Mouthwatering Picadillo Con Arroz for a Satisfying Meal

Picture this: you are relaxing at home, wondering what’s for dinner. You want something that is hearty and comforting, but also packed with delicious flavors. Look no further than my Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe.

This dish is a classic Cuban comfort food, made with lean ground beef, green olives, capers, and a blend of aromatic herbs and spices like oregano and cumin. The flavors come together in a mouth-watering way that is savory and satisfying.

But the best part? This recipe is easy to make! With only a handful of ingredients, you can whip up a meal that will have your friends and family begging for seconds. And if you’re looking for variety or want to switch things up, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try.

So why not add some pizzazz to your weeknight dinners or impress your guests with this Cuban-style picadillo dish? Give my recipe a try and it might just become a new family favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz
Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz

Are you in the mood for some hearty and flavorful comfort food? Look no further than this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe. Trust me, once you try this dish, it will become a staple in your meal rotation.

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. This dish can be enjoyed on its own or served over a bed of fluffy white rice. It can also be used as a filling for tacos or empanadas, making it perfect for meal prepping or entertaining guests.

Another reason to try this recipe is its unique fusion of flavors. The combination of green olives, capers, oregano, cumin, and chopped tomatoes creates a symphony of savory notes that will leave your taste buds singing. The lean ground beef adds a substantial texture and flavor to the dish while the green bell pepper and onion provide a sweet crunch that balances out the saltiness from the ingredients.

If you’re worried about time management or preparing this dish for your family during the week, don’t fret! This recipe is fail-proof and easy to make. All you need is one pan and one pot, which minimizes clean-up and makes it an efficient choice for busy weeknights.

Not to mention the fact that this recipe yields large portions, so you can enjoy leftovers throughout the week without sacrificing quality or taste. In fact, this dish tastes even better when reheated as its flavors intensify over time.

Overall, there are countless reasons why you’ll love this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe. Whether it’s because of its versatility or simply because it satisfies your cravings like no other, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your kitchen repertoire.

Ingredient List

Sure thing! Here are 11 unique photo captions for the recipe:
Sure thing! Here are 11 unique photo captions for the recipe:

Here is a list of ingredients you will need for this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz Recipe:

Main Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (can also use minced beef or ground turkey)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (or chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Flavor Enhancers

  • ¼ cup green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • ⅓ cup raisins (optional)

Rice Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice (preferably Uncle Ben’s white rice)
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note: You may substitute some of these ingredients with your own preference.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s start preparing this delicious Cuban comfort food – Picadillo Con Arroz Recipe.

Step 1: Cook the Rice

First, let’s cook the white rice. In a medium pot, add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 cup of rice and reduce to low heat. Cover and let it cook for about 18-20 minutes or until tender. When done, fluff the rice with a fork and put it aside.

Tip: Since rice is used as a base for this recipe, I recommend using good quality rice such as Uncle Ben’s.

Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once heated up, add in 1 large chopped onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until they become translucent. Next, add in 1 finely chopped green bell pepper followed by 4 chopped garlic cloves. Keep stirring until the vegetables are tender.

Step 3: Brown the Ground Beef

To the same skillet with vegetables, increase heat to high and add in 1 lb of lean ground beef. Cook and stir the beef with the vegetables for 5-7 minutes or until browned all over.

Tip: You can also use minced beef or ground turkey instead of ground beef.

Step 4: Add Tomato Sauce and Spices

Add in 6 ounces of tomato paste, ½ cup of water, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of oregano and stir well till mixed evenly. Once everything is well blended together, add in one more cup of water slowly while continuously stirring.

Tip: If you like your food on the spicier side, you can also add some red pepper flakes.

Step 5: Add Green Olives and Capers

Add in ½ cup of green olives and 3 tablespoons of capers into the skillet mixture. Mix in well to let the flavors soak in for some time.

Tip: Some people like to use raisins too, for a sweet balance. But again, that’s your call.

Step 6: Simmer

Simmer the Picadillo for about 10-12 minutes allowing it to thicken and keep stirring in between so it does not stick to the skillet.

Step 7: Serve

Finally, our Picadillo Con Arroz is done! Serve the Picadillo by pouring it over a bed of white rice, garnish with your favorite toppings or even add some avocado or guacamole on top.

