Mouth-Watering Cubano-Style ‘Habanero’ Picadillo To Impress Your Primas

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Credits: JENNIE-O®

When talking about Cuba, it’s impossible to skip its culinary richness, and when it comes to the classics, the picadillo takes the main prize. In our rendition of this recipe, we present a captivating twist: a vibrant picadillo featuring the wholesome embrace of JENNIE-O® Lean Ground Turkey. This alternative boasts an abundance of beneficial protein, enveloped in a tapestry of flavors, inviting a nutritious indulgence.

Picadillo symbolizes family unity and that homey flavor so characteristic of the island. It’s not something extremely sophisticated; essentially, it’s finely ground meat. The “Habanero” version includes garlic, onion, olives, raisins, and is often flavored with cumin, bay leaf, and tomato paste or bits. This creates a stew that’s ideal for celebrations or special family moments.

It’s usually served with white rice, beans, and fried green plantain tostones. It’s so versatile that everyone adds what they like most, also depending on what’s in the pantry. Highly adaptable, you don’t need to be a professional chef to tackle this recipe. With very simple ingredients, you can end up with a super flavorful dish that’s very well-received and always ends up feeding those with an extra appetite. 

Fun fact: this dish is ingrained in Cuba’s DNA so strongly that it was featured in ‘La Buena Cocinera’ by Eladia Martorell, released in 1899, a classic that still remains relevant today.

Join us for this flavorful journey through the amazing Cuban culinary tradition!

Servings: 4 people

Preparation time: 10 min

Cooking time: 25 min

Total time: 35 min

Calories: 530


 -16 oz.of JENNIE-O® Lean Ground Turkey

-1.7 oz. capers

-2.5 oz. olives

-2 oz. raisins

-2 tbsp tomato paste

-1 onion

-1 green bell pepper

-3 tomatoes

-2 garlic cloves

-½ cup white wine

-1 tsp cumin

-1 tsp oregano

-Salt and pepper to taste

-1 bay leaf

-3 tbsp olive oil


1- Take the onion, peel it, and cut it into small cubes or brunoise. Do the same with the bell pepper. Crush the garlic cloves very finely.

2- Remove the stems from the tomatoes, wash, and grate them very well. Set aside.

3- Heat a pan or pot and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic, sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add the bell pepper, mix, and cook for 2 more minutes.

Credits: JENNIE-O®

4- Subsequently, add the JENNIE-O® Lean Ground Turkey, salt, pepper to taste, cumin, and oregano. Mix well and cook for 7 minutes covered over medium heat.

Credits: JENNIE-O®

5- Then, add the grated tomatoes, white wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, olives, capers, and raisins. Mix and finish cooking over medium heat for 10 minutes until the stew becomes juicy.

Check for flavor and turn off the heat.

Credits: JENNIE-O®

Extra Recommendations to Prepare the Cuban-style Turkey Picadillo:

  • You can add any vegetables you like to this dish, always maintaining the essence of the plate.
  • Some people add diced potatoes or carrots to give it a denser consistency.
  • The olives should be pitted to avoid inconveniences when eating.
  • Pair this traditional dish with white rice, tostones, or crispy green plantains. You can also add beans or a salad.

This Cuban-style picadillo is much more than a dish; it’s a journey through vibrant flavors and the rich culinary tradition of Cuba. You’ll see that not only is it generous in the amount this recipe yields, but it will also trigger your creativity in the best way possible. 

We recommend you dare explore it to entertain a large party of guests or prepare your good portions to freeze and have a homemade dish ready on weekdays when you don’t have time or energy to prepare a dinner from scratch.

Note: For optimal food safety, ensure that the JENNIE-O® Lean Ground Turkey used in this recipe reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) when fully cooked. We recommend using a food thermometer to accurately measure the temperature.

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