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Mexican Picadillo – Recipe

This is my favorite picadillo recipe made Mexican style with toasted ancho peppers, ground beef, potatoes and plenty of Mexican flavors. It's great over rice or served with tortillas.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho, ground beef, Mexican, recipe, spicy
Servings: 4
Calories: 323kcal


  • 2 ancho chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces yellow potatoes about 3-4 small, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FOR SERVING: Cooked rice or warmed tortillas, sliced peppers, chili flakes, fresh lime juice, hot sauce


    • Heat a pan to medium-high heat and dry toast the ancho peppers on each side until the skins become puffy. Make sure they do not burn. This brings out the oils in the peppers. Set them into a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let them soak for 20 minutes to soften.
    • While the ancho peppers are soaking, heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the potatoes, onion and peppers and cook them down about 5 minutes to soften.
    • Stir in the garlic and ground beef. Break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon and brown it up about 5 minutes or so.
    • Stir in the tomato sauce and seasonings and reduce the heat to simmer.
    • Remove the stem and seeds from the rehydrated ancho peppers. Add the pepper skins to a food processor along with a bit of the darkened ancho water, about a tablespoon or so. Process until it is very smooth.
    • Swirl the ancho paste into the meat mixture and allow it to simmer at least 10 minutes. 20 minutes or longer is better. If you need more moisture, add in a few tablespoons of water or extra tomato sauce.
    • Serve over cooked rice or tortillas with extra peppers, spicy chili flakes and lime juice! Don’t forget your favorite hot sauce.


    Heat Factor: Medium, though it is PACKED with flavor. You can easily add more heat with hotter peppers or chili flakes, or by adding your favorite hot sauce.


    Calories: 323kcal