Chicken Picadillo: A Heart-Healthy Recipe

One of the great things about participating in a monthly food blog challenge is the fact that you meet so many other great food bloggers. Case in point? Participating in the Secret Recipe Club introduced me to Jey of The Jey of Cooking.

Last March, Jey’s mom received a life-saving heart transplant. Prior to the surgery, she had to make a major lifestyle change, and to honor her efforts, Jey began collecting heart healthy recipes from her friends and fellow food bloggers … and for each recipe she received, she donated $1.00 to the American Heart Association (AHA) … what a wonderful gesture!

It’s been a year since Jey’s mom’s transplant, and she’s decided to raise money for the AHA again. Last year, Jey received 28 recipes and donated $28 to the AHA … and this year, she wants to double that. Well, I’m hoping to help make that happen by posting a heart-healthy recipe here to share with Jey, her mom, and you.

I also think this is a great opportunity to remind all of my friends that heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States, and it’s up to us to arm ourselves with information to protect our heart health. So, please check out the wonderful resources at the AHA to learn more about what you can do to prevent heart disease … your heart thanks you … and so do I!

Okay, back to the recipe!

I wanted to find a delicious, bright, and vibrant recipe for this post; who says eating healthy has to be dull? I spent some time perusing both the AHA website and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) website and finally found the perfect recipe … chicken picadillo.

Picadillo is a traditional Latin American dish that typically combines ground meat (usually beef), tomatoes, raisins, and green olives; it is often served over rice or used as a filling for tacos or empanadas. I love traditional beef picadillo