Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr 
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Whip up Picadillo Sloppy Joes in just 40 minutes by grilling the onions, toasting the buns, and preparing the salad all while the beef mixture cooks. Capers and olives add great briny flavor to the sloppy joe mixture, but feel free to omit them.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chopped onion and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add beef to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in oregano, cumin, and cinnamon; cook 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water and the next 4 ingredients (through tomatoes). Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro, vinegar, and jalapeño.

Step 2

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add onion slices to pan; grill 4 minutes on each side. Remove onion from pan. Place buns, cut sides down, on grill pan; grill 1 minute or until toasted.

Step 3

Place 1 lettuce leaf on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1/2 cup beef mixture. Divide onion slices evenly among servings; top with top halves of buns.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

You May Like

Ratings & Reviews

cantsitstill's Review

August 14, 2014
We liked this a lot. I made it according to the recipe except I omitted the water since one reviewer thought it was a little thin and the consistency was perfect. I also thought it was easy to prepare - it didn't require an inordinate amount of prep or time. If you like Mediterranean or Cuban food you will probably like this. LOL, Markstlmo, I don't think you made the same recipe! :)

promogal's Review

May 10, 2014
Won't be making this again. We normally like "picadillo" recipes. This just didn't hit the spot for whatever reason. But a lot of people liked it so don't let me deter you!

LDombeck's Review

March 29, 2014
I used ground turkey in this recipe. I also didn't use the jalapeno, but I used the capers and olives (always have those!). The lettuce helped keep it on the bun, but as sloppy joes go, they were still "sloppy". The grilled onion was a really nice touch. I used about 20 oz of meat, so I made lettuce wraps with the leftover filling, really good! My young boys even liked them.

Markstlmo's Review

January 27, 2014
I loved this, I didn't know until I started to write the recipe on a card what my partner deleted. He didn't use cilantro (doesn't like it) capers or olives (thought it would be too salty) or currants (doesn't like them either). You might try it that way because we are making it for the second time tonight (his way) I made him promise to make it the right way next time, we shall see - otherwise it's a good foodies recipe, the spices make it !

TheMomChef's Review

January 24, 2014
I'm not sure why this didn't work for everyone else, but our family loved this recipe. The capers, olives and jalapeno bits added so much contrast to the cinnamon and currants. I was concerned about how thin the sauce was so I added a tablespoon of flour, which thickened it right up and kept everything together. I also added a tablespoon of sugar for some balance. It was a huge hit. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines:

Cabel0515's Review

January 21, 2014
I expected a little more flavor variety from this recipe. The cinnamon seemed to overpower the olives and capers. I didn't find it particularly time consuming as noted by other reviewers. I had a lot leftover, and am looking forward to using in a version of Cincinnati-style chili or over a hotdog later this week. Next time I would probably reduce the cinnamon and increase the capers and olives. I also found it a bit watery so might reduce the water a bit to keep it a little thicker.

JOTOWI's Review

January 08, 2014

MarcyB's Review

January 05, 2014
I completely agree with reviewer, eppercival. This recipe has potential, but is pretty time consuming for a dish similar to Sloppy Joes. Although I will use the remainder of the ingredients in other recipes, I also had to purchase currants, capers, and green olives as I did not have them on hand which increased the cost. We did not especially like the combination of flavors, but I am not experienced with other picadillo recipes. It may be that we wouldn't like picadillo much in general. I did enjoy the grilled onions and hamburger buns and think they would be great for other recipes.

eppercival's Review

January 04, 2014
This recipe was too time consuming for only marginal taste. Not sure I will make this again, but I will be toasting my hamburger buns and onions on the grill pan again!