The BEST Carne Picada (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Large bowl of carne picada with a wedge of lime.

Carne Picada is a Tex-Mex recipe filled with tender braised beef, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and bold seasonings.

Similar to Steak Picado, this carne picada recipe, can be enjoyed with Mexican Rice and Refried Beans or tucked into warm flour tortillas and topped with your favorite taco toppings.

Up close photo of minced beef and peppers with rice.

What Is Carne Picada?

Carne picada, which directly translates from Spanish to “minced meat,” is a term used in Latin American cuisine to describe meat that’s been finely chopped or ground. It’s then seasoned and cooked, depending on the specific dish or regional variation.

Beef Carne Picada

There are several cuts of beef that work to make this carne picada recipe. If you’re lucky enough to find pre-shaved beef labeled “carne picada” at your local grocery stores, grab it.

If you can’t find a package labeled “carne picada” any of the below cuts will work; just cut them into small 2″ cubes or thin slices when making. You can read more about the cut here.

  • Bottom Round Steak
  • Top Round Steak
  • Sirloin Steak
  • London Broil
  • Chuck Roast (More Beef Chuck Roast Recipes)
  • Chuck Steak
  • Flank Steak
  • Skirt Steak
Labeled ingredients required to make steak picada.

Ingredients

Here are the main ingredients you need to make beef picada, in addition to minced steak (or your selected cut of beef).

For the full list of ingredients to make this easy carne picada recipe, please reference the recipe card below:

  • White Onion
  • Poblano Pepper
  • Jalapeños
  • Chipotle Chiles in Adobo
  • Diced Tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • Beef Broth
  • Optional Toppings- fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, cotija cheese

Side by side photos showing the process of making carne picada.

How to Make

This steak picado recipe takes minimal effort as the braising does all the work. You’ll only spend about 10 minutes prepping if you use pre-sliced meat.

The recipe card below details all the steps, however here’s a quick overview with photos to reference, if needed:

Brown The Beef – For the most flavorful meat, brown the beef over medium-high heat along with the spices.

Saute the Vegetables – add the veggies to soften them up.

Braising the Dish – simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until the beef is tender.

Canned tomatoes dumped over beef in a large skillet.

Slow Cooker Carne Picada

To make Slow Cooker carne picada, complete steps 1-4 as written. Transfer everything from the skillet to the slow cooker and add the tomatoes and beef broth. Place the lid on the cooker and braise away!

This slow cooker recipe takes about 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low heat.

Serving Ideas

Picado Steak makes an amazing filler. Anywhere we serve our Carne Asada, or even ground beef, you could swap out for Carne Picada Steak. Here are some easy recipe ideas:

  • Carne Picada Tacos – Stuff inside a tortilla and top with your favorite taco toppings, like sour cream, guacamole, pickled red onions and pickled peppers.
  • Burrito – Tuck inside a large flour tortilla and top with your favorite burrito fillings.
  • Rice Bowls/Burrito Bowls – Fill a bowl with Mexican Rice, and cilantro lime rice and top with carne picada and your favorite toppings.
  • Quesadilla Recipes – Add to a cheese quesadilla to make a beef version.
Sliced cheese quesadilla topped with quacamole.
  • Fajitas – Tuck inside warm corn tortillas, or flour tortillas, to make it a steak fajita.
  • Enchiladas – Just swap out the chicken in Chicken Enchiladas, to make a beef version.
  • Empanadas – Strain the sauce and use the filling as an empanada filling.
  • Stuffed Peppers – Hollow out bell peppers and stuff them with a mixture of carne picada and rice. Bake until the peppers are tender.
  • Breakfast Skillet – throw some eggs and cheese in with the carne picada and top with avocado slices for a fabulous breakfast skillet.
Plate of green rice and beef on a deckled plate.

Side Dish Ideas

Here are some Mexican side dish recipes, and sauce recipes, that pair well with this carne picada recipe.

Basically anything on our What to Serve with Carne Asada and What to Serve with Tacos lists will work!

Recipe Variations

  • Like Spice? Add red chili flakes, chili powder or even cayenne pepper to make spicy carne picada meat.
  • Garlic – swap fresh garlic for garlic powder if you prefer.
  • Fresh Tomatoes – Substitute in diced fresh tomatoes, in equal parts.
  • Canned Tomatoes – add a hit of flavor by using fire-roasted tomatoes or even Rotel.
  • Carne Picada With Potatoes – Finely dice a potato and add it with the vegetables.
Bowl of beef picado topped with sour cream.

Cooking Tips

  • For best results, you must use a large skillet or heavy-bottom pan (think dutch oven)! This makes a ton of food and even a medium size skillet won’t cut it. Look how full our very large skillet is in the picture above.
  • Carne picada beef makes a great meal-plan recipe! Just make on a Sunday and enjoy through out the week.

Storage

Once cooled, transfer beef to an airtight container or Freezer bags and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Drink Pairings

All the Mexican classics work here: Michelada, Chelada, Classic Margarita, or an ice cold cerveza!

This recipe for carne picada is an easy beef recipe will quickly become one of your favorite weeknight meals.

Other popular Mexican Recipes you may enjoy: Pollo Asado, and Street Tacos.

Large bowl of carne picada with a wedge of lime.

Carne Picada

Carne Picada is a Tex-Mex recipe filled with tender braised beef, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and bold seasonings. Similar to Steak Picado, this carne picada recipe, can be enjoyed with Mexican rice and beans or tucked into warm flour tortillas and topped with your favorite taco toppings. 
5 from 75 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 372kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $15

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • 2½-3 lbs Carne Picada (or Other Beef Cuts) ((*Note 1))
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 1 Large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 Large jalapeño, finely diced
  • 4 Large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz) Can diced tomatoes ((*Note 2))
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions

  • Pre-heat a large deep skillet (or dutch oven) over medium high heat.
  • Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat. Add the beef and spread out as much as possible.
    2 tbsp Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • After 2-3 minutes (when the bottom of the steak is browned), add the salt, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and coriander and toss to combine. Continue cooking until the beef is browned (approx. 5 minutes).
    2½-3 lbs Carne Picada (or Other Beef Cuts), 1 tbsp kosher salt, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp coriander
  • Push the meat to one side of the skillet and add the onion, poblano pepper, jalapeno, garlic and chipotle chilies to the empty side. Saute for approx. 7-8 minutes, until the veggies are soft.
    1 Large white onion, thinly sliced, 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced, 1 Large jalapeño, finely diced, 4 Large garlic cloves, minced, 2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
  • If using Minced/Ground/Thin Strips of Beef – Add the tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Check the firmness of the meat. If it's easy to shred it's ready to go. If not, cook for another 15 minutes.
    If using Cubed Beef – Add the tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer for another 90 minutes, until the meat is easy to shred.
    1 (14.5 oz) Can diced tomatoes, 1 cup beef broth
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice over the dish and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
    1 lime, cut into wedges

SLOW COOKER CARNE PICADA

  • Complete steps 1-4 as written above. Transfer everything from the skillet to the slow cooker and add the tomatoes and beef broth. Place the lid on the cooker and braise away! Cook for 3 hours on high or 5 on low.

Notes

Note 1 – If you can’t find carne picada, these other cuts work. Just cut them up into 2″ pieces before cooking.
  • Bottom Round Steak
  • Top Round Steak
  • Sirloin Steak
  • London Broil
  • Chuck Roast
  • Chuck Steak
  • Flank Steak
  • Skirt Steak
Note 2 – you can also use freshly diced tomatoes, in equal parts. Or use fire-roasted tomatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 2220mg | Potassium: 2130mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1098IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 303mg | Iron: 11mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @foodieandwine or tag #foodieandwine!

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