Crockpot Beef Picadillo

Last week, I had one of those food fails that I love to laugh about on Instagram.  It’s seriously hilarious… until it happens to you.  Check out #pinterestfail if you’re ever interested in a good laugh…

I had a trip to the mountains planned for the day, and I met my co-worker at 10am to make the drive.  Before I met up with him, I had time to put my dinner in the crockpot, which made me so happy.  I’m usually gone from the house for about 10-12 hours… which is a little long for crock potting.  So, knowing that I would be gone about 6-7 hours… I went for it.

I loaded this very recipe into the crockpot and took off for the day!  When I for home, I found this.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Burnt.  Crispy.  Crunchy.  And mostly, RUINED!

During my frenzy to get ready for the day, I neglected to add the water to the crockpot.  Yes, without enough liquid, things burn:  Cooking 101.

Because I was intrigued by the recipe, I gave it another shot a few days later.  It was definitely worth the wait.  Note that in the following pictures… there is no char.  Water can be an amazingly magical thing!!!

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake[pinterest]This recipe comes from my friend Gina over at SkinnyTaste.  She had posted it on Instagram recently as a family favorite, and it was time for me to try it.  It’s a flavorful meaty dish to add to salads, rice bowls, and pasta.  It’s certainly something I’ll be making again… including the water in the recipe, of course.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo

From SkinnyTaste

Makes 6 servings


Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

1 lb 93% lean ground beef

1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup diced red bell peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced cilantro

1/2 small tomato, diced

4 oz. tomato sauce

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. capers

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 bay leaves

Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper (to taste)


1.  Brown meat in a large deep sauté pan on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and a little pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan.  Grind up the meat in a food processor.  Add the meat back into your skillet.  Note:  The ingredients pic above shows a package of turkey, but I actually made it with lean ground beef.  So good, and highly recommended!

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the meat and cook an addition 3-4 minutes.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, water, capers.  Add the spices.  Note:  Gina’s original recipe calls for alcaparrado or green olives.  I just used capers in its place.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Set slow cooker to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8. After it’s ready, taste for salt and add more as needed.  Discard the bay leaves.  Note:  I added extra salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin to the dish at the very end.  Just sprinkled it in, to taste.

5.  Serve your picadillo with rice and veggies… or over pasta.  Note:  I really loved this as a Cuban spaghetti for some reason.  

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/2 cup recipe serving of the meat:

CAL 170; CARB 5g; FAT 7g; PROT 23g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus: 4

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