Vegan Picadillo Recipe

Vegan Picadillo Recipe

A no-meat dish that is easy to prepare and that would bring you to the flavors of Latin America. Although this recipe is somewhat close to the ingredients of the Picadillo of the Philippines, it has the herbs and spices from Latin America — which makes this vegan picadillo recipe a fusion.

What is? (History/Background)

Vegan Picadillo Plating

Picadillo is a popular tomato-based dish in Mexico and the Philippines. It is usually made from ground pork and beef and paired with starchy potatoes and minced vegetables. It is then paired with piping hot rice or fresh flour tortillas. However, this recipe is vegan-friendly that takes the route of all plant-based ingredients. Instead of using ground pork or beef, it is made from minced shiitake mushrooms and minced vegetables.

Tips and Procedure

A Closer Look of Vegan Picadillo
  • Canned chickpeas were used in this recipe since it is an on-the-go ingredient. Dry chickpeas are hard to cook and take more than a day of preparation. Dry chickpeas need to be cooked for more than an hour until it becomes viable to eat. Incorrect preparation will lead to gas build-up due to the release of toxins called “lectins.”
  • Do not use extra-virgin olive oil for this matter as it has a low smoking point. Using EVOO in this vegan picadillo recipe may lead to an unwanted aftertaste. EVOO is unsuitable for sauteing, and the taste profile changes when it touches high heat. That is the reason why extra-virgin olive oil is mainly used in dressings, drizzles, and other no-heat preparation.

How To Make

Prepare the following ingredients beforehand:

Ingredients of Vegan Picadillo
  • thinly sliced plantains
  • olive oil
  • minced red onions
  • minced garlic
  • quartered shiitake mushrooms
  • drained canned chickpeas
  • diced carrots
  • diced red bell peppers
  • drained green peas
  • dried oregano
  • cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • maple syrup
  • tomato sauce
  • vegetable broth
  • salt & ground black pepper

Place half of the oil in a heated skillet over medium heat. Fry the sliced plantains until crisp and set aside.

Frying sliced plantains

In the same skillet, add the remaining oil; saute onions and minced garlic for a minute on medium-low heat.

Sauteing onions and garlic

Toss in mushrooms, chickpeas, carrots, bell peppers, dried oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and green peas for 3 minutes.

Tossing the other ingredients

Pour the tomato sauce and vegetable broth; bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.

Pouring tomato sauce

Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Seasoning with salt and ground black pepper

Add in the fried plantain and serve immediately.

Adding fried plantain


Looking at the details of Vegan Picadillo
  • What does it taste like? This vegan picadillo has a combination of sweet and tangy flavors with tons of umami that burst in your mouth. The sweetness of the plantains pairs well with the umami flavor that you can taste in this picadillo recipe. It feels like you are eating a picadillo with a meat protein in it.
  • What needs to expect? You have to stir the picadillo once in a while to prevent the bottom from burning.
  • Can I use oyster mushrooms instead? Yes, you may use oyster mushrooms in this recipe. It gives another texture that will elevate not just the flavor profile but also the texture of this dish.
  • What if I don’t have vegetable broth in my pantry? What would be the best substitute? You can always go for water, it may seem plain, but it is the base of all broth.

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