Puerto Rican Picadillo (Stewed Ground Beef)

Puerto Rican picadillo is a one pot wonder with a ton of flavor, and it’s ridiculously easy to make. It’s a stuffing/filling for many delish Latin dishes.

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This Puerto Rican Picadillo recipe consists of flavorful ground beef, spices, green olives, and raisins cooked in a delicious tomato sauce. It’s the perfect 30 minute meal!

Cuban-Style Picadillo (Stewed Ground Beef)

Picadillo is an essential recipe for a Latin kitchen.  You can think of it as a Latin style chili with no beans and lots of sabor! It’s not only a delicious and fast dinner option, but it’s the typical stuffing/filling for many delish Latin dishes like rellenos de papa and empanadas. This Puerto Rican picadillo recipe is very versatile, and I think it’s the perfect combo of sweet and savory. The flair in this recipe comes from the addition of plump raisins, which add a chewy sweetness that balances with the tangy olives and savory beef.  

The raisins are my husband’s favorite part, he just can’t get enough of the sweet and salty combo! Puerto Rican picadillo is really a one pot wonder with a ton of flavor, and it’s ridiculously easy to make.  This is also the perfect recipe to start with if you’re looking to dabble with Latin flavors and spices in your kitchen, so go for it!  

Puerto Rican Picadillo (Stewed Ground Beef)

What exactly is Picadillo?

The literal translation of picadillo in English is “all chopped up.”  Picado means “chopped”, so this dish features “chopped up” veggies and meat. Many Latin America countries have their version of this dish. Colombians put it in empanadas. Peruvians put it in papa rellenas. Puerto Ricans put it in empanadas and alcapurria. Each version has it’s own unique twist. My mom would add chopped hardboiled eggs. Other people omit the raisins. You can absolutely customize the recipe to your liking.

What Ingredients Are In Puerto Rican Picadillo?

Picadillo is usually made up of chopped up meat (usually ground beef), a tomato sauce base, raisins, green olives, lots of spices. While it varies from country to country, this is more of a Cuban style. You can make this dish with ground chicken or turkey if you don’t want to use beef.

Cuban-Style Picadillo (Stewed Ground Beef)

What To Serve With Picadillo?

I think you absolutely have to serve the picadillo with white rice. The rice soaks up the sauce, so it’s the perfect match. I also like to serve it with maduros (sweet plantains) or tostones. But you can also use the picadillo to top baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. This filling is perfect for empanadas, as well as my Puerto Rican pastelon recipe.

Check Out These Other Delish D’Lites Recipes!

Cuban-Style Picadillo (Stewed Ground Beef)

Want a Vegan Version of This Recipe?

Check out this recipe for Cuban-Style Vegan Tempeh Picadillo!

5 from 3 votes

Puerto Rican Picadillo

This beef Picadillo recipe consists of flavorful ground beef, spices, green olives, and raisins cooked in a delicious tomato sauce, and then served over a bed of rice. This is the ideal weeknight meal because it can be made in under 30 minutes!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sofrito
  • 1 pound lean ground beef I use 90/10
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons Sazon seasoning with culantro y achiote
  • 1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8-10 pimiento stuffed olives, sliced into rings
  • 2 tbsp dried raisins optional
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped


  1. Heat a saute pan on medium heat. Add the oil, veggies and the sofrito. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until the veggies soften

  2. Add the ground beef into the pan, break it up with a spoon and cook until it's no longer pink.

  3. Season the cooked ground beef with the adobo, sazon, tomato sauce, cumin and oregano. Stir the mixture together to distribute the spices.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water, the raisins and the olives, then lower the heat to simmer, let the mixture stew together, uncovered. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh cilantro. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes. The picadillo should be saucy, but not soupy. If there's too much liquid, cook until it's to your desired consistency.

  5. Serve hot, or freeze for later use.

Recipe Video

Puerto Rican Picadillo (Stewed Ground Beef)


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6 Responses

  1. Excited to try. My partner is cuban and his mother is not very hood at sharing recipes. Cannot wait to try. If you get a comparison to Portos it’s gotta be good!! Stay tuned

  2. 5 stars
    Soooo good! My whole family loved them. My hubby even said they tasted better than Porto’s! Only thing I changed was I added like triple the olives because I love olives. Thanks for a top notch recipe!

    1. Edit to my above review: I used this in the Cuban meat pie recipe that she has posted. This by itself would be amazing with white rice but I did use them in the meat pie and they were the bomb.

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I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.