Picadillo (and the Tiny Distraction in Our Family)


Picadillo makes a good dip or filling for a warm flour tortilla

If you’re Cuban, Phillipino, or from another Latin American country, you probably recognize picadillo (pee-kah-DEE-yoh) as a traditional dish in the same way chili is a traditional American dish. That means everybody makes it a little differently according to their country of origin and the way their mama did it. It often has olives, but mine does not. On the other hand, my version includes raisins and almonds which are optional. Spices vary widely, same as chili.


Pour it over lettuce instead of salad dressing.

I like to make a big batch of picadillo and freeze it in smaller portions to use in burritos or to pour over my salad-in-a-jar instead of salad dressing. Try making the baked shells seen above with instructions here, filling them with lettuce and then a few spoonfuls of picadillo, topped with tomatoes and avocados, if desired. Lately, I’ve taken to pouring picadillo over Recipe Girl’s coconut rice, or Cilantro-Hominy Rice, and serving it as a kid-friendly entree.


Picadillo over Coconut Rice

Click on the slideshow below to see how quick and easy you can put this recipe together.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

My stock of picadillo in the freezer has gone down quite a bit here lately because I’ve been a wee bit distracted from cooking very much. Perhaps you can understand.

Piper's Birth-7.jpg

Piper Elyse is my first granddaughter and a perfect blessing from God. Parents are Brett and Amanda Rhodes. Born 9/7/2012

Recipe type: Appetizer or Entree
Serves: 8
Cook time:
Total time:
Divide this into smaller portions and freeze. Fabulous for burritos, salads and served over rice.
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup chopped onions (I always used frozen onions)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers (can sub pimientos)
  • 1-14 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • ½ cup jarred, pickled, jalapenos, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (I like them toasted)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (optional but good if you walk on the spicy side)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  1. Brown ground meat. Drain off fat.
  2. Add onions and red bell peppers. Continue to saute for a couple minutes.
  3. Pour tomatoes over meat mixture. Break up tomatoes with wooden spoon. (It's not a sin to use diced tomatoes if you prefer.)
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 20-30 minutes.


Texas Fiesta Bowls
Cilantro Hominy Rice
Green Chili Stew with Pork and Tomatoes

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill October 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Congrats, Paula, on the new addition to the family, she is a little angel!
The picadillo looks yummy!


alefia October 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

hi do u have a recipe for burritos and also for frozen ice cream thanks
congratulations and ur baby granddaughter


Paula October 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Sorry Alefia, I the closest thing I have to burritos is a wonderful recipe for refried beans that goes into burritos very nicely.


Jane October 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Thanks for your response. I did find the biscuit recipe and am anxious to try it… We have a carry-in at school for a baby shower. Just finished my fourth batch of Greek yogurt, so I have more whey to use. Today, I added it to my white chicken chili. What a nice way to add in protein!!!!


Connie September 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Congratulations on your family’s new addition! She is precious.


Suzanne September 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

The recipe sounds great but I’m distracted too by the cuteness of that sweet baby. Congratulations to you and your family that’s so wonderful, girls are so much fun to dress up cute.


The Café Sucré Farine September 21, 2012 at 8:40 am

Oh Paula, she is precious. I thought your recipe looked amazing till I saw her, then I lost all my concentration for food! She is beautiful, you are going to love being a grandmom!


Nicole- The Galley Gourmet September 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I have had my head tilted sideways for about five minutes looking at your precious grandbaby. Peaches and cream! (The picadillo looks good too:)


Erika September 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

What a cute baby! That’s a great photo.

I’d be curious to try a vegetarian version of this–all of the serving suggestions you listed sound fantastic!


Connie September 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Congratulations. What a beautiful bundle from heaven. She is precious. Thanks for sharing.


Paula September 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Your little Piper is beautiful! Congratulations Gramma!!! So excited for you and for your daughter and her blessed little family.

Your picadillo looks wonderful and I love your serving options shown.


Kay September 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Your new grandbaby looks just scrumptious! I know she will be such a blessing to your family. Congratulations and enjoy!


Lori Sheranian September 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Hi, Beautiful granddaughter!! I have 3 grandsons, and 6 granddaughters, and a new one on the way. I just wanted to thank you again for getting me started using a bread machine. It has changed my baking life. I have made a loaf everyday, plus many other wonderful things, for a year now. I have never bought one loaf of bread in the whole year. I have perfected a wheat bread, mixed in the machine now. It has made many people so very happy. Thank you again. I love your blog.


Paula September 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Hi Lori,
You sure know how to make a blogger’s day. So glad you use your bread machine and all the better that your bread is making other people happy. Congratulations in advance on the new grandchild on the way. Have a feeling your grandkids love to walk in your house and smell that bread.


Jenn September 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

The recipe sounds great – and I went over to your Texas Fiesta Bowl post to pick up that recipe.

And, what a precious little girl and beautiful name. Congratulations to you all! Perfectly pink!


Kay @ Cooking with K September 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

She is adorable…you are a blessed Grandmother!! The picadillo looks really yummy. Enjoy her…grandchildren are so much fun…blessings, K


Vicki V September 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

What a precious little granddaughter! Beautiful name, too.

I love picadillo. Never thought to put it on a salad!


Lorraine September 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

The very sweetest distraction ever! Piper Elyse is beautiful! So happy for you all 🙂

The picadillo sounds delicious especially over rice or a salad!


Gary September 15, 2012 at 7:08 am

Congrats on your granddaugther!


Natasha September 15, 2012 at 3:13 am

Congratulations, what a little treasure! She’s absolutely beautiful.
(Don’t you think picadillo is great cute nickname for a small child?)


Paula September 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Yes, that would be a great nickname. Who knows? You may have started something.


Piper September 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm

So beautiful! Congratulations on your wonderful addition, how blessed you are. I love the precious cap. Of course, I wholeheartedly approve of the name.


Betty September 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm

The picadillo sounds delicious, but that precious little bundle steals the show! She’s absolutely beautiful, and a welcome distraction I’m sure. 🙂


Paula September 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Hi Betty,
Been missing your posts. Guess school is back in for you?


Katrina September 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Aw, what a sweet looking baby! Congrats!


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