Filipino-style Picadillo with Potatoes

Looking for an easy-to-make and budget-friendly dish that’s full of comfort food flavors? Filipino-style Picadillo is ready in minutes and cooks in one pan plus it comes with two versions. Make it a soup or a hearty stew!

Filipino-style Picadillo with Potatoes

I first published this Picadillo with potatoes in April 2015, and I am re-posting it to include another delicious version of the recipe.

A few years ago, I shared my photo of picadillo with chayote on KP’s Facebook page, and one reader commented, “Oh what an interesting spin on picadillo. I’ve never had it like this before.” Then a week after, I shared my giniling na baboy recipe, and another reader commented, “We call this picadillo at home.

Growing up, I knew Filipino-style picadillo as a soup made of minced beef, tomatoes, and potatoes or chayote, so I didn’t understand the reference to giniling. Naturally, I was a bit confused and had to do a little research on the etymology of the dish.

Filipino-style Picadillo with Potatoes

What is Picadillo

An influence of Spanish colonization, picadillo is a dish popular in the Philippines as well as other Latin countries. Its name is from the Spanish word “picar” which means “to mince.”

It is traditionally made of ground or minced beef, fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce, and other ingredients abundant in the region such as potatoes, carrots, green peas, olives, and capers.

Filipino-style Picadillo with Potatoes

From further readings, I learned that our local picadillo indeed has two types. One is the “soupy” version with chayote or potatoes (pictured above), and the other is a hash-like stew similar to giniling na baka or arroz a la cubana.

Filipino-style Picadillo with Potatoes

As you can see from the recipe card below, both versions are pretty similar other than decreasing the amount of water/broth, using tomato sauce, and adding carrots, olives, and raisins in the stew version.

Both ways are delicious and choosing one or the other depends on what you’re in the mood for. I like the soupy variety when the weather is cold and chilly while the dry version is perfect for potlucks or as packed lunch to work.

Filipino-style Picadillo with Potatoes

How to serve and store

  • Picadillo is delicious as a lunch or dinner main dish with steamed rice.
  • You can serve the stew version as a meaty filling for pandesal as a meaty filling or turn it into a tasty torta (egg omelet) and enjoy with banana ketchup!
  • Transfer leftovers to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Filipino-style Picadillo with Potatoes

Picadillo is a hearty Filipino ground beef stew with potatoes, carrots, and raisins in a rich tomato sauce. It’s easy to make and budget-friendly yet so hearty and tasty. Perfect with steamed rice!

Instructions

Picadillo Soup Version

  • In a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp.
  • Add ground beef and cook, breaking to pieces with the back of a spoon, until lightly browned. Drain excess fat, if any. 
  • Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and cook, mashing with the back of a spoon until softened and release juice. 
  • Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until beef is cooked through. 
  • Add potatoes. Cover and continue to simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Picadillo Stew Version

  • In a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
  • Add ground beef and cook, breaking to pieces with the back of a spoon, until lightly browned. Drain excess fat, if any. 
  • Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.
  • Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until beef is cooked through. 
  • Add potatoes, carrots, raisins. Cover and continue to simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. 
  • Add green peas and olives.
  • Continue to cook until sauce is reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.