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Christina Milian's Picadillo


Chef notes

My favorite dish is called picadillo. It’s minced ground beef in a red sofrito sauce with olives over white rice with a side of black beans and sweet plantains and or fried tostones with salt sprinkled on. I’ve been eating it since I was a kid.

Our family — my aunts, mom, sisters and I — always has this competition about who can make the best picadillo, and hands down my mom makes the best! Now my sisters and my kids are obsessed when my mom makes it. It’s full of flavor. You get the sweet with the plantain and the salt. I never turn it down. It’s so good and even better the next day!

It’s rare I ever find one I’ve enjoyed outside of the home, so I stick to it as a home cooked meal. The recipe is very “freehand.”


  • red peppers, chopped
  • garlic, chopped
  • onion, chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • sazón
  • garlic salt
  • ground beef
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • olives with pimento
  • white cooking wine
  • plantains, white rice and black beans, for serving



Make your sofrito with red peppers, garlic and onions. Cook until it’s semi-softened. Add some tomato sauce or paste.


Season it with sazón and garlic salt, to taste.


Add your ground beef in the pan to the mix.


Add a beef bouillon cube and season the meat more if needed.


Add olives with pimento and a (big) splash of white cooking wine.


Cook over medium heat until meat is cooked through (but don’t overcook; add more tomato sauce if necessary), and it’s done! It should take maybe 15 minutes total.


While your picadillo cooks, fry your plantains.


This can be served over white rice and black beans on the side.