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Turkey Picadillo with Chickpeas

A twist on a Cuban classic that is so delicious and full of flavor. Turkey Picadillo with Chickpeas is the perfect fall night meal that is even better the next day.
Course Dinner
Keyword Dinner, Healthy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Leona G.


  • 12 inch fry pan or Cast-Iron Skillet
  • Wooden spatula


  • ¼ cup achiote oil see instructions below
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 16 oz ground turkey meat
  • 15 oz crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup green olives plus ¼ cup of brine
  • 15 oz canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp vinegar acv or white vinegar

achiote oil

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp annatto seeds


Achiote Oil

  • On low heat, add your oil to a small saucepan along with the annatto seeds. Heat until the oil starts to slightly bubble, about 1-2 minutes. Be sure not to overheat. Drain into a small ramekin over a sieve to remove the seeds. Reserve for cooking.

Turkey Picadillo

  • To your saucepan, heat your achiote oil on low-medium heat and add in your onion, garlic and bell pepper. Saute until tender. Next add in the tomato paste and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Now, add in your turkey meat and break it up with a spatula. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Next, add in your crushed tomatoes, olives & brine, chickpeas and raisins.
  • One the mixture simmers, add in your bay leaves, spices & sugar, except the salt. Stir to combine and cover. Cook the picadillo on low for 25 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the vinegar. Add in the salt according to taste. Serve with white rice, quinoa or couscous. Enjoy!


  • You can use any type of ground meat you prefer. Ground chicken is also delicious.
  • Golden raisins work well too.
  • I prefer to use castelvetrano olives, but any kind of green olives are good.
  • The annatto seeds give this dish its beautiful color and although the flavor is mild, its slightly peppery.