Cuban crock pot picadillo


A flavorful, Cuban dish that satisfies all palettes. Using a crock pot makes this dish easy to make and healthy. Recipe inspired by SkinnyTaste.


  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (the original recipe calls for 2 1/2 lbs, but I like the dish saucier.)
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (the more you cut herbs, the less flavor they retain)
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional – if you’d like to add a kick)
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado (manzanilla olives, pimientos, capers) or green olives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Brown rice (to serve over – prepare rice according to instructions on the package)
  • Red pepper flakes / hot sauce for serving (optional – if you enjoy a little extra spice)
  • Cheese for serving (optional – if you’re a cheese lover like me)



  1. Brown meat in a large deep skillet on medium-high heat; season generously with salt and a little pepper. Use a spatula to break the meat up into small pieces.
  2. When meat is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan. Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the meat and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
  3. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, jalapeno (optional), tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups water, alcaparrado (or olives), and spices. Mix ingredients until evenly distributed.
  4. Set slow cooker to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8.
  5. After it’s ready, taste for spices and add more as needed. (The crock pot has a tendency to mute spices so I always end up adding a little more of each.)
  6. Discard the bay leaves and serve over brown rice.
  7. Add cheese and / or hot sauce to your individual dish (optional).
  8. Enjoy!

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