Picadillo and Rice

Total Time
36 min
13 min
23 min
A favorite dish in many Spanish-speaking countries. Variations abound but there are a few ingredients they all contain: ground meat, tomatoes, garlic, and onions.


instant long grain white rice

½ cup(s)

uncooked lean ground beef

½ pound(s), (10% or less fat)

uncooked red onion(s)

1 medium, finely chopped

ground cumin

½ tsp

ground cinnamon


canned diced tomatoes

1 cup(s), with green chilies


¼ cup(s)


1 Tbsp, dark


1 tsp, nonpareil, drained

table salt

¼ tsp


  1. Cook the rice according to package directions, omitting the salt, for 3–4 minutes less than directed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the beef and onion; cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Drain off any fat.
  3. Stir in the cumin and cinnamon; cook 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, water, raisins, capers, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until slightly reduced, 4–5 minutes. Serve the picadillo over the cooked rice. Yields 1 cup picadillo and 2/3 cup rice per serving.


The remaining ingredients usually reflect the region in which the dish is prepared. Nonpareil capers are very small capers. You can substitute regular capers and chop them.Picadillo makes a great company dish, as it is easy to prepare and serve a large batch—so double or triple this recipe if you like. You can make it a day ahead; the flavor will only improve.

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