picadillo recipe




Recipe Yield

4 cup approximately

Cooking time

40 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.50 from 6 votes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white onion finely chopped (usually 1/2 onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 pound pork loin or tenderloin finely chopped or ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 whole cloves stem removed and top ground
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes diced (can substitute a 15-ounce canned crushed or diced)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup diced manzanilla olives stuffed with pimentos
  • 1/4 cup diced pickled jalapeños
  • 3 tablespoons capers chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raisins

To Prepare

  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium high heat. Once hot add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until softened. Add the meat, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon and cloves, and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the meat browns a little and its juices begin to evaporate.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, until they release their juices and soften. Stir in the almonds, olives, pickled jalapeños, capers and raisins, mix well and cook for another 10 or 12 minutes, stirring often, until all the ingredients and flavors are nicely blended. The mixture should be moist but not wet.


64comments inPicadillo

  1. Susan

    Mar 13

    This recipe is delicious. I served with brown rice. Yum. Luv your show!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 14

      Great idea! I love brown rice, especially if I let if become a little crunchy!

  2. Sarah

    Mar 05

    I made this as topping for a loaded baked sweet potato with some black beans. I figured the warm spices would be a nice complement to the sweet potato. It’s a little different but it works! I might add some extra nuts on top next time to give it a little more texture.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 10

      Such I great idea Sarah! I may try this one myself soon 🙂

  3. Debbie N. Tucson, AZ

    Jun 22

    Hi Pati,
    Love love love all of your recipes! I made Picadillo Empanadas of the Immaculate Conception for the ladies of my Culinary Adventure group. They loved it so much. But, I need to ask; I used the Picadillo recipe the one that calls for 5 whole cloves and in this recipe you do not mention chicken broth as you do in the Picadillo Empanadas. I felt that in the Picadillo Empanadas of the Immaculate Conception recipe needed a kick so I used both recipes and the flavors were amazing. Next time you’re in Tucson let me know as I know my cooking friends would love to meet you, especially now that I’ve introduced you and your recipes to them.
    Thank you for sharing and making us strive to be better cooks in the kitchen.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 30

      This one is a Sonoran style Picadillo that I use for Chiles Rellenos Debbie, the one for the empanadas is more Poblano style 😉

  4. Kathy R

    Apr 06

    Wow – sooo good! I made this tonight using ground pork, and doubled the recipe so I could freeze some to take camping.
    For us the seasoning measurements you gave were perfect!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 12

      So glad to hear Kathy, enjoy!

  5. Frank O

    Jul 31

    How do you use the Picadillo? As a dip? Main dish? confused.Thanks

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 09

      You can use it as a main dish served with rice and beans, or to top tostadas, to fill empanadas or burritos. A simple picadillo taco with refried beans and salsa verde is delicious as well 🙂

  6. Mark

    Apr 30

    Pati. I finally made this. Dang girl. This is awesome. I don’t know about you but I got this gift from my mom. When I read a recipe I can usually taste it. This one confused me but you are spot on as always. Love it. So did my son. Thanks for sharing 👍

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 07

      Thanks to you for sharing your thoughts Mark! Hugs to you, your mom and your son 🙂

  7. Jackie K

    Jan 18

    I prepared the recipe using ground turkey and it tastes great. The only thing, my using 1/4 cup of the pickled jalapenos made the dish much too spicy for us. Next time, I’ll use less.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 23

      Glad you liked this recipe, you will find the exact amount of jalapenos to add to your taste. Gracias Jackie!

  8. Noah Bowen

    Jan 07

    Hello Pati, I was just curious if you had a great sauce recipe that would pair with Picadillo stuffed in Rellenos. Thanks

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 07

      Of course Noah, this recipe includes the traditional red tomato sauce for Chiles Rellenos, enjoy! http://patijinich.com/chiles-rellenos/

  9. Sara Frazier

    Dec 28

    I am going to try this in some mini empanadas for some finger food for the new year.Tank you Pati and I wish you a very happy New Year to you and your family,Bendiciones.Sara

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 29

      That is such a great idea Sara, yay! Enjoy your New Year Celebration 😉

  10. Anonymous

    Dec 24

    Hi, I was wondering g about the cloves. Do we leave them whole or do we grind them in a pestle? Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      You add them whole 🙂

  11. Jaime Ramon

    Nov 15

    Forgot to mention…..mi mama hacia este picadillo para relleno en el pavo en Navidad.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      Si! Que rico es el relleno de picadillo 🙂

  12. Jaime Ramon

    Nov 15

    My wife and I make this picadillo to make empanadas…but use a bit more raisons and almonds and added a bit of tomato paste. Excellent!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 29

      Glad you liked it Jaime, I love it in empanadas 😉

  13. Kristine stapelfeld

    Oct 11

    Ah ha! Pati! I made picadillo this morning. I had to make one or two changes, on account of i only had greek olives and pecans in the cupboard, but i don’t think that makes it wrong. I also had a half can of frijoles negros that i threw in there too. I still think it might be correct. Lol!

