Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Picadillo con Calabacitas y Elote (Beef and Zucchini)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Fresh zucchini, corn and tomatoes make this picadillo con calabacitas y elote extra delicious! Add this easy recipe to your dinner menu tonight!

Picadillo con calabacitas is a simple dish prepared with ground beef meat. The most popular is beef picadillo. It can be as simple as you like, simmered in a fresh tomato sauce or combined with assorted vegetables. My mom's delicious beef and potato picadillo would often be stuffed into roasted poblano peppers for her famous chiles rellenos! My absolute favorite! I do also enjoy this version with calabacitas y elote (zucchini and corn). I try to add what's in season to enjoy the freshest flavors possible. The corn, zucchini and tomatoes are so fresh and delicious right now. This dish of picadillo con calabacitas could not be any easier. Serve over tostadas or with warm tortillas tonight!


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  1. Preheat skillet to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the ground chuck. Season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and cumin. Cook until nicely browned, using a wooden spoon to break down and crumble.
  2. Drain off excess fat. Push the beef to one side. Add the onions, garlic and poblano. Saute for 3-4 minutes, eventually working into the ground beef.
  3. Add the reserved diced tomato (1 tomato) into the skillet. Stir well to combine and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. To the blender, add the remaining tomato, 1 serrano pepper, bouillon and ½ cup of water. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into skillet. Stir well to combine. When it comes to a boil, taste for salt and pepper. Add the remaining serrano pepper whole to the picadillo.
  5. Stir in the corn, zucchini and oregano. Reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, stirring as needed. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve on tostadas or serve with warm tortillas! A side of rice and beans are perfect!

Chef Notes

This picadillo makes an excellent filling for tacos, enchiladas and burritos! And don't forget chiles rellenos! For a lighter version, you could substitute the beef with ground chicken or turkey.

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