top down shot of picadillo on a plate with rice and a tortilla
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4.34 from 18 votes

Mexican Picadillo Recipe

This picadillo recipe is an easy, warm and comforting dish made from ground beef and potatoes cooked in a flavorful sauce. Great in tacos, gorditas and tostadas!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Isabel Eats


For the sauce

  • 4 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed (Remove the seeds if you don't want it spicy. I like to keep them in.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

For the meat

  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 medium white potato, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas


For the sauce

  • Add all sauce ingredients in a large blender and puree until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Set aside.
    At this point, I also like to make sure the spice level is to my liking. If it's not spicy enough for me, I'll half a jalapeno, blend and adjust until it's perfect.

For the meat

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cooking oil, onion, ground beef and a generous pinch of salt. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into smaller chunks. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until beef is lightly browned.
  • Add the potatoes, carrots and peas. Mix together with the meat and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pureed sauce to the skillet, mix together and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and continue cooking for 10 more minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are soft and tender. If the meat starts to get dry, add in 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking.
  • Remove from heat, taste and season with more salt if necessary. (I always tend to add another generous pinch or two of salt at this step.)
  • Serve with Mexican rice, in tacos, gorditas, sopes, on tostadas or on it's own in a bowl.


Taste as you go! Add another jalapeno or more salt in the sauce if needed. The spice level of jalapenos can vary so much, from not spicy at all to insanely fiery, so take a little teeny bite and testing it out. Also make sure you don't over-salt - your tastebuds will thank you for that.
If the meat starts to get dry during the cooking process (when the lid is removed), add 1/4 cup of water to keep it moist and continue cooking.

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Picadillo Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 /6th of recipe)
Calories 207 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 326mg14%
Potassium 389mg11%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 2300IU46%
Vitamin C 37.1mg45%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Serving: 1/6th of recipe | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2300IU | Vitamin C: 37.1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2.7mg