Cuban Picadillo With Ground Beef (Picadillo Santiaguero)


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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
306 Calories
12g Fat
25g Carbs
26g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 214mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 26g
Calcium 87mg 7%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe is for a traditional Cuban-style picadillo made with ground beef and known as picadillo santiaguero.

Picadillo is a Cuban-style hash made with ground meat (beef or pork or both), olives, onions and sometimes potatoes as in this recipe.

The name picadillo comes from the Spanish verb picar​, which means to mince into small pieces. Picadillo is common across Latin cultures with variations.​

You can serve any variety of picadillo with rice or use it as a filling for empanadas and papas rellenas.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 medium white onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 small green pepper (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 small potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 8 to 10 green olives (pitted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper until well mixed.

  3. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil (or more if necessary). Sauté the onions, green pepper, and garlic until soft.

  4. Add the ground beef mixture, beef stock, and tomato sauce and mix well. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

  5. Add the diced potatoes and mix well. Cover and cook another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

  6. Remove the cover. Add the olives and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until the liquid is fully evaporated, but the meat is still moist.

  7. Serve the picadillo warm with rice or let it cool and use as a filling for empanadas and papas rellenas.

Other Types of Picadillo

Mexican picadillo is made with raisins, jalapenos or guajillo chiles, and brown sugar known as piloncillo along with the traditional ingredients.

Another type is spicy Spanish pork picadillo made with cubes of pork that are marinated overnight in a mixture of paprika, garlic, and white wine. Then the pork is quickly stir-fried and served with bread and/or fried potatoes.

Costa Rican versions are meat optional. Vegetables like potatoes, ayote squash, bell peppers, and onions are chopped and cooked with stock, herbs, and spices and the resulting picadillo is often served with tortillas or rice.

In the Dominican Republic, picadillo is made with peppers, red onions, garlic, tomato paste, stock, olives, capers, raisins, hard-cooked egg, vinegar, and spices and served with white or brown rice.

Puerto Rican varieties are made with ground meat, annatto oil, ham, recaito (a type of base made with greens and spices), tomato sauce, olives, capers, potatoes, spices, and sometimes raisins that have been soaked in rum. They are used as a filling for empanadas and other fritters, or just served simply with rice and beans.

Picadillo in the Philippines is a soupy concoction made with ground beef and potatoes or chayote squash, raisins, and tomatoes, but without green olives and capers. It is frequently served with white rice, fried plantains, and hard-cooked or fried eggs.