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Hearty Spanish Picadillo Recipe

A classic combination is to eat meat with vegetables, but the Spanish picadillo recipe takes it to another level.

Here, the flavors of the vegetables such as bell peppers, onions among others, blend perfectly with the meat juice giving a unique flavor.

The picadillo is the ideal dish to accompany another and make an ideal dinner or lunch. Picadillo pairs well with rice, but it can also be served with salad, pasta, or taco cakes if you want to give it a Mexican twist.

Hearty Spanish Picadillo Recipe

Keep reading as I will tell you how to make picadillo, a little about the history of this dish, and the different tips that will help you master this Spanish picadillo recipe.

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Background of the Dish 

what is picadillo

Although there is no exact date when this dish was created, it is known that it has been present in Spain for hundreds of years. 

With the conquest of America, this recipe reached all parts of the new continent, so there are a large number of picadillo recipes.

Each country gave it its own imprint, but the Spanish picadillo recipe continues to be used as the basis for all the others, and it is a recipe that is not affected by the passage of time. 

Thanks to its versatility and because it can be used as a side or as a main dish, picadillo is a loyal meal that can save you even when you don’t have a meal planned or you have to reuse leftovers.

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Are you looking for a Spanish picadillo recipe? If you've never tried beef picadillo now would be the time to try it. Picadillo has everything you want, juicy ground meat, tomato sauce, and olives for a tangy kick. The Spanish-style picadillo can be served as a lunch or dinner, on its own, or with some fluffy rice. It is clearly the best picadillo recipe because it's nutritious, delicious, hearty and on top of this, very easy to make. #picadillo #spanishpicadillo #picadillorecipe #beefpicadillo
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Things You’ll Need for Spanish Picadillo Recipe

If you are still wondering what is picadillo? The picadillo is a dish that serves as an accompaniment and has as key ingredients some type of ground meat and vegetables.

To make the Spanish picadillo recipe you will only need a few ingredients and 2 skillets or pots. 

When it comes to the picadillo ingredients, the main ones are ground beef, bell pepper, onion, and tomato sauce, but you can do a lot of substitutions (even to the main ingredients). 

beef picadillo

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion (diced) 
  • 6 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 3 potatoes (peeled and finely chopped)
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • ½ cup green olives (preferably stuffed with bell pepper, cut in half) 
  • ½ cup raisins 
  • ¼ cup capers 
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce 
  • Salt and ground pepper (to taste)

How to Make Spanish Picadillo Recipe – Step by Step Guide

how to make picadillo
  1. To start with this beef Picadillo, grab a medium-size skillet and cook ground beef until golden brown. Season with a pinch of salt, cumin, and pepper. Set aside at room temperature.
  1. Now put a large skillet on the stove at medium heat and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes, until almost golden.
  1. Then add the chopped red bell pepper, ground cumin, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Be careful with the amount of salt because the olives and capers give a lot of salt to this recipe.  Add the potato pieces and cook for about 5 minutes.
  1. After that, add ground beef and white wine, cook until the liquid is reduced but not completely evaporated. 
  1. Once the potatoes are half done, add tomato sauce and raisins. Cook for 5 more minutes, then add the olives and capers. You can check if they are half done by putting a knife inside, they should be somewhat hard but not completely raw.
  1. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked. If the sauce is too thick you can add more wine or a little bit of water. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  1. Your Spanish Picadillo recipe is now ready, so you can serve it warm with rice, salad, or your favorite food. 

Substitution of Ingredients

spanish picadillo

With so many versions of the Spanish picadillo, there are hundreds of changes you can make. 

The simplest is to replace the tomato sauce bought in a store with a homemade one, or instead of the wine use water or some type of broth.

You can go for a more spicy ground beef recipe, and add cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, etc. 

You can also change the meat, instead of ground beef, you can use chicken, turkey, or pork. 

If you don’t eat meat, then you can easily turn this recipe into a vegan or vegetarian one. 

You can use any meat replacement that you can find at your local stores, such as textured soy, which is a very common replacement, or a vegan spiced beef made with lentils.

If you want to try other recipes from Andalusia, then I encourage you to make a Spanish meatballs recipe, Spanish beef empanadas recipe, and the best breakfast recipe, the Spanish Migas Recipe.

Tips on Serving Spanish Picadillo Recipe

recipe for picadillo

Spanish Picadillo is commonly served with other food items. So you can serve it with rice, pasta, or any other dish. 

I like to serve mine with salad or mashed potatoes since the flavors go really well together.

Of course, you can eat just the Picadillo, even though it is not the common way, you can do whatever you want. 

If you eat the picadillo on its own I recommend you to season ground beef with smoked paprika to give it more flavor.  You can eat it with bread or use it to fill taco shells. 

How to Store Spanish Picadillo Recipe

How to Store Spanish Picadillo Recipe

To store Picadillos, you have to let them cool at room temperature first. Then, you can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days in a covered container. 

You can also freeze it, and let it thaw overnight the day before eating it. 

Recipe Card: Spanish Picadillo Recipe

Yield: 6

Spanish Picadillo Recipe

picadillo recipe

A classic combination is to eat meat with vegetables, but the Spanish picadillo recipe takes it to another level.

Here, the flavors of the vegetables such as bell peppers, onions among others, blend perfectly with the meat juice giving a unique flavor.

The picadillo is the ideal dish to accompany another and make an ideal dinner or lunch.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 6 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 potatoes (peeled and finely chopped)
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • ½ cup green olives (preferably stuffed with bell pepper, cut in half)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • Salt and ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Grab a medium-size skillet and cook ground beef until golden brown. Season with a pinch of salt, cumin, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Now in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes, until almost golden.
  3. Then add the chopped red bell pepper, ground cumin, pepper, and a pinch of salt.  Add the potato wedges and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. After that, add ground beef and white wine, cook until the liquid is reduced but not completely evaporated. 
  5. Once the potatoes are half done, add tomato sauce and raisins. Cook for 5 more minutes, then add the olives and capers.
  6. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked. If the sauce is too thick you can add more wine or a little water. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Your Picadillo is now ready, so serve warm with rice, salad, or your favorite food.

Notes

This is the best picadillo recipe, but you can make a lot of changes. You can use homemade tomato sauce, or even a couple of teaspoons of BBQ sauce to add a smoked flavor.

This is a ground beef picadillo, but you can make it with chicken, turkey, lamb, or any meat of your choice.

And when it comes to how to season ground beef, the seasoning listed is the classic Spanish picadillo, but you can add turmeric, smoked paprika, or any of your choice.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 354.3Total Fat 24.0gSaturated Fat 9.5gCholesterol 85.0mgSodium 403.4mgCarbohydrates 7.7gFiber 1.6gSugar 2.7gProtein 21.5g

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