Transport your taste buds to the sunny streets of Cuba with this delicious and classic dish – Picadillo Cubano.
About this recipe
This flavorful and comforting recipe has been a staple in Cuban cuisine for generations, and it’s easy to see why. Thankfully I grew up eating Mexican and Cuban picadillo; both were a staple in my home and so flavorful.
The savory mix of ground beef, tomatoes, olives, raisins, and warm spices, this dish balances sweet and salty flavors that will leave you wanting more. I make my picadillo vegan with the help of lentils or faux meat.
Whether you’re a fan of Cuban cuisine or looking to try something new, this hearty and versatile dish will surely impress. So let’s dive into the world of Cuban flavors and discover the magic of Picadillo Cubano!
Ingredientes for the picadillo cubano
- Ground beef, I use vegan faux meat from Impossible or Beyond Meat
- Onion, garlic, and green bell pepper, diced.
- White wine is optional, but it gives it a delicious flavor. Substitute with homemade vegan stock.
- Diced tomatoes, fresh or canned, or homemade tomato sauce will work.
- Spices: thyme, marjoram
- Raisins, do not skip them
- Green olives, sliced and best if you use red bell pepper filled
How to make Cuban picadillo
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and green bell pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef ( vegan ground beef or lentils) to the pan and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces. Add the wine and let it evaporate.
Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, raisins, and olives to the pan—season with salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
How to serve the picadillo
Serve the Picadillo over white or brown rice, plantains, and black beans. You could also make vegan empanadas with it.
Cuban picadillo variations
Classic Picadillo Cubano: The classic version of Picadillo Cubano is the recipe you’ll find in the recipe card. This version has raisins and olives, which some people ad capers too. It is typically served over white rice with a side of black beans.
Picadillo Cubano con Papas: This version of Picadillo Cubano includes potatoes added to the dish along with the other ingredients. The potatoes add a hearty texture to the dish and make it more filling.
Picadillo Cubano con Chorizo: This version of Picadillo Cubano includes chorizo, a spicy sausage added to the dish, along with ground beef. The chorizo adds a smoky and spicy flavor to the dish, making it more flavorful and interesting.
Frequently asked questions
Other recipes that you may like
- Mexican picadillo
- Chorizo con papas, potatoes with chorizo (vegan recipe)
- Brown rice
- Arroz primavera, Mexican white rice with vegetables
- Cauliflower fried rice
- Loaded Mexican sweet potatoes
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Cuban Picadillo, vegan recipe
- 1 12-in large skillet I like to use an iron cast pan
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 lb ground beef (vegan ground meat)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 cups of diced tomatoes fresh or canned
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 1/4 cup of green olives sliced
- Salt to taste
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and green bell pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef ( vegan ground beef or lentils) to the pan and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces. Add the wine and let it evaporate.
- Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, raisins, and olives to the pan—season with salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.