Mexican Picadillo Tacos are filled with a savory ground beef, potato, and tomatillo mixture in a crispy homemade taco shell. Top them with a simple tomato salsa, sour cream, and lettuce.
Picadillo is popular in many Latin American Countries, and you'll find wide variations of it. In Spanish 'picadillo' means hash, so essentially it's a ground beef hash.
I learned how to make this Mexican picadillo from my Mother in law and she serves it in a crispy fried corn tortilla shell.
These crispy Mexican Picadillo Tacos are a must-try for any taco lover!
Ingredients for Mexican Picadillo Tacos
The Ingredients are simple for this dish and can be found at your local store. Here's what you'll need:
- Corn Tortillas
- Ground Beef
- Toppings: Sour Cream and Lettuce
You can substitute ground turkey for the beef if you need a leaner option.
How to Make Mexican Picadillo
Peel and dice the potato into small pieces so it cooks quickly.
Peel and wash the tomatillos well. They have a waxy residue on their skin. I add a splash of vinegar to help remove it. Then dice the tomatillo into small pieces.
Brown the ground beef in a large pan with some oil. Once it's cooked add the diced potatoes and tomatillos. I don't drain any of the grease, I think it adds more flavor.
Season with salt and pepper then place a lid on the pan. Cook until the potatoes have soften and stir the mixture every few minutes. It will take at least 15 minutes.
This is what it looks like once the potatoes have softened. The tomatillos cook down and most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow the picadillo mixture to cool slightly.
How to Make Crispy Taco Shells
To make homemade crispy taco shells, simply add a corn tortilla to hot oil in a skillet and use tongs to fold it over into a taco shell.
You can also fill the tortillas with the picadillo mixture, then deep fry the taco all together. This is how I make my Taco Dorados.
Another option is to bake the tortillas in the oven to make baked shells.
Spray or brush oil on each tortilla. Then drape them over the oven rungs to form a shell. Bake at 400° F for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy.
Frequently Asked Questions
The fried shells taste best the day of, but the picadillo mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or even frozen for up to 2 months.
If you use a gluten-free corn tortilla for the shell, they will be gluten free!
Check out these Crispy Tacos:
Assembling The Tacos
I also like to add a simple tomato sauce to the picadillo tacos. It's just blended boiled tomatoes with some salt or garlic salt.
You can also add a jalapeno to make the sauce a little spicy.
Assemble the tacos with sour cream in the crispy shell, the picadillo mixture, tomato sauce, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes.
If you want it spicy, add some chile de arbol salsa.
Crispy Mexican Picadillo Taco Recipe
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1 Jalapeno (for spice)
- ¼ teaspoon Salt or garlic salt
- 12 Corn Tortillas
- Neutral Oil for deep fying
Toppings: Lettuce, Tomato, and Sour Cream
- Place oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook ground beef until no longer pink. I do not drain the grease.
- Add diced potatoes and tomatillos to the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on and simmer until potatoes become soft, stirring every few minutes. This takes at least 15 minutes. Once the potatoes are softened turn off the heat and all the picadillo to cool slightly.
- Wash Roma tomatoes and cut slits on the top making an X. Place them into a small pot with water and bring to a boil for 4 minutes or until the skin starts to peel off.
- Remove tomatoes from the water and allow them to cool. Peel off the skin and place tomatoes in a blender with salt or garlic salt. If you want the sauce spicy, add a jalapeno here. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- To fry the tortillas, place about an inch of oil in a heavy bottom pan. Heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees F. Using tongs, place the corn tortilla into the oil and fold it in half to create a taco shell. Once the tortilla has some color, flip it over and fry the other side. Place on a baking sheet or paper towel to drain.
- Oven Method- Spray or brush corn tortillas on both sides with oil and place over 2 rungs in the oven, so they drape over them. Bake at 400 F degrees for 10 minutes or until crispy.
Assembling the Tacos
- Assemble the tacos in the crispy shells with the picadillo filling, sour cream, tomato sauce, and top with lettuce and tomato. You can also do a separate spicy salsa like chile de arbol.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.