Vegetarian Picadillo Recipe

Posted on Jul 7 2014 - 9:14pm by Demelza Young

If you’re familiar with Susan’s recipe for Picadillo, then you’ve probably already heard that it was a dish my mother enjoyed serving for our family as I was growing up. It has an assortment of ingredients that, if you haven’t already tried this dish, may seem like they wouldn’t complement eachother but in fact creates a delicious marriage of sweet and savory flavors.

I recently moved because of a new job, and for my last night with my family my mother suggested that my sister and I cook something together.  I decided to make over this dish so that everyone could enjoy it regardless of food allergies or other preferences.  My Picadillo makeover was a success, largely I think because of all the love that went into preparing it.  Both my sister and my mom ended up helping me in the kitchen, and I don’t think I’d have had my last meal with them any other way.

4.5 from 4 reviews
Vegetarian Picadillo Recipe
Vegetarian Picadillo (serves 4-5)
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4-5
  • 1 package soy crumbles*, or 6 burger patties
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • ¼ c raisins
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¼ t cinnamon, or more to taste
  • ¼ t cloves, or more to taste
  • ¼ c slivered almonds
  • ¼ c sliced pimento-stuffed olives
  • Hot cooked rice, to serve
  1. Heat burgers or soy crumbles in microwave, according to package instructions. If using burger patties, chop them up to resemble ground beef.
  2. Cook and stir the crumbles, onion, and garlic in a skillet until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add tomatoes, green pepper, raisins, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. In a small pan, cook and stir the almonds over medium to medium-high heat until they are golden, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Stir almonds and olives into your burger mixture. Make sure you add a little of the olive juice from the jar as well, for extra flavor. Serve over rice.
  6. *I like both the Morningstar Farms and Boca varieties, but if you want a more natural option you could substitute it with tofu. Simply press it before crumbling and browning it in the pan as you would ground beef.


Demelza Young is an alumni of Northern Kentucky University. She currently enjoys volunteering her time in her local community, reviewing online content with her cat, and sharing quality recipes.

12 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. lisa July 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    I have heard of, but tried picadillo before. I agree, the combination of ingredients does sound a bit odd. I would try a taste of it.

    • Faith Y, July 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Lisa, I think you will be glad if you try this. Have made and served it to over a dozen people – have yet to find anyone who does not like it 🙂

  2. faith July 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Eating this makes me think I could eat more meatless meals. Would this would also be good with tofu?

  3. Ginny July 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Tofu does sound like a good alternate…and I usually have it on hand. Good luck with your new job. This recipe sounded so weird but it really is delicious.

  4. debbie campbell July 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    I have never heard of picadillo. The dish sounds pretty good, and I will have to give it a try.

  5. Heidi Embrey July 10, 2014 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Thanks. Always looking for new things to try. Picadillo is such a great name for a dish it makes you want to try it!

  6. Janice Dean July 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    This sound incredible! Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  7. Sharon July 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I have never heard of or tried Picadillo, but I want to now! Whats interesting to me about this recipe is the ingredients. Almonds, raisins,cinnamon,green pepper,pimento-stuffed olives and cloves with tomatoes. I have to try this for the flavor combination alone! I really appreciate the post also because I am a Vegan and this recipe works for me as well as a Vegetarian, so thank you very much for this post!

  8. Laurie P July 20, 2014 at 8:22 am - Reply

    I’ve never actually tried making Picadillo, but I’ve tried a couple versions a few years back while visiting friends. Love the recipe here, but I wonder if it would change it too much if I left out (or replaced) the raisins and cinnamon. Not the biggest fan of those two ingredients.
    Really looks tasty 🙂

  9. Shannon August 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    This sounds really good. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

  10. Rosie August 11, 2016 at 10:47 am - Reply

    This is really cool – I make mostly vegetarian, and have used meat substitutions, sometimes even my own seitan. I’ve never made anything like this, I’d love to try it! It could become a regular fav!

  11. Margaret Appel April 22, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    The vegetarian picadillo looks and sounds really good! I make a lot of rice dishes for my family, and many nights we do go meatless, so this will make another welcome addition to the monthly menu. Pinned this! Thanks 🙂

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