If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you will know how many times I have featured Mexican food! I love it, it’s my favorite. Beyond just the incredible flavors of Mexican food, I find that this cuisine can be very healthy if done properly. This Easy Mexican Picadillo is the perfect example of that- it’s just meat, vegetables and potatoes. Sure, you can throw it on top of rice if you are ok with some carbs but you could easily put it on quinoa or a bed of lettuce for the healthiest version. Enjoy!
Commonly asked questions:
Wait, isn’t Picadillo just taco meat? It looks the same to me!
Not gonna lie, Picadillo and taco meat are pretty similar! Both use a very similar set of spices that give you that typical Mexican flavor profile- cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. However, that’s where the similarities end. Picadillo stands out from regular taco meat because of the addition of a bunch of healthy vegetables. The addition of these vegetables make this dish an all-in-one: protein, carb, and vegetable masterpiece. I love getting everything I need from a health perspective in one great dish.
What other vegetables would go great in this Picadillo?
You could definitely consider this Picadillo as a pantry recipe because I can’t think of a single vegetable that wouldn’t go great in it. My favorite vegetables to add are zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. You could definitely add jalapenos and squash too! Pretty much any vegetable that you can think of will compliment this Picadillo.
What other types of meat would work in this recipe if I don’t like beef?
If you don’t like eating red meat, I feel you could easily swap it for ground chicken, turkey, or pork. Just remember that if you are going to use a protein that has less fat in it (like chicken or turkey), make sure you don’t overcook it or it will become dry tasting.
What should I put this Picadillo on top of?
The traditional ingredient to use underneath a Picadillo is rice. My preference is white rice. If white rice isn’t your thing, you could swap out for brown rice, or quinoa, or even a bed of lettuce. I really want to try putting this Picadillo on a crispy tortilla to make a tostada out of it.
If you like this recipe check out these other recipes on my blog:
Easy One Pan Mexican Picadillo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb gound beef 85/15 fat content is best
- 1/2 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 russet potato cubed
- 1 carrot diced
- 1/2 zucchini diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- cilantro for garnish
- Dice the onion, carrot, zucchini, and bell pepper. Mince the garlic. Cut the potato into roughly 1/2" cubes, doesn't have to be perfect.
- In a small bowl mix together the spices: cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and onion powder. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to the pan over medium high heat. Add beef to the pan along with the small bowl of spice mixture and brown the beef until it is cooked through.
- Add onions and cook for a few minutes or until softened. Add garlic and let garlic cook with onions for 2 minutes.
- Add the rest of the vegetables- bell pepper, zucchini, potatoes, and carrots into pan. Sautee for 3 to 5 minutes until most vegetables have softened a little. Then, add can of tomatoes. Place lid on pan and turn heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are easily pierced by a fork.
- After 30 minutes, taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Don't be afraid of the salt or pepper, we haven't added any yet so apply liberally until you are happy with the taste.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over white rice.