Cuban Picadillo recipe is my family’s favorite! It’s really quick and easy to make, a delicious recipe for ground beef.
Growing up, this was one of my favorite dishes to eat that my Mom made all the time. She learned it from a Cuban friend who was more like a grandma to me. My friends loved eating over on the nights my mom had this on the menu. I have so many different versions of this recipe on my blog, like this Slow Cooker Picadillo, Instant Pot Picadillo, and Turkey Picadillo when I want a lighter meal. It really is a favorite!
How to Serve Picadillo
I make picadillo a few times a month and make enough so we have leftovers. It’s perfect for meal prep because it’s so quick and easy to make. Plus, there are so many great ways to eat the leftovers that you won’t get tired of eating the same meal all week. Below are some of my favorites, but leave a comment if you come up with another way to serve it!
- Empanadas made in the air fryer
- Picadillo Quesadillas
- Slow Cooker Picadillo Stuffed Peppers
- Serve this as tacos or tostadas with red onions and shredded cheddar cheese
- Rice bowl with a quick cabbage slaw and avocado or over cauliflower rice for a low-carb option
- Served as a main with sweet plantains or air fryer tostones on the side
- Add the meat to scrambled eggs and top with hot sauce
- Taco Bell-style mexi melt with cheese, and pico de gallo
You can refrigerate the leftovers for four days or freeze it for up to six months.
- If you’re not a fan of cilantro, omit it.
- Swap ground beef for ground turkey or chicken.
- Use capers if you don’t like green olives.
- Add some diced potato.
- Add raisins to make it more traditional.
More Cuban-inspired Recipes You’ll Love:
- Quick and Delicioso Cuban Style Black Beans
- Instant Pot Garlicky Cuban Pork
- Cubano Chicken
- Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)
- Cuban Sandwich Quesadilla
- 1/2 large chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1/2 pepper finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 1-1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef
- 4 oz tomato sauce 1/2 can
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1-2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tbsp pitted green olives or alcaparrado capers would work too
- Brown meat on high heat in large sauté pan and season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all juice from pan.
- Meanwhile, while meat is cooking, chop onion, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro.
- Add to the meat and continue cooking on a low heat. Add olives or alcaparrado and about 2 to 4 tbsp of the brine (the juice from the olives, this adds great flavor) cumin, bay leaf, and more salt if needed. Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well. Reduce heat and simmer covered about 20 minutes.