Classic Cuban-Style Picadillo Recipe -
Classic Cuban-Style Picadillo Recipe
  • READY IN 30 mins

Classic Cuban-Style Picadillo

Recipe by  

"Here is a classic Cuban recipe for ground beef that is typically eaten over white rice. It can also be used as a filling for tacos or empanadas. It's delicious with fried ripe plantains."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    30 mins


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic, onion, and green bell pepper in the hot oil until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Crumble ground beef into the skillet; cook and stir until browned completely, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir olives, raisins, capers, tomato sauce, sazon seasoning, cumin, sugar, and salt through the ground beef mixture.
  4. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low, and cook until the mixture is heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.
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  • Cook's Note:

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 08, 2012

This was wonderful! I added more olives (because we love olives), some of the olive brine (instead of more salt) and I didn't have any sazon so I improvised by mixing equal parts of coriander, cumin, achiote (ground annatto), salt and powdered garlic. Served with rice and fried plantains.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 14, 2015

the CUMIN ruined the taste,never again will I make this and I'm throwing the cumin away.

Mar 07, 2012

Great! I added cheese and left out the raisins, but very good!

Mar 08, 2012

i thought no one else made this! my recipe is way different though and takes longer

Feb 05, 2013

This recipe was really quick and easy which works well for weeknights. Our grocery store had different flavors of sazon, so like another reviewer, I found on online substitute which called for equal parts ground corriander, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. By using the substitute I was able to leave out the salt too. I didn't have pitted olives, so I just used the standard green manzanilla olives, ~18 of them or 1/3 cup. Next time I'll finely dice these olives to have a more even distribution in the dish. I really liked the sweet of the raisins with the salt of the olives.

Jan 18, 2013

There is a Cuban restaurant in the Miami Airport called La Carreta. They serve picadillo there, but this has SO much more flavor - I love the sweetness of the raisins against the capers & olives, along with all the spices. I make it with a good quality grass fed beef and on my 2nd try, I added some of my mother in law's sofrito from Puerto Rico. She makes it with culantro, but I can't find it here. I made it exactly like you said the 1st time around and it was awesome. I didn't find it too salty at all. It's in my recipe box :-)

Jun 19, 2012

What a yummy dish! I had about 3/4 lb left over turkey meat taco seasoned to use up, this was the perfect reincarnation for it. I used a red pepper, and after the saute added the turkey. I didn't have any tomato sauce, so I added about 1 1/2 cup Goya caldo de tomate con pollo broth, the other ingredients, and let it simmer down and thicken. I also used golden raisins. Very nice, simple recipe. I enjoyed this very much, gracias, danda22151.

Jan 09, 2015

Made it! My whole family loved it. At first I was worried it would be too salty because of the two packs of Sazon, but it was perfect. I didn't add raisins because my family doesn't like them, but I did add the capers because I had them on hand from making piccata yesterday. It was perfect. I served it with Tostones and Spicy Mayo and everyone gobbled it all up. My only recommendation would be to dice the olives a little more finely and I added about 20 small olives versus 6 large ones. Oh, and I didn't have any cumin, but It certainly didn't need it to be delicious.


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  • Calories
  • 350 kcal
  • 17%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 23.8 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 74 mg
  • 25%
  • Fat
  • 18.5 g
  • 29%
  • Fiber
  • 2.4 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 23.7 g
  • 47%
  • Sodium
  • 3572 mg
  • 143%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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