When you need an easy meal to feed a crowd, this is the perfect recipe. It is a total crowd-pleaser that is cost-effective and can be made ahead of time.

It costs approximately $13.38 to make these tacos. The recipe makes ten servings and costs around $1.33 per serving.

3 Picadillo Tacos next to each other.

Picadillo Tacos – Tacos de Picadillo

This is a great meal to make if you are having friends or family over for dinner. The filling and the shells can be made ahead of time, and they are simple to make.

If you are intimidated about making homemade taco shells, watch the recipe video to see exactly how to do it. I have made them a lot of times, and after a few fails and adjustments have perfected the process.

An overhead picture of the finished Picadillo meat mixture.

This recipe has gotten rave reviews from my readers. Here’s what one said about this recipe:

Cliona: “What’s not to love? These tacos are amazing!”

What is a picadillo taco?

Picadillo tacos are delicious! They are crispy taco shells full of ground beef, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. You can also add your favorite toppings such as lettuce, cheese, avocado, and salsa. 

Picadillo Meaning and Origin

Picadillo is a meat filling. The word actually comes from the Spanish word “picar,” which means “to mince.” It, therefore, makes sense then that the meat in picadillo tacos is ground beef. It is most often found in Spain and Latin American countries. 

Picadillo Taco Ingredients & Cost:

Per Serving Cost: $1.33

Recipe Cost: $13.38

    • 2 pounds ground beef $7.16
    • 1 large russet potato $0.25
    • 1 medium white onion $0.45
    • 1 medium green bell pepper $0.72
    • 3 large garlic cloves $0.15
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin $0.06
    • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour $0.01
    • 1 large Roma tomato $0.36
    • ¾ cup water $0.00
    • Vegetable oil for frying $2.56
    • 20 yellow corn tortillas 6 or 8-inches $1.66

    NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in December 2023.

    All of the ingredients needed to make Picadillo Tacos.

    How Do You Make Picadillo with Potatoes

    ***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

      1. Make the picadillo by combining beef, potato, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, and then stir in the onion and bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Then add in garlic and cumin.
      2. Stir in flour to cook for 1 minute. Then stir in the tomato and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for a minute.
      3. Make the tacos after heating oil over medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas, one at a time.
      4. Spoon picadillo taco shells and top with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, avocado, salsa, and chopped cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

    A picture collage of how to make Picadillo Tacos.

    To round out your meal, I suggest making my slow cooker refried beans, corn salad, or cornbread.

    Picadillo Tacos Tips

    • You can halve this recipe when serving 4-5 people.
    • If you’re strapped for time, you can use store-bought crispy taco shells, but be forewarned they won’t taste as good!
    • The taco shells will keep in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to 3 days.

    Tacos De Picadillo Recipe Tools:

    • 14-inch nonstick skillet
    • heavy-bottomed skillet
    • tongs OR taco shell tongs*** I HIGHLY recommend these! 

    What to Serve with Picadillo Tacos

    To round out your meal, I suggest making my slow cooker refried beans, corn salad, or cornbread.

    How to Store Ground Beef and Potato Tacos

    SERVE: You can keep the taco filling out for two hours before they will need to be refrigerated.

    STORE: Keep the Picadillo filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep the taco shells at room temperature for up to 3 days, but note that they will become stale after 24 hours.

    FREEZE: You can freeze the filling, but not the taco shells. Place the filling in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container and freeze for up to 4 months.

    A hand picking up a finished Picadillo Taco.

    Beef and Potato Tacos FAQs

    How is picadillo served?

    How picadillo is served, typically varies by location and culture. It can be served as a main dish alongside some rice and beans. Or it can be stuffed inside tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc.

    What is the difference between Mexican and Cuban Picadillo?

    Both are similar in that they are both made with some sweet and spicy ingredients. However, the main difference is that.Cuban Picadillo is usually a little tangy in addition to the sweet and spicy flavors. This comes from the addition of green olives.

    Is Giniling the same and picadillo?

