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Instant Pot Picadillo

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Made with ingredients like ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and tomato sauce this Instant Pot Picadillo makes a quick and easy dinner. This Cuban recipe is full of flavor and pairs well with rice for a complete meal.

A plate of picadillo with rice and an avocado slice

Easy Instant Pot Picadillo Recipe

Instant Pot Picadillo is a Cuban recipe I grew up eating and is always on rotation in my house because it’s the most requested dish by my kids and it’s so easy to make.

I have recreated my stove top picadillo recipe for the slow cooker but many of you have been asking for me to convert this for the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) so I was happy to do so! This turned out great in the pressure cooker and only took 15 minutes not counting pressure time.

Looking for other Instant Pot beef recipes? Try my Instant Pot shredded beef and corned beef and cabbage recipes!

Helpful Tips

When converting from slow cooker to instant pot, the ingredients stay the same, the only thing that changes is you can saute in the same pot and the time is much quicker.

What To Serve With Picadillo

We love it served over brown rice (or cauliflower rice) with this quick cabbage slaw or a salad on the side. Leftovers are great to pack for lunches or I use the meat to a second meal for the week such as air-fryer picadillo empanadas, stuffed peppers, tacos, quesadillas and more! This also freezes well for make ahead-meals.

My family loves this beef version but I also make a Turkey Picadillo, if you prefer. You can also dice up potatoes to make Picadillo with potatoes, it’s delicious!

How To Make Picadillo in the Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Picadillo

4.77 from 92 votes
Picadillo is the dish I make the most in my home. It’s the most requested by my kids and it’s so easy to make. Great over rice, in tacos and more!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Cuban, Latin
Picadillo is the most requested dish by my kids and it's so easy to make. We love it served over brown rice (or cauliflower rice) with this quick cabbage slaw or a salad on the side.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings
Serving Size: 1 /2 generous cup


  • 1-1/2  lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 large chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to mato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 4 oz 1/2 can tomato sauce (I like Goya)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp alcaparrado, capers or green olives would work too


  • Press saute button, when hot brown meat and season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces until no longer pink.
  • Add onion, garlic, tomato, salt, pepper and cilantro and stir 1 minute, add alcaparrado or olives and about 2 tbsp of the brine (the juice from the olives, this adds great flavor) cumin, and bay leaf. Add tomato sauce and 3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Cover and cook high pressure 15 minutes. Natural or quick release and enjoy!

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Serving: 1 /2 generous cup, Calories: 207 kcal, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Protein: 25 g, Fat: 8.5 g, Saturated Fat: 3.5 g, Cholesterol: 74 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g