Cuban Picadillo

prep time

10 minutes

cook time

35 minutes


6 to 8
Picadillo is a dish commonly found across Latin America.  This version from our Cooking Class page on Serious Eats is the Cuban version where ground beef is blended with onions, peppers, spices, tomatoes, raisins and olives.  This dish has a juiciness similar to a Bolognese sauce.  If you haven't had picadillo before, this is the recipe to make! 


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Tuttorosso® Diced Tomatoes, or 1 (28 oz) can Diced Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, plus 2 tablespoons brine
2 tablespoons capers


  • Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and green and red bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and bay leaves and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add vinegar and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  • Add beef, salt, and pepper.  Cook stirring and breaking up chunks, until beef is no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in Diced Tomatoes and gently mash with a wooden spoon to break up and incorporate into beef.  Stir Worcestershire sauce, raisins, olives, brine, and capers.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove and discard bay leaves.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve over white rice, black beans, and/or fried plantains.

  • Cuban Picadillo

related recipes


Required *

Write a review

We would love to hear from you! Ratings and comments are an important tool for cooks who visit our site. Share your experience with this recipe including any cooking tips and other suggestions. You can also rate the recipe by rating it on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. (All reviews will be reviewed and approved prior to posting on the site.)

First Name *
Last Name *
Rating *
Review *
New code