Crock Pot Picadillo

This Crockpot Picadillo has the most delicious flavor and is excellent over rice, on a bun, or as a lower calorie main dish!

Guys, this Crock Pot Picadillo recipe is so delicious. My entire family loved it, and my 3rd grade son even asked for the leftovers in his thermos for lunch the next day.

Picadillo is a traditional Spanish and Latin American dish that until now I didn’t even know I needed in my life. It’s kind of like a complex Sloppy Joe dish, but more flavorful and grown-up. It’s great on its own, but is also excellent on buns, over rice, over potatoes, or served in a tortilla.

I need to make it again to try all of the serving options, since we went crazy on it the first night, and it didn’t last nearly as long as I expected it to. This is happening more frequently around here. My kids are only nine and seven, but their appetites rival an adult’s these days. How do you people with teenagers afford to feed them?!

This recipe calls for alcaparrado, which is green olives, pimentos, and capers in a small jar. At my grocery store it was housed near the olives and pickles and such. If you like, you can just use green olives, but I really liked the added depth of the alcaparrado.

I used my 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Picadillo.

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This Crockpot Picadillo has the most delicious flavor and is excellent over rice, on a bun, or as a lower calorie main dish!

Crock Pot Picadillo

Crock Pot Picadillo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Crock Pot Picadillo is low on calories and big on incredible flavor!
  • 2½ lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup drained alcaparrado (olives, pimientos and capers) or pitted green olives
  • 1 TBSP of the brine from the alcaparrado or olives
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add ground beef and season with salt and a few shakes of black pepper. Brown the beef, breaking into small chunks as it cooks.
  2. When the beef is brown, drain the fat and add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook about 4 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Transfer the mixture to slow cooker, and add cilantro, tomato, alcaparrado (or olives), tomato sauce, cumin, garlic powder, bay leaves, and 1½ cups water. Stir until combined.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours, or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Remove bay leaves, and add more salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro.



This is delicious! It kind of tastes like grown-up Sloppy Joes, but more complex. I topped mine with fresh cilantro, and served it with cornbread. YUM.


Agreed! I was thinking kind of like a modified chili but I like the Sloppy Joes description better. We served over baked potato and really enjoyed it, and all but 1/3 of the kids scarfed it up. We went ahead and used 3 lbs of beef since I didn’t want to leave a 1/2 lb stranded and then just upped the other ingredients as necessary. Made plenty for two whole meals plus several lunches consisting of Sloppy Joe-style sandwiches.


I really liked this more complex taste of sloppy joes. It was very pretty with the green olives, and had great flavor–and it is fairly light on the calories!! I would make it again. The cilantro is a must add–it really finishes the taste.


This was simple and easy to put together. Our whole family ate it without hesitation and we all thought that while it resembled a Sloppy Joe, the flavor was better and not as sweet. I served it on buns and it tasted great!

4 thoughts on “Crock Pot Picadillo

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