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Picadillo Cubano Recipe

The Domestic Man, Russ Crandall, shares his favorite version of Picadillo: Picadillo Cubano.

“The word Picadillo itself comes from the Spanish word Picar, to chop or mince.”

Ready to serve in just 30 minutes, this Picadillo recipe is delicious aside your favorite sautéed vegetables or atop a bed of rice. Russ also loves to fry plaintains- see notes below. 

“Picadillo is the name of a variety of dishes first originating in Spain. My favorite Picadillo is the Cuban version, aptly named Picadillo Cubano. As with any beloved dish, there are many regional variations, but it generally combines the unique flavors of cumin, oregano, green olives, capers, and raisins. The end result is not unlike America’s favorite crockpot dish, Chili con Carne, but with a sweet-and-savory dynamic that’s equally comforting and exotic – and it all comes together in 30 minutes.– Russ Crandall, The Domestic Man

Picadillo Cubano Recipe 

Recipe & Photos by Russ Crandall | The Domestic Man

USWM Shopping List: 75% Lean Ground Beef 

Servings: 6
Prep & Cook Time: 30 minutes

Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, Whole-30 Friendly


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 lbs ground beef

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, more to taste

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 can (14oz) tomato sauce

  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted

  • 1/4 cup capers + 1 tbsp caper juice

  • 1/4 cup raisins

  • chopped cilantro to garnish


To serve:

  • fried plantains

  • white rice (optional)

  • lime wedges

  • sliced chile peppers


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes; add the cumin seeds and saute until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the bell pepper and garlic, and saute until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef, oregano, salt, and pepper; saute until the beef is mostly cooked through, breaking up chunks as you go, about 6 minutes. Add the bay leaves, tomato sauce, olives, capers, caper juice, and raisins, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until about half of the liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. The consistency should be saucy but not soupy, as shown in the picture below.
  3. Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaves, and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with fried plantains, white rice, lime wedges, and sliced chile peppers (like jalapeño or fresno).



Quick fried plantain lesson: slice along the plantain peel, then remove the peel with your fingers. Warm about 3 tbsp of coconut or avocado oil in a frying pan over medium heat; slice the plantain at a bias, about 1/2″ thick, then pan-fry until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Cool on some paper towels and sprinkle with salt just as you take them out of the oil. Green plantains will be starchy and crisp, like a tropical potato; yellow and black plantains will be soft and sweet, and brown easily – both versions are excellent.


See this recipe on Russ’s blog, and browse the US Wellness Blog for more tasty, nourishing recipes! 

Russ Crandall

Meet The Chef

A big US Wellness thank you goes out to Russ Crandall, The Domestic Man. At his blog, you’ll find gluten-free and Paleo-friendly recipes. His recipes focus on classic, traditional, and international dishes from a historical, linguistic, and cultural perspective.

Check out his cookbooks! Russ released his debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table: Paleo Recipes for a Traditional Lifestyle, in February 2014, and his second cookbook, The New York Times-bestselling Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites without the Junk, in June 2015. His most recent cookbook was released May 1, 2019, The Heritage Cookbook.