Skip to Content

How To Make A Healthy And Delicious Mexican Picadillo

There are some recipes that take ingredients that we are already very familiar with and cover them in a whole range of spices, sauces and extra flavorful foods to turn what should be a fairly ordinary meal into a fantastic surprise for you and the entire family to enjoy. 

One of the most notable examples of this is the Mexican picadillo, a recipe that puts a delightfully delicious spin on the standard beef and potato recipe that so many of us have enjoyed on countless occasions, with it also being incredibly easy to make and a welcome healthy addition to any diet. 

How To Make A Healthy And Delicious Mexican Picadillo

Here is all you need to know about this meaty Mexican dish including how to make it and why it is considered so nutritious by so many people. 

What Is Mexican Picadillo?

While the Mexican picadillo is the most popular variant of this dish, it is actually enjoyed in many areas of the world with certain ingredients being switched out such as the Cuban picadillo which uses raisins and white wine as part of the recipe. 

In Mexico, they prefer their picadillo to be a little meatier in its flavor, and like a lot of other Mexican cuisines, it is often enjoyed wrapped inside of a fresh flour tortilla, however this is entirely optional since it can be enjoyed just as much as a brothy stew. 

Is Mexican Picadillo Healthy?

Because it is mainly comprised of meat, potatoes and a few vegetables thrown into the mix, Mexican picadillo is extremely nutritious and contains extremely high levels of protein with the average serving having around 20g. 

Mexican picadillo is also very rich in potassium along with vitamin A and vitamin C due to the addition of peppers, potatoes and extra vegetables that help to make this light meal even more nutritious. 

On top of all this, despite using several ingredients to make the natural flavors as prominent and flavorful as they can be, Mexican picadillo is still very low in calories with a single serving only containing 220kcal on average. 

What Does Mexican Picadillo Taste Like?

If you’re a fan of meat and especially the juicy kind such as ground beef, then you’re going to love Mexican picadillo as it has an incredibly distinct meaty flavor that is complimented elegantly by the rich and thick layer of tomato sauce that covers the entire dish. 

There is also a noticeable amount of spice to a Mexican picadillo due to the green bell peppers and cumin, however, the heat is still fairly mild compared to many other similar Mexican dishes, so don’t let this put you off if you aren’t a fan of spice since it’s not very noticeable. 

Ingredients For Making Mexican Picadillo

Part of the reason the Mexican version of picadillo is so popular is that it doesn’t require as many ingredients to make as many other versions of picadillo do, and since it can be whipped up in as little as 30 minutes, it makes for the perfect mid-week meal for you and the family or friends to look forward to, especially since you can serve up to 6 people with a single dish. 

Here are all the ingredients you will need to make this flavorful and meaty Mexican stew:

  • 1lb Ground Beef – If you prefer the taste of chicken or pork, you can still use them instead, however ground beef will be a lot healthier and is the classic meat that is most commonly used in Mexican picadillo. 
  • 1 ½ Cups of Beef Broth – A delicious and creamy beef broth keeps the ingredients moist while adding a little more meatiness to the overall flavor. 
  • ½ Cup of Onion – Onions helps to add just a hint of sweetness to the meat and potatoes.
  • 2 Cups of Potatoes – The chewy texture of Mexican picadillo primarily comes from the peeled and diced potatoes that complement the moist ground beef incredibly well.
  • 8 oz of Tomato Sauce – A lot of tomato sauce is needed not only to give this recipe the slightly fruity and incredibly potent taste that it is known for, but also because it blends incredibly well with the broth without overpowering the natural meaty flavor. 
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic – You can also swap out minced garlic for some garlic flakes instead, it all depends on how strong and noticeable you want the pungent flavor to be once you come to take a bite. 
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper – Feel free to use jalapenos if you want to ramp the spiciness up a notch, however, green bell peppers are great for adding a slightly mild and sweet taste to the chicken and potato mixture. 
  • 1 tbsp of Ground Cumin – As with any Mexican dish, there needs to be at least a little bit of spice, and this is exactly what the ground cumin is for with it adding a mild amount of heat to the dish. 
How To Make Mexican Picadillo

How To Make Mexican Picadillo

Mexican picadillo can be piping hot and ready to serve in as little as 30 minutes, so once you have the ingredients ready, it’s time to get cooking. 

Step 1. Prepare The Beef

Start by heating up the ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet and gently break the meat apart into smaller chunks until it starts to turn brown.

It will often take between 7 to 10 minutes for the ground beef to start browning, and when it does, drain any excess grease and return it back to the skillet. 

Step 2. Add The Potatoes And Peppers

Add the green bell peppers, potatoes, diced onions and cloves of garlic into the skillet and keep cooking until they start becoming soft which usually only takes up to 2 minutes of cooking time. 

Step 3. Pour In The Tomato Sauce

Mix in the tomato sauce and the beef broth to start making the base of the stew. T

his is also where you will want to add your cumin and any other additional seasonings you may want to add to the dish such as salt, pepper and coriander. 

Stir this mixture together for an extra 2 minutes until the sauce starts to become nice and creamy. 

Step 4. Simmer The Ingredients

After stirring the ingredients, let them simmer over a moderate heat for 10 minutes.

This is so that all the ingredients can blend together and so the meat can absorb the sauce and the flavors of all the extra ingredients added into the mixture. 

Step 5. Remove Lid And Continue Stirring

Remove the lid after 10 minutes and continue stirring the contents very gently to make sure all of the food is moist and soft without being too mushy.

You will easily be able to tell when the picadillo is ready to serve if you notice most of the liquid has disappeared and especially if the potatoes have gone soft. 

Step 6. Serve

Now that your Mexican picadillo is ready to be enjoyed, while you can serve it as a creamy and delicious stew, you can also pack it into a few tortilla wraps if you want to enjoy this recipe the authentic way, or even layer it over a bed of rice to make the meal even more filling. 


Rather than sticking with the standard brothy chicken stew that we have all become so accustomed to, why not gather a few flavorful and exotic ingredients to make this Mexican twist on the basic stew recipe that is not only delicious, but also extremely nutritious.

Whether it’s as a solo meal to keep you going for the week ahead, or a surprise dinner for the whole family to enjoy together, there is never a bad time to prepare this classic Mexican dish, especially since it can be ready to serve in barely any time at all. 

Justin Roberts