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Slow cooked Picadillo is a delightful dish made of ground meet and a sauce that is made of cooked tomatoes, chime peppers, olives and cumin, all of which adds up to its tasteful Cuban flavour.
Throughout my childhood we usually ate this for dinner and my friends loved to come over whenever they knew mother was preparing Picadillo. That’s probably the reason why this was the first dish I learned how to prepare, but in a stove-top version. I have been constantly asked for more slow-cooker dishes, so I thought “wouldn’t it be nice to prepare this Picadillo in a crock pot and see what turns out?”
It actually turned out incredible. Truth to be told, I believe it’s way better, since the fact that when the lean meat is cooked for longer periods, it turns out to be more delicate and tender. When you know you will have a busy day ahead, you can prepare this meal day before, and just turn it on in the morning and let it stew until tender.
You’ll get several meals out of this one and several different dishes. From this recipe it usually makes about 5 3/4 cups. First, you can serve it over some rice, and then use leftovers to make some nice tacos, quesadillas, empanadas or even stuffed vegetables.


  • Whenever you use ground meat in slow-cooker recipes, try to put it on a stove first to get that brownish colour, and add spices, onions and garlic. It will soak all the flavours nicely. Additionally, you can add some raisins to boost the flavour.
  • As I already mentioned, if you need to prepare it the night before, just cook the meat, add the rest of ingredients and refrigerate. Before going out in the morning, plug it in and when you get back from your busy day, your supper will be ready. You’ll only need a plate of mixed greens and some rice and supper is ready!
  • I prepare this dish with ground beef, but you can likewise use lean buffalo meat or ground turkey, it will turn out delicious in any way.
  • You can freeze leftovers (if there are any!) for up to 3 months or put it in the fridge and use in no more than 5 days.

Despite having Instant Pot, I love my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker. It has great options, among which is that when the meat is done, it shuts off itself. I actually possess several of these cookers, since my old crock pot made my food taste weird and it always burnt everything.


2 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground meat (beef, turkey)
1 cup of diced red bell peppers
1 small tomato, diced
8 oz can tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup olives (alcaparrado, manzanilla, pimientos, capers or green)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp garlic powder
kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste


  • Put meat in the deep sauce pan and cook on a medium-high heat while using the wooden spoon to break it in the small pieces. Add salt to your taste and a pinch of pepper.
  • When meat gets it brownish colour, remove all the liquids from the pan and add bell peppers, onions and garlic. Cook additionally for 3-4 minutes.
  • Then, transfer everything from the pan into a slow cooker, and add the rest of ingredients.
  • Set slow cooker to LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
  • After it’s done, try if it needs more salt or any other spices, and add them to your taste.
  • Before serving, remove bay leaves, top it over some brown rice and enjoy your meal.


Serving: 1/2cup
Calories: 207kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 8.5g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 477mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

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