Turkey Picadillo (in Lettuce Wraps)
This delicious Turkey Picadillo is a perfect low-carb meal served in lettuce wraps, but see tips below for more ways to serve it. Or if turkey Picadillo doesn’t sound like your thing, use the recipe to make tasty Picadillo with ground beef.
This Turkey Picadillo was so delicious served in Lettuce Wraps for a slightly-spicy low-carb lettuce wrap meal! And I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many recipes for lettuce wraps, and they’re something I always enjoy when I’m focused on really low-carb eating.
Through the years I’ve made so many lettuce wraps that I’d have a hard time choosing a favorite, but these lettuce wraps filled with Turkey Picadillo were definitely amazing. For this recipe, ground turkey is simmered with onion, green pepper, tomatoes, chicken stock, and spices, with some chopped green olives and a generous amount of Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link). And this will be a hit with everyone who likes lettuce wraps and enjoys the sour flavor of green olives!
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- olive oil
- lean ground turkey (or use ground beef if you prefer)
- green bell pepper
- canned chicken broth (affiliate link) (or chicken stock)
- canned crushed tomatoes
- ground cumin (affiliate link)
- ground coriander (affiliate link)
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link)
- green olives
- green olive brine (from the jar of olives)
- iceberg lettuce
What is Picadillo?
The word Picadillo comes from a Spanish word that means “to mince” and many countries have their own version of this ground meat dish, but the use of olives in this recipe makes this recipe lean towards Cuban Picadillo. If you like the sound of these flavors, you might also enjoy my recipes for Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives.
Can you make Picadillo with ground beef?
If you’re eating Keto or aren’t a fan of ground turkey, you may wish to use higher-fat ground beef in place of the ground turkey for this Picadillo recipe; that will be equally delicious.
How else can you serve Turkey Picadillo?
We loved the Turkey Picadillo served inside lettuce wraps, but here are some other ideas for serving it:
- Turkey Picadillo will always be delicious served over cauliflower rice (or rice).
- I’d love to eat this inside Joseph’s Low-Carb Pita Bread (affiliate link).
- Picadillo is often eaten with tortillas, and it would be great inside low-carb tortillas.
- In some countries Picadillo is used as a filling for cabbage rolls.
- You can also just eat the tasty Picadillo in a bowl as a stew.
- If you don’t care about the carbs, Picadillo is often eaten with black beans and rice in Cuba and Puerto Rico.
- And in Mexico Picadillo is often eaten with tortilla chips.
Want more ideas for tasty lettuce wraps?
Check out Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps on Kalyn’s Kitchen for more lettuce wraps ideas that are low in carbs. If you’d like to make lettuce wraps using the Instant Pot or the Slow Cooker, you can find Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps or The BEST Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps on my Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker site.
How to make Turkey Picadillo Lettuce Wraps:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Heat a little olive oil and saute the ground turkey (or ground beef) until it’s starting to brown.
- Then push the meat over, add a tiny bit more oil, and add the chopped onion and green bell pepper. Keep cooking until the onions and peppers are soft and starting to brown.
- While the veggies cook, chop up 1/2 cup Spanish green olives, plus some slices to garnish the lettuce wraps if desired.
- Add the canned chicken broth (affiliate link) or stock, crushed tomatoes, ground cumin (affiliate link), ground coriander (affiliate link), salt and pepper, and let the mixture simmer on low heat about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated
- When there is only a small amount of liquid left in the pan, stir in the chopped green olives, green olive brine, and Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), and cook about 10 minutes more. The pan should be nearly dry if you push the meat aside.
- While the meat cooks, prepare the lettuce by removing damaged outer leaves and cutting away the core. I like to cut the lettuce in half and then pull away several pieces at once to make a double thickness of lettuce to hold the juicy filling.
- Fill lettuce cups with the spicy meat mixture and serve hot, with sliced green olives to garnish if desired.
More Fun Recipes for Ground Turkey:
- Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir Fry
- Stuffed Poblanos with Ground Turkey
- Low-Carb Turkey Enchilada Casserole
- One Pan Ground Turkey Curry
- Ground Turkey Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey (or use ground beef if you prefer)
- 1 onion, chopped small
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped small
- 1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth (see notes)
- 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste (I didn’t use much salt, about 1/4 tsp)
- 2 tsp. Green Tabasco sauce (or more to taste; see notes)
- 1/2 cup chopped green olives + a few sliced green olives to garnish (preferably Spanish olives)
- 2 T green olive brine (from the jar of olives)
- 2 heads iceberg lettuce
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
- Add the turkey, and cook over medium heat until it’s starting to brown, about 6-7 minutes.
- Push the meat over and add the other 2 teaspoons of oil (or as needed).
- Add the chopped onion and green bell pepper, and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until the onions and peppers are soft and starting to brown on the edges.
- Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, ground cumin (affiliate link), ground coriander, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer over low heat until the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 20 minutes.
- When there is only a small amount of liquid left, stir in the Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), chopped green olives, and green olive brine, stirring to combine all the ingredients.
- Cook about 5-10 minutes longer, or until the pan is nearly dry.
- While the meat is simmering, peel off any damaged out leaves of lettuce, cut away the core, and cut the heads in half.
- To serve, peel off a double layer of lettuce to form a cup, fill with the hot meat mixture, garnish with green olive slices, and eat!
- If this makes more than you’ll eat at one time, just refrigerate the filling and the lettuce leaves separately, then heat the Picadillo mixture in a small pan or in the microwave when you want to eat the leftovers!
Broth from a can is always fine, but I'd use 1 2/3 cups homemade chicken stock if you have some. I love Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) and that's what I'd definitely use here, but you can probably use another hot sauce with good results. Start with just a few teaspoons and taste to see if you want more!
Recipe inspired by a recipe in Food and Wine’s Quick from Scratch One-Dish Meals Cookbook.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1023mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 24g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Everything in this Low-Carb Turkey Picadillo that’s shown in Lettuce Wraps is great for low-carb or Keto diet plans, although you may wish to use higher-fat ground beef instead of turkey for Keto. And as long as you use lean ground turkey, this would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Lettuce Wraps to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2014. It was last updated with more information in 2023.