Chicken Picadillo is a twist on the Latin American classic dish that typically contains ground beef. It's sweet, salty, and savory all in one bite.
This picadillo recipe is simple enough to make, and it will become a new favorite in your dinner rotation.
This recipe was originally posted in 2017, it's been updated for content and photos.
Ground chicken is mild tasting and absorbs all of the flavors it cooks with beautifully. So why not make up a double batch of this recipe or our spicy ground chicken and black bean casserole to use throughout the week.
Why this Recipe Works
- It's versatile! There are so many uses for picadillo (see below for ideas).
- Flavor! It's packed with so much flavor.
- Chicken picadillo is easy to make ahead of time, perfect for meal-prep.
Here is What You Will Need
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down to see ingredient notes and substitutions as well as a printable recipe card with exact measurements and complete cooking instructions.
Here is How To Make Chicken Picadillo
Prepare the ingredients: chop the bell pepper, garlic, onions, olives, cilantro, and tomatoes (if you are using fresh tomatoes); set them all aside.
Step 1. Add the oil to the skillet along with the bell peppers, garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes.
Step 2. Add the ground chicken breast and cook it with the onions until the chicken is cooked through.
TIP! If the chicken sticks to the pan, add a teaspoon of water or oil.
Step 3. Add the adobo sauce, vinegar and spices.
Step 4. Add the tomatoes and mix everything together.
Step 5. Stir in the olives and raisins; reduce the heat and simmer.
Step 6. Sprinkle the picadillo with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.
Total Estimated Time to Make This Recipe: 35 to 45 Minutes
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Ground chicken is mild tasting and absorbs all of the flavors from this recipe. Both ground chicken breast or ground chicken which is a mix of white and dark meat will work.
Substitute ground chicken with any type of ground meat such as turkey, beef, or pork.
Bell peppers. Any color of bell peppers will work in this recipe. Green or a mix of green and red peppers is my preference.
Adobo sauce is a spicy, tangy Mexican flavor that you can find in most supermarkets, and is important to the flavor profile in this recipe.
Substitute adobo sauce with an equal amount of the sauce from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce if you can't find plain adobo sauce.
Olives add a salty briny flavor to this dish. If you don't like olives, swap them out with ¼ cup of capers.
Substitute fresh garlic with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove of garlic.
Substitute fresh oregano with 2 teaspoons of dried oregano.
Storing and Using Leftovers
This is one of those recipes that taste even better the next day and you can freeze it, so be sure to make extra.
Store leftover chicken picadillo in the refrigerator in an airtight container for three to four days.
Freeze chicken picadillo for up to six months in a freezer-safe container and defrost it in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheat it on top of the stove in a skillet or saucepan.
Super spicy chicken picadillo - add a quarter pound of Mexican chorizo mixed with the ground chicken while browning it or add one diced jalapeno pepper.
Cuban picadillo with potatoes - Add one cup of diced cooked potatoes at the end of the meat browning.
Mexican picadillo with corn - Add ½ cup frozen corn to the picadillo.
Here are the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. If your question isn't answered below, please leave me a comment, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries and the Philippines. It's warm and comforting, very similar to chili with a sweeter flavor.
Yes! You can make this picadillo recipe in a slow cooket. Brown the meat and veggies in a skillet and add them to a slow cooker with the spices, olives, raisins and tomatoes. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for at least 1 ½ hours.
There are so many ways to serve picadillo! We enjoy it over rice or cauliflower rice with steamed vegetables or a salad.
Chicken picadillo tastes great stuffed into a quesadilla, taco, empanada, egg roll skin or wrapped in pizza dough for a picadillo calzone.
Top a bed of greens with picadillo, add avocado chunks and cheese for a filling chicken picadillo salad.
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