Carne Molida Con Papas

Carne Molida Con Papas is one of my favorite South American comfort foods. This warm, filling, hearty dish is perfect for a weeknight meal or weekend dinner. The recipe is quick and simple and can be served with white rice or tortillas. 

What Is Carne Molida Con Papas?

Carne Molida Con Papas, also known as Mexican Picadillo, is a ground beef and potato hash or stew. It is a staple dish across various Latin American countries. The Cuban and Puerto Rican versions of Carne Molida Con Papas are probably the most popular ones. 

The word Picar literally translates to chopping. It is therefore no surprise that all ingredients for this delicious Carne Molida Con Papas or Picadillo are chopped.

Is Carne Molida Con Papas Spicy?

Carne Molida Con Papas can be spicy depending on the amount of Jalapenos you use. Jalapeno heat levels can range from mild to spicy. 

If you are unfamiliar with Jalapenos, it’s best to cut off a small piece and taste it. This is the best way to determine how much spice you can handle. 

If you love spice, it may be best to use 2 Jalapenos or add a Serrano pepper.  

What Goes With Carne Molida Con Papas?

Carne Molida Con Papas is a flavorful beef and potato stew. It’s best to serve it with relatively low-flavor foods that will not overpower the flavor of the Carne Molida Con Papas, such as;

  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Plantains
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Spanish Or White Rice
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Flour Tortillas 

How To Use Carne Molida Con Papas?

Carne Molida Con Papas doesn’t have to be a meal by itself. You can also use it as a meat filling. You can stuff Gorditas, bell peppers, empanadas, burritos, and tacos with Carne Molida Con Papas as well. 

How To Make Carne Molida Con Papas In A Crock Pot?

To make Carne Molida Con Papas in a crockpot, heat the ground beef in a skillet coated with oil on the stovetop. Stir in the onions and cook them until translucent. 

Add in the garlic, cilantro, tomato, and Jalapeno and cook it for a few minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and place them into a crockpot. 

Make sure the potatoes are submerged in the liquid to cook evenly. Cook the Carne Molida Con for around 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 

How To Make Carne Molida Con Papas In An Instant Pot?

To make Carne Molida Con Papas in an instant pot use the saute function to brown the ground beef. Next, stir in the onions and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, seal your instant pot and set it to manual. 

Pressure cook the Carne Molida Con Papas for 2 minutes. Let your instant pot release naturally for 5 minutes before allowing it to quickly release. 

Is Carne Molida Con Papas Gluten Free?

Technically, Carne Molida Con Papas is gluten-free. But you must make sure that ingredients such as beef broth and spices are marked as gluten-free. 

How can I make Carne Molida Con Papas Keto?

Unfortunately, potatoes contain a lot of carbs. Therefore, they are not low-carb. However, you can replace the potatoes with cauliflower to make this Carne Molida Con Papas keto-friendly. 

How To Make Carne Molida Con Papas Vegan?

Ground beef is not vegan. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot make this Carne Molida Con Papas vegan. Simply replace the ground beef and beef broth by vegetable alternatives, and you are all good to go. 

You can also use 2 tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups of water in place of vegetable broth. 

While you can use vegan ground beef, you can also use seitan, black beans, or lentils instead of ground beef. 

Carne Molida Con Papas Variations

Carne Molida Con Papas is a recipe that can be made in various different ways. If there is an ingredient you do not like, you can always try out alternatives. Here are some good ones I’ve used in the past;

  • Green olives
  • Raisins 
  • Capers
  • Ground Chicken 
  • Ground Turkey 
  • Bell Peppers 
  • Carrots
  • Peas 
  • Green Beans
Ground Beef in a pan ready to be cooked for Carne Molida Con Papas.

Carne Molida Con Papas Ingredients 

Carne Molida Con Papas is very simple to make. Though it requires quite a few ingredients, it will all be worth it once you taste the delicious end result. 

