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Authentic Mexican Picadillo Recipe

Inside: Learn how to make this delicious and authentic Mexican picadillo recipe, which is very versatile and easy to make. 

Picadillo in a cast iron pan

Para Espanol, Haz Click Aqui

There are few things that fill my stomach and heart as much as homemade food. There is something about making the food at home that makes is so enjoyable. It may be all the hard work or love that you have to put into it. 

I remember making this picadillo recipe at least 4 times per month with my abuelita. Every one of us that lived there loved it so much and we would often eat it in the form of a taco with freshly made tortillas and salsa. We also would just eat it on top of rice and we always left the table satisfied. 

What is Picadillo?

Picadillo is an inexpensive, yet filling food that is ideal for large families or to serve at a party. It consists of many ingredients such as ground beef, carrots, potatoes, and peas. Aside from that, it is also healthy. The combination of potatoes and carrots with ground beef and other flavors gives it a very familiar Mexican taste. 

Picadillo getting ready to take a bite

Picadillo is easy to make and it doesn’t take much time at all! It is perfect for those days when you don’t have much time to make someting more elaborate.

How do you serve Picadillo?

This recipe is so versatile. You can use it in so many different ways. For example, my husband loves to mix it in with eggs to make a delicious breakfast burrito. I, on the other hand, prefer it with tacos, tostadas, and empanadas. 

You can make it spicy or mild, and it is delicious either way. In some ways, this reminds me a little bit of the filling for chicken pot pie in the US, because it has similar ingredients (other than the ground beef). In fact, that may be even another way to serve it by replacing the chicken filling with Picadillo!

Another good thing about this tasty meal is that you can freeze it easily for later use. All you have to do is wait for it to cool down, add it to a freezer safe container or bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. It is great to have for difficult times when it can be hard to get to the store or to make something new every day. 

In some countries, picadillo is made differently – some places you raisins and olives in the mixture. In Mexico, we use chipotle peppers and other peppers to give it extra flavor. Although, I have to say that it was my abuelitas special touch and ability to season food that makes this version so special and delicious. Her secret was adding a cinnamon stick to the mix which really gives it a unique flavor.

Let me know in the comments below how it turns out.

Other Authentic Mexican Recipes

Picadillo in a cast iron pan
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4.58 from 7 votes

Authentic Mexican Picadillo Recipe

Learn how to make this delicious and authentic Mexican picadillo recipe, which is very versatil and easy to make. 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: picadillo
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 185kcal


  • 2 Large Potatoes Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots Diced
  • 1 can Green Peas
  • 1/2 Onion Diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 chile ancho, deveined and deseeded
  • 1 cup Beef Stock
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 2 Red tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/4 tbsp cumin
  • 3 sweet peppercorns
  • 1/4 tbsp thyme
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil


  • Start by sauteeing the tomato, the 1/4 white onion, chile ancho, garlic, thyme, peppercorn, cinnamon and oregano in a medium to large frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Remove from the pan and blend in a blender with the beef stock and chipotle pepper until smooth. Set aside.
  • In the same pan that you used for the previous step, cook the ground beef with the diced onions and cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once the ground beef is browned, add the carrots and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add the mixture from the first step and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  • Add the green peas and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Add additional salt if necessary.


Serving: 1People | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 424mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3515IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @mylatinatable or tag #mylatinatable!

Recipe Rating

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Mexican girl

Saturday 10th of December 2022

Mexican food doesn't really use as much cumin as they think, I hate cumin and I've never eaten cumin until I came to the USA, and whenever it says 'authentic Mexican' for sure it's the full of cumin version of a Mexican dish.... it's just sad.


Tuesday 6th of June 2023

@Mexican girl, different parts (states) of Mexico use different spices/seasonings; that doesn't make it not authentic, just not what your part of the country is used to. Same in the U.S., I don't know anyone in the Midwest that uses cumino.

Monday 27th of March 2023

@Mexican girl, totally agree with you. I, too, hate cumin and that's what turns me off on so many otherwise wonderful Mexican dishes.


Monday 29th of August 2022

I couldn't figure out what sweet peppercorn meant until I let the Spanish part of my brain take over. Pimienta dulce, of course!

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to try this because your choice of spices is quite different than how my mother made it.


Monday 13th of June 2022

I absolutely love all your recipes! They are simple and pure in flavor, yet very complex at the same time. The way it feeds my soul, and the pure joy I get from sharing this food I cannot explain but I know you know what I’m talking about. Thank you for sharing so much of your heritage!!!

Charbel Barker

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

Thank you Crystal for your kind words! I am glad you enjoy these recipes.


Friday 21st of January 2022

What is Chipotle pepper in adobo?


Friday 20th of May 2022

@Bowie, they come in small cans, the Adobo is the sauce the Chipotle peppers come in.


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

Recipe doesn't say where or when to use the Cumin. I assume in the frying pan with other spices, not with the beef?

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