    It’s magnificent! And it worked exactly as you showed us on the program!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 12

      So glad you made the Picadillo Kristine, and even happier that you went ahead and gave it your own twist. Un abrazo!

  14. David Powery

    Sep 25

    Interesting recipe
    Will try it soon
    Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 28

      Hope you’ll like it David 😉

  15. Tom

    Aug 01

    I am not the expert, Pati is, but I would like to mention that more than a few times I have used ground chicken for the protein in a Picadillo. The meat flavor is milder so you don’t get the exact identical flavor but I still feel it can be successful, especially if I am careful about developing the other savory flavors. I also have used beef for the Picadillo the way P.J. asked about and have enjoyed the results very much.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 14

      Both are great choices too Tom, I believe Picadillo is a very versatile recipe for all to enjoy!

  16. Pam

    Jul 25

    I tasted this Picadillo at a friend’s dinner party and have been a fan since that day! I have made it with chicken as well as pork. A great way to add protein to eggs or salads.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 25

      So glad you like the Picadillo Pam, gracias!

  17. olgaharwell@yahoo.com

    Jul 03

    I just saw your show Sonora, you fixed a rice dish, looked like lentil’s. The dish looked delicioso. Can you share the recipe. My sister came to visit and we were watching your show. Can you share the recipe?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 04

      Of course Olga, it is a rice with lentils and caramelized onions, here is the recipe for you, enjoy! http://patijinich.com/rice-with-lentils-and-caramelized-onions/

  18. Joanne

    Jun 14

    Loved this particular picadillo recipe. The combo of spices (cloves, cinnamon, allspice etc.) along with the rest of the ingredients made for a robust, flavorful dish. Will definitely make again. Thanks for a delicious recipe!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 15

      So glad you liked it Joanne, thank you!

      1. Joanne & Megan

        Dec 28

        My daughter used left over to make a pizza. Oh my gosh it was delicious. A new favorite for us!

        1. Pati Jinich

          Dec 29

          Picadillo Pizza? Yes, please! Thanks for sharing Joanne and Megan 😉

  19. Virginia

    May 28

    Very interesting, slightly different than the one I make. Will have to give it a try.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 10

      Let me know how you like it Virginia 🙂

  20. Lili

    Apr 13

    The rice came out tasting like a middle eastern rice or some type of Indian dish.
    I wanted Mexican rice.
    I also used Gardein Meatless Ground instead of pork.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 30

      Hola Lili, I have the perfect Mexican Rice recipe for you here, hope you will like it! http://patijinich.com/red_rice_from_el_chepe/

  21. Sonia

    Mar 21

    Very good I loved thanks

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 25

      My pleasure Sonia 😉

  22. Adam

    Feb 14

    How many will this serve?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 15

      Hi Adam, this recipe yields 4 cups approximately so it will serve 4 to 6 people or make about 8 to 10 chiles rellenos, enjoy!

  23. Mary

    Feb 08

    This recipe was delicious! We used it for taco filling. Thanks Pati!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      Perfect! So glad you liked it Mary 😉

  24. Susan V

    Feb 04

    I made this recipe. Dinked the amounts and added some bread crumb. Wrapped it in cabbage leaves for a change in what we Louisiana people call cabbage rolls it was delicious

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      Wow, such a great idea Susan, thanks for sharing!

  25. Anonymous

    Jan 29

    I love and your show! I am on the keto diet following a year on chemo.(most people loose weight…I gained). The picadillo is wonderful. It’s good in the avacado she’ll half garnished with slices of avacado for a lite snack. Really like fixing your recipes for keto. Thank for always making your programs so interesting.m

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Thanks so much for your message, I am glad to read you are using some of my recipes as a base to follow your diet. Hope you are feeling well and wish you a full recovery. Un abrazo!

  26. Trish

    Jan 26

    Is this the pork Picadillo you use in your chili rellenos with the homemade tortillas?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Yes Trish, this is the one 😉

  27. Martha E Munguia

    Jan 25

    I honestly don’t care for pork but this was good! I decided to broaden my menu. As always, I’m impressed! Tangy,sweet with a little bite from jalapeno. Will make again! Thank you Patient!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 25

      Muchas gracias Martha, so glad you liked this version of Picadillo, enjoy!

  28. Guy

    Jan 24

    Capers! Very salty – should I rinse them first? Thx

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 25

      I don’t Guy, I love the saltiness, but if it is too much for you, you can go ahead and rinse them, enjoy!

  29. P-J Mohamed

    Jan 22

    Can’t use pork. Are there any spice adjustments if I use ground beef?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 25

      Not at all, use the same recipe just substitute pork with beef. Good luck!

  30. Lorraine S

    Nov 14


    I used Anaheim chillis and pablanos to stuff and mmm mmm mmm!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      Yummy Lorraine, enjoy!

  31. Anonymous

    Oct 06

    Absolutely delicious… used in empanadas ❤️

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 07

      Yay, perfect 😉

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