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If you already have Puerto Rican Sofrito, you can make picadillo in 10 minutes, flat. This one-pot meal is great for weeknight dinners. I typically serve it with rice and beans or, if I have extra time, as a filler for empanadas.
For an even easier weeknight meal, set up a taco bar! This tomato-based picadillo is excellent for tacos. My cousin, Mary, gave me the idea of a taco bar, and I haven’t looked back since. Set out different types of tortillas, toppings, and a bowl of picadillo and let everyone serve themselves. My children are more apt to try new things if they’re in charge of choosing to try them rather than me suggesting them, heaven forbid.
Quick & Easy Puerto Rican Picadillo
- Preheat pot over medium heat.
- Add the ground beef to the pot.
- Season the ground beef with the adobo, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Break up the ground beef as much as possible with the mixing spoon and cook through. Ground beef will be brown when it is fully cooked.
- Create a well in the middle of the ground beef, and add the sofrito. Sauté the sofrito quickly before mixing it into the ground beef.
- Stir in the olives.
- Stir in the tomato sauce.
- Stir in the sazón and bay leaves.
- Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken, occasionally stirring, so the picadillo doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Serve with rice, like tacos, over pasta, or as a filling for empanadas or lettuce wraps.
- Finely mince the olives and sofrito for picky eaters.
- Like any stew, refrigerate the leftovers; it's even better the next day!
- Save all the seeds, stems, and skins; freeze the scraps to make vegetable stock another time. Use the search bar to find a no-waste vegetable stock recipe!
- Add a little bit of water to the tomato sauce can, swirl, and add it into the picadillo. Don't worry if it's a little watery; it'll thicken, and you'll have used all the tomato sauce!
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