Puerto Rican Carne Molida (Picadillo Style Ground Beef) {Recipe}

by Melanie Edwards on April 29, 2013 · 7 comments

in Puerto Rico, Recipes

If you’re looking for simple recipes with ground beef, you may want to give this carne molida recipe a try. Carne molida is a Puerto Rican ground beef recipe that is similar to picadillo (a name that might be more familiar). However, Puerto Rican carne molida is slighty different than Cuban picadillo and is cooked with potatoes and carrots. They’re both delicious dishes, though!

Carne Molida Recipe for Ground Beef

I grew up eating carne molida and it’s still a regular part of my weekly menu plan. It’s such an easy ground beef recipe and it’s pretty versatile too, since you can use it as a filling for other foods. I love to eat it served over white rice as does my husband. Something I often do is substitute the ground beef with ground turkey to make my carne molida recipe a bit healthier. If you want to learn how to make the real deal, here’s my family’s recipe for carne molida!

Puerto Rican Carne Molida (Ground Beef) Recipe


  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp adobo
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp meat tenderizer
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sazón, 1 packet
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sofrito (or recaito)
  • 10-11 green olives (Spanish salad olives) + 1-2 tsp of olive liquid
  • 2-3 small potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and cubed
  • about 10 baby carrots, rinsed and chopped

Note: To see pictures and links for some of the ingredients used, read 5 Must-Have Ingredients for Cooking Puerto Rican Food.


  1. Season ground beef with adobo, black pepper, and meat tenderizer.
  2. Heat a large pan to low-medium heat and add seasoned ground beef.
  3. Add olive oil, sazón, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sofrito, green olives, cubed potatoes, and chopped carrots.
  4. Cover pan and cook on low-medium heat until ground beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn heat down to low and continue cooking until potatoes are tender and ground beef is well cooked. Stir occasionally.

Serve your carne molida with a side of white rice (or right on top of the rice as I prefer). Here’s an easy white rice recipe using a rice cooker!

Carne Molida (Puerto Rican Ground Beef) Recipe

What is your favorite recipe for ground beef? Have you ever tried carne molida or picadillo?

All photos © Melanie Edwards/modernmami™

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa, De Su Mama April 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

This looks so delicious! I love picadillo, and will totally try this recipe out! Thanks so much!


hangingwithangie April 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Sounds delicious and looks delicious.


Dana July 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

looks ok…


J October 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

This looks delicious! So happy I stumbled about your website. I love it – thank you!


Melanie Edwards October 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

You’re most welcome! Enjoy the recipe. :)


Victor M Rodriguez January 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Sabroso! Lo trate!


Melanie Edwards January 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Que bueno!


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