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    Carne Picada (Best Taco / Burrito Meat)

    If you haven’t yet come across Carne Picada, it’s about time to try this Tex-Mex delish from our Latin neighbors.

    If you’re like me and often shop at Aldi or Hispanic grocery stores, you’ve probably seen this thinly sliced beef. It almost looks like ground beef.

    Now this Picada style “carne” meaning beef, turns into delicious Taco and Burrito meat with a few Mexican earthy spices braised in tomato sauce. Get ready to try a new taco or burrito with the most flavorful meat in between that tortilla.

    This recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It has great Tex-Mex flavors.

    I am always hunting for new Mexican flavors in my kitchen. So when I came across this unusual looking cut of beef, labeled as “Carne Picada” at Aldi, of course I had to find out what and how to cook with it.

    I really liked the sound and look of what you can do with this beef. So here I am making Carne Picada, and its goodness, famous for y’all…

    This recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It has great Tex-Mex flavors.

    What is Carne Picada?

    Carne Picada means “minced or ground or chopped meat” in Spanish. Chopped meat is the closest description in terms of looks and appearance. It’s more like very thin strips or shavings of sliced steak.

    This recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It has great Tex-Mex flavors.

    I found out that most often it is cut from the bottom round, chuck roast or chuck steak, which are budget-friendly beef cuts that cook best slowly. But since they are chopped very thinly in this case, Carne Picada cooks pretty quickly.

    Carne Picada is a very popular Tex-Mex recipe with Hispanic communities all over Texas, and you will see this Picada style beef in many of their local grocery stores.

    Aldi’s always carry this unique meat in their meat section, and that’s where I first come across Carne Picada.

    raw carne picada meat

    Though Carne Picada literally translates to chopped meat, it typically refers to a dish of tender braised beef in a tomato-pepper sauce with herbs and spices. Once you cook Carne Picada, it can be used in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, fajitas, quesadillas and so forth.

    Carne Picada is different from Carne Asada, which is grilled steak, and Carne Molida, which is minced meat or ground beef, and Carne Guisada, which is stew style meat. I know… lots of yummy delicious Latin food!

    Ingredients Needed

    • Carne Picada meat
    • To season Carne Picada – Oregano, brown sugar, cumin, coriander powder, red chili flakes, salt, black pepper, and dried ancho powder. (Ancho is the name for dried poblano peppers, a dark, smoky, but relatively mild chili, popular in Mexican cuisine)
    • Veggies – Onion, tomatoes, bell peppers (red and green). You can use fire roasted canned tomatoes instead of fresh for a little different flavor.
    • Flavor enhancers – Garlic, jalapeño.
    • Oil
    • To serve – Flour or corn tortillas, or rice with your favorite toppings.

    Carne Picada Recipe

    1. Season Carne Picada and marinate: I mix all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl and rub it all over the meat. I use a fork to separate the beef shavings lightly, making sure the seasoning is well coated all over. Sometimes, I season it in the morning to cook for the evening meal, or I even season it overnight for even better flavors. Then, I cover it with cling wrap and store it in the refrigerator until it’s ready to cook.

    seasoned carne picada meat

    2. Cook Carne Picada: I heat up some oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Then, I sauté the onion for about 3-4 minutes until it’s soft. Next, I add in the bell peppers, garlic, and jalapeño, and cook them for another 5 minutes until they’re tender.

    Once that’s done, I mix in the seasoned Carne Picada and cook it until it’s browned all over. Then, I add in the tomatoes and let everything cook together for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often to make sure it’s all cooked through.

    This recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It has great Tex-Mex flavors.

    Variations:

    1. If you don’t find carne Picada meat, you can chop chuck roast or round steak into very small cubes or slices, and use it instead.
    2. Sometimes I like to make it spicier. I add other Mexican chilis like arbol chilis, or add more red chili flakes. You can also give it more a smoky taste by adding chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
    3. Give it a little more tang by adding fresh lime or lemon to the meat.
    4. Add in soy sauce or orange juice while the meat is cooking for different Latin flavors.

    How to Serve

    This recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It has great Tex-Mex flavors.

    1. I personally like to serve it in tacos (I love corn tortillas with this one), burritos and taco bowls with extra toppings. Recommended toppings are a shredded cheese of your choice, chopped tomatoes, avocado, pico de gallo, and salsa.

    2. Serve it in lettuce wraps for a low carb option.

    3. Sometimes I serve leftover Carne Picada with fried eggs for breakfast.

    4. Some days I use the taco meat as filling for quesadillas, fajitas, enchiladas, tostadas, or even in Mexican skillets.

    This recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It has great Tex-Mex flavors.

    I personally love these Carne Picada loaded tacos so much, that this meat is our regular go-to whenever we stop by Aldi now a days.

    Give these new delicious tacos a try tonight, and get amazed at so many new flavors of this world. Taco night just got more interesting with yet another new flavor… Carne Picada flavor!

    Carne Picada Tacos, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    three tacos on the Gypsy Plate

    Craving more tacos? Try our…
    Ground Beef Tacos
    Ground Turkey Tacos
    Tacos Gobernador
    Steak Tacos
    Baja Fish Tacos
    Shrimp Tacos
    Birria Tacos

    featured image for carne picada post

    Carne Picada (Best Taco / Burrito Meat)

    Yield: 6-8 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes

    My recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It's a great easy weeknight dinner when you crave Tex-Mex flavors.

    Ingredients

    To season the meat

    • 2 pounds carne picada meat
    • 1 Tbsp dried ancho chili powder
    • 3 tsp oregano (use Mexican oregano, if handy)
    • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 3 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp red chili flakes
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1.5 tsp black pepper

    Carne Picada

    • 2 Tbsp oil
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • ½-1 jalapeño, descended and chopped
    • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 small green peppers, diced
    • 1 small red pepper, diced

    To Serve

    • Corn or flour tortillas
    • Taco toppings of your choice

    Instructions

    1. Season the carne picada meat with all the spice seasonings. Cover and let it sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or prep it in the morning.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes. Add in bell peppers along with garlic and jalapeño, sauté for 5 minutes.
    3. Add in seasoned carne picada and mix well. Cook it till the meat is brown all over.
    4. Add in tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    5. Serve it in tacos, burritos and taco bowls with your favorite toppings.

    Notes

    1. Slow Cooker Carne Picada: You can make the same recipe in a crock pot, too. Simply sear the seasoned meat with a little oil in a skillet, then transfer the meat along with the rest of the ingredients into a crock pot. Cover and cook the beef on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours. You can make this a little stewy too, by adding a dash of water or beef broth.

    2. Leftovers and Storing: Carne Picada is great as leftovers, so go ahead and make a large batch as a meal prep option. Cool it completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and simply reheat in a skillet until warmed through, or in the microwave until hot.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 418Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 120mgSodium 778mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 39g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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