Authentic Cuban Picadillo: A Flavorful Journey to Havana

Authentic Cuban Picadillo Recipe - Easy & Delicious Ground Beef Hash

Transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Havana with this mouthwatering Cuban Picadillo recipe. This beloved comfort food combines savory ground beef, tangy olives, sweet raisins, and a medley of aromatic spices for an unforgettable culinary experience.

Picadillo is the heart and soul of Cuban cuisine, a versatile dish that captures the essence of island flavors. Our recipe starts with a traditional sofrito base – a fragrant mixture of onions, bell peppers, and garlic that forms the foundation of countless Latin American dishes. We then layer in a symphony of spices, including cumin and oregano, to create a rich, complex flavor profile that will have your family begging for seconds.

What sets our Cuban Picadillo apart is the perfect balance of briny olives, plump raisins, and tender potatoes. These ingredients dance together in harmony, creating a dish that’s simultaneously salty, sweet, and utterly irresistible. Served over a bed of fluffy white rice, this picadillo is guaranteed to become a staple in your weeknight dinner rotation.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious home cook, this recipe will guide you through creating an authentic taste of Cuba in your own kitchen. Get ready to impress your loved ones with a dish that’s bursting with flavor and steeped in tradition!

Authentic Cuban Picadillo


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored and seeded, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives plus 2 tablespoons brine
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 large waxy potato (such as Yukon Gold or red, about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes


  1. Begin your Cuban culinary journey by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the finely chopped onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and release their aromatic essence. Now, it’s time to build layers of flavor! Add tomato paste, minced garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and bay leaves. Cook for about 2 minutes, allowing the spices to bloom and the tomato paste to deepen in color. Pour in the white wine and let it simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, approximately 5 minutes, concentrating the flavors even further.
  2. Now for the star of the show – add the ground beef to your fragrant base. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring and breaking up chunks, until the meat loses its pink hue. It’s time to bring in the supporting cast! Stir in the diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, plump raisins, briny olives (don’t forget their flavorful brine!), tangy capers, and diced potato. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the ingredients mingle and marry their flavors for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes become tender.
  3. As the enticing aroma fills your kitchen, remove the cover and give your picadillo a taste. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed, allowing your palate to guide you. Don’t forget to fish out and discard the bay leaves – they’ve done their job infusing the dish with subtle flavor. Serve your masterpiece hot, accompanied by fluffy white rice and creamy black beans for an authentic Cuban experience. ¡Buen provecho!
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
349 Calories
19g Fat
19g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 349
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 492mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 44mg 222%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 771mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: