Carne Picada – A Budget Friendly #Recipe

Having 5 children, 4 of which are still in the home, I’ve had to become an expert shopper! It’s nothing for me to be in the grocery store for hours to shop, but I tend to come out with enough food to stretch for weeks, and also spend much less than the norm. Carne Picada is nothing new to our family. We use it for everything from beef stew and shredded beef tacos to stroganoff and stir fry.

What is Carne Picada? It’s really nothing more than thinly sliced strips of beef, sometimes even more like minced meat. It is extremely cost friendly, because it’s usually made with your cheaper cuts of beef. However, it has great flavor and a $6 package can easily feed a family of 6 for 2 days. It’s right up there with our other carefully chosen, cost effective family favorites like Buffalo Chicken Salad, Make-Your-Own Pizza, Leek and Potato Soup, and Taco Chili.

Here’s a simple recipe for Carne Picada, which you can serve over rice, with your favorite tortilla or taco shells, or mix into a big pot of chili.

Carne Picada

Carne Picada


  • 2 lbs.carne picada
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped, seeded
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 5-6 mini peppers, chopped, seeded (yellow, orange, red)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp olive
  • 2 tsp beef bouillon cubes or granules
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt, pepper, Adobe seasoning to taste


  1. Fill large plastic zip bag with worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, and seasonings. Add in the carne picada and mix well. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil to hot skillet, and cook chopped onions until almost translucent. Toss in diced jalapenos, peppers and garlic and cook for several minutes until soft.
  3. Add marinated beef and bouillon to onion mixture and cook until browned well. Stir in grape tomatoes.
  4. Turn down to low and allow to simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Add more seasoning to taste if necessary.
  5. Serve over white or brown rice along with a few slices of ripe avocado, refried beans (I use the fat-free kind), and a rolled up warmed tortilla. Can also be served with taco shells instead.


  1. This looks great, I want to try it! Where would I get the meat at? I haven’t seen it around here anywhere.

    • I get mine at Walmart, but most grocery stores should have it. All it is really is thin slices of beef.. usually chuck or tri-tip, but all shredded up for you. It is really good! :)

    • I just made this dish tonight and I realy loved it. I just put the vegtables and meat over some roasted red pepper and basil quinoa and brown rice. For a even healthier alternative

    • I got mine at a Super Walmart.
      They came two pound packages in the fresh meat dept.

  2. Betty Baez says:

    ooh that looks really good ill have to add this to my menu next week

  3. That looks amazing! I am always looking for new recipes on a budget! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love Mexican food and this looks awesome! Seems easy to make too, and not expensive at all. I am going to try this one this week.


  5. I would love to be eating this right now!

  6. this really looks to good to eat -but i would in a heart beat!!!!!!

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on carne picada. Regards

  8. Rashel Jones says:

    Where do you get the peppers from.? And what kind ?

    • I usually buy a bag of mixed red, orange, and yellow mini peppers from my local grocer, but you can easily use the larger versions of bell peppers in those colors. I also added jalapeno peppers to this dish.

  9. I’m trying this tomorrow for fajitas. I’ll post results. Thank you.

  10. I made this last night for dinner and we LOVED it! It was really inexpensive. I got the meat for $3.50, a packaged of the mix of peppers for $2 on sale, tortillas for $2, refried beans for $1.00 and rice on sale for $2 for a 3 pound bag (so now I can use the rice for other meals throughout the coming weeks)! So for $10.50 I was able to feed my family of 4 with leftovers for lunch for my boyfriend and I to take to work! Not to mention it was DELICIOUS! Thank you so much!

  11. Cynthia Dockins says:

    I just made this and it is delicious. I have never used this cut of meat before. I was out of rosemary so I used oregano and a poblano instead of jalapeno because I am a spice wimp.

  12. I found Carne Picada sliced beef at Aldi for $3.89 a pound and used it today instead of more expensive flank steak in a Cuban dish called Ropa Vieja. After cooking for three hours on the stove with Adobo, Sazon, Sofrito, tomato sauce, onions, green bell peppers, garlic, sliced green stuffed olives, capers, and cilantro, the meat was so tender that it just fell apart and looked like it had been minced. I served it over yellow rice. Delicious!!! I’m going to start using it in place of flank steak and round steak in other recipes.

  13. can I use this meat in a crock pot to make beef stew

  14. hi. im a beginner cook. we just muved here in america, texas. my wife is d one working ryt now as a nurse, 12hr shift. i dont want her to still cook wen she arrives home. so im trying to cook for d very first tym. we hav a 2 yr old son. i take care of him for now. i tried your recipe tonyt, dey luved it. our son ate a lot. i just put just a little bit of jalapeno because my wife doesnt like spicy fuds. she said its perfect. and budget friendly :)

  15. Thomas Salvador says:

    Tried this tonight!
    Changed the jalapeno to green/red peppers ..hate jalapeno..turned out really good. Made tacos and as a filling for hand pies!! And they both came out great!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  16. Just made it. I added zucchini and cilantro both chopped. It was soo good. My family loved it

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