Easy Cuban Picadillo on Plate
Cuban Picadillo de Res with Sweet Plantains and an Avocado Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins

A wonderfully flavorful Cuban beef hash filled with olives, potatoes, and spices served alongside sweet plantains and a deliciously fresh avocado salad. See recipe notes for the equally delicious vegetarian option. 

Course: Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Servings: 4
Author: Elsa Velez
Cuban Picadillo de Res
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup green olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp + pinch salt, divided
  • black pepper
Sweet Plantains
  • 3 very ripe black plantains, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 cup oil
Avocado Salad
  • 2 small ripe avocados, sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Start by preparing the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss diced potatoes with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, and a pinch of salt and black pepper until coated and seasoned. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway. Set aside once golden and crispy. 

  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion and green pepper in the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil, until the onion is softened, then add the garlic and ground beef. 

  3. Mash the onion and green pepper into the sautéing meat and cook until the meat is browned about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

  4. In the meantime, make the plantains. Heat the oil in a sauté pan until a drop of water causes it to bubble. Once the oil is hot, place plantain slices in the pan to fry. Be careful to not crowd the slices and flip each one as they start browning around the edges. When done, they should have a caramelized appearance. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate for draining, while other slices cook. 

  5. While the plantains cook, add the potatoes, olives, capers, and raisins to the picadillo and simmer 5 minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste. 

  6. Just before serving, make the avocado salad. Whisk together, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. While whisking, drizzle oil into the bowl, in a slow and steady stream. Arrange avocado wedges on a platter and top with onion slices. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately. 

  7. Enjoy the picadillo over white rice alongside the sweet plantains and the avocado salad. Pass sliced Cuban bread around the table. 


To make this vegetarian, substitute 1 cup of brown lentils for the ground beef. Add the lentils, along with 2 cups of vegetable broth in step 2 when instructed to add the beef. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are soft. Drain off any extra liquid, being careful to not lose any of the lentils or vegetables. Proceed with the recipe as instructed, next adding crushed tomatoes and spices.