinking 1/2 cup.

  292. Being Cuban, I grew up on this dish. I make this at least once a week but I never thought of making it in a crock pot..thanks Gina! I made this for dinner last night and leftovers can be anything from empanadas to tacos but tonight I am making my boys favorite… I will be tossing it with some marinara sauce into some whole wheat pasta (without the olives and red pepper) YUM!!!

  293. @Jenn G: Thanks for the boca crumbles idea! You just made this doable for me.

  294. By the way, for those looking for sweet (I personally prefer eating it with maduros on the side) without adding raisins (yuck!) the red peppers gives it a little taste of sweet, just sayin….

  295. This looks delicious! Can ground pork/chicken be replaced since I don't eat beef. Thanks.

  296. Am I safe to assume that the Points + is not factoring in any rice? Thanks!

  297. yum! I'm making this tonight! your recipes never disapoint! thanks for sharing!

  298. Thank you Gina, I too am a big fan of Picadillo. I grew up on a similiar dish, but I love the addition of the briny bite of the green olives and I ALWAYS add some of the brine as well. It makes this dish. And you're right, it is delicious used as a leftover in other applications. One of my favs is baked in a crust like an Empanada. Muy Delicioso!!

  299. my husband doesn't like olives is there a strong olive taste? Or do you think if I minced them i could disguise them?

    • Leave them whole, you can discard them after, they just add flavor too the dish, you don't have to eat them.

  300. Looks awesome! Think I'm going to try it with venison!

  301. The BEST recipe ever! I also make it without raisins (can't stand it)and I also get different meals like you out of it including tacos. Don't know if you're going to be posting the other meal I make out of it is empanadas. Love this versatile recipe and the crockpot version DOES work as you said it makes the meat tender. Love your site…

  302. we love piccadillo – I cant wait to try this crock pot version!

  303. This looks great and inexpensive… thanks!

  304. I'm Cuban and I always make picadillo on the stovetop, thanks Gina for this recipe on the slow cooker!

    About browning the beef, what I like about browning it first on a pan is that I hate a lumpy picadillo, so I throughly un-lump (is that a word?lol) first with a fork. More labour-intensive but that's the way I like it.

    We never added cilantro to picadillo back in Cuba, but well if it works, it works! I don't add it to mine. A shame that some people do not like raisins because the raisins really make the dish.

    Oh and if you can buy some cuban "vino seco" (a cooking wine, a popular brand is Edmundo vino seco) then we are reaaaally talking. Many Cuban dishes require a bit of vino seco, like our arroz con pollo 😉

    • Thanks for sharing! We add cilantro to everything in my house, I guess it's a Colombian thing but yes, it works 🙂 I love Cuban food!!

  305. OMGosh…I am so excited for this recipe. I was born and raised in Miami Florida surrounded by wonderful Cuban friends and was always a fan of Cuban cooking. I moved to Utah where there is plenty of Mexican cooking but we both know they are NOT the same thing. I can't wait to make this. Thank you!!!

  306. Can't wait for your recipe book!! When is that due to come out?? 🙂

  307. I just posted my own version of this dish on my blog but with soy crumbles instead of ground meat. It was a big hit with our family, too.

  308. Picadillo is one of my favorite Cuban dishes but I haven't found one that substitutes well with ground turkey. I can't wait to try yours! <3 BTW…I'm not a fan of the raisins, either. I always omit them or pick them out. 😉

  309. Thank you so much for your Crockpot recipes. They save a LOT of time during the busy work week.

  310. Guys, instead of announcing to the world what you don't eat, chop the veg fine and expand your palate a bit.

    • Haha! YES! Why post something on someone's blog if you are just going to complain…

    • Wow! I don't view it as people are complaining. People mention that the dish looks delicious but perhaps there is an ingredient that they don't care for and would appreciate a suggestion for a possible substitution. Even Gina mentions the dish is typically made with raisins but she chooses to leave them out in this dish due to preference. I don't see any issue with modifying a dish to personal taste and definitely don't view that as complaining!

    • Agreed. I don't understand why people dislike olives and peppers. This recipe had me at "olives" and "cilantro".

      I do understand the cilantro thing though and asking if parsley is a decent substitute. For a lot of people, cilantro tastes like soap and it has nothing to do them just NOT liking cilantro, it actually is a genetic thing (related to taste buds.)

    • Everyone has their personal taste preferences. You don't have to understand them. I dislike peppers…that doesn't make me a bad person. I'm sure you wouldn't understand lots of my likes and dislikes, lol.

      But I don't view it as complaining either. There's more than one way to make a dish!

    • How rude. I loathe olives and get violently sick if I even taste one. Just because you like them, the rest of the world should? Give me a break. Thank you for sharing your recipes Gina, I'm going to do this one with the capers and pimientos as I saw you suggest to another reader.

