Healthy Mexican Picadillo

Mexican Picadillo is a traditional dish with ground beef, potatoes and other veggies. This healthy Mexican version uses lean ground beef without sacrificing any flavors! 

A white plate with ground beef and beans and a tortilla on the side

There are so many variations of it throughout latin countries that the possibilities are endless! Some people put olives, green peas, carrots, celery or any other vegetables that suits them that day.

Today I’m going to show you how to make this picadillo recipe my mom made for us while growing up in Sonora Mexico.

I leaned it up a little bit by using 96% ground beef instead of a more fatty type. This dish comes out so flavorful that you won’t even miss the fat!

A large skillet with beef picadillo and a white cooking spoon

This dish is very versatile since you can serve it in tacos, on a plate with a side of refried beans and tortillas, make picadillo tacos or tostadas. You could even make it into Mexican bowl and serve it over yellow rice. Yum!

Ingredients

Mexican Picadillo is an easy dish that is prefect for weeknight dinners since it all comes together in about 45 minutes or less.

Make it healthy by using 96% ground beef. I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s 96% ground beef for it’s freshness and price. Pretty much this is the only ground beef I use on all my beef dishes.

Other ingredients are:

  • A russet potato
  • Small amount of vegetable or canola oil to fry the potato
  • Garlic salt
  • Onions & tomato
  • A chile such a poblano or Anaheim (will add lots of flavor without making it spicy)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chicken or beef broth to make it extra juicy
  • Frozen peas and corn kernels.

Other veggies you could add are carrots, celery, olives, etc. It’s up to you!

Ingredients in small bowls: cut potatoes, ground beef, onions & spices

How to make Picadillo Mexicano

  • We’ll start by mixing the cubed potatoes with a little bit of olive oil just enough to coat them thru.
Fried potatoes in a small skillet

Cook the potatoes in a small skillet on medium heat. Keep stirring to ensure that the potatoes are cooked even.

  • Cook the potatoes first or do this while the potatoes are cooking; Cook the ground beef in a medium sauce pan on medium high heat. Add the garlic salt and break the beef into small pieces while you stir.
  • When the meat is 3/4 cooked, add the onions and poblano pepper (or Anaheim chile) and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomato, tomato sauce, broth salt & pepper. Cook until the onion becomes clear and meat is completely cooked.
  • Add the frozen peas, corn kernels and potatoes. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on low heat to incorporate all the flavors.
  • Remove from heat and serve while is hot.
A large white skillet with picadillo and a blue napkin on the side

FAQs

Is picadillo spicy?

Mexican Beef Picadillo is not spicy since it uses mild peppers like poblano or Anaheim. If you want to make it spicy you can add a serrano pepper for a little bit of heat.

Is picadillo Mexican or Cuban?

There is no record of where Picadillo originated from but it’s a very popular dish in Latin America, including the Philippines.

What is a picadillo taco?

You can make picadillo tacos using either corn or flour tortillas. In parts of the United States, it’s made with a fried corn tortilla and this style is more Tex-Mex than a traditional Mexican taco.

Buen Provecho! 

Like this healthy version of Picadillo? Wait until you try my Healthier Italian Meatballs!

A large skillet with beef picadillo and a white cooking spoon

Mexican Picadillo | Easy & Healthy Recipe

Servings 4 servings
Ana Frias
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
This Picadillo is made with lean ground beef and crispy potatoes with lots of flavor! Easy to make & it comes together in less than 30 mins.
4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large russet potato chopped in small cubes
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 lb 96% ground beef
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup chopped onion (½ medium onion)
  • 1 medium poblano pepper or 1 Anaheim chile chopped
  • 1 large tomato or 2 medium roma tomatoes chopped
  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • ½ cup broth chicken, beef or vegetable. Anything works. Add more for a more juicy dish
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup roasted or regular corn kernels
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cook the cubed potatoes in 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet on medium heat. Keep stirring to ensure that the potatoes are cooked even.
  • Cook the potatoes first or do this while the potatoes are cooking; Cook the ground beef in a medium sauce pan on medium high heat. Add the garlic salt.
  • Break the beef with the spoon into small pieces while you stir.
  • When the meat is ¾ cooked, add the onions and poblano pepper (or Anaheim chile) and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomato, tomato sauce, broth salt & pepper. Cook until the onion becomes clear and meat is completely cooked.
  • Add the frozen peas, corn kernels and potatoes. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on low heat to incorporate all the flavors.
  • Remove from heat and serve while is hot.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 2cups | Sodium: 351mg | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 4g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Calories: 320kcal | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 8g | Protein: 27g | Carbohydrates: 35g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

Ground beef and potatoes with beans on a white plate

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Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This picadillo was so easy to make and it turned out son flavorful! Can’t wait to make it again 🤗

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was very easy and made my Mexican husband say, “Wow!” He did not have high hopes for this dish but when he tried it he loved it! And I love how easy it is, didn’t even have to dice carrots! Another thing I love about this recipe is that the proportions are easy to memorize so I can make it again without coming back here. And it came together SO fast!

    Oh, and I love this method of cooking potatoes! I took a few out for my toddler and sprinkled them with a little salt and he loved them! So it’s like 2 recipes in one for me.

  3. 5 stars
    I will definitely make this delicious sounding dish! All the terrific food we’re experiencing here in Thailand, prepared by great cooks ( not chefs, are done in simple fashion! This is such an adaptable recipe in any culture .
    Another winner, Ana!

    1. Hi Linda, sorry I missed that on the steps! I added it to the post and the recipe card. You add the chopped tomatoes when you add the tomato sauce. Thanks so much for the question!
      Enjoy, xo Ana