Home Beef Recipes Mexican Picadillo Recipe: Made With Ground Beef and Potatoes
Mexican Picadillo Recipe

Mexican Picadillo Recipe: Made With Ground Beef and Potatoes

by Helen
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If you're looking for the best easy and delicious Mexican ground beef recipe, you can't go wrong with homemade picadillo con papas. This versatile dish can be made on the stove, in an Instant Pot, or a crockpot, and is perfect for filling tacos, burritos, gorditas, and empanadas. If you prefer a thinner consistency, you can even turn it into a soup. And for those following a keto diet, swap out the potatoes to make it a keto-friendly meal.

Fond Memories of This Mexican Picadillo Con Papas Recipe

My family didn't have much money growing up, so my mother had to get creative with her cooking. Despite our modest budget, she was able to make some of the most delicious Mexican dishes that I still enjoy to this day. I love passing these recipes down to my daughter and sharing those memories with her. The flavor and comfort you can find in these affordable ingredients are incredible. Do you have any favorite family recipes that you still enjoy making today?

Mexican Picadillo

Mexican Picadillo, also known as Carne Molida con Papas, is a comforting dish made with ground beef and potatoes. It is a delicious version of the classic meat and potatoes. It'scombination is elevated with an array of flavorful ingredients.

What Is Picadillo Made Of?

Picadillo is a popular Latin American dish made with ground beef and potatoes. It is especially well-liked in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

This recipe varies from family to family, so feel free to experiment and make it your own! Popular additions to the recipe include green olives, raisins, capers, and bell peppers. If you prefer the Mexican style of picadillo, try adding carrots, peas, and green beans. You can substitute the ground beef with pork, turkey, or chicken. Additionally, if you have leftover shredded beef, that works too!

Is It Spicy?

It all depends on the jalapeno you use. The level of heat in jalapenos varies from relatively mild to super spicy. The best way to test the heat level is to slice a tiny sliver off and taste it.

If you are using a mild jalapeno, this recipe for picadillo will not be spicy but very flavorful. However, if you prefer a spicy taste, add another jalapeno, serrano pepper, or some chili flakes to the recipe.

What is Picadillo?

Picadillo is a traditional dish that originated in Spain and is also popular in many Latin American countries. It is typically made with ground beef but can also be made with other meats such as pork or chicken. The beef is cooked with a variety of seasonings, including garlic, onions, cumin, and sometimes cinnamon. Adding vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives to the mixture is also common. The dish is often served with rice or used as a filling for empanadas or tacos.?

How To Make Mexican Picadillo Con Papas

  1. Over medium heat, start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet. Then, sauté the onion until it turns slightly transparent. Next, add the chopped jalapeño and Roma tomato and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Next, add the potatoes, cilantro, cumin, oregano, salt, tomato sauce, water, and beef bouillon to the pot. If you prefer, you can substitute the bouillon with grass-fed beef broth. Stir everything together until it is well combined. Press the potatoes down so that they are submerged as much as possible. Place the lid on the pot and let everything simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

What Goes With Mexican Picadillo?

This recipe of Mexican Picadillo has a lot of flavor, so I like to pair it with dishes that complement it well.

  • Spanish Rice
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Mexican Refried Beans
  • White Rice
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Tortilla Chips

How To Use It?

Picadillo is among my favorite meat fillings, and I love to use it as a filling in:
  • Croquettes
  • Gorditas
  • Empanadas
  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Stuffed Peppers

How To Make Picadillo a Hearty Soup

Add extra beef broth until desired consistency to make this into a soup. Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning!

Make It In The Crock Pot For Meal Prep

To cook this dish in a slow cooker, please follow the first three steps in the recipe. Once you reach step four, transfer the entire mixture to a crockpot and press the potatoes down so that they are as completely submerged as possible. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or until the potatoes are cooked through. If you like slow cooker recipes, give our slow cooker mashed potatoes recipe.  If you don't eat potatoes you can make delicious cauliflower mashed potatoes.

Mexican Picadillo

Make It In The Crock Pot For Meal Prep

To cook this dish in a slow cooker, please follow the first three steps in the recipe. Once you reach step four, transfer the entire mixture to a crockpot and press the potatoes down so that they are as completely submerged as possible. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Is It Gluten Free?

To make it gluten-free, ensure that you use certified gluten-free beef broth and spices. All you need to do is replace the beef bouillon and water mentioned in the recipe with your preferred gluten-free beef broth.

How To Make It Keto

 If you want to make this low-carb dish, a simple swap of potatoes for radishes is all it takes. Having tried this method, I can attest that the result is delicious!

READ NEXT: Leftover Mashed Potato Recipe: 3 Top Easy to Make Recipes

Mexican Picadillo Con Papas Recipe

Homemade picadillo con papas is an easy and delicious Mexican ground beef recipe for tacos, burritos, gorditas, and empanadas.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil like olive oil, vegetable, or avocado
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef (for a healthier version, use leaner ground beef)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves (diced)
  • 1 medium jalapeno (remove the stem, ribs, and seeds and dice)
  • 1 medium tomato – chop into small pieces  
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt – plus more to taste
  • 1 large russet potato – dice into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (4 ounces) – If you prefer not to use tomato sauce, substitute with a large tomato chopped
  • 1/2 cup water (4 ounces) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillion Seasoned Beef Base: Swap the Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Beef Base and water with certified gluten-free, organic, or grass-fed beef broth, if necessary.


  1. Over medium heat, a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Saute beef until browned. About 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add chopped onion to the heated pan and cook while stirring for about 2 minutes or until the onion becomes slightly translucent.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno, tomato, and cilantro, and saute for one minute until the garlic is aromatic.
  4. Add cumin, oregano, salt, potatoes, tomato sauce, water, and bouillon to the mixture. Stir everything to combine. Press the potato cubes down to completely submerge in the liquid. Cover the mixture and reduce the temperature to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce thickens.


If using high-fat ground beef, drain excess fat before adding onions to avoid a greasy dish.

The amount of salt in the recipe is entirely up to your personal preference. I have included 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt as a starting point, and you can adjust it accordingly at the end. I prefer to add salt to my food at the beginning of cooking whenever possible. We usually use 3/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt at home for this recipe, but this may vary depending on your taste preferences.

Store your leftover Picadillo in a container or stasher bag and place it in your refrigerator.

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