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If you’re looking for a healthy, hearty dinner that the whole family will love, this Cuban-Inspired Picadillo is definitely a winner! 

Cuban-Inspired Picadillo

If you’ve never made a picadillo before, it’s one of the best ways to use ground beef. A picadillo is a dish made with ground meat, tomatoes, and other ingredients, like olives and/or capers that vary by region. It is often served with rice or used as a filling in dishes such as tacos, savory pastries or croquettes. 

As a Texan, I have typically been exposed to the Mexican-Style of picadillo and love to use that in tacos or bowls in our home. Other very common style is Cuban Picadillo and while simple to make, it’s extremely flavorful. Many traditional Cuban Picadillo recipes call for classic ingredients like ground beef, bell pepper, onion, along with a combination of spices like cumin, oregano and bay leaves. It also includes salty, tangy elements like olives and capers. Some recipes even include a pop of sweetness with the addition of raisins. Personally, I prefer it without raisins but feel free to add a handful of raisins for a little touch of sweetness. 

I love how hearty and family friendly this recipe is. I’ve had versions with and without potatoes and both are great, so if you’re hesitant to double-starch (since picadillo is typically served with white rice), feel free to omit the potatoes when making yours at home! Aside from serving with rice, I also love grabbing store bought plantain chips for serving, too. Paired with a simple side salad, dinner will be on the table in no time and the whole family will love this delicious stewed ground beef recipe. 

Cuban-Inspired Picadillo
5 from 7 votes

Cuban-Inspired Picadillo

Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion diced fine
  • ½ bell pepper diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 bay leafs
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • One 5-ounce jar manzanilla olives, drained
  • 3 tablespoons capers drained
  • 1 russet potato peeled and diced small

For Serving:

  • Cilantro-Lime Rice or steamed white rice
  • Plantain chips
  • Your favorite hot sauce I love El Yucateco


  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with the edge of a spoon until cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess fat and return to the dutch oven.
  • Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, chili powder and bay leaves and cook, stirring, to toast the spices, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and stir to combine. Reduce by half, about 2 minutes, then add the broth, tomato sauce, olives, and capers. Stir to combine and bring to a rapid simmer.
  • Once simmering, reduce the heat to light simmer, add the diced potato, stir to combine and then cook, simmering over low heat and covered, for all of the flavors to meld and for everything to really stew and get very tender, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally throughout the process.
  • I serve mine over cilantro lime rice, with some plantain chips and a little bit of hot sauce over the top.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 4

Photography and styling by Eat Love Eats.

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have made so so many of Alex’s recipes and I have to say this may be my favorite of all time. It has become a staple in our house and my two very small children gobble it up. I typically use carrots instead of red pepper, mostly because it’s what we have on hand. Such a phenomenal take on picadillo!