As a child, I loved it when my mom made Picadillo de Carne, filling the kitchen with enticing aromas and bringing the family together for a hearty, comforting meal. Now, I’m thrilled to pass on this beloved recipe to you, with a few personal touches that make it truly unforgettable.

Picadillo de Carne is simply ground beef that is simmered with onions, garlic, tomatoes and a hint of hot pepper sauce, transforming this easy and inexpensive protein into a savory and satisfying dish served over mashed yuca or rice.

If you enjoy cooking with yuca as much as I do, you may enjoy this Fried Yuca and Kielbasa or these Yuca Fries.

Join me as we journey back to the flavors of home, where tender ground beef meets creamy yuca in a marriage of textures and tastes that will transport you to cozy kitchens and cherished memories. It’s a dish that’s as comforting as it is delicious, perfect for sharing with loved ones or savoring solo as a reminder of simpler times.

Ground beef simmered with tomatoes, marinara sauce, garlic, hot pepper sauce, and green chiles creates a super flavorful meat mixture that’s served over soft and fluffy mashed yuca. The yuca is a great substitute for rice or potatoes and does an amazing job of soaking up all the amazing flavors of the ground beef. Simply yummy!

If you’ve never tried yuca before you’ll be happy to know it’s a low-carb, high-fiber tuber that’s versatile and absorbs flavors well. You can read more about yuca here.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe For Picadillo de Carne Molida

Two pot meal: Okay, one pot would be better but you’ll only need two pots to make this beef stew; one for the yuca and one for the beef mixture.

Quick: You can easily get this picadillo de carne on the table in about 30 minutes.

Adaptable: Spice it up, spice it down, swap the beef, add some veggies, use a different cheese and make the recipe your own.

Yuca root, salt and pepper, ground beef, tomatoes, hot pepper, tomato paste, onions, cilantro, marinara sauce, green chiles, parmesan cheese, and a cheese grater.


  • Cooked yuca – You should have cooked yuca on hand to make this recipe.
  • Ground beef – Choose lean ground beef also known as carne molida.
  • Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil is best but any type will work.
  • Onion – Use a white onion, diced.
  • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic adds the best flavor but jarred is a good substitute.
  • Whole tomatoes – Use whole, fresh diced tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes.
  • Marinara sauce – Marinara sauce adds more flavor and creates a thick rich sauce for the stew.
  • Hot pepper sauce – Add a dash of hot pepper sauce for a touch of spice. This is optional.
  • Tomato paste – Canned tomato paste helps thicken up the recipe.
  • Green chiles – Green chiles add a touch of spice.
  • Salt and pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated parmesan cheese adds more saltiness. You can omit if you prefer dairy free or try a plant-based parmesan cheese.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds more flavor and some color but if you don’t like cilantro you can use parsley.
Picadillo de carne in a skillet, parmesan cheese, tomato, peppercorns, and salt.

How To Make Picadillo Con carne Molida

  • Step 1: Boil yuca in a large pot of water until fork tender and then mash until creamy. Top with grated parmesan cheese and set aside.
  • Step 2: Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic, then add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, marinara sauce, hot pepper sauce, if using, and the green chiles.
  • Step 3: Add in the ground beef and simmer in the sauce until ground beef is fully cooked and then season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 4: Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve the picadillo de carne over the yuca puree.
Picadillo de carne in a skillet, parmesan cheese, tomato, peppercorns, salt, and mashed yuca in a white bowl.


What does yuca taste like?

Yuca has a mild, slightly sweet flavor somewhat similar to white potatoes.

Can i use frozen yuca instead?

Yes, you most definitely can. If you use frozen yuca you don’t have to peel or boil it. Just thaw and mash.

can i make this picadillo with yuca without cheese?

Yes, if you don’t want to add the cheese you don’t have to.

can i double this recipe for yuca?

Yes, if you are feeding a big crowd or want to have leftovers, you can double the recipe.

can i use other types of ground meat?

If you don’t have any ground beef on hand you can most definitely use another type of meat.

Is this picadillo with yuca recipe spicy?

No, this recipe isn’t overtly spicy but if you are worried you can leave out the chiles. Or start with half the amount, taste it, and then decide if you want to add more.

Tips and Variations

Swap the ground beef. Not in the mood for ground beef? No problem, swap it with ground pork, turkey or chicken.

Add some veggies. Feel free to throw in some bell peppers, mushrooms or whatever veggies you have on hand. Frozen will also work.

Top with some olives. Green or black olives or a combination of both would add more flavor.

Make Ahead and Storage

Make ahead: If you like to have a few meals on hand in the fridge, you can easily make this picadillo de carne with yuca a few days ahead of time.

Storage: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat over the stove or in the microwave.

Looking for more recipes using ground beef?


Keep a stash of boiled yuca in the freezer so you can easily pull it out to use as a base for stews. It makes a nice change of pace from mashed potatoes.

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picadillo de carne molida

Picadillo de Carne with Yuca

by Silvia Dunnirvine
Picadillo de Carne is simply ground beef that is simmered with onions, garlic, tomatoes and a hint of hot pepper sauce, transforming this easy and inexpensive protein into a savory and satisfying dish served over mashed yuca or rice.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 26 minutes
Total: 36 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 cups cooked yuca 2lb yuca root
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 whole tomatoes diced sub for 15oz can tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp hot pepper sauce optional
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can 4oz green chiles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese omit if DF
  • fresh cilantro


  • Boil yuca in a large pot of water with salt until fork tender (25-30 minutes). Then mash using a potato masher until creamy. Top with grated parmesan cheese and set aside.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic until golden brown. Then add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, marinara sauce, hot pepper sauce if using any, and green chiles (about 12-14 minutes total).
  • Add ground beef and cook in the sauce, breaking up any meat chunks until ground beef is fully cooked (about 10-12 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the picadillo de carne over yuca puree. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.
    Picadillo de Carne with Yuca


Calories: 738kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 1031mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: Ground Beef and Yuca, Picadillo con Carde, Picadillo con Carne Molida
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Brazilian, Latin, Mexican
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Picadillo de carne over mashed yuca in a white bowl with a spoon, cilantro, and a tomato.

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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