Olive Oil: Olive oil prevents the ground beef from sticking to the pan and helps brown the beef. 

Ground Beef: If you cannot find lean ground beef, you can use ground beef with a higher fat ratio.

Yellow Onion: Yellow onions add a sharp flavor that is not overpowering. Therefore, they are perfect for such savory recipes. 

Garlic: Garlic adds a sweet yet pungent flavor to the ground beef. 

Jalapeno: Jalapeno adds a mild but spicy flavor to the Carne Molida Con Papas. 

Tomato: I used fresh tomatoes as well as tomato sauce. Tomatoes add an acidic yet sweet flavor to the Picadillo. 

Cilantro: Cilantro has a tangy, spicy flavor that livens up the dish. 

Cumin: Cumin is common in Latin dishes, particularly in Mexican dishes. So, there was no way I could make Carne Molida Con Papas without adding a little cumin. 

Russet Potatoes: Russet potatoes add texture to the dish and will help you feel fuller for longer periods of time. 

Beef Bouillon: Beef bouillon builds upon the flavor of ground beef. 

How to make the perfect Carne Molida Con Papas?

Start by browning your ground beef for 5-7 minutes before adding onions to it. Cook for another 2 minutes and add the garlic, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, and cumin.

Stir in salt, potatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, and beef bouillon. Press the mixture so the liquid covers everything and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened. Garnish with any herbs you have at hand and you’re ready to enjoy this delicious meal.

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and leave them in the fridge for up to five days. You can also freeze the Carne Molida Con Papas in an airtight container and store up to 2 months. Reheat in the microwave or stove-top after thawing, if frozen.


Are Carne Molida Con Papas the same as Picadillo Con Papas?

Yes, they are essentially the same dish. In some parts of Latin America, Carne Molida Con Papas is known as Picadillo Con Papas.

Where is Carne Molida from?

Carne Molida comes from Latin America and is a very popular dish in almost all the countries in that region.

How do you eat Picadillo Con Papas?

You can eat Picadillo Con Papas on its own as a light meal or you can serve it with rice, bread, or even a side salad to make it a complete meal.

How many calories are in Carne Molida Con Papas?

There are around 400 to 500 calories in one portion of Carne Molida Con Papas. This dish is rich in protein and has a nice balance of carbs and fats in it.

What can I serve with Carne Molida Con Papas?

Carne Molida Con Papas is a very versatile dish. You can serve any side dish with this meal ranging from simple salads to freshly baked cornbread. You can also serve fried eggs, fried plantains, roasted vegetables, or a sour cream and lime dip with this dish.

What is Picadillo a la Criolla?

Picadillo a la Criolla is similar to Carne Molida Con Papas except for a few ingredients. Picadillo a la Criolla has a mixture of ground beef and pork along with raisins, olives, capers, and peas. This dish mixes sweet and savory flavors while Carne Molida Con Papas is just savory.

Carne Molida Con Papas served in a bowl.

Carne Molida Con Papas

Carne Molida Con Papas is literally one of the easiest recipes you can make. Not only is Carne Molida Con Papas delicious, but it is also filling. Best of all, if you have leftovers, you can reuse the Carne Molida Con Papas in other ways. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Latin American, Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 241 kcal


  • 1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow Onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium Jalapeno seeds, stems and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 large Tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped Cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 large Russet potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup Beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp Beef bouillon


  • Place oil into a large lidded deep skillet and set it over medium-high heat.
  • Add the ground beef and cook for 5-7 minutes until browned.
  • Stir in the yellow onions and cook for 2 minutes until they are translucent.
  • Add the garlic, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, and cumin. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Now, add salt, russet potatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, and beef bouillon to the pot.
  • Press the mixture down so that the liquid covers the potatoes completely.
  • Cover the Carne Molida Con Papas, decrease the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Once the potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened, garnish with any herbs you have on hand.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 16gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 661mgPotassium: 526mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 298IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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