July 23rd, 2018

The Kosher Gourmet

Picadillo is a Cuban classic --- but don't dare call this sweet and savory ground beef delight 'Sloppy Joe'

Linda Gassenheimer

By Linda Gassenheimer


Picadillo is a Cuban classic --- but don't dare call this sweet and savory ground beef delight 'Sloppy Joe'

Picadillo, or stewed ground beef, is a well-known Cuban dish. It is usually served with rice or potatoes.

To serve this Picadillo Sloppy-Joe style, cut oblong rolls in half and scoop out the insides. Toast lightly, spoon the warm picadillo mixture on top and serve.

There are many Picadillo variations, but olives and capers are always part of the recipe. If you like a slightly sweeter dish, add raisins.

Serve with a washed, ready-to-eat salad.

Quick Cook Tip: Use microwaveable quick-cooking rice instead of the recipe below.

This meal contains 631 calories per serving with 24 percent of calories from fat.

Helpful Hints:

Pre-chopped onion and green bell pepper found in the produce section can be used instead of frozen chopped onion and green bell pepper.

Look for 95 percent lean ground beef.

Minced garlic can be found in jars in the produce section of the market.


Place water for rice on to boil.

Start Picadillo.

When water boils, add rice.

Finish Picadillo.

Finish rice.


  • Olive oil spray

  • 1 cup frozen chopped/diced onion

  • 1 cup frozen chopped/diced green bell pepper

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 3/4 pound extra lean ground beef

  • 1 3/4-cups no-sugar-added, low-sodium crushed tomatoes

  • 8 pitted green olives, quartered

  • 1 tablespoon drained capers

  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Add onions, green bell pepper and garlic. Saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef and break up into small pieces with the edge of a spoon while it browns, about 2 minutes. (Drain if there is excess fat.) Add the crushed tomatoes and mix well. Add the olives, capers, raisins, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Cook 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning; add more vinegar or Worcestershire sauce, if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 422 calories (26 percent from fat), 12.2 g fat (4.4 g saturated, 6.0 g monounsaturated), 216 mg cholesterol, 40.6 g protein, 39.0 g carbohydrates, 6.0 g fiber, 620 mg sodium.


  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large saucepan with water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Add the rice and bring back to a boil. Cook rice, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Drain, leaving about 1 tablespoon water on the rice. Add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the Picadillo. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 219 calories (21 percent from fat), 4.8 g fat (0.7 g saturated, 3.4 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.3 g protein, 36.9 g carbohydrates, 0.6 g fiber, 2 mg sodium.


Here are the ingredients you'll need.

To buy: 1 package frozen chopped/diced onion, 1 package frozen chopped/diced green bell pepper, 3/4 pound extra lean ground beef, 1 18-ounce can no-sugar-added, low-sodium crushed tomatoes, 1 container pitted green olives, 1 bottle capers, 1 bottle Worcestershire sauce and 1 small package raisins (optional).

Staples: Olive oil, olive oil spray, long-grain white rice, minced garlic, white vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.

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Linda Gassenheimer is the author of more than a dozen cookbooks.