What is Picadillo?
Not only had I never made Picadillo before, I didn’t really know what it was. It’s a Latin American dish, similar to hash, popular in various versions in Cuba, the Philippines, Costa Rico, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Picadillo translates to “all chopped up”, which makes sense!
It contains ground meat of some sort (usually beef), and tomatoes, and after that (like all multi-national dishes) there are a medley of ways to keep going: peppers, different members of the onion family, various spices, potatoes, raisins, olives, and on and on. No one definition fits all.
Healthy Ground Turkey Picadillo
I made mine with ground turkey, since we had some non-red-meat-eaters at the table. And a bit of red pepper flakes because I just love a little kick of heat in almost everything. P.S. I would think this would be great with chopped leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving bird.
Picadillo with Crispy Potatoes
The first time I made this it was for a brunch, and it was such a nice and unexpected main dish. I served it with little golden cubes of pan-fried potatoes folded in, which I had seen in a few versions of this recipe. You could also use keep those potatoes on the side, since I suggest serving/eating this with warmed corn tortillas, and the potatoes are kind of a doubling down on the starch. But if you can stir in the crisp hot potatoes just before serving, you will get a very nice little textural contrast.
Turkey Picadillo: A lighter version of a wonderful Latin American dish.Tweet This
And I love the addition of the green olives, and my whole family is on board with them. The raisins are a divider, I ain’t gonna lie. I’m going to eat the leftovers with a fried egg tomorrow.
Warming the Corn Tortillas for Picadillo:
To warm the tortillas, heat a skillet without any oil over medium high heat. Place the tortillas in the pan, one at a time, allowing them to warm thoroughly on each side. Let the tortillas brown a bit in spots. Stack them as they finish cooking and keep them covered with a towel to keep them warm. You can re-warm them in the microwave, but make sure to cook them in a pan on the stovetop first to bring out their best flavor. It take only a few minutes, and it make a big difference.
What to Serve with Picadillo:
The crispy potatoes are folded right in, and those are a must-have. After that there are loads of options as to what goes well with picadillo, some traditional sides, some more unusual.
Serve this picadillo with a salad, such as a Light Green Crunchy Salad. Some Mexican Grilled Street Corn would be great with picadillo, and often it is ser vedc with rice and beans of some sort, tortillas as I do here, or just plain rice. Or try Cilantro Lime Rice.
Other Ground Turkey Recipes:
Let’s hear it for ground turkey!
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- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil divided
- 1 ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 bell pepper any color, seeded and diced
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in their juice
- 4 large baking potatoes peeled and diced
- ½ cup raisins optional
- 1 cup halved small green pimento stuffed olives
- Small warmed flour or corn tortillas to serve, see Note
- Spray a large nonstick pan with nonstick cooking spray or coat it lightly with oil and brown the turkey over medium high heat, stirring often and breaking it up with a spatula. When browned, after about 5 minutes, drain in a colander.
- In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, pepper and carrots and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the cumin, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and red pepper and stir, then add the tomato paste and the diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, return the browned turkey to the pan and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium-high heat (preferably nonstick), add the remaining tablespoon of oil, then sauté the potatoes until lightly browned, but not cooked through, about 8 minutes. You may need to do this in batches; don’t crowd the pan. Add a bit of salt and toss and stir frequently.
- Stir the potatoes into the turkey mixture, and add the raisins (if using) and the olives. Serve hot, with tortillas if desired.
Note:To warm the tortillas, heat a skillet without any oil over medium high heat. Place the tortillas in the pan, one at a time, allowing them to warm thoroughly on each side. Let the tortillas brown a bit in spots. Stack them as they finish cooking and keep them covered with a towel to keep them warm. You can re-warm them in the microwave, but make sure to cook them in a pan on the stovetop first to bring out their best flavor. It take only a few minutes, and it make a big difference.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
My husband makes picadillo from a recipe that uses pork and beef. My son said he likes this version better! Thank you for sharing.
I give it 5 stars but I changed some things based on what I had. Though I assume it would be even better as written. I only had 1 lb of turkey so I basically halved the entire recipe except ALL the spices because I wanted it to be super flavorful, and I’m glad I left those the same because it’s absolutely delicious. I didn’t have any bell peppers or olives so I just ditched them. I had fresh tomatoes instead of canned so I diced them up and cooked them with the onions as if they were bell peppers. Worked just fine! Added some water with the tomato paste just to make sure I didn’t dry it up with the omission of the canned tomatoes. My husband loved these tacos and I’ll definitely make them again. Love the potatoes. Super easy and so good.