    • CJ, I understand your comments but for some of us, who actually get ill eating green and red peppers – having an idea of what can be substituted is very helpful. Just a thought.

  311. Sounds wonderful!! Loving the name!!!

  312. this recipe looks great! but what a bummer the serving size is so small…

  313. Making this today! Thank you!

  314. The pictures is increasing my appetite and can't wait to try this recipe and get the taste of it.

    Thanks for such wonderful recipe!!

  315. i'm always looking for yummy & healthy ground beef recipes, thanks gina!


  316. This sounds great- could you freeze the leftover meat?

  317. I make your stove top version of this receipe all the time. I use boca crumbles to make it vegetarian and make them into empanadas. Like all your receipes my family loves it. I recently brought the empanadas to a party. They were a huge hit and everyone was shocked when I told them I made them because no one believed they were vegetarian.

    • Thank you for this tip!! I am limit meat to once a week due to cholesterol reasons, so I will try this your way.

  318. This sounds so flavorful! I'm a bit new to cooking full out meals (I normally just stick to breakfasts and desserts) but this seems like a "somewhat" simple recipe to give a go!

  319. Yum! I love olives sooo much so this is right up my ally!

  320. I have heard that some Crockpot brands do not recommend taking the stone insert directly from the fridge to to the crock (or they will crack from temp change), so if you prep it the day before you might want to keep that in mind! 🙂 I can't wait to try this recipe though!

  321. I want to make this with ground turkey. I wonder how that would change the calories?

  322. This makes me want to get a slow cooker…

  323. This is in my crock pot as we "speak" lol I cannot wait to eat it tomorrow for lunch. I am planning to have it with a multigrain tortilla for another 3 points.

  324. Would you suggest adding sofrito?

  325. WOW! YUM! I used to make a stuffed pepper recipe and the filling was similar to this. I will definitely be trying this one VERY soon! Thank you!

  326. This looks delish! One question~ my husband is NOT a fan of cilantro. If I cut it out; would you recommend adding anything in instead? Thanks!!

    • I usually see parsley as a substitute for cilantro. We don't like it either!

    • Thanks for the suggestion! This looks delicious but my husband I aren't cilantro fans either. Will definitely try with parsley!

    • I was thinking (I made it last night) that if I hadn't had cilantro in the house, the dish would not have missed it. It's such a small amount anyway I wouldn't bother buying a bunch just to use a tiny bit. Parsley would be a nice substitute tho

    • You can totally leave it out, it's the olives that gives it the flavor.

  327. LOL. I read this as "armadillo" and not "picadillo" and was like thinking 'omg! who cooks with armadillo?! where can i find armadillo?!' 😛
    Hope that makes someone else laugh too 🙂

  328. I LOVE picadillo!!! I like it as tacos, though. Making these with corn tortillas asap! 🙂

  329. Question! I am planning on getting a crock pot (just so I can make your recipes). When you add the ingredients, do you mix them before turning on the crock pot??

  330. You make me look forward to cooking dinner. I didn't think that was possible. Thanks for another great recipe!

  331. I'm thinking about giving this a try, maybe cutting in half since I'm cooking for two. I've heard this is a really good dish and made ww friendly, can't beat it!!!

  332. I've never had this… I can't wait to try it!

  333. Oh my favorite!!! So excited to try this- thank you!

  334. Add the raisins in for a real treat. The dish is supposed to be sweet (raisins) and salty (olives).

    • I thought the same thing! "Where are the raisins?!" How many would you add given the proportions in the recipe?

  335. I'm thinking this would be delicious, but we don't eat bell peppers, so will be trying it without. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

  336. oh yum!!! i dont like olives but im still giving this one a whirl 🙂

    • You can pick them out, but the recipe needs them for the flavor, so don't leave them out.

    • We are not olive fans either, but the rest of the recipe sounds great. Does the dish taste like olives? It seems to me when we have olives on pizza, it over powers the pizza.

    • you can leave it out if u want…. it only adds a little flavor but doesn't change the overall dish.

    • I don't think the dish tastes like olives at all – but I think it would definitely be lacking something w/out them. I made this last night using lean ground turkey.

    • I agree, it makes the dish and is subtle.

    • I am not an olive fan either, but I processed my olives with the brine and cilantro before adding to the crockpot and you couldn't even tell they were there after cooking 🙂

  337. So funny you posted this today because My meal plan for tonight is to make your stove top picadillo! I will try it in the crockpot next time for sure!

  338. How can I print recipes without the 2 or 3 paragraphs of text that accompany them. The problem is that I print so many recipes because everything is so good that my book is running out of room. Thanks!!!!

