Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

Piccadillo Stuffed Peppers sq

Here I am, stuffing meat into peppers again!  If you’re trying to limit your intake of carbs, making bowls out of vegetables instead of serving with rice, pasta, or tortillas is a great option.  Bell peppers hold a generous amount of stuffing, and also help make this a complete, healthy meal.  This is one of four stuffed pepper recipes we’ve posted – each with a bit of international flair.  In the past we’ve used lamb and feta, curried beef, and beef chili and poblanos.

Some of our favorite bloggers, Carrie and Brandon from Our Life in Food, recently posted a recipe for Cuban Picadillo with Sauteed Almonds that just made my mouth water.  I posted it on our Inspiring Recipes board on Pinterest, waiting for a good time to explore those sweet and salty flavors.  I modified the recipe a bit – one friend recently commented that I put onions in everything, which is not too far from the truth.  I also added cumin, and raisins and capers to add more sweet and salty notes – then stuffed it all into peppers.  The picadillo is just brimming with different flavors, with contrasting spices adding complexity to the dish (as Carrie noted).  One really good thing about this recipe is how versatile it is – adapt it to your own taste!  Thank you for the inspiration, Our Life in Food!


  • 1 pound grass-fed, ground beef
  • ~1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 ounces diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10 Spanish olives stuffed with pimento, roughly chopped (just plain black olives work too, pitted and roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
  • 2-3 red or yellow, sweet bell peppers

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion for a few minutes, until translucent.  Add the beef and brown until cooked through.  Drain off excess accumulated fat, if necessary, leaving about 2 tablespoons.

Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, allspice, bay leaf, tomatoes, tomato paste, raisins, and water.  Mix well, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add more water if necessary to keep it moist.

Add the olives and capers.  Mix well and simmer, partially covered, for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Discard the bay leaf.

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the core and seeds.  Use a smaller peeler to scape out the white spines.  Fill each pepper half with the picadillo, and set the peppers aside.  If you have excess filling (as I did using 2 peppers), place the extra picadillo in the bottom of a lightly greased baking dish.  Then put the stuffed peppers on top of the picadillo – this results in the juices from the peppers mixing with the meat, which will be extra delicious on its own.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, loosely covered in foil, until the peppers are tender.  Serve hot, and enjoy!

Piccadillo Stuffed Peppers from She Cooks, He Cleans

rtIt’s a rare event that compels us to leave the house, but we’re excited to go travel to the depths of Cobb County for this show…Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, with Richard Thompson opening. Oh yes! Electric is the latest from Thompson, and he doesn’t disappoint, with his passionate, intricate guitar work and his subtle wordplay in full force.

yellowEmmylou and Rodney were in The Hot Band together, and Old Yellow Moon shows they haven’t missed a step in the years apart. Great harmonies on such songs such as “Bluebird Wine” and “Back When We Were Beautiful”. Can’t wait for the show!


17 thoughts on “Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

  1. SOUNDS LIKE “THE BOMB”!!!…Positively cannot wait to smell the aromas emitted from this quintessential Paleo dish….You had me at cumin and raisins….Brilliant offering…much thanks!

    (I’m thinking that one could use this same exquisite filling for other hollowed “vessels”…round courgettes….aubergines….big Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes….the possibilities!!)

    1. Donna, you are quick! Thank you so much for the compliments. We’ve already made this twice, and enjoyed it both times. It makes the house smell great too! I think your ideas about the other vessels are right on…go for it!

  2. OMG….Forgot to mention how “thumbs up” I am about BOTH musical selections….love Emmylou….and have only recently discovered Richard Thompson….who I now equally love……and cannot wait to purchase his new album….

    I am consistently amazed and impressed with your quality, eclectic music suggestions….You have a fantastic “ear” and taste in all things culinary and musical….Highly appreciative me!

  3. I always get the picadillo when we go out for Cuban, but I don’t know why I never make it at home. Really dig the idea of using bell peppers as bowls. Thanks for sharing!

  4. So glad that you liked this! I love your additions…especially the raisins and capers – yum! I’ll have to try your version next time. Gorgeous pics!

    1. Thank you, Chef Mimi! I’m not always very successful taking photos of “brown food”, so it’s nice to know these pics were appetizing! Sometimes the food tastes better than it looks. 🙂

  5. Loved these! And loved them even more the 2nd day. But you forgot to mention when to add the rasins! I took a guess and it worked 🙂

    1. Oops, I hate it when I leave things out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Now, of course, I don’t remember when I add the raisins, but I think it would work to add them with the spices and the tomatoes, OR later when adding the capers and olives. Glad it worked for you! Thanks!

  6. Since going Paleo this is by far our favorite dish I’ve made! Tonight is the third time in as many months. The first two times I actually made it with ground bison and it was AWESOME!

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