20-Minute Filipino Beef Picadillo

Picadillo (meaning “minced”) is a ground beef- and tomato-based stew. It’s an approachable and versatile dish that you’ll find different variations in many Latin America and Philippine households. I’ve made my version the simplest dish to cook while retaining that tasty, sweet-salty flavor. My family, including my toddlers, toddlers just love this Filipino Beef Picadillo, which makes me very happy that they’ll be sharing similar comfort food memories.




  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 small onion (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can (about 1 cup) tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables—carrots, corn, green beans, peas


1. COOK ground beef over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Meanwhile, SLICE the garlic and onion (skip this step if using garlic and onion powder).

3. MAKE a large hollow in the middle of the pan, ADD garlic and onion into the hollow, and COOK until onion is translucent. (Alternatively, STIR in garlic and onion powder, and COOK for 1 minute.)

4. STIR in tomato sauce, soy sauce, water and vegetables. SIMMER over medium heat, covered, 7 minutes.



We meat again. For this recipe, ground chicken, pork or turkey will also work well.

Vary your Veggies. Other ingredients that will work wonders with this recipe are bell peppers, capers, carrots, olives, potatoes and raisins.

To make it even easier for busy weeknights, I use frozen organic vegetables. I gently break up the package of frozen vegetables before them in the pan.

Make it your way. I make a wholesome meal by serving this recipe with organic brown rice, sliced boiled eggs or fried eggs, and sliced tomatoes. Rice and beans are easy, hearty sides that will go perfectly well.

If serving rice, cook the rice right before cooking the Filipino Chicken Adobo or during idle time in the kitchen. I personally use a rice cooker with a stainless-steel pot.

If serving eggs, here is a simple and forgiving method of boiling eggs: (1) ADD eggs in a pot and enough water to cover them; (2) BRING to a boil, covered; (3) TURN heat off and KEEP the pot on the hot burner for 10 to 12 minutes; (4) DRAIN the hot water and REPLACE with cold; (5) once eggs are slightly cool, PEEL the eggs while submerged in cold water. I use an egg slicer to slice or cross-slice boiled eggs directly over a bowl for easier, faster prep.


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