That’s all folks – I hope you enjoy this easy-make Cuban Style Picadillo Con Arroz recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect combination of flavors in every bite!
A perfect combination of flavors in every bite!

One of the most exciting aspects of cooking is experimenting with different ingredients to create new flavors and textures. Luckily, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try with this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe, so feel free to get creative in the kitchen!

One option for variation is to swap out the lean ground beef for ground turkey, which is equally delicious but has a lower fat content. You could also try using minced beef or even carne molida. Of course, if you’re aiming for a vegetarian version, you can substitute the meat altogether with cooked lentils, mushrooms, or plant-based crumbles.

For those who prefer a spicier flavor profile, try adding a few pinches of red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the dish. Paprika and chili powder are other good substitutes for cumin and oregano.

If you’re looking for something truly out of the box, consider making a Dominican-style picadillo by adding chunks of potatoes to the dish. Or try adding green peas or sweet corn for an extra pop of color and nutrients.

Finally, if you don’t have white rice on hand, you can substitute with brown rice, quinoa, or even couscous. However, be aware that the cooking time and water requirements may differ slightly for each grain.

In short, don’t be afraid to mix things up and add your own twist to this classic Cuban-style picadillo recipe. The possibilities are virtually endless!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready for a culinary adventure to Spain with this delicious dish!
Get ready for a culinary adventure to Spain with this delicious dish!

This dish, Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz, is a hearty and comforting meal on its own, but it can also be paired with a variety of sides to enhance its flavor.

Traditionally, picadillo is served over a bed of white rice, which absorbs the delicious sauce and adds an extra layer of texture to the dish. I recommend using Uncle Ben’s white rice, preferably cooked with chicken broth instead of water for added flavor.

If you’re looking to add some greens to your meal, a simple side salad with a tangy vinaigrette would pair perfectly with the rich and savory flavors of the picadillo. For something warmer and heartier, try serving it with black beans and sweet plantains or a simple roasted sweet potato.

In terms of beverages, this dish pairs well with dry red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Tempranillo. Alternatively, for a non-alcoholic beverage option, try serving it with iced tea or a refreshing glass of Horchata.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and provide that hearty and satisfying comfort food experience we all crave from time to time.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Toss it all together and let the magic happen!
Toss it all together and let the magic happen!

One of the best things about this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated as needed. With busy lives, it’s a relief to know you can have a delicious meal ready to go when you need it.

To make ahead of time, simply prepare the picadillo according to the recipe directions and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to serve, reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.

You can also freeze the picadillo for longer storage. Pack it tightly into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to two months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stove or in the microwave.

For storing leftovers, store any cooled picadillo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating leftovers, add a splash of water or broth to loosen up any thickening that may have occurred during storage.

When reheating, keep in mind that the rice will absorb all of the flavors during storage, so be sure to add some additional seasoning as needed. You can also add more tomato sauce or diced tomatoes if needed to adjust the consistency.

In general, this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe is very forgiving and will hold up well when stored and reheated. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This hearty dish will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
This hearty dish will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

When cooking Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz, the key to a perfect result lies in the details. Every ingredient and every step in the process can make a significant difference in taste and texture. Here are some tips to help you achieve excellent results every time you make this dish.

– The perfect rice: The rice is a crucial part of the dish, and you want it to be fluffy and perfectly cooked. Use a high-quality white rice, preferably Uncle Ben’s, and rinse it thoroughly before cooking. For every cup of rice, use two cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice, stir once and reduce heat to low. Cover the pot tightly and simmer for about 18 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

– Don’t skimp on seasonings: Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz is known for its rich and savory flavors. Make sure you’re using quality spices such as oregano and cumin to bring out the authentic Cuban-style picadillo flavor. And don’t forget capers, garlic cloves, green olives, onion chopped 1 or tomato paste that gives it a tangy kick.

– Brown your beef: One of the keys to great picadillos is properly browned ground beef. This process brings out its deep flavor profile that makes this dish comforting food in Cuban cuisine. Using lean ground beef renders a cleaner meat with no unnecessary fat which can muddle the flavor.

– Be patient when caramelizing onions: Creating slow-browned onions will give your picadillo depth of flavor while keeping it from being too sweet or overpowering. Cook onions over medium-low heat in olive oil for around 20 minutes until browned and softened but not burned.

