Walnut Picadillo By Jocelyn Ramirez The New York Times.

Read community notes Picadillo is a dish that spans Latin American and Filipino food cultures with ingredients that vary from country to region. It’s a simple dish that highlights ground meat with bold flavors from tomato, onion, garlic, olives and capers, and is often paired with starches like potatoes and rice for a filling main dish, or even a taco filling. In this plant-based version, ground walnuts take on a meaty texture that absorbs all the bold flavors of a picadillo. Using a food processor is the best — and fastest — way to make sure the walnuts are evenly minced.


  • 3 cups/9 ounces raw walnuts, minced in food processor until finely chopped
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon liquid aminos, soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon raw turbinado or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • ⅓ cup neutral cooking oil (such as grapeseed)
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅓-inch dice
  • ¼ cup light beer (optional), such as a Mexican lager
  • 1(14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, strained
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Cooked rice and tortillas, for serving


  1. Step 1: Add the walnuts to a medium bowl with the tomato sauce, tomato paste, liquid aminos, vinegar, paprika, sugar, cumin and salt. Mix until fully combined; set aside.
  2. Step 2: Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the peppers are soft.
  3. Step 3: Add the serrano chile and garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Step 4: Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes soften slightly, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Step 5: Add the walnut mixture and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture lightly browns.
  6. Step 6: Add the beer (if using), tomatoes, olives and capers, and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes to let the ingredients meld together, stirring frequently.
  7. Step 7: Serve over rice with corn tortillas.

Yield: 6 servings (about 5 cups)

Maggie 1 year ago I made it using mushrooms rather than potatoes-it turned out great. I added the mushrooms at the point that the recipe says to add the potatoes. I sautéed the veggies without oil a non-stick pan, adding a tablespoon of water at a time when the veggies start to stick to the pan. The walnuts make the dish plenty rich; no need to add 1/3 cup of oil.

Susan 1 year ago Sounds delicious. Ground walnuts make a great substitute for meat - I've done tacos and chili, so I think I'll try this, too! Thanks.

Sarah 1 year ago Ground chickpeas from the can make a nice substitute—-don't let them become paste. Just chop until you have a nice ground-beef type of consistency. I use it all the time in my vegan bolognese. Delicious.

Lara 1 year ago I’m not a vegetarian, nor is my husband or my early teen age children, but we all thought this was delicious. The recipe takes longer than indicated because of the prep. Instead of 1 lb. of russet potatoes, I used half & added 1/2 lb. mushrooms. I also kept the juice from my can of fire roasted tomatoes.

The recipe also creates a lot of food. The picadillo goes a long way & we served ours with saffron rice & lightly sautéed squash and zucchini seasoned with Tajin. Had enough to feed 8 people.

Wes 1 year ago Prepared according to the recipe but doubled the cumin. Agreed with comment that it tasted great even during the intermediate steps. Could have served it just after adding the walnut mixture it was so good. Teenage kids loved it served over jasmine rice. Will definitely make again.

mimi 1 year ago Made w 1 lb of mushrooms instead of the potatoes and it worked out well. I was a bit annoyed by straining the diced tomatoes but did it anyway, and feel like it wasn’t necessary so will forgo it next time. This was good but not as awesome as I remember from the picadillo I got from a local Latino eatery - this was beef though. I’m thinking maybe oregano or some other flavors missing? I might experiment a bit w spices next time.

Jay 1 year ago This is excellent! We found that adding a little extra water once you add the walnut mixture is useful as it is a little stiff as written, no need to drain the tomatoes either. A great choice if you are eating with a big group and want to go veggie/vegan; if you omit the beer and use the aminos (or GF soy sauce), it is gluten free. Besides rice, we've enjoyed it over pasta and polenta.

world vegetarian 1 year ago YES – absolutely delicious. Mostly followed the recipe except: used the strained tomato juice (from the canned diced) to thin out tomato paste (didn't have any sauce, so …), .75 potatoes / .25 mushrooms, subbed artichoke hearts for olives, and after cooling made into totally scrummy empanadas. Yum Yum Yum. Will make again later this week to serve on cilantro-lime rice. Loved by ALL: one omnivorous teen + dad, one plant-based teen + mom.

Cindy 9 months ago Made according to recipe. Added cilantro and lime. The lime was a great addition

Michele Sharpy 1 year ago This isn’t even finished cooking and I can’t stop eating it! So flavorful!!!! (made with mushrooms not potatoes, but followed the recipe exactly otherwise) This is company worthy!!!!

Lisa 1 year ago Made this tonight as written- was delicious! Potatoes could have cooked a little bit longer. Paired it with the cil

recipes/walnut_picadillo.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/02 16:28 by mcf
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