Mexican Picadillo Recipe

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The best part of writing a food recipe blog with someone is that you can sit and compare family recipes. Both of our moms were tremendous cooks, but rarely used written recipes. Most of the meals came from what they learned growing up. Recently, we were talking about Mexican Picadillo recipes.  We started to laugh because we both had similar stories. Beef Mexican Picadillo was a stand-by dish both our mamas would make in a pinch. Between the loads of laundry and picking us up from school, they would whip this dish up and all of us kids would be scarfing it down with warm tortillas, rice and beans. We love picadillo!

Picadillo Recipe

This picadillo recipe is a simple, traditional dish made all over Latin America. Each country has their own special version of it. It will fill your home with a mouthwatering aroma.  Once you have your ingredients chopped, the whole meal comes together pretty fast.  The serrano chiles add wonderful heat, but feel free switch them out with any of your other favorites. Not into heat? Then add some corn, peas or green olives.  The recipe yields a lot, but you’ll need plenty because picadillo is a great left over.  You can eat the savory meat and vegetable mixture in a burrito, tacos, empanadas, over spaghetti noodles, stuffed in a bell pepper, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Picadillo Mexicano
Serves 6-8 

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large white onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and small dice
2-3 Serrano chiles, minced (this depends on the amount of heat you want. I like it HOT!)
2 pounds ground beef
1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cumin
1 bouillon cube of chicken and tomato flavor or 1 cup of chicken broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 ripe Roma tomatoes, pureed in a food processor or blender (I’ve also used a good quality 16-oz can of diced tomatoes with its juices)
1 large potato, peeled, diced
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high.  Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions become translucent.  Stir the onions to make sure all the bits are coated in oil and not sticking to the pan.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  3. Stir in the carrots, garlic, and serrano peppers and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small pieces.  Cook for about 12 minutes until the meat is cooked through and brown.
  5. Pour in the tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, potatoes, cumin, red pepper flakes and the bouillon cube. Mix it all together,  incorporating everything well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and allow the potatoes to cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until soft.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with pinto beans, Mexican rice, and corn tortillas.

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  1. Just cooked this, came out really good. Thank you.

  2. I’ve used this recipe a few times and it is the best! Not dry and the whole family enjoys it. I do substitute the potato for butternut squash. shh, don’t tell the children. ;) Thanks!

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