Authentic Mexican Picadillo Recipe

This Mexican picadillo recipe is the ultimate comfort food. A warm and hearty dish that can be made for any weeknight dinner. Serve pairing with rice and warm corn tortillas.

Authentic Mexican Picadillo in a plate with rice.

What is Mexican Picadillo?

Mexican picadillo is a comforting stew made of ground meat, potatoes, chilies, and tomato sauce. The recipe can vary from region to region adding different ingredients that can be found locally.

The word picadillo comes from the Spanish “picar” which means minced. The recipe is also known in Mexico by other names, such as Carne molida con papas or picadillo con papas.

Every Mexican household has its own version of this dish since is one of the most budget-friendly and easy recipes to make that can feed a large family.

This comforting dish is usually served as a main meal with other sides but often is used to prepare other dishes such as tacos, sopes, or quesadillas.

Try our Picadillo Sopes recipe. You’ll love it!

Close-up of Mexican picadillo with potatoes.

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make: You don’t need to have expert cooking skills to make it. Chop, sauté, and simmer. Really, can’t get easier than that!
  • Flavorful: Packed with hearty flavors, this meat and potato stew is the ultimate comfort food.
  • Customizable: You can add your favorite veggies (fresh or frozen), or use the mixture to make other dishes.
  • Budget-friendly: Because it uses ground meat and various vegetables, it will yield a fulfilling meal suitable for large families.
  • Perfect to store: Perfect for busy people that would like to have a comfort meal ready just to reheat and enjoy after a long working day.

Ingredients:

  • GROUND MEAT: You can use any type of ground meat you prefer, beef, pork, chicken, or even turkey.
  • CHILI PEPPERS: I used serrano, jalapeño, and bell peppers. Feel free to use any green mild pepper like Poblanos or Anaheim.
  • POTATOES: Any type of potato works for this recipe. I used yellow potatoes.
  • TOMATOES: Use just 1 or 2 tomatoes, for a light sauce. Or add more if you want the sauce to be thicker.
  • ONION: White or yellow, roughly diced.
  • OIL: Use your favorite type of oil. I like olive oil.
  • SPICES: For flavor, add garlic, cumin, black pepper, and salt. In moderation.
Mexican picadillo recipe ingredients.

How To Make Mexican Picadillo Recipe

Boil tomatoes for 5 minutes, just long enough for the skin to soften and become easy to remove.

Peel them and place them into a blender. Add garlic, cumin, pepper, and 1 cup of the cooking water. Blend until you will have a smooth sauce. Set aside.

Colla with two photos of Mexican picadillo sauce preparation.

In a sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in onions and chilies and cook until they start to soften (about 4-5 minutes).

Sautéing chilies and onions in a pan to  make picadillo.

Add the meat and break it with a cooking spoon. Cook for 5 minutes or until the meat has changed its color and starts to brown.

Picadillo ground meat, onions, and chilies cooked on a pan.

Pour in the tomato sauce and mix. Add water or beef stock enough to slightly cover the meat. Season with salt.

Mexican picadillo in a pan with the sauce cooking.

Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and set heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes.

Next, add the diced potatoes to the pan (you can peel them and dice them while the dish is cooking).

Added potatoes to the pan with picadillo.

Cook until potatoes are tender (about 10-12 minutes), taking care that they are always covered slightly with the sauce. If needed, add more beef stock or water.

Fully cooked Mexican picadillo on a pan.

Uncover the pan, adjust seasonings to taste, and let the sauce reduce to the desired consistency. Serve this flavorful dish as recommended below or store it for later.

Recipe Notes

  • If you use hot chili peppers, use gloves when you remove the seeds and veins to avoid direct contact with the skin that can cause severe irritation.
  • If you live outside of Mexico you can use other types of fresh chili peppers, such as Anaheim, Italian peppers, or even bell peppers.
  • If you want, you can add more vegetables like carrots, zucchini, squash, chayotes, peas, or corn.
  • As in almost all Mexican recipes, the spiciness in this dish can be adjusted to taste. Picadillo with potatoes is well noted for being a family dish that children enjoy a lot and for that reason it can be made without chilies if desired.

How To Serve

You can serve this Mexican picadillo with a side of arroz rojo (red rice) or white Mexican rice.

Tortillas or bread are the most popular accompaniments. Check out our blue corn tortillas for an authentic Mexican eating experience.

If you want to make soft tacos we recommend flour tortillasguacamole, and this delicious taco salsa.

You can also use the leftovers to make sopes, fried quesadillas(empanadas), burritos, or stuff in gorditas.

Mexican Picadillo with potatoes served on a plate with rice and tortillas.

How To Store And Reheat

This Mexican picadillo recipe is the perfect prep meal for those busy days because it stores wonderfully. It even tastes even when reheated!

Here’s how you should store it:

  • Allow the mixture to cool down and place in an airtight container.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat with a splash of water or chicken stock on your stovetop.
  • Or simply serve on a plate and reheat in the microwave in 1-minute intervals.

Watch The Video

Mexican Picadillo Recipe.

Mexican Picadillo With Potatoes

author Maricruz
4
This Mexican picadillo recipe is the ultimate comfort food. A warm and hearty dish that can be made for any weekday meal. This rich stew is perfect for a family dinner served with rice and warm corn tortillas.
prep 10 minutes
cook 30 minutes
total 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lb ground beef (or pork, chicken, turkey)
  • 1 ½ cup green chilies (jalapeños, serranos, poblanos, anaheim, etc.)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 lb potatoes (cut into small cubes)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • salt

Instructions
 

  • Cut chilies in half and remove seeds and veins, then cut them into strips or chop them.
  • Boil the tomatoes for 5 minutes, just enough for the skin to soften and be easy to remove.
  • Peel tomatoes and place them into a blender with garlic, cumin, and pepper.
  • Pour in a cup of water and blend until you get a light sauce. Set aside.
  • In a sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions and chilies and cook for 5 minutes or until onions become transparent and chilies start to soften.
  • Add the ground meat and break it with the back of a spoon cooking for 5 minutes or until changes its color.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce and mix. Add water or beef stock enough to cover the meat.
  • Bring to a boil, cover the pan and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add potatoes to the pan, mix, and cover again. Cook until tender (about 10-12 minutes).
  • Uncover the pan, adjust seasonings if needed, then let the sauce reduce to the desired consistency.
  • Serve with rice and warm tortillas.

Notes

  • When deseeding the chili peppers, please do not forget to use gloves to avoid direct contact with the skin which can cause severe irritation.
  • If you can’t find serrano or jalapeno peppers, a good option is to use green bell peppers. 
  • Picadillo with potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4 days in a container with a lid or it can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • If you want, you can add more vegetables like carrots, zucchini or also peas, corn, etc.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 652kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 832mg | Potassium: 1152mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I sometimes add corn(can or frozen) and whole canned pinto beans. You can also sub Rotel for the chiles/tomatoes. Such a comfort food! 😋