Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash


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Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Picadillo has been on the list of things I wanted to try making for a couple years now. Just the word “Picadillo” is enough to make everyone in my family start laughing.

The first time I was served this meal; my 13-year-old brother Miles had been responsible for making dinner that evening. He mistakenly read the ¼ TEASPOON of dried cloves as ¼ CUP of whole cloves.

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(In his defense, Miles is a great cook today. We all had to learn through trial and error in the kitchen, right?)

You can only imagine what that dinner tasted like. In our family, you never ever threw food away, so my mother carefully sifted through the entire dish, removing every last clove.

Her efforts did improve the dish, but wow. There was enough lingering clove flavor and aroma in that dish to scent our home for days.

When I started cooking this meal, I had no idea what Picadillo was supposed to taste like, but I was excited to find out. I found this recipe at Picadillo recipe over at Three Guys From Miami.

Picadillo is a Cuban-style hash. It is both savory and sweet and has a fantastic combination of flavors from all of the very different ingredients. Every recipe I found included ground beef, peppers, tomatoes, onions, raisins and olives.

The ⅛ teaspoon of dried cloves provides more aroma than taste to this dish and I liked it that way. My husband, my brother (yes, I did make this for the same brother while he was visiting us last month – poor guy, the jokes will never end) my kids and I all enjoyed this meal very much.

I think this would also be fantastic with some added heat. Next time I make this, I plan to add some chiles as well. I’ll just blame my New Mexican influence on this Cuban dish.

Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash

Recipe slightly adapted from and with thanks to Three Guys From Miami
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Servings: 12 -14 servings


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons light flavored olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced finely, about 1 ¾ cups
  • 2 large green bell peppers chopped small, about 2 cups
  • 3 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 14-15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, fresh tomatoes can be used as well when in season
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup green olives chopped small, I had a hard time finding them unstuffed, so I finally just bought the ones stuffed with pimentos and they worked great
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then add the onions and bell peppers. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and ground beef and continue cooking.
  • Press the onions and peppers into the ground beef. Crumble the meat mixture as it cooks, until it is browned, about 5 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, cumin, cloves and cinnamon and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover with lid and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Uncover the skillet and add the olives and raisins. Simmer another 5 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice and Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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16 Comments Leave a comment or review

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  1. Jenn says

    ooohhh.. yea, 1/4 cup cloves would just about ruin anything. lol
    Love picodillo… I've not found a really good recipe before this.. can't wait to try it!

  2. Miles says

    I must say that your dish tasted WAY better than my aromatic failure of so many years ago. Thanks for the re"hash" of old memories.

  3. Becki's Whole Life says

    Oh, your poor brother! My Aunt once used salt instead of sugar in a Cherry Pie and she has never lived that down either.

    I love the sweet and savory flavors in this dish and I particularly like the cinnamon and cloves. We have a nice little Cuban restaurant not far away with some great food.

  4. Monet says

    I can just see your sweet mom picking out that clove. Thank you for sharing. As always, you offer me a post both delicious and inspiring. I'm sitting down with a piece of fresh cornbread. Yum! And I'm already looking forward to a weekend of more baking and writing. I only wish I had a bowl of this for lunch tomorrow!

  5. Chris says

    What smells like cloves in here? Ha ha, that was one heck of a miscalculation that your brother did!

    Your picadillo sounds really great. I'm doing a Cuban pork roast shortly, I'll keep this in mind as a side dish.

  6. Maggie says

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! How would you add a few potatoes to the recipe (I’m vegetarian so will be using impossible meat so the potatoes are important). Also how exactly would you add chilis (dried powder, fresh, chili flakes)?
    Thanks !

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Maggie, I can’t really imagine this dish without the meat. I’m not sure how that would work, as the main ingredient is beef. It’s possible it could work with a product like Gardein, although I haven’t tried that myself.