picadillo criollo in a bowl with a lemon wedge

Picadillo Criollo

Last Updated on September 28, 2021

Growing up Cuban, the typical saucy Picadillo with potatoes, olives, and raisins was a staple. However, my husband and son aren’t fans of olives or raisins, and I don’t do so well with tomatoes. Luckily, I love recreating flavors from my culture with modifications to make them easier.

close up of picadillo criollo cooking in a skillet

This Picadillo Criollo is a simple one-skillet recipe with lots of flavor. Perfect over rice or with a side of fried plantains.

picadillo criollo mixture in a skillet and served in a bowl

Close up of picadillo criollo bowl

Picadillo Criollo

3.93 from 13 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds ButcherBox ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ cups shelled peas
  • 1 ⅓ cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or nomato sauce)
  • Limes to serve


  • Heat a 15-inch skillet over medium heat. Once it comes to temperature, drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Add the diced onion and bay leaves to the skillet. Cook ingredients, stirring occasionally until fragrant and translucent. 
  • Add in the garlic, ground cumin, black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir well for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula until it’s crumbled. Add the salt and the turmeric. Continue cooking, stirring until the beef has browned and you see a few toasted pieces.
  • Add in the peas and corn and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the tomato puree or nomato sauce, bringing everything to a simmer. Stir well, cooking until the sauce reduces by half.
  • Serve hot with a wedge of lime. 
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Cristina Curp is the founder of The Castaway Kitchen. After living with a painful autoimmune disease and obesity most of her life, she said enough and jumped headfirst into the world of ancestral health. She learned how to optimize her diet to get the most out of life, and now shares the recipes and information that helped her heal on her blog.