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Puerto Rican Picadillo Empanadas

Puerto Rican Picadillo: beef hash seasoned with sofrito. Great with rice, or as a filling for empanadas, papas rellenos and tacos! (Popular in Cuban and Latin American cuisine).

Puerto Rican Picadillo ground beef hash made with sofrito and olives con papas.

My Puerto Rican recipe series continues. Today I have 2 recipes.

The first is for Puerto Rican Picadillo, which is a ground beef hash.

Picadillo can be served as-is over rice, used in Papas Rellenas (another Puerto Rican favorite), or even as an alternative taco filling (shh don’t tell my Mexican grandmother…).

Puerto Rican Picadillo

Here, it serves as the filling for savory empanadas.

They make a great meal on their own with a green salad, as a side to any Puerto Rican meal or even rewarmed the next morning for breakfast!

Heck, I’ll even eat them cold! They’re also pretty tasty dipped in mayoketchup – a three ingredient wonder sauce.

Puerto Rican Picadillo Empanadas

This recipe employs some Puerto Rican ingredient staples: sofrito, tomato sauce and olives.

Sofrito is the base of most Puerto Rican cooking, along with tomato.

Pimento stuffed olives are also common and really add a pop of briny tang.

Puerto Rican Picadillo Empanadas

This recipe uses pre-made empanada dough/wrappers, which can be found in the freezer section of Hispanic supermarkets.

Since moving, I haven’t had access to this convenient product.

Be on the lookout for a 100% from-scratch recipe! Sign up for my emails below so you’ll get notified.

UPDATE: you can find my homemade empanada dough recipe here!

Another note: the orange color you see is from the annatto seed, which is used frequently in Puerto Rican cooking. The empanada dough also comes in “plain.”

Puerto Rican Picadillo

Puerto Rican Picadillo ground beef hash made with sofrito and olives con papas.

Puerto Rican Picadillo

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Puerto Rican beef hash seasoned with sofrito. Great with rice, or as a filling for empanadas, papas rellenos and tacos!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sofrito
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) canned tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish olives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Dash of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed small


  1. In a large frying pan, brown ground beef over medium heat. Add sofrito and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce, olives, adobo, garlic powder and oregano. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper. The flavors should be robust.
  3. Add potatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 21g

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below! Or tag @kitchengidget on Instagram with the hashtag #kitchengidget

Pastelillos de Carne – Puerto Rican Picadillo Empanadas

Puerto Rican Picadillo Empanadas

  • 1 recipe for Picadillo
  • 1 package empanada shells, thawed (I use Goya Discos found in the frozen section)
  • OR you can make your own empanada dough
  • Oil, for frying


Puerto Rican Picadillo Empanadas

Separate empanada shells and thin with a rolling pin.

Fill half of disk with about 2 tablespoons of picadillo, leaving a half-inch rim around the edge.

Fold dough over filling and crimp the edges with a fork to seal well.

Fry in hot oil a few at a time, about 3-4 minutes per side, or until crust is golden brown and bubbly.

Yield: 10 empanadas


Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

I truly enjoy making all my favorite dishes


Thursday 15th of April 2021

I’m excited to try this! What kind of oil do you use to fry them?


Thursday 15th of April 2021

Just regular vegetable oil. You can use corn, peanut or any oil that withstands high heat.

Carol Perez

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

I’d be interested in a recipe for Pasteles!


Saturday 17th of October 2020

Do you think I could make these up and freeze them pre-fried? Or maybe keep them in the fridge for a day or two? I'm bringing these for Thanksgiving this year and really don't want to be filling so many morning of.


Sunday 18th of October 2020

Yes, they can be filled and kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen!


Monday 7th of September 2020

My friend makes something similar but it has cheese in it as well, do you do any like that? It is so delicious! Will try yours looks yummy,


Monday 7th of September 2020

Yes it's so good with cheese!

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