– Let it simmer: After browning your beef, let everything simmer together so that all flavors can meld. Turn down your heat so everything bubbles slowly for at least 15 minutes, occasionally stirring so nothing sticks to the bottom of your pot.

– Serve with traditional sides: Picadillo benefits from having traditional Cuban accompaniments such as black beans, fried plantains and white rice, which adds an authentic touch and tastes great.

By following these tips, you can be sure to get the most out of your Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz recipe.


Now, let’s delve into some of the most frequently asked questions about this Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz Recipe, which combines the flavors of Cuba and Spain in a comfort food dish. You might have doubts about substitutions or pairing options, or simply want to know how to make it easier or healthier. Whatever your concern, I’ve got you covered with these FAQ answers.

What is picadillo sauce made of?

To create a delicious Picadillo, the first step is to prepare the sauce. Begin by combining tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, a jalapeno pepper and some water in a large blender. Once blended into a smooth mixture, set this sauce aside for later use.

What is the difference between Mexican and Filipino picadillo?

Picadillo is a dish that varies in ingredients and spiciness depending on the country or region it comes from. For instance, Mexican picadillo has a bit more kick thanks to the addition of chili powder and green chiles. Meanwhile, Filipino picadillo, known as giniling, is made with carrots, potatoes, raisins, and green peas. Filipinos enjoy this dish with white rice, fried plantains, and a fried egg on the side.

Is picadillo Cuban or Mexican?

Picadillo is a mouth-watering comfort food that hails from Latin America. This delectable dish is a blend of ground beef, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, carrots, and raisins, all cooked to perfection in a seasoned tomato sauce. The combination of these ingredients results in a warm and gratifying meal that is bursting with flavor.

What do you eat with Cuban picadillo?

In this recipe, I’m going to share with you a traditional Cuban dish made with ground beef called picadillo. It is typically served on top of white rice, but can also be used as a filling for tacos or empanadas. And let me tell you, it’s absolutely delicious with some fried ripe plantains on the side. Let’s get started!

Bottom Line


In conclusion, Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz is not only a delicious and comforting dish but also a perfect example of how food can blend cultures and create something unique. With its lean ground beef, green olives, capers, oregano, cumin, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and spices, this recipe offers a fusion of flavors that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

I hope this recipe article has encouraged you to try your hand at making Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz at home. Its easy-to-follow instructions and versatile ingredients make it an excellent choice for weeknight dinners and special occasions alike. And with options for substitutions and variations, you can customize it to your liking and experiment with different spices or ground meats.

Whether you’re looking for a new comfort food dish or want to explore the flavors of Cuban cuisine, Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz is a must-try recipe. So grab your apron and get cooking! Your taste buds (and dinner guests) will thank you.

Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz

Spanish Picadillo Con Arroz Recipe

This is comfort food, from my childhood. It is my mother's wonderful recipe, that was probably passed on from my grandmother. Typically the Picadillo is made with raisins added as well. I have omitted the raisins in this recipe, as we do not care for them. However if you wish you may add a couple of tablespoons of raisins, at the same time you add the olives. This dish is served with the Picadillo on top of the rice. It goes lovely with salad on the side.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Calories 510.4 kcal


  • 1 cup white rice (preferably Uncle Ben's)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced divided
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, sliced or 1/2 cup capers
  • salt and pepper


  • In a pot with a lid, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic minced, and sauté for 1 minute. Do not brown.
  • Add rice to pan and stir well to combine. Stir constantly until all is coated and hot, about 2 minutes.
  • Add water to rice mixture and bring to a boil. Cover with lid, lower heat to low, and simmer mixture for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, and let set for 5minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large fry pan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil, over medium heat.
  • Add onion, green pepper and 3 cloves minced garlic. Sauté about 5 minutes until onion turns transparent.
  • Add ground beef and brown well, breaking up large pieces. Stir frequently.
  • Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, and oregano. Stir well to combine.
  • Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer mixture for 20 minutes.
  • Add olives, salt and pepper and simmer mixture covered for 5 minutes.
  • If mixture is watery, just remove cover and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
  • Serve immediately over the hot cooked white rice.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 399gCalories: 510.4kcalCarbohydrates: 33.4gProtein: 33.8gFat: 26.3gSaturated Fat: 7.7gCholesterol: 98.3mgSodium: 325.4mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, European, Meat, Spanish
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.