Easy Picadillo Recipe

One of my favorite and most beloved dishes from my childhood is Picadillo. Picadillo is a fragrant stew made with ground beef, tomatoes, raisins added for sweetness and olives for salt. This hearty and filling meal is extremely easy to make and can be used for gaining or loosing weight with the correct recipe adjustments. As a child my grandmother would make this dish frequently eating it either with rice and beans or stuffed in empanadas. As my grandma got older she cooked less and less, but I still frequently craved her cooking. In particular that sweet, salty, vinegary beef stew I ate so frequently as a child was always a familiar dish that I yearned for. So one day on a Sunday when I was really hungry with a large quantity of ground beef I decided to experiment to try and recreate this wonderful meal. After years of experimentation this is the result.

While there is no consensus on the origin of  Picadillo it is a beloved comfort food in many Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as Spain and the Philippines. Each region’s version of Picadillo varies. This version draws on the traditional Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican versions of Picadillo. Enjoy!!

Simple Ingredients, but complex and delicious flavors

Recipe: Makes 6 4 ounce servings of 3 8 ounce servings (depending on caloric and macronutrient needs)



1.5lb of lean grass fed (Depending on what your trying to do diet wise should determine the leanness of your meat. I personally will use 90/10 for myself generally but 85/15 for when I cook for others. I always would recommend splurging for grass fed beef. It’s better for you, the environment, the cows, and tastes much better IMO. ***I wouldn’t recommend making this dish with ground turkey its just not the same.

1  Yellow Onion

3 Tomatoes or 1 can of crushed tomatoes

1 Green Bell Pepper

3-4  Garlic Cloves

 2 tablespoons of Vinegar White or Apple Cider

1/2 cup of pitted stuffed Green Olives

1/4 cup Capers

1/4 cup Raisins

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste or Ketchup ( I personally think ketchup is better)

**Optional Hot Sauce I recommended an unnecessary amount

1.5 Tablespoons of Cumin

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

A pinch of Nutmeg

Salt and Pepper to taste


1. In a non stick pan over medium heat cook and stir garlic, onion, tomatoes and green bell pepper until softened. Approximately 5 to 7 minutes. You may have to add a little bit of water to sweat the vegetables. 

2. Crumble ground beef into pan; cook and stir until browned. Approx 1o minutes.

3. Stir in olives, raisins, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg,salt and pepper.

4. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and cook approximately  5 to 10 minutes.

5. Depending on your dietary /fitness goals this dish could be served with vegetables, brown or white rice, or rice and beans.


Per 22g/ 7.5 Ounce Serving

Calories: 263kcal

Protein: 23 grams

Carbs: 7 grams

Fat: 16 grams

Fiber: 1.5

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