Picadillo Soup with tender beef and chayote in a flavorful tomato broth is delicious on its own or with steamed rice. Hearty and tasty, it's the ultimate comfort food!
There are two forms of Picadillo in Philippine cuisine. One is a dry stew version known as giniling, traditionally made of ground or minced beef, potatoes, carrots, and green peas cooked in tomato sauce.
The other is this soup version which is usually made of ground or diced beef and potatoes or chayote cooked in a tomato-based broth.
What you'll need
- Beef- chuck roast, bottom or top round cut into cubes. You can also use ground or minced beef for quicker cooking and a budget-friendlier option
- Chayote- you can swap potatoes and carrots
- Tomatoes- fresh brings the best flavor; canned tomato sauce is a good alternative in a pinch
- Onions and garlic- aromatics
- Fish sauce- adds umami flavor
- Salt and pepper- use to season to taste
- The soup draws flavor from the trinity of Filipino cooking: onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Like most of our Filipino dishes, it starts by ginisa or sauteing diced beef in onions, garlic, and tomatoes until it changes color and the aromatics soften.
- The beef is then simmered in broth until fork tender, and chayote is added to complete the soup.
- The soup is seasoned with fish sauce as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Cutting the meat into smaller pieces and adding other ingredients such as vegetables is a delicious way to extend portions. Like pork menudo where potatoes, carrots, green peas, and bell peppers stretch the number of servings, Picadillo is a good example of this economical way of cooking. Two pounds of meat, two reasonably-sized chayotes, and a tasty broth will comfortably feed a family of four with leftovers to spare.
How to serve and store
- Serve it on its own or with steamed rice as a main dish for lunch or dinner.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
- Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until completely heated through.
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.
- Add fish sauce and continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and cook until softened and begins to release juice.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until tender.
- Add chayote and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes or until tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”