Mexican picadillo recipe. Easy and budget-friendly

This mexican picadillo recipe is the ultimate comfort food. A warm and hearty dish that can be made for any weeknight dinner. This rich stew is perfect to serve as a family dinner alongside with rice and warm corn tortillas.

Carne molida con papas or picadillo con papas are the other names for this ground beef and potatoes cooked in a light and simple tomato sauce.

Mexican picadillo recipe served with arroz rojo.

What is mexican picadillo?

Mexican picadillo is a dish prepared with ground meat, tomato sauce and potatoes. This dish has many versions, starting with the meat that can be beef or pork then with the different types of vegetables that can be added: diced carrots and zucchini, peas, corn kernels, poblano pepper strips, etc.

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

Mexican ground beef and potatoes.

Besides the fact that this recipe is inexpensive and easy to prepare, is also very versatile and can be used as a regular meal served with a side-dish or to use it as filling for tacos dorados or sopes.

It is spicy?

Not at all. As in almost all mexican recipes, the spiciness in this dish can be adjusted to taste. Picadillo with potatoes is well noted by being a family dish that children enjoy a lot and for that reason it can be made without chilies if desired.

In the recipe I am sharing, I have used green hot peppers which I have deseed and removed the veins to obtain a dish that has just a small hint of spiciness. The result is still a rich flavoured and substantial dish.

Green fresh chilies.

How to serve?

In a very mexican style, this mexican picadillo recipe can be served with arroz rojo (red rice) or white mexican rice, corn tortillas and pair it with a fresca drink like lemon fresca with chia.

Otherwise you can also serve it with dinner rolls, pasta or plain white rice. And not only, because you can use this recipe as a taco filling for your Taco Tuesday, burritos, or make those delicious Sopes de Picadillo!

Mexican picadillo recipe with potatoes and white rice as a side dish.

Ingredients:

Ingredients are pretty simple. Use beef or pork meat, or a mix of both. Add any green chilies you have available, some options are jalapeño, serrano, fresh anaheim or even green bell peppers.

You don’t need so much tomatoes to make the sauce, this is not a tomato and beef sauce for pasta, so go easy on them. Same for the spices, don’t go heavy with cumin or you’ll end with one of those wannabe mexican recipes that claims to be authentic only because it has tons of cumin on it :)

A plate with mexican picadillo and spanish rice as side dish.

Mexican picadillo recipe

Clean and dice onions. Cut the chilies in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and veins. Or just chop them if you want a spicy dish.

Onions and chilies chopped on a cutting board.

Boil tomatoes for 2 minutes, just long enough for the skin to soften and be easy to remove.

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

Boiled tomatoes and salsa made onto a blender.

In a sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook until tender and transparent (about 3 minutes). Add chilies and continue to fry for another 2 minutes over low heat.

Frying onions and chilies on a pan.

Add the meat and break it with a cooking spoon. Mix and allow the meat to release its juices and color evenly (5 minutes).

Cooking ground meat on the pan with onions and chilies.

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

Adding the sauce to the pan and putting to cook with water.

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

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Add them to the saucepan, mix and cover.

Potatoes cut into cubes on a cutting board. Adding potatoes to the pan.

Cook until potatoes are tender (about 10-12 minutes), taking care that they are always covered slightly with the sauce.

Uncover the pan, adjust with salt and let the sauce reduce to the desired consistency.

Picadillo ready on the pan.

Recipe notes

  • When deseeding the chili peppers, please do not forget to use gloves to avoid direct contact with the skin that can cause severe irritation.
  • If you live outside of Mexico and you can’t find serrano or japaleno peppers, a good option is to use green bell peppers. If this is the case, you should first roast them, remove the skin and cut them into strips.
  • Picadillo with potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days in a container.
  • If you want, you can add more vegetables like carrots, zucchini or also peas, corn, etc.
  • This dish is more delicious the next day, when all flavours are blended and enhanced.

Watch How To Make It

Mexican picadillo with potatoes

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 white rice and warm corn tortillas.
PREP 10 minutes
COOK 30 minutes
TOTAL 40 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lb (700 gr) ground beef (or pork)
  • 1 cup green chillies (deseed and cut into stripes)
  • 2-3 small (250 gr) tomatoes
  • 1 large (150 gr) onion (diced)
  • 1 lb (450 gr) potatoes (cut into small cubes)
  • 3 Tbsp (40 gr) oil (or lard)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • salt

Instructions

Make the sauce

  • Boil the tomatoes for 2 minutes, just enough for the skin to soften and be easy to remove.
  • Peel tomatoes, place them into a blender and add garlic, cumin and pepper.
  • Pour in a cup of water and blend until you get a smooth sauce. Set aside.

Make Picadillo

  • In a sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook until tender and transparent (about 3 minutes).
  • Add chilies and continue to fry for another 2 minutes on low heat.
  • Add meat. Mix and allow to release its juices and brown evenly (5 minutes).
  • Pour in the tomato sauce and mix. Add water or meat stock enough to cover the meat.
  • Bring to a boil, cover the pan and low heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add potatoes to the pan, mix and cover. Cook until tender (about 10-12 minutes).
  • Uncover the pan and let the sauce reduce to the desired consistency.

NOTES

  • When deseeding the chilli peppers, please do not forget to use gloves to avoid direct contact with the skin which can cause severe irritation.
  • If you live outside of Mexico and you can’t find serrano or japaleno peppers, a good option is to use green bell peppers. If this is the case, you should first roast them, remove the skin and cut them into strips.
  • Picadillo with potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days in a container with a lid.
  • If you want, you can add more vegetables like carrots, zucchini or also peas, corn, etc.
  • This dish is more delicious the next day, when all flavours are blended and enhanced.
Nutrition
Calories: 433kcal
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