A healthy picadillo with the vibrant flavors of Cuba - garlic, onion, bell pepper, oregano, cumin, and bay - in a healthy, well-balanced dish... Healthy Picadillo (Cuban Style) can be on your dinner table in 30 minutes!
What is Picadillo?
Te voy a hacer picadillo!
(I am going to turn you into mincemeat!)
~~ Spanish saying
Picadillo refers to a hash of (typically) minced (ground) meat and vegetables. I consider it to be a "comfort food" type of dish. It is not particularly fancy or difficult to make, but is flavorful, filling, and inexpensive. 😋
Garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay find their way into most Cuban dishes. A sofrito is a frequent addition to many Cuban dishes; it most likely consists of bell pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, and black pepper sautéed in oil until the onion and garlic are soft and translucent.
I have made a variation of this dish for at least 15 years. I learned in my twenties the value of "colorful cooking" as part of a healthy diet. Check out the colors on this plate! I'd say it's pretty healthy. 😉
What is a "Healthy" Picadillo?
I came across the Cooking Light recipe for Healthy Picadillo back in the day when I still subscribed to print magazines, and the recipe became a family favorite. I have made it with lean ground beef, ground turkey, ground pork, and most recently, with ground chicken thighs.
I spotted in-house ground chicken thighs at my local natural foods market recently, and had to try it. While I enjoy chicken breast when properly cooked, I always prefer the flavor and moistness of the thigh meat. I was really pleased with the flavor and texture in my Healthy Picadillo.
I stay fairly true to the original recipe, but usually substitute currants for the golden raisins, and vary the ground meat. I love to add 3 to 4 jalapeño chiles, but they're optional and not at all authentic!
Matchstick carrots are a great time saver, and I have gotten to where I keep a bag of them in my refrigerator. The leftovers make a great lunch the next day, or freeze beautifully for another meal at a later date.
How to Make My Healthy Picadillo
With a pot of rice, this makes a very well-balanced one-dish meal. If you're on a restricted diet, Healthy Picadillo is gluten free, low fat, quick, and delicious! Keep in mind leftovers are fabulous, and keep well in the freezer.
We love Healthy Picadillo with a dry, crisp rosé (Spanish is perfect). Liven up your weeknight menu with this delicious, quick, and easy Cuban-inspired picadillo... You'll be glad you did!