Cozy, comforting and full of flavor – that’s right, I’m back with another one of my family’s great Puerto Rican recipes that could become a new family favorite. This nutrient turkey hash it was a staple for me growing up because it comes together quickly and can be served with so many delicious sides.
Now that I have children of my own, I have returned to this picadillo recipe because it is child-friendly and high in protein. Sidney LOVES this dish and makes me so happy to see it grow with the same foods I ate. It’s easy to make ahead of time and can be made on the stove or in the slow cooker, so it’s a great dinner for busy parents!
Enjoy my little slice of home and be sure to go to the bottom of the post to try even more of my family’s traditional Puerto Rican recipes (like the famous chicken rice!)
What is the picadillo?
Picadillo is a traditional dish prepared and served in Mexico, the Philippines, and many countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. The traditional picadillo recipe varies by region but is made with ground beef (typically ground beef), tomatoes, spices, and even olives and raisins for a hint of sweetness.
My mom and grandparents are from Puerto Rico and they always made their own homemade picadillo with ground turkey because we didn’t eat a ton of red meat. This turkey picadillo recipe is boiled with homemade sazon dressing and sofrito for the perfect dish to combine with fantastic side dishes!
Don’t forget the homemade sofrito
In Spanish, sofrito means sauce and is very traditional when it comes to Puerto Rican foods. My version is a mixture of garlic, onion, green pepper, coriander and tomato sauce. Some make it with fresh tomatoes and culantro, but that’s usually how I make it. You’ll be cooking ground turkey in this homemade sofrito and sazon dressing for the perfect flavors!
Everything you need to make turkey picadillo
In this picadillo recipe, we’re replacing ground beef with ground turkey and seasoning it with some incredible flavors. Here is everything you need to do it:
- For the turkey and vegetables: you will cook the ground turkey with very finely chopped yellow onion, green pepper, coriander and garlic. Vegetables are part of your sofrito.
- For the spices: we are using my family’s homemade sazon seasoning to give the picadillo the warm and perfect flavors.
- Mix-in: all goods are simmered tomato sauce, water or broth e takes care of olives if you like a little more flavor. This is what makes up the rest of the sofrito you will be cooking the turkey in.
Homemade turkey picadillo in 4 simple steps
The best part about the picadillo is how easy it is to make! In just about 30 minutes you will have a tasty dish to serve with your favorite side dishes.
- Cook the turkey and vegetables. You’ll start by cooking the ground turkey with those finely diced veggies in one large pot.
- Add the spices. Mix the homemade sazon dressing until it is pleasant and fragrant.
- Add the mix-ins. Mix the tomato sauce, water or broth, and brine (if using), cover the pot, and let the turkey simmer in this mixture until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Serve and enjoy. Taste your picadillo and add any toppings as needed, then add extra cilantro and onion and serve!
Prepare it in your slow cooker
Yes, this delicious turkey picadillo can be made right in your slow cooker for an easy, hands-free approach. Here’s how to do it:
- Brown the turkey. You’ll still want to brown the ground turkey in a pot or pan with the vegetables to release all the flavors.
- Turn on your slow cooker. Then, transfer the turkey and vegetables to yours slow cooker.
- Add the spices. Stir in all of the sazon dressing so that it coats the turkey and vegetables.
- Pour in the mixes. Pour in the tomato sauce and just 1/2 cup of water instead of all the water. Give everything a move.
- Cook it. Cook the turkey picadillo on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Serve hot once the liquid has mostly been absorbed!
What to serve with turkey picadillo
The options are truly endless when it comes to what you can serve with this cozy picadillo recipe. As mentioned, this is one of Sidney’s favorite dinners and we pair it with simple side dishes! Here are some suggestions:
- Sidney loves it with avocado and roasted sweet potatoes or other roasted vegetables
- My delicious Rice with sunbeds
- Spanish rice
- Easy cauliflower rice for a low-carb grain-free option
- Use it as a filling for empanadas
- Delicious tortillas and toppings
- Or even your favorite fries to dip into!
Tips for storage and freezing
- To store: keep leftover turkey picadillo airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Feel free to prepare a double batch to feed a larger family for the whole week!
- To freeze: yes, this picadillo recipe is freezer safe! Allow to cool completely then add it to an airtight container or freezer bag and put it in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat simply let the picadillo defrost in the refrigerator and then reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.
If you like this recipe, you will love it
Take all mine globally inspired dishes here!
Hope you like this turkey picadillo recipe! If you do make sure you leave a comment and rating so I know how you liked it. Have fun, xo!
Turkey Picadillo (with a slow cook option!)
The tasty slow-cooked turkey picadillo with vegetables, tomato sauce and homemade sazon dressing. My family’s lightened version of the traditional picadillo can be made in a pot or your slow cooker for ease. Serve this comforting, kid-friendly dinner with arroz con gandules, rice, tortillas, or even chips to dip into!
- For the turkey and vegetables:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey (93%)
- ½ mug yellow onion cut into very fine cubes
- ½ mug green pepper cut into very fine cubes
- ¼ mug very finely chopped cilantro
- 3 Cloves garlic, chopped
- For the spices:
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 mug tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups water or broth of your choice
- 1-3 spoons olive brine, optional for flavor
- To garnish:
- Extra cilantro
- Onion finely diced
Add the oil to a large skillet or saucepan and put over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat until it is mostly golden and almost cooked through.
Then add the diced onion, green pepper, cilantro and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the peppers and onions have softened.
Incorporate the spices: coriander, cumin, turmeric, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant. Then immediately incorporate the tomato sauce, water and brine, bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid and if the mixture is too liquid, continue to simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste. Serve with arroz con gandules, your favorite rice, tortillas, avocado and / or chips for dipping!
For the slow cooker option: follow steps 1 and 2, transfer the turkey and vegetables to the slow cooker and add the spices. Then stir in the tomato sauce and just 1/2 cup of water or broth. Cover and cook over high heat for 7-8 hours or low heat for 3-4 hours.
To store: keep leftover turkey picadillo airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Feel free to prepare a double batch to feed a larger family for the whole week!
To freeze: yes, this picadillo recipe is freezer safe! Allow to cool completely then add it to an airtight container or freezer bag and put it in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat simply let the picadillo defrost in the refrigerator and then reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.
Portions: 4 servings
Portions: 1 serving (based on 4)
Calories: 224 kcal
Saturated fats: 2.8g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious cuisine | Photograph by: Eat love eat