  339. Am I the only person who really hates having to cook the food before adding it to the crockpot? I know it helps with the flavor, but for me the appeal of a crockpot is not having to get out a pan and dirty multiple dishes, but to be able to throw everything in at once and forget about it. That said, this looks delicious. But since I'd have to get a pan out anyway to make it, I would definitely just make the stovetop version. Thanks for posting so many delicious, healthy recipes!

    • It only dirties one pot, no way around it, sorry! Stovetop is perfectly fine too, I do it all the time.

    • I'm just so lazy. I love the crockpot recipes where you throw everything in at the beginning and you're done. But obviously those willing to take the one extra step are in for a yummy dinner.

    • I hear your pain!!! So I just ordered a new slow cooker spent all of my Christmas money on it but since I use my slow cooker once a week so I think it is worth it (my old one is about to give out)! I ordered Cuisinart Multicooker but there is also the Ninja that does the same!

    • I have the ninja cooking system and you can brown the beef in there and then set it to crockpot!

    • Great idea, about time someone came out with a slow cooker like that!!!

    • I have a multi-cooker also & love that I can brown in same pot then switch to slow cooker mode. I do find, however, that when on slow cooker mode, my dishes cook in less time than recipes call for.

    • I embrace these types of recipes for "cooking day" when I prepare the weeks meals. I start with this type of recipe, where I'm chopping and prepping veggies anyways, get it going then it's out of the way while I prepare our other meals for the week. I don't have to tend to it anymore and we have a delicious meal when all the dishes are clean and the other meals are ready to go for later in the week. Final benefit, we have leftovers for lunches during the early week.

    • I have the all-clad slow cooker with a non-stick cast iron inset. You can cook in it on the stove, or oven and then place it in the slow cooker. Pricey but I use it so often , it's worth it. Available only at Williams Sonoma.

    • I have cooked ground beef in my crock pot many times! Break up the beef a bit and barely cover it with water, add onions, garlic, etc. and set to low. A pound usually takes three or four hours. I do open it once its in there a couple hours to break up the meet with my "mix & chop" tool (Pampered Chef). When no longer pink drain the water and proceed with your recipe. The meat is not as "hard or firm" but cooked through well. I do this with chili all the time and don't drain the water.

    • haha yep I do hate that but this seems like a pretty easy prep and then hold recipe..kinda like sloppy joes… but some of those crock pot recipes are pointless given how much cooking you end up doing ahead of time

  340. This looks so yummy! I was looking for crock pot recipes and this is it! Thanks!

  341. OMG!!!! I love that you made a heatlhy version of this. Being Hispanic, this is such a popular dish and I love it even with some fideo.

    Would adding potatoes increase it by many points?

    Thanks Gina!

  342. I was looking for a way to break in my new slow cooker, gotta try this

  343. You can also make it with ground Turkey. Just add a touch (3 tblsp) of cooking wine, white dry and half a tblsp more of cummin to the recipe.

  344. Looks great! I'm always looking for new crock pot recipes!

  345. This looks amazing, and easy. Definitely going in my crockpot soon!

  346. This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it!

  347. This looks really yummy! Any suggestions for substitutions for the green olives? Our family is anti-green olives 🙂 Maybe some pimientos and a bit of pickle relish?

    • This is one of the first dishes I ever learned how to cook and I wouldn't use pickle relish because it has a completely different taste profile. If you want to leave out the olives, I would instead just use capers and some of the brine. Hope this helps.

    • I would use pimientos and capers, that should work out perfect.

    • My husband is the only one who eats the olives. I like the taste- found I really disliked without the taste. I cook with them, but just don't eat them.

    • I would suggest chopping them very small or grinding them up in the food processor. You'll get the flavor and not even realize than you're eating them.

    • Yes! What anonymous said! The first time I made this, I put the olives in whole like the picture showed. Then you get some bites with a SUPER strong olive flavor and most others with not quite enough flavor. This time I chopped them down and liked it MUCH better. And if your family isn't an olive family, chop them small enough, and they'll never even know they are in there! But the flavor is super helpful to the dish.

  348. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  349. Mmmmm.. going to go pick up the ingredients and make this for dinner tomorrow! It reminds me a lot of a recipe that my father makes, only better!

    • imma tell your dad! lol

      • We love this recipe! Because we are a half-Indian, half-Irish family we like spicy food and after reading  the reviews we decided to double the spices! I also added a little red chili powder, some smoked paprika, a little roasted coriander and a small amount of ground ancho chile! This is my third time making it and everyone loves it!  I’m so grateful to Gina and Skinnytaste for sharing these amazing recipes and meal plans! 

  350. This might be what's for dinner tomorrow! YUM!