Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe

Easy Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe

I want you to take a tasty adventure with an easy dish that will elevate your overall taste – try the Puerto Rican picadillo recipe.

In this blog post, we will discuss the complete preparation process for Puerto Rican Picadillo. Later, we will also look at variations, pro tips to level up the taste, storage and freezing tips and much more. 

Puerto Rican Picadillo

Puerto Rican Picadillo is a delicious and flexible ground beef dish common in Puerto Rican cooking. It combines ground beef with garlic, onions, bell peppers, tomato sauce and spices for a tasty and fragrant meal. You can also add raisins, olives and capers for an extra flavour boost.

This delicious stew is prepared with a mix of vegetables, spices and other special ingredients. It highlights the island’s culinary heritage combines African, Spanish and Taíno flavors.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavour Explosion: Picadillo contains a variety of flavours it combines ground beef, capers, zesty olives and fragrant sofrito. You will get a sweet and savoury taste in each bite.
Puerto Rican Picadillo
  • Easy to Prepare: This is an easy-to-prepare recipe and doesn’t require any special ingredients. Whether you are an experienced chef or a beginner you can try this at home.
Puerto Rican Picadillo
  • Versatile: It is a versatile dish that you can enjoy in a lot of ways. You can try it with white rice, as a filling for stuffed peppers or in burritos or tacos.
Puerto Rican Picadillo
  • Cultural Heritage: Preparing the picadillo also experience the culinary history of Puerto Rican and enjoying its flavour.   
Puerto Rican Picadillo

Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe Tips

  • Sofrito: If you are preparing sofrito from scratch, make a large batch and put it in the freezer in ice cube trays for easy later use.
Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe tips
  • Meat Browning: Cook the ground beef until it turns brown for maximum flavour. You can drain any extra fat to prevent the greasiness.
Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe tips
  • Balance Flavors: You can adjust the amount of capers, olives, and raisins based on your preference. They add a lot of flavours like briny, salty and sweet.
Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe tips
  • Spices: Use authentic Puerto Rican spices like cumin and Sazón for a better flavour profile.
Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe tips
  • Simmering Time: Slowly cooking the picadillo helps in mixing the flavours together. You can adjust the cooking time to get your preferred consistency – some prefer a bit saucy, while others prefer a bit thick.
Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe tips


  • Picadillo with Potatoes: You can add diced potatoes to the picadillo, it provides a hearty and starchy texture to the meal. Cook the potatoes until they’re tender.
Picadillo with Potatoes
  • Picadillo with Sweet Plantains: You can add sweet plantains, which contrast the savoury beef mixture nicely. You can fry the plantains until golden brown before adding them to the picadillo.
Picadillo with Sweet Plantains
  • Picadillo with Ground Turkey: For a lean and lighter version, you can go for ground turkey instead of beef. Although ground turkey tastes a bit different it maintains the essence of the picadillo.
Picadillo with Ground Turkey
  • Vegetarian Picadillo: For a vegetarian option, you can add finely chopped mushrooms, textured vegetable protein or lentils instead of ground beef.
Vegetarian Picadillo
  • Picadillo with Chickpeas: For a nutty flavour, you can add chickpeas to the picadillo for a more protein boost. It makes the meal healthy and tasty.
Picadillo with Chickpeas

What to Serve

  • White Rice: You can serve white rice with the picadillo. It absorbs the delicious sauce, giving a delicious combination in each bite.
White Rice with Puerto Rican Picadillo
  • Tostones: These are twice-fried green plantains. They are a bit sweet and crispy and work well with the picadillo.
Tostones with Puerto Rican Picadillo
  • Avocado Salad: You can try the avocado salad with onions, tomatoes and a lime dressing. The fresh vegetable and creamy avocado provide a refreshing contrast to the dish.
Avocado Salad with Puerto Rican Picadillo
  • Maduros: You can try Maduros also known as sweet plantains, they were fried until caramelized. The sweet taste of the Maduros works well with the salty taste of the picadillo.
Maduros with Puerto Rican Picadillo
  • Beans: You can try black beans cooked with spices, offering a nutritious and healthy side dish that works well with the meaty picadillo.
Beans with Puerto Rican Picadillo

 Storing and Freezing


  • Before storing, allow the picadillo to cool at room temperature.
  • You can transfer the picadillo into an air-tight container and put it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.


  • Before freezing, please ensure that the picadillo is cooled at room temperature to avoid forming ice crystals.
  • You can divide the picadillo into meat-sized portions and put them into an air-tight container or freezer bag.
  • Label the container or the bag with the date and content to keep track of the freshness.
  • You can freeze the picadillo for up to 3 months.


In conclusion, the Puerto Rican picadillo recipe tributes to the island’s food history with the delicious mix of ground beef, capers, salty olives and beautiful sofrito. It is both a flavorful and comforting dish. Whether you enjoy it with avocado salad, rice or tostones, it brings taste to your meal.

Whether you want to add something exciting to the meal or just want to explore the Caribbean flavours, this is a perfect recipe you should consider. So enjoy the hospitality of Puerto Rican cuisine with this great dish.

Read More:- Spicy Guacamole Recipe

Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe

Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe

Puerto Rican Picadillo is a delicious and flexible ground beef dish common in PuertoRican cooking.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 4
Calories 1600 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup stuffed green olives sliced
  • 1/4 cup raisins optional
  • 1 tablespoon capers optional
  • 1 packet of sazon with achiote
  • 1 tablespoon sofrito optional but recommended
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped (optional, for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high flame.
  • Now, add the ground beef and cook it until turned brown, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. You can also drain the excess fat if required.
  • You can add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and green bell peppers to the pan.
  • Cook the vegetables until they’re soft by stirring occasionally for around 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, capers, raisins, olives, sofrito, sazon, oregano, salt and black pepper.
  • You can reduce the heat to medium-low and let it cook for around 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors meld together. Stir occasionally.
  • You can taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and spices.
  • If your mixture is too thick, you can add some water or beef broth so that the mixture reaches its desired level of consistency.
  • Remove it from the heat and add chopped cilantro.
  • You can serve the picadillo with fried plantains, white rice or as a filling for tacos, empanadas or stuffed peppers.
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