    Giniling is a FIlipino dish while Picadillo is a South American dish. The ingredients are very similar and only vary slightly due to the availability of ingredients in each area. A main difference is that you will often times find fried plantains in giniling which is not an ingredient found in traditional picadillo.


    A close up, overhead picture of crispy Picadillo Tacos.
    4.62 from 18 votes

    Picadillo Taco Recipe (Ground Beef and Potato Tacos)

    Author Picadillo adapted from Cook’s Country
    Recipe Cost $ 13.38
    Serving Cost $ 1.33
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    10 people
    This Picadillo Tacos recipe (Tacos de Picadillo) makes crispy ground beef and potato tacos that are so easy to make. This recipe serves 10 and costs $13.38 to make. That's just $1.33 per serving


    • 14-inch nonstick skillet
    • heavy-bottomed skillet
    • tongs



    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 1 large russet potato peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 medium white onion chopped fine
    • 1 medium green bell pepper seeded and chopped fine
    • 3 large garlic cloves minced
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 large Roma tomato chopped fine
    • ¾ cup water


    • Vegetable oil for frying, I used 3-4 cups
    • 20 yellow corn tortillas 6 or 8-inches
    • chopped Roma tomatoes
    • shredded iceberg lettuce
    • shredded cheese cheddar or Colby
    • chopped avocado
    • salsa
    • chopped cilantro



    • In a large 14-inch nonstick skillet combine beef, potato, 1 ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium-high heat until beef and potatoes begin to brown, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up meat. Stir in onion and bell pepper, and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add in garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    • Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Stir in chopped tomato and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.


    • In a large heavy-bottomed skillet heat 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat until oil reaches 350 degrees (the amount of oil will you use vary depending on your pan size). Fry tortillas, one at a time, by folding in half and laying one-half flat in oil while holding another half-open with tongs. Cook for 30-60 seconds, or until golden and crisp, and then repeat with another half to form a taco shell. Place taco shell on a paper towel-lined plate, and repeat with remaining tortillas.
    • Spoon Picadillo into taco shells and top with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, avocado, salsa, and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.



    This recipe makes 20 tacos. The serving size is 2 tacos per person. 


    Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 13.6mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3.1mg

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    This post first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on May 4, 2017. 

    This Picadillo Tacos recipe (Tacos de Picadillo) makes crispy ground beef and potato tacos that are so easy to make. This recipe serves 10 and costs $11.14 to make. That’s just $1.11 per serving

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    Recipe Rating


    1. I have never made my own tacos before but I am way excited to try!!

    2. These were so tasty and everyone loved them. YUM!!!

    3. Wonderful! I love how simple these are, and yet they’re still absolutely delicious! Love that you make your own crispy tacos, too. I haven’t tried that yet, but you’ve definitely inspired me!

    4. Andrea Metlika says:

      The beef with the potatoes and all those spices sounds so good. I’m excited to make these.

    5. Krissy Allori says:

      These look so good! I’m looking forward to trying them.

    6. You have me at tacos! These look incredible and satisfying! I love how you made your shells too.

    7. What’s not to love? These tacos are amazing!

    8. These were perfect for our Cinco de Mayo/Taco Tuesday last week. Whole family loved them!

    9. Katie Bellamy says:

      This would be a fun new way to do Taco Tuesday!!

    10. My husband and I loved these! We made them together. It was a very easy recipe to follow. All the flavors combined to fit in those delicious crispy home fried tacos made them perfect! Yum! We both agreed we’d be making them again and again.

    11. Jaclyn Mercer says:

      My family loves a good Taco Tuesday. We do chicken, steak, beef and shrimp tacos relatively often, but I have never tried a Picadillo filling using potatoes. Great tip!

    12. My family and I had so much fun making our own tacos! We’ll be making this again!

    13. Jere Cassidy says:

      Our neighborhood taqueria makes these and they are so good. Glad to have a recipe I can make at home.

    14. Gail Montero says:

      This looks loaded with delicious flavors and something my entire family will enjoy!

    15. Alexandra says:

      These are so delicious – the whole family loved them! Our new go-to taco recipe.

    16. First time making and having potato tacos and they were perfect! Super tasty!