Move over, ground beef. Tempeh makes this Cuban picadillo delicious.
Adapted from my grandmother’s recipe. Instead of the traditional ground meat, I’ve used a mix of lentils, tempeh, and sweet potato for a hearty texture and tons of flavor.
Vegan Cuban Picadillo
This plant-based version of Cuban picadillo replaces the usual meat with a mix of lentils, tempeh, and sweet potato.
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided, plus more for garnishing
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 package tempeh 4 ounces, crumbled
- 1/2 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup cooked green lentils
- 2 tablespoons chopped olives
- 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
- 1 5-gram packet Goya Sazón Culantro y Achiote
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Put the sweet potato on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the sweet potato for 30 to 45 minutes, until the pieces are tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until aromatic and light in color. Transfer them to a small bowl; set aside.
- Add one tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet, still over medium heat, and add the tempeh. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and onion; cook until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, stir in the garlic until it just begins to brown and then add the tomato paste. Next, add the lentils, sweet potatoes and olives. Once the mixture is heated through, stir in the water or broth, seasoning packet, and cumin.
- Top with the mixture with the toasted pine nuts and raisins. Drizzle with olive oil and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Serve it as a side or over white rice as a hearty meal.