Tacos de Picadillo: Flavorful Ground Beef Tacos Recipe

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Tacos de Picadillo are a popular dish in Mexican cuisine, known for their hearty and flavorful filling made from seasoned ground beef. Picadillo refers to a traditional filling that typically includes ground beef cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a blend of spices. This versatile mixture is then spooned into warm tortillas and topped with fresh garnishes such as chopped cilantro, onions, and salsa, creating a satisfying and delicious taco experience. Tacos de Picadillo are enjoyed across Mexico as a quick meal or as part of a festive gathering, showcasing the vibrant flavors and ingredients of Mexican cooking.


For the Picadillo:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
For Serving:
  • Corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped onion
  • Salsa roja or salsa verde
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced radishes (optional)
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado (optional)


  1. Prepare the Picadillo:
    • In a large skillet or frying pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
    • Add finely chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
    • Add minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
    • Stir in diced tomatoes and cook until softened.
    • Add ground beef to the skillet, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned and cooked through.
    • Stir in diced potato and carrot. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
    • Add raisins and sliced green olives (if using), ground cumin, chili powder, ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
    • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  2. Assemble Tacos de Picadillo:
    • Warm the tortillas on a griddle or in the microwave until soft and pliable.
    • Spoon a generous amount of the picadillo mixture onto each tortilla.
    • Garnish with chopped cilantro, chopped onion, and salsa roja or salsa verde.
    • Serve with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the tacos.
  3. Tips for Serving
    • Variations: Customize your Tacos de Picadillo by adding your favorite toppings such as sliced radishes, guacamole, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
    • Side Dish: Accompany Tacos de Picadillo with Mexican rice, refried beans, or a side of corn salad for a complete meal.
    • Make-Ahead: The picadillo filling can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
  4. Cultural Significance

    Tacos de Picadillo exemplify the comforting flavors of Mexican home cooking, combining seasoned ground beef with a medley of vegetables and spices. This dish highlights the use of simple ingredients and traditional cooking techniques that are cherished in Mexican cuisine.


Tacos de Picadillo offer a delicious taste of Mexico with their savory ground beef filling and vibrant toppings. Whether enjoyed as a quick weeknight dinner or served at festive gatherings, these tacos embody the rich culinary heritage and flavors of Mexico. Embrace the essence of Mexican cuisine by preparing homemade Tacos de Picadillo with this authentic recipe, inviting you to savor the comforting flavors and cultural significance of this beloved dish.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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