This easy Cuban Picadillo recipe uses ground turkey simmered in tomato sauce, olives, beans, raisins, and spices. A healthy dinner option, it’s the perfect mixture served over rice, on rolls, or as taco filling!
Easy Cuban Picadillo Recipe
You might not think that ground turkey, olives, and raisins go together, but they do. They really do! This recipe for Picadillo is a satisfying and delicious dinner. Why we love it:
- Great balance of flavors. Between the olives, tomato sauce, beans, ground turkey, and raisins, it’s a perfect combination of salty and sweet.
- Quick and easy! This picadillo is so fast to make with less than 15 minutes of cooking.
- Healthier. This dish is gluten free and dairy free, plus the ground turkey is leaner than beef.
- Many ways to use it. It’s incredibly versatile. Serve it over rice, on rolls like sloppy joes, or as a filling for tacos.
What is Picadillo?
Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries; it’s made with ground beef, diced tomatoes, and other ingredients that vary by region. Cuban-style typically includes olives, which in this case gets combined with ground turkey, beans, tomato sauce, and raisins.
- Substitute a different meat. If you don’t like ground turkey, ground beef is traditional for picadillo.
- Use another type of bean. I love chickpeas in this dish, but most any type of bean will work.
- Sub in different vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is best for this dish, but you can use white or red wine vinegar instead.
- Add some capers. Toss in 1 tablespoon of capers for added flavor.
- Is Picadillo spicy? It can be, though this recipe is not very spicy and can be made even less spicy by omitting the red pepper flakes.
How To Make Picadillo
It’s incredibly easy to make the picadillo recipe in just a few simple steps.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for all the details and measurements.)
- Cook the ground turkey. In a large nonstick skillet, warm oil over medium-high. Add turkey, onion, and garlic; cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is no longer pink and the onion is soft. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Drain off fat.
- Add in other ingredients. Stir in olives, chickpeas, raisins, chicken broth, vinegar, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a medium-low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until chickpeas are tender, but not mushy, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Serve. Enjoy on top of rice, on rolls, or as taco filling, with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.
What Goes Well with Picadillo?
This is great used as taco filling or over rice, but I also serve it with Beer Bread, Cornbread Casserole, or Irish Soda Bread.
- Storing leftovers. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Can you freeze Picadillo? Yes! Just wait until the mixture has completely cooled, then put it in an airtight freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge.
- Reheat. Rewarm portions in a skillet over medium heat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
More Ground Turkey Recipes:
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- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 & 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1 small sweet onion , diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup Pimiento stuffed olives , sliced in half
- 15 ounce can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch red pepper flakes
- cooked white rice , rolls, or taco shells, for serving
- plain Greek yogurt , optional
- In a large nonstick skillet, warm oil over medium-high. Add turkey, onion, and garlic; cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is no longer pink and the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Drain off fat.
- Stir in the olives, chickpeas, raisins, chicken broth, vinegar, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes.
- Bring mixture to a medium-low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until chickpeas are tender, but not mushy, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Serve on top of rice, on rolls, or as taco filling, with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.
Reader Questions and Reviews
We tried this as a taco filling for a new taste sensation and loved it! It was fun to eat something different.
What a wonderful recipe with tons of great flavor. Thanks for sharing!
I’ve been cooking my lunch for the week to save money and lose weight. Made this yesterday, and it is delicious! I did omit the raisins. Thanks for the recipe!