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Picadillo Tacos: Crispy Beef Tacos

Those picadillo tacos are a loaded with a delicious mixture made with ground beed, peppers, onions, tomatoes and earthy spices. Garnished with your favorite taco toppings, those crispy tacos are super easy to make and they can easily feed a crowd.

Crispy tacos made with ground beef.

Whether you serve them on a party, game day, or take it to the office for lunch, these crispy tacos with rich filling, and tangy sauce will brighten up a dull day!

What is a picadillo?

The word picadillo comes from the Spanish word “picar,” which means “to mince.” So, when we say Beef Picadillo, it clearly means minced beef. This recipe originated in Latin America somewhere in the early 19th century, and today it is quite popular all across the world.

Mexican picadillo tacos have several variations as you move to different regions in the country. However, the main components remain the same.

Those delicious tacos are made with corn tortillas, filled with delicious minced beef filling and some veggies. The tacos are topped up with a variety of ingredients like Mexican crema, lettuce, cheese, etc.

Picadillo tacos on a plate.

Can you make the picadillo mixture ahead of time?

Yes definitely. You can make the picadillo mixture way ahead of time. Once you have let it cool at room temperature, store it in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days. So, when you want to use the filling, leave it outside the refrigerator until it reaches room temperature, and fill up the taco shells.

Because you can prepare the mixture ahead of time, picadillo taco is a perfect dish you can easily make in large batches.

Those below are the ingredients for making Mexican picadillo:

The ingredients for picadillo.

Can you freeze the picadillo mixture?

Yes, you can place the mixture in a plastic zip-lock bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. However, make sure the mixture is at room temperature before placing it in the plastic bag. Thaw it before using it. 

Also, if you feel the mixture is watery, cook it in a pan until it gets dry. Let it cool down, and then make your tacos.

The step by step recipe

Heat the oil on a pan over medium heat. Add first the diced bell peppers and sauté for one minute. Add onions and sauté altogether for 3 minutes or until onions become translucent and peppers are a bit softened.

Peppers and onions sautéed on a pan.

Add the meat and all spices (cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper), mix well and cook until meat is not longer pink. Add tomatoes and mix well, cook for one more minute then cover the pan and low the heat cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes mixing from time to time.

You should end with a mixture with little juice, adjust with salt and keep cooking until there’s almost not juices left on the pan.

Picadillo mixture cooked on a pan.

Heat a cast iron skillet or a comal over high heat. Warm up the tortillas from both sides (about 20-30 seconds per side) and wrap them with a kitchen towel to keep them warm and and pliable.

Place two or three tortillas on a plate and spoon some picadillo on the middle. Fold in half, making a little pressure to stick the tortilla with the meat mixture. Keep warming the tortillas and making the tacos until all picadillo is gone.

Assembling three picadillo tacos on a plate.

Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan. Fry tacos placing them carefully into the oil and, using a spatula, firmly press down the edges, to prevent them from opening (read notes).

Frying tacos in hot oil.

Once picadillo tacos are nicely crispy on both sides, remove from oil and place them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towels.

Carefully open a taco and garnish with lettuce and tomato slices. Drizzle with cream and with your favorite salsa and finish topping with cheese. Serve immediately.

Stuffing tacos with lettuce and tomatoes.

Topping ideas

No taco is complete without a variety of delicious toppings. Although there are several ingredients you can use, here are a few that go well with picadillo tacos:

  • Mexican crema: It adds a punch to the tacos, use sour cream if you don’t find Mexican crema where you live.
  • Greek yogurt: If you are looking for a healthier version, you can use Greek yogurt as well.
  • Lettuce: freshly chopped lettuce not only brings in freshness but adds a satisfying crunch to those picadillo tacos.
  • Salsa: Spice things up with your favorite salsa like this fake guacamole salsa, or this peanut chili salsa.
  • Guacamole: Stay true to the Mexican cuisine, and top the tacos with a classic guacamole.
  • Cheese: if you are a cheese lover, you can load the tacos with queso fresco, mozzarella, or cheddar cheese as well.
Mexican picadillo tacos served with various toppings.

Notes

  • Is ok of some filling come out from tacos while frying, as long as it’s not too much! But if you want to prevent this, you can also use toothsticks and secure the edges of tacos, just remember to discard them before garnishing tacos.
  • If you using jalapenos, make sure to cut them longwise and discard veins and seeds or picadillo will be too spicy for kids.

Watch How To Make Picadillo Tacos

Picadillo tacos (authentic recipe)

Picadillo Tacos (crispy and delicious)

Those picadillo tacos are a loaded with a delicious mixture made with ground beed, peppers, onions, tomatoes and earthy spices.
PREP 25 minutes
COOK 30 minutes
TOTAL 55 minutes
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Servings: 16 tacos

Ingredients 

For picadillo filling

  • 1.1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large green bell pepper or poblano pepper (diced)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp hot paprika
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • salt and pepper (as needed)

For tacos & garnish

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • oil for frying (as needed)
  • 3 cups lettuce (shredded)
  • 1 large tomato (sliced)
  • cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • ½ cup Queso fresco (or mozzarella, cheddar, etc.)
  • spicy salsa (read notes)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil on a pan over medium heat. Add first the diced bell peppers and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add onions and sauté everything for 3 minutes or until onions become translucent and peppers are a bit softened.
  • Add the meat and all spices (cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper), mix well and cook until meat is not longer pink.
  • Add tomatoes and mix well, cook for one more minute then cover the pan and low the heat cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes mixing from time to time.
  • Adjust with salt and keep cooking until there’s almost not juices left on the pan.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet or a comal over high heat. Warm up the tortillas from both sides (about 20-30 seconds per side) and wrap them with a kitchen towel to keep them warm and and pliable.
  • Place two or three tortillas on a plate and spoon some picadillo on the middle. Fold in half, making a little pressure to stick the tortilla with the meat mixture. Repeat until all picadillo is gone.
  • Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan. Fry tacos placing them carefully into the oil and, using a spatula, firmly press down the edges, to prevent them from opening (read notes).
  • Once picadillo tacos are nicely crispy on both sides, remove from oil and place them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towels.
  • Carefully open a taco and garnish with lettuce and tomato slices. Drizzle with cream and with your favorite salsa and finish topping with cheese. Serve immediately.

notes

  • Is ok of some filling come out from tacos while frying, as long as it’s not too much! But if you want to prevent this, you can also use toothsticks and secure the edges of tacos, just remember to discard them before garnishing tacos.
  • If you using jalapenos, make sure to cut them longwise and discard veins and seeds or picadillo will be too spicy for kids.
  • Salsa: Spice things up with your favorite salsa like this fake guacamole salsa, or this peanut chili salsa.
Nutrition
Serving: 1g | Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg
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2 Comments

  1. I’m thrilled to have found your blog, wonderful recipes and videos. Your picadillo tacos look so good and will be made your way. I’ve never had them fried with the meat inside them and they sound terrific.

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