Mexican Picadillo Recipe

Last Updated on April 25, 2022 by Anne-Marie

Learn how to make this Mexican picadillo recipe with ground beef, chorizo, potatoes, and raisins.

A plate of Mexican Picadillo on white rice with fork, napkin, and lime.

Why this recipe works

Have you ever tried Mexican Picadillo? It seems that every culture has some type of ground beef and potato recipes.

What makes chorizo different from the usual hash-like beef and potato recipe is what’s added to the dish.

Picadillo is usually made with ground beef, tomatoes or tomato sauce, raisins, olives, and spices.

Then it’s served on rice and can be used as a filling in tacos or savory pastries.

I first made this dish as part of a blogger recipe challenge where I recreated Allessio’s from Recipe Taster recipe for Cuban Picadillo.

Plate of Mexican Picadillo on rice with brass fork with a pink bowl of rice and saute plan in the background.

An easy picadillo recipe

I usually make a slow cooker picadillo with  onions, apples, raisins and spices. It’s not very authentic, but the picadillo beef is tasty.

However, I wanted to make a different version and Alessio’s picadillo recipe looked perfect.

I loved that he used raisins, olives and potatoes in his dish. However, I had a problem - I didn’t have any green peppers or olives in the house.

So I improvised and replaced the peppers with celery. It was a delicious substitution as I’m not so crazy about green peppers. I find them kind of bitter.

However, I thought the whole thing would fall apart without the strong flavor of the olives. What to do?

Plate of rice and Mexican Picadillo with fork and saute pan and wooden spoon and pink bowl in the background.

Making a spicy Mexican picadillo

I decided to make a spicy picadillo recipe Mexican style by using chorizo, which I just happened to have defrosting in the refrigerator for our weekend breakfasts.

All in all, it ended up being an easy Mexican picadillo recipe though not an authentic Mexican picadillo recipe.

You see, Picadillo Mexicano is made with peas and carrots and cooked in a kind of red salsa. (Here’s a more authentic version of Beef Picadillo.)

Instead, mine’s a chorizo picadillo with a Mexican flair based on a Cuban picadillo. (Did I just make your head spin?)

So, I hope you like it my version of Allessio’s recipe. My family thought it was delicious.

Best of all, it's naturally gluten free!

Overhead view of Mexican Picadillo served on rice, with bowl of rice, and picadillo in frying pan with wooden spoon.

How to make picadillo even easier

Shortcuts: To make this picadillo chorizo recipe even easier, look for precut onions and potatoes in the frozen section of your supermarket. Just measure out what you need for this dish.

What kind of ground meat?

I used ground venison, but you can use lean ground beef or even ground turkey. I like keeping this beef picadillo recipe as lean as possible. Who says that picadillo can’t be wholesome?

Where do I find chorizo?

You can usually find it in the refrigerated section with the sausage or refrigerated Hispanic foods.

If there’s no chorizo at your supermarket for your Mexican picadillo recipe, you can make your own. It’s easy! Here’s how to make homemade chorizo.

The easy way to make rice

Don’t forget to start your rice cooking before you start working on the picadillo. (I’ve been known to forget, so I bet you have, too!)

For perfect rice, I use a rice cooker. Here are some of the best rice cookers on Amazon.

I like the Zojirushi rice cookers as my kids also use it to steam dumplings.

Mexican Picadillo served on ricewith picadillo in frying pan and sliced limes.

Picadillo with potatoes around the world

Picadillo Cubano like Allessio made includes peppers, onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, tomato sauce, olives, raisins, and potatoes.

Sometimes people add capers. Cuban Picadillo is served with black beans and rice.

In the Dominican Republic, they make a similar dish to Picadillo, but they add a hard-boiled egg, some allspice, and serve the ground beef picadillo on either white or brown rice.

In Puerto Rico, picadillo meat is used as a filling for empanadas, alcapurria, piononos, and other types of fritters. It’s also served with rice and beans just like with Cuban Picadillo.

Filipino Picadillo is a soup-like dish made with potatoes or chayote and ground beef. It’s made without green olives or capers and served with white rice, fried plantains on the side, and a fried egg on top.

However you serve picadillo with potatoes in your country, it’s always delicious!

Mexican Picadillo on a plate with white rice, a pink bowl of rice, and a frying pan of picadillo.

More ground beef recipes

If you’re looking for more recipes using ground beef, check these out:

My family loves this Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie. You don’t have to be gluten free to think it’s delicious.

If you’re a meatloaf lover, you’ll enjoy Mashed Potato Stuffed Meatloaf or Gluten Free Meatloaf Recipe with Potato Chips & Carrots.

If you have any leftover meatloaf, make Leftover Meatloaf Sandwiches.

If you have a smoker, make Smoked Meatloaf. It’s amazing!


Mexican Picadillo Recipe

Mexican Picadillo served on rice, with bowl of rice, and picadillo in frying pan with wooden spoon.

My version of Mexican Picadillo is easy to make. Learn how to make picadillo with ingredients like ground beef, chorizo, potatoes, and raisins.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped onions
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 2/3 cup diced potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon green chili sauce
  • 8 ounces chorizo
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground venison or lean ground beef
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Cooked rice


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, potatoes, and garlic and cook until onions start to brown and caramelize. Stir often. Turn down heat if vegetables begin to burn. About 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, cumin, oregano, and green chili sauce. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add chorizo, breaking it up and stirring it into vegetables.
  4. When chorizo has browned, add the ground meat. Break up meat and stir into other ingredients.
  5. When the meat has browned, add in the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine with other ingredients.
  6. Add raisins and stir to combine.
  7. Cover skillet and turn down the heat to low.
  8. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Serve on top of rice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 583mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 31g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on April 18, 2011. Updated with new pictures and information.

13 thoughts on “Mexican Picadillo Recipe

  1. Deeba

    Never have made a picadillo, and you inspire me to try making some. I enjoy Allesio’s blog a lot, and this is a great pick from his treasure trove!

  2. Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks

    Looks tasty. It’s been awhile since I’ve made it. I like mine with olives but I like the idea of adding raisins to cut the pungency of chiles, etc.

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      We had oodles of venison this year, which was why we chose to have the extra made into chorizo sausage. I think we’ll do it every year because it’s so delicious.

  3. Amanda

    That is an awesome dish, I bet it tasted fabulous! Great adaptation 🙂 Thanks for playing along this month, it’s been so fun hopping from blog to blog!


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