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.

Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Fall 2019


Recipe Summary

30 mins
55 mins




Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup plantain mash + 1 cup beef mixture each
339 calories; protein 19.3g; carbohydrates 34.8g; dietary fiber 3.3g; sugars 15.8g; fat 14.6g; saturated fat 4.1g; cholesterol 55.3mg; vitamin a iu 2152.6IU; vitamin c 48mg; folate 45.1mcg; calcium 32mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 61.8mg; potassium 921mg; sodium 485.3mg.