Cuban Beef Picadillo over Plantain Mash

Ground beef cooked with tomatoes and briny olives can be found all over Latin America. This is a favorite Cuban variation served over plantains, starchy vegetables that look like giant bananas. You can also serve the picadillo over rice or potatoes, so this easy dinner recipe is versatile too.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
4 servings



  • 2 green plantains (about 1 lb. total), unpeeled

  • 1 cup hot water or as needed

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • ½ cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • ¾ pound 90% lean ground beef

  • 3 plum tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 6 manzanilla (pimiento-stuffed) olives, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. To prepare plantains: Cut off ends of plantains and discard; slice the plantains in half crosswise. Place in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat slightly and simmer until the plantains can be easily pierced with a fork, 35 to 45 minutes. (Less-ripe plantains may need 5 to 10 minutes additional cooking time.) Add boiling water, if needed, to keep the plantains covered as they cook. Drain in a colander and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.

  2. Peel the plantains, slice into small pieces, and transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork, adding up to 1 cup hot water, a little at a time, to achieve desired consistency (like your favorite mashed potatoes). Stir in oil, salt, and pepper; cover and keep warm.

  3. Meanwhile, to prepare picadillo: Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, shallot, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add beef; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 12 minutes. Keep warm.

  5. To serve, divide the plantain mash among 4 bowls and top with the beef mixture. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

339 Calories
15g Fat
35g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1/2 cup plantain mash + 1 cup beef mixture each
Calories 339
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 19g 39%
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Vitamin A 2153IU 43%
Vitamin C 48mg 53%
Folate 45mcg 11%
Sodium 485mg 21%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 62mg 15%
Potassium 921mg 20%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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