For Quicker Cuban Picadillo, Use Baby Yellow Potatoes

If you aren't familiar with Cuban picadillo, allow us to introduce you to a flavorful meat-and-potato dish filled with contrasting flavors and textures from ingredients like ground meat, bell peppers, olives, onion, and garlic. It's an authentic Cuban dish but it can easily be customized with a variety of ingredients like swapping ground beef with turkey or adding raisins for a sweet textural twist. It can take some time for those flavors to meld, so if you want to make it quicker, put a spin on the dish and use baby yellow potatoes.

For inspiration, we have an original recipe for easy Cuban picadillo that uses baby yellow potatoes thanks to Tasting Table recipe developer Kristen Carli. The smaller potatoes mean less cutting so they will save you time and prep work. And if you're really in a rush to get a meal on the table, dice the potatoes cook they cook even faster. Another perk to using baby yellows in Cuban picadillo is that they're a waxy potato variety, meaning they have less starch and more moisture, so they will maintain their structure while they're cooking with the rest of the dish and not turn to mush.

Making Cuban picadillo with baby yellow potatoes

When it's time to prepare the baby yellow potatoes for Cuban picadillo, you won't have to put in much effort, so you can spend more time on the rest of the dish. Waxy potatoes have a softer skin, so you don't have to peel them. That said, if you're really against eating potato skins, we won't judge you for peeling them anyway. For the cutting, "you only have to quarter or halve them if they are really small," says Carli.

Using baby yellow potatoes is an easy way to customize the dish and make it a cinch to cook, but it's not the only way to do so. For starters, Cuban picadillo is typically served with rice so you could skip the potatoes altogether and serve precooked rice on the side. Can't fathom skipping the two starches? We don't blame you. In that case, keep the potatoes and put a different twist on the dish like using ground chicken or turkey instead of beef, swap the olives for capers that will offer small bursts of saltiness, or give the meal a dash of cayenne pepper if you appreciate spicy foods.