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Abuela's Picadillo

Rated as 4.79 out of 5 Stars

"This is my grandmother's Cuban picadillo (ground beef hash/chili) recipe which is usually served with white rice, beans and plantains. Picadillo also goes great with mashed potatoes and can be made without the squash. This dish is a favorite at home so I usually make 2 pounds to have leftovers for making empanadas (meat pies) the next day. Picadillo also freezes well. Of course my kids say this is the best picadillo they've ever had and I have to agree!"
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1 h 22 m servings 378
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Cook and stir ground beef in a large stockpot until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain grease.
  2. Heat olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add onion, green bell pepper, and garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir into beef in the stockpot.
  3. Pour tomato sauce, water, cooking wine, and hot sauce into the stockpot. Stir in sazon seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer picadillo, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Split olives in half with your fingers and stir into the picadillo. Add squash. Simmer until liquid reduces but picadillo is not dry, 45 to 60 minutes. Season with salt.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Use another type of squash if butternut is not available.
  • Substitute a pinch of saffron or a dash or yellow food coloring for the sazon packet if preferred.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 378 calories; 22 22 24.1 74 1856 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 14
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10.15.16 Made half a recipe which called for half of a small butternut squash (and mine was small). I peeled and cut that half into cubes, but if I’d used all of it, the meat/sauce mixture wo...

No changes. Outstanding! Will definetley make again & again & again.............

I have never had Picadillo before so I was not sure what this would be. I thought the ingredient combination sounded awesome. It was okay. I did not add the extra salt since 1800+ per serving...

Have made this several times and found the ingredients can be changed ( more or less of the spices) and it was still delicious.

Great recipe. Taste delicious!!! Used diced tomato with tomatoe paste instead of tomato sauce., and ground turkey instead of ground beef. It's what I had available and it came out very tasteful....

Delicious!! I have made it as is and loved it, and also altered it to adapt to what I had available. It’s highly adaptable so it’s nearly impossible to mess this up! I usually make 3lbs because ...

Absolutely delicious!

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say one packet of sazon, not the entire 1.4oz box of packets. 4 star for what I believe is an error - it smells amazing so far.

This looks awesome, I'm saving it to make, thanks!