Cuban Ground Beef and Olives (Picadillo)

Mention this dish to a Cuban anywhere in the world and you’ll likely get stories of the smells and tastes of their youth. Picadillo is the ultimate comfort food. Every Cuban abuela (grandmother) has their own special version – tomatoes or tomato sauce, potatoes or not, raisins or capers, etc… Any way you make it, it’s sure to please.

Cuban Picadillo ground beef

Picadillo- Cuban Ground Beef and Olives

The ultimate Cuban comfort food, this dish serves up ground beef bursting with sweet and salty undertones that both kids and adults will love.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Cuba
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large skillet or wok
  • Colander


  • lb Ground beef
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil (Sub: vegetable oil)
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 oz Dried chorizo, diced (optional)
  • 1 small Bell pepper, diced
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • ½ cup Dry white wine
  • 14 oz Can of diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp Red wine vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2 whole Bay leaf
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • cup Raisins
  • cup Pimento stuffed olives + 2 tbsp brine
  • 2 tbsp Capers (optional)


  • Cook – Add onion, chorizo (if using), bell pepper, and garlic to the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook until onions have softened, about 8 minutes.
    Stir in tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook another 5 minutes to reduce.
    Add ground beef and allow it to brown crumbling meat with a fork or wooden spoon, around 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomato, vinegar, brine from olives, bay leaf, and capers. Lower heat, cover, and cook another 30 minutes. Add raisins and olives. Cover and cook another 10 minutes.
    Serve accompanied by plain white rice.


  • If you want to add potatoes, peel and cut a large waxy potato into 1/4-inch dices. Stir in potatoes at the same time the tomatoes are added to the cooked ground beef.  


Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 5mg

Search All MHT Recipes:

Key Ingredients
Cooking Method

Search all Recipes 

Load More