This Authentic Mexican Picadillo Recipe is the most delicious and easy picadillo recipe. Made with a fresh tomato sauce, aromatic spices and potatoes. Perfect on top of white rice, filling for tacos or empanadas.
Authentic Mexican Picadillo Recipe
If you have never had an authentic Mexican picadillo recipe or picadillo period, then you are in for a treat!
Not only is picadillo tasty and delicous but quite easy to make as well. In my mind this is the best Mexican picadillo recipe. It’s one of those foods you don’t have to stress about. You don’t have to stress the ingredients or sacrifice on flavor because you’re missing an important ingredient to make the dish superb. Where ever you are on the globe, the ingredients should just be a market’s drive away.
So hold on and let’s talk about picadillo!
What is Picadillo?
Picadillo is a humble simple food made with ground beef, seasoned with a variety of spices and a fresh tomato based sauce (although sometimes it’s made with can tomato sauce). It is made in several different regions of the world such as the Philippines, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico (of course!) and Cuba, just to name a few.
Picadillo is served on top of rice or with rice and beans. It can be used in empanadas, empanadillas, alcapurrias, as a stuffing for peppers, chicken, turkey, just to name a few here too.
It’s a versatile dish and sort of like breakfast hash.
And although I said picadillo is made with ground beef, it’s name is not solely reserved for beef. Picadillo can also be made with chicken, turkey and even seafood.
And one other thing, a little goes a long way in this dish! You can serve a family of four to six with just one pound of beef!
That makes me happy!
How Do you Make Picadillo?
Super simple, with just a few ingredients cooked together, you will have yourself an authentic Mexican picadillo recipe in no time.
What makes an authentic picadillo is the tomato based sauce. You combine tomatoes, onions, serrano or jalapeño peppers and garlic in a blender to create this delicious fresh tomato sauce.
This sauce is added to the ground beef along with all your other ingredients and spices.
So start with creating your sauce. To do this, you have two options, you can roast your tomatoes in an oven or place on stove top in a pan for 10 minutes with a little bit of oil until they are nice and charred. Or you can choose to skip this step all together and place raw tomatoes right into a blender. Really don’t stress this step to much as this is more of a preference.
Then cook cubed potatoes until tender and set aside. Cook your onions, peppers and garlic until translucent and add ground beef until no longer pink. Add your spices, potatoes, cilantro and finally your fresh tomato sauce.
Walla! All done!
Serve on top of white rice, taco filling or maybe use as stuffing for empanadas.
If you have never made picadillo, this will be a dish you will be happy you learned how to make, that I promise!
Picadillo Tacos? Check out these picadillo tacos by Food Folks and Fun.
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN PICADILLO RECIPE
FRESH TOMATO SAUCE
- 2-4 roma tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 cup of chicken stock or water
- salt to taste
- oil a little bit for cooking
FOR GROUND MEAT
- 1 Pound ground beef
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 pepper seeded and chopped
- 1-2 roma tomatoes rinsed and chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro rinsed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon vinegar don't worry if you don't have any vinegar
- 1-2 potatoes cut into small pieces, cubed
FOR GROUND MEAT (OPTIONAL)
- 8-10 green olives sliced
- 1/2 packet of Sazon found in the international aisle, the kind labeled
Fresh Tomato Sauce
- Roast tomatoes in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or roast on stove top in a pan with a drop of oil over medium heat for 10 minutes turning over every few minutes for even roasting (you can also roast the jalapeño or serrano pepper).Note: You can skip this whole step and just use raw tomatoes but I like the taste better when the tomatoes are roasted.
- Add tomatoes, jalapeño or serrano pepper, onion, garlic, oregano and water or stock to a blender or chopper and blend until smooth.Set aside.
- Step 2
- In a skillet over medium heat, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil. Add potatoes, cover and cook until fork tender and a little golden brown. Toss in between cooking to have even cooking.About 15 minutes.
Drain on paper towels.
- While potatoes are cooking, use another skillet or saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and add onions and peppers until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
- Add ground beef to skillet and cook until beef is no longer pink.
- Add potatoes, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, cumin, cilantro, vinegar and half of the sazon packet to beef mixture. Sir and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Finally add tomato sauce from blender to beef mixture and mix well together.
- Lower heat a little bit and cook for 15-20 minutes allowing flavors to blend well together.
- Serve over white rice.Could sprinkle additional cilantro on top.
Let me know when you will be making this authentic Mexican picadillo recipe!!
Danielle Wolter says
SO delicious! What a great recipe 🙂 Loving all the fresh flavors, and perfect served over rice .
Thank you Danielle!! I love picadillo! YUM!
This recipe is perfect! It’s super easy and has so much flavor! A great, comforting winter meal!
Thank you Kim! Yes picadillo is super easy to make with no lack of delicious flavor! It is so delicious!
Tayler Ross says
This looks like total comfort food with a Mexican flair! I can’t wait to try it!
Total comfort food! Let me know when you do Tayler!
This dish sounds amazing. I am always looking for a delicious authentic recipe to share with my friends.
Thank you Des, let me know how you and your friends enjoy picadillo!
Looks delicious! I don’t think I’ve had Picadillo before so I really appreciate you including some info about what it is. Now I really want to try it!
I hope you do Emmeline! Let me know what you think! Love how simple and yet delicious picadillo is!
Keri Shelton says
This was amazing!! My husband is Hispanic and he told me it was so much better than any picadillo he’s ever had!! We used as tacos with nopales (cactus).
Hi Keri! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! So happy your husband really liked this recipe and you both really enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to let me know how much you both loved it! 🙂