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Posted by Diana Zamora | September 10, 2020

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 4


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¾ pound lean ground beef
  • 1-14.5 ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 1-15.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed with cold water
  • ¼ cup green olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries

Live Well Tips

  • Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. Beef is the traditional protein used in this recipe, but you can use ground turkey for a leaner option.
  • This dish can be served over rice, tostadas, or pasta, or used as a filling in tacos and pot pies.
  • Serve this with avocado to add some heart-healthy fats.


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Cook the brown rice as instructed on the package.
  3. Place a skillet on the stove over medium heat and add oil. Once hot, add the onion, pepper, and garlic.  Cook and stir about 10 minutes until the onion is softened and lightly browned.
  4. Add oregano, cumin, pepper, and salt, and stir well.
  5. Add beef in small amounts. Stir well and cook about 5 minutes until the beef is cooked throughout or temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Add beans and tomatoes and simmer about 15 minutes until mixture blends together.
  7. Add olives and raisins. Stir well and cook about 2 minutes until heated through.
  8. Serve over rice or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cook Together! Making Picadillo with Kids

Picadillo can be served a number of ways. Kids can help choose how to serve it and can also help prepare the meal, depending on their skill level.

Easy Tasks

  • Gather ingredients and equipment.
  • Wash bell pepper and pat dry.

Intermediate Tasks

  • Open cans of tomatoes and beans.
  • Measure dry ingredients.

Difficult Tasks

  • Keep time when cooking rice.
  • Pour picadillo over rice.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 1½ cups: Calories–463; Protein–31g; Carbohydrate–71g; Total Fat–7g; Saturated Fat–1g; Cholesterol–42mg; Fiber–13g; Sodium–490mg; Iron–5mg; Calcium–127mg

Adapted from USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen Recipes, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion