Mexican Picadillo (Carne Molida)

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This Mexican seasoned ground beef is a staple for those that love Mexican food — in my house we make Mexican food at least 1 time per week.

It’s not as known as tacos or molletes but it’s part of the authentic Mexican cuisine. Picadillo has multiple versions according to the country.

As I’ve mentioned before, Center America and South American countries share more than just borders. We make similar foods without even realizing it. It would be dumb if I couldn’t see the resembles of a Mexican gordita and a Venezuelan arepa.

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What is picadillo / carne molida?

Picadillo is mildly spicy ground beef with tomato sauce and veggies (peas, potatoes, and carrot).

The meat is not too saucy because the majority of the sauce is absorbed by the carrot and the potatoes. The result is that the veggies get a lot of flavor from the meaty sauce.

For that reason, besides the ingredients I mention below, you will have to add some water (about 1 ½ cup to cook the veggies without letting the meat dry. Add the water little by little, add a bit more every time the meat starts to dry and the potatoes are still hard. This way you can control the result, not too watery, and not too dry.

This ground beef recipe is seasoned with cumin, garlic cloves, and chili. Picadillo usually is mild spicy especially compared with other Mexican food that are seasoned with jalapeño.

What can you serve with Mexican picadillo?

The most classic and easy way to eat picadillo is alongside white rice. But my absolute favorite way of eating picadillo is as filling for stuffed green peppers.

I just fill a big green pepper with picadillo and then I cover it with cheddar cheese. I take it 20 minutes to the oven at 200ºC (400ºF) and you get the most amazing and cheesy stuffed green peppers.

Sadly, I made some to show you here in the blog and they just fell and spilled all the filling — sad face — and it didn’t look as I wanted for the pictures. The next time I make them I will upload the photos.

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Mexican Picadillo
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
This Mexican seasoned ground beef is a staple for those that love Mexican food — in my house we make Mexican food at least 1 time per week.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican picadillo
Servings: 4 people
  • 400 gr ground beef
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 carrot
  • cup frozen peas
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes 400 gr
  • 1 small chili
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a big pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion cut into cubes and the garlic cloves minced. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the meat, cook it for 5 -8 minutes until the meat isn’t red anymore.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and season with the chili cut into teeny tiny pieces, the cumin and salt, and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the veggies: The potato and the carrot cut into small cubes and the frozen peas. Add about 1 cup of water. Let it simmer over low-medium heat for 15-25 minutes. Cover with a lid to make the cooking process easier. Cook until the potatoes and the carrot are fork-tender. Add water if you notice that the meat is drying.

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