Picadillo: Cuba's Spicy Dip Made Dinner

Christina Lane | Dessert for Two
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A Cuban staple, Picadillo makes for a great party dip, or dinner for two. Try it tonight!

Picadillo Photo

Picadillo is a Cuban dish made with ground beef and potatoes. It’s the perfect addition to my ‘One Pound Ground Beef, Two Dinners for Two project.

This might look like a funny colored bowl of chili, but trust me: you’ve never had something that tastes quite like this! The sauce is tangy from the apple cider vinegar, and the chipotle peppers bring their heat and smokiness. The tiny cubes of potato make the dish creamy. We like to eat ours with tortilla chips or crunchy red bell pepper strips.

Picadillo Picture

It’s the perfect one-pan meal that can be a hearty appetizer or dinner for two. Dig into this one!

Tip: Use the other half of the meat for my Mushroom and Swiss Patty Melts with Spicy Brown Mustard.

    2 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef, 80% lean
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce, (1 can)
  • 1 medium baking potato, very finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered beef base
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can chipotle in adobo, canned, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf, small
  • fresh cilantro, about a handful, chopped
  • tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Heat a 10” cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the canola oil, onion, garlic and ground beef.
  3. Saute the mixture until the beef browns, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain off excess grease with a paper towel (if desired).
  5. Add the tomato sauce, and then refill the can with water and add it to pan. Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro.
  6. Simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If the pan ever looks dry, add additional water. 
  7. Before serving, stir in the cilantro.
  8. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Christina Lane

About Christina

Christina grew up in Texas, but now lives in Missouri.You may know her best for her Dessert for Two, but here on Food Fanatic, she’s famous for her fantastic Dinners for Two.

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It's been years since I had picadillo. I bet this freezes well too, Christina. Perfect for post-baby dinner. Thanks for a great idea!