Cuban Picadillo

Gloria Estefan’s Recipe:


Another link for traditional Cuban picadillo:


Beautiful pics of picadillo (and other great recipes) here:


What I ended up doing on 6/30/13

  • 1 and half lbs of ground turkey 99% fat free
  • chopped half a large onion
  • 3 gloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1 cup of fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes different colors halved
  • some tomato paste
  • homemade habanero/garlic/vinegar hot sauce (didn’t have wine so subbed this + beef broth)
  • swanson beef broth
  • green olives with pimento
  • some mixed colors raisins chopped
  • some fig paste (didn’t have enough raisins. this was a great substitution)!
  • canola oil to saute, olive oil for finishing
  • cumin seeds and cumin powder (4 big pinches of cumin seeds) a couple of pinches of cumin powder
  • cuban oregano (a pinch or two)

Put oil in wok. put in chopped onions, then garlic, then cumin seeds, then meat, then half of the tomatoes. Cook the meat down. Add in tomato paste, then some habanero sauce.  Add beef broth a quarter cup at a time as the meat cooks and is drying out. (Alternate with a little olive oil as needed).  Add the herbs. Once the meat is cooked, adjust the seasoning and the moisture level to get your sauce to preference. I like it juicy but not saucy. (NO need to add salt because the olives will be salty).  Add the olives and raisins.  (I added a bit of fig paste because I only had about a 1/4 – 1/3 cup of raisins and it wasn’t enough.  I wanted a balance of salty, savory, spicy, sweet, and acidic. I did achieve it. Was pleasantly surprised because I hadn’t cooked this in 10 years. Had lost a previous recipe and couldn’t remember the name of the dish until I had it again on a recent vacation to miami.

My cooking skills are certainly better than they were 15 years ago when I picked this recipe up from a fellow cuban college student.

I served this picadillo with black beans and wok sauteed kale & chard for a healthy lower-carb, high protein meal.


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