With a slightly sweet and tangy taste, the flavor explosion of many ingredients combined makes this Instant Pot Picadillo a weeknight gem. The shocking mixture of ground beef tossed with bell peppers, green olives, and even raisins are delicious.
Instant Pot Picadillo
Try something new tonight for dinner and make this Instant Pot Picadillo in minutes. With a little bit of sauteing in the Instant Pot and then a quick dump of the remaining ingredients, you won’t have to extend much effort for this delicious dinner.
Every week, especially in busy seasons, I always include a ground meat recipe such as chicken lettuce wraps or ground beef stroganoff in my meal plan and when I stumbled across picadillo I knew it would become a regular in the rotation. With ingredients such as ground beef, olives, and raisins it sounds bizarre, but the flavors work perfectly together.
My entire family, which I was skeptical of, devoured this dish and asked for seconds. I hope this recipe is as much of a success for you as it has been for me.
What is picadillo?
At its base picadillo is Mexican comfort food at its finest. Made using ground beef and tomatoes this mixture of flavorful ingredients is similar to a hash. The actual classic recipe varies according to region, but this dish is served over rice, as a taco filling, or even a filling for savory pastries.
Ingredients in Picadillo
- Ground Beef
- Sweet Onion
- Spices: Bay Leaves, Cinnamon, Cumin, Salt
- Red Bell Pepper
- Green Olives + Olive Juice
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Diced Tomatoes
How to Make Instant Pot Picadillo
- Brown the meat: set the Instant Pot to SAUTÉ and brown the meat.
- Sauté: add the onions and spices and sauté the ingredients until onions become soft. Add in the minced garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté for an extra minute.
- Layer ingredients: Next add the green olives, olive juice, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar and stir all the ingredients together. Top with raisins and diced tomatoes, but don’t stir them in.
- Pressure cook: set the Instant Pot to MANUAL and cook for 7 minutes. Allow the steam to release naturally for 5 minutes before removing the lid.
How to Serve Picadillo
Most commonly Instant Pot Picadillo or traditional picadillo is severed over potatoes or rice, but it’s also used as a taco filling or savory pastry filling too. Add some beef broth and you can even turn it into a stew.
There are many versions of picadillo and you can make this Instant Pot one however you’d like. Below are some different variations to try.
- Add potatoes: chopped potatoes are commonly used in preparing classic picadillo, which you can easily add to this recipe. If you choose to include them increase the cooking time by 4 minutes on the Instant Pot.
- Throw in more vegetables: peas, carrots, or any other type of vegetable you prefer.
- Swap the olive for capers: don’t like olives? No problem! Swap them out for some capers instead and use the juice from the jar instead of olive juice.
- Turn it into a stew: add some beef broth for a delicious comforting stew instead.
Can I use different ground meat in picadillo?
Yes. If you’d like to swap the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken you can. Just note it both of these types of meat will brown quicker than ground beef.
Can picadillo be made vegan?
Yes. In order to prepare a vegan version of picadillo, I recommend using either homemade vegan taco meat or a plant-based ground, which can often be found in health food stores like Whole Foods.
Instant Pot Picadillo
- Pressure Cooker
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Wooden Spatula
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- 1 medium Sweet Onion diced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Cumin
- 2 teaspoons Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup Green Olives
- 1 tablespoon Olive Juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Raisins
- 1 14 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
- Set the Instant Pot to SAUTÉ and add the ground beef. Break the meat apart as it cooks and browns, until meat is no longer pink.
- Add the onion, bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and salt. Continue to cook for an additional minute stirring the ingredients together.
- Place the minced garlic and bell pepper into the Instant Pot and cook for an additional minute.
- Next add the green olives, olive juice, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar and stir all the ingredients together. Pour the raisins and diced tomatoes on top of the mixture without stirring them in.
- Place the lid on the pot and set the vent to "sealing." Set the Instant Pot to MANUAL and then use the + or – buttons to choose 7 minutes.
- Allow the steam to release naturally for 5 minutes before carefully turning then manually release the steam. Open the lid and stir all the ingredients together. Serve over steamed rice.