Easy Cuban Picadillo Recipe (Low-FODMAP, gluten free, dairy free)

Easy Cuban Picadillo Recipe (Low-FODMAP, gluten free, dairy free)

This healthy Cuban picadillo recipe is easy and flavor-packed thanks to spices, olives and raisins. Serve with a side of sauteed plantains, and you have a mouth-watering low FODMAP dinner! #calmbellykitchen #ibs #fodmap

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I love easy dishes with big flavor payoffs, don’t you?

This low-FODMAP picadillo recipe delivers on both fronts by using a few fragrant spices to flavor simple ingredients for a meal that comes together in about 30 minutes.

Picadillo is a dish found in Caribbean and Latin American countries with slightly different variations depending on location. It’s often made with ground meat (picadillo means “mince” in Spanish) and tomatoes, and served over rice.

The Cuban version usually includes olives and raisins, creating a sweet and tangy flavor dance I personally find addictive. 

Each serving contains ½ tbsp of raisins, keeping the serving size comfortably in the low-FODMAP range. (Up to 1 tbsp per serving is low FODMAP.)

The sauteed plantains are a fun addition that takes just a few minutes to make. If you’re wondering whether plantains are okay on the FODMAP Diet, I understand the cause for confusion... 

Ripe bananas have a high FODMAP content, while under ripe bananas are acceptable. 

But stick with me here…

Plantains, on the other hand, have different levels of starches and sugars, which has a big impact on FODMAP content. According testing by Monash University, one medium plantain is low in FODMAPs. In fact, only trace amounts were detected!

If you’re bored with the same old side dishes, you might fall in love with plantains. You can buy them in large supermarkets and Latin markets. If you can’t find them, no worries, the picadillo is still delicious (and plenty hearty) without them.

If you like this recipe, play around with different spices and ingredients you enjoy. The Costa Rican version is often made with potatoes and bell peppers; or try allspice like they do in the Dominican Republic.

For another recipe using low-FODMAP spices, check out this Grilled Chicken with Curry-Lime Marinade.

Finally, I want to take a second to introduce the newest member of the CBK team. Jenna Ashley is a recipe developer, food stylist, and photographer (Are you swooning over her gorgeous photos too?! Just check out her Instagram.). 

I think she did an amazing job with her first recipe for the site, and I hope you do too! 

Leave a comment and let us know what you think (or just tell Jenna you’re drooling over her images!).

Ready to make your low-FODMAP meal planning easier? Click to get our Free Shopping List!

Cuban Picadillo (Low-FODMAP, gluten free, dairy free)

Recipe and photos by Jennafer Ashley

This fragrant Cuban dish is the perfect meal-prep recipe for busy nights when time is limited. It reheats in a pinch without sacrificing flavor! You can use a cast iron, Dutch oven or stainless steel pan pan for cooking. Rice can also be prepped ahead in a large batch for quick assembly. 

Prep Time- 5 minutes
Cook Time- 26 minutes
Total Time-  31 minutes
Makes 4 servings


2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium ripe plantain, sliced into ½ inch slices
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp raisins
1/4 cup sliced green olives
4 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Add plantain slices, season with salt and black pepper to taste, and sauté 3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate.

2. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef to skillet and break up into crumbles with a spatula. Cook uncovered until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. 

3. Season with cumin, oregano, smoked paprika and sea salt. Stir in tomato paste, water, raisins and olives. Cook 5 minutes longer to reconstitute raisins. Serve meat mixture over rice with plantains and chopped cilantro. 

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Jenna Ashley is a Registered Dietetic Technician and recipe developer specializing in healthy eating. She styles and photographs recipes for her website, Fresh and Fit , as well as contributes to a variety of websites. In her free time, Jenna enjoys trying new restaurants and hiking with her German Shepherd. See more of her work on Instagram.