This 20-Minute prep Mexican Picadillo is based on my grandmother-in-law’s original Mexican Picadillo Recipe. The perfect busy weeknight dinner. Easy to make and full of flavor.
I love preparing more elaborate dishes on the weekend or when I have guests over for dinner parties. During the week I’m just as busy as most of you though and I’m in need of quick and easy meals, too.
I often end up making chicken breasts or fish filets with lettuce and that’s it. That’s healthy, sure, but preeeetty boring if eaten too often. I’m on a mission lately to create loads and loads of 20-Minute or 30-Minute dinner recipes for busy weekdays. Mexican Picadillo or this Taco Meat Recipe are my two favorite quick dinners this month.
What exactly is Picadillo?
The word Picadillo is a combination of two Spanish words. Picado which means minced or chopped and platillo which means dish. It’s basically a dish with all its ingredients chopped or minced into small pieces.
Most picadillos I’ve tried in Mexico so far were always with ground pork but many like using ground beef as well. It is typically served with white rice or tortilla and also often used as filling for chiles rellenos or empanadas.
How to make Mexican Picadillo with Ground Beef?
There are many ways to prepare Picadillo and every family has their own traditional recipe. This specific Mexian Picadillo with Ground Beef is my husband’s grandma’s version of it. My grandmother-in-law so to speek. And just in case you didn’t know, my husband and his family are all Mexican.
It contains ground beef, chopped onion, diced carrot, frozen corn, frozen peas and tomato sauce and broth. It requires one pan and you’re good to go. Fry the onion, fry the beef and carrot with a bit of lime juice, add the tomato sauce and broth, let simmer for maybe 5 mintues, add corn and peas and tadaaaaa!
You can serve it with either rice or simply bread. The best bread would obviously be Mexican Dinner Rolls a.k.a. “Bolillos”. For a 20-minute meal you’ll have to serve with white rice though, my favorite quick to prepare grain :) If you’re lucky enough to own an Instant Pot, here I’ve got a complete guide for Instant Pot Rice.
Can you freeze Mexican Picadillo?
ABSOLUTELY! Super easy. Just wait for the Mexican Picadillo to completely cool down, store in a freezer-proof container with airtight sitting lid or a ziplock bag and freeze.
To defrost just put in the fridge for 18-24 hours. Every night I check my mealplan to see what we are having for lunch/dinner the next day and if I have to transfer something from the freezer to the fridge. Once it’s defrosted you can just warm it up in a pan. You might have to add a splash of water and reseason a little but other than that, you’ve got dinner ready in 5 minutes tops.
Mexican Picadillo Recipe Video
20-Minute Mexican Picadillo
- 1 small onion
- 2 small carrots
- 500 g lean ground beef (a little more than a pound)
- 1/2 Tbsp lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander (optional)
- 1 chili (optional)
- If needing rice as a side start by preparing rice and while rice is steaming prepare the Mexican Picadillo.
- Heat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Peel and chop onion. Peel and dice carrots.
- Add a splash of flavorless oil to your pan, then add onion and fry until translucent stirring often.
- Add diced carrots, ground beef and lime juice, salt, pepper and cumin to pan and break up the ground beef into small pieces so it doesn't stick together.
- Add tomato sauce and chicken broth and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low and let simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Stir often to ensure meat cooks evenly.
- Add frozen peas and corn and let simmer another 2-3 minutes or until frozen vegetables are hot.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander and fresh chili if you like.
- Serve over rice or with bread.