Mexican Picadillo with Hatch Chile combines ground pork (chicken, beef, turkey) with Hatch green chile and other healthy veggies, and gets a south-of-the-border spin with capers, raisins, and Mexican spices. It's a family-pleasing healthy, one-pot meal that you can put together in 30 to 45 minutes... and it freezes well too!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
I've been making a healthy Cuban-style picadillo for decades. LITERALLY. Our 4 sons make it for their families too. It's such a healthy, quick one-pot meal, it's great for leftovers, and freezes beautifully.
Because so much of my blog focus is on Mexican and Peruvian cooking, I started looking at Mexican picadillo recipes, and realized that while Mexican picadillo has some commonality with Cuban, they're very different dishes.
The essential ingredient in picadillo is ground (aka minced) meat or poultry.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- ground meat - I like ground pork in this Mexican picadillo recipe, but you can use beef (lean please!), ground chicken or turkey, even bison or elk.
- onion - Yellow, white, red or shallots are fine.
- potatoes - I like Yukon gold potatoes in this recipe, but you can use your favorite or whatever potatoes you have on hand.
- ground cinnamon
- ground cumin
- beer - I keep little Coronitas in my pantry for adding to my recipes. At 7 ounces, they're just about the right size. I do call for 1 cup (8 ounces), so it's close enough. If you'd rather not cook with beer (alcohol dissipates), substitute chicken broth.
- tomato paste - I like to use tomato paste because it's concentrated, and doesn't up the amount of liquid in the dish by much. You can substitute tomato sauce or diced tomatoes.
- chicken broth or stock - It may or may not be necessary, and I didn't include it in the photo below. This is not a soup/stew type of dish, but you do want it to be moist rather than dry. I use beer and tomato paste, and usually that is enough. If I let it simmer a little longer and it looks dry, I add some chicken broth.
- Hatch green chile - Yes, I love Hatch green chile, but I cannot always get them. I can always get poblano chiles, and I roast them at home. Remove the blackened skin, the stems, and the seeds before chopping. Bueno Foods has chopped Hatch green chile in the freezer section of many markets, and it's a great option as well.
- bell pepper
- raisins - I use currants when I have them, and golden or regular raisins if not.
- Brown the ground pork with the chopped onion and garlic. I love my potato masher to help break up the ground pork!
- Once the ground pork is browned, add the ground cinnamon and ground cumin. Stir to combine.
- Next, add in the diced potato and grated carrots. Sauté until the carrots begin to soften (about 5 minutes).
- Deglaze the skillet with the beer, and add the tomato paste. Stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer the ground pork and vegetable mixture until the potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes). This will depend on how small your potato dice is.
- Add the capers, Hatch green chile, raisins, and chopped bell pepper to the mixture. Add a little bit of chicken broth if it looks dry. You don't want it soupy, but it should have some liquid. Cover, and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
When the vegetables are tender, and you've checked the seasoning, warm a tortilla (or two) for each serving. Serve with cilantro and lime wedges as desired. Enjoy!
🥘 Recipe Riffs
- Add English peas - fresh (par cook first) or frozen.
- Substitute lean ground beef, chicken, turkey, bison, elk.
- Substitute olives for the capers.
- Add a teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano leaves.
- Add a can of diced tomatoes.
- Replace potatoes with sweet potatoes or yuca.
What can I serve with my picadillo? My "go to" is corn tortillas, but there are many healthy options. Serve it with plain, red or green rice, stuff a bell pepper or a green chile, fill an empañada or sopapilla.
Can I make picadillo in advance? Yes. It's great for leftovers, and re-heating doesn't affect the flavors. Add a little chicken broth if it looks dry.
Does picadillo freeze well? Yes. I cook for 2 most of the time, and I often double the recipe, and freeze half of it for a second meal. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 months in the freezer.
🌡️ Useful Stuff
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We love this healthy Mexican recipe on weeknights, especially early in the week. Leftovers are fantastic! Whether you choose to serve it with a corn tortilla, or with rice, it's quick and easy, and a family pleaser...