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Vegan Picadillo Recipe

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Picadillo, also known as “carne molida” was a staple growing up.

It’s a simple dish, using affordable, popular ingredients including potatoes, ground beef, tomato sauce, seasonings, olives, and oil.

There are different variations of the dish, across countries and even from household to household. 

For the Puerto Rican version, it’s typically paired with white rice and any other side you like. We went with brown rice, fried sweet plantains (maduros), and pinto beans (not pictured). 

You can also use this picadillo recipe for tacos, empanadas, or sandwiches. If you do opt to have picadillo with bready ingredients, I suggest cooking it for longer to reduce the liquid as much as possible.

Here we’ll be taking this meat-heavy dish and making it vegan. The plant-based version of this dish is still just as delicious, using all the flavors and seasonings that make this amazing in the first place. 

If you want to include more sides with your vegan picadillo, here are some ideas: 

Sweet Plantains (Maduros) 

Black Beans 

Habichuelas Guisadas (Stewed Pink Beans) 

Vegan Picadillo Recipe

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin
Keyword: Picadillo, Puerto Rican Food



  • Chop potatoes into cubes. Set aside. 
  • Warm up the oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Add the sofrito to the pan. Saute and cook for about 1 minute.
  • Next, add the Beyond Beef Crumbles, sazonwater, russet potato, tomato sauce, green olivesbay leaf. Mix well. 
  • Reduce heat to low and add a lid over the pan.
  • Simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. 
  • Once potatoes are tender, remove the lid from the pan and turn off the heat.
  • Allow everything to simmer for another 2-3 minutes to thicken up the sauce. 
  • Serve. 


  1. Traditionally, at least in my household, we would peel the potatoes. I don’t do that. I think it’s a waste of food and time, so I leave them on. However, you’re welcome to peel them if that’s your thing. 
  2. Because the vegan beef crumbles are drier and less fatty than actual ground beef, we’ll need to compensate by introducing more moisture. This is why tomato sauce and a touch of water will be an important addition to this recipe. 
  3. Don’t use the Beyond Meat Beef Feisty Crumbles, or it’ll change the flavor of your picadillo. You want to get Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles. You’ll find it in a red bag in the freezer section of the grocery store. 
  4. If you prefer to use a different vegan ground beef brand, that’s fine. Be sure to find something that isn’t overly salty or flavored. Taste and adjust as needed.
  5. I HIGHLY suggest making your own sofrito because the pre-made stuff is not even close to being as good.
If your sofrito has added salt, add less sazon. This dish will be seasoned enough with the ingredients listed. 

While you’re here, check out our most popular Puerto Rican recipes that’ll pair well with your vegan picadillo:

Sin Carne Guisada (Vegan “Beef” Stew) Recipe 

Easy Oven-Baked Plantains Recipe (Maduros) Recipe 

Puerto Rican Stew (Habichuelas Guisadas) Recipe

Did you try out this Vegan Picadillo recipe?

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