Picadillo, which means "mince" in Spanish, is the Latin American version of hash. It varies with the region, but invariably contains chopped meat (usually pork, beef, or veal), and often tomatoes. Raisins are also a fairly common ingredient in the Cuban rendition of this dish. Our slimmed-down version is made with lean pork tenderloin and folate-rich lentils


1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, slivered

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into chunks

1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added stewed tomatoes

1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 cup water

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. In a nonstick Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and garlic, and cook until the pepper is tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the pork until coarsely ground. Add the pork to the pan and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the lentils, stewed tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, water, raisins, olives, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Makes 4 servings

Vegetarian Picadillo Omit the pork and increase the lentils to 1 1/4 cups. Instead of water (added in step 3), use carrot juice and increase the amount to 1 1/4 cups.

Nutrition Facts

per serving: calories 454, total fat 9g, saturated fat 2g, cholesterol 74mg, dietary fiber 20g, carbohydrate 55g, protein 41g, sodium 654mg

good source of: fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, zinc


An inexpensive, low-fat source of fiber, protein, iron, potassium, and zinc, the lentil is also a good source of B vitamins, including heart-healthy folate. For example, a mere 1/2 cup of cooked lentils will supply about half of your daily requirement for this B vitamin.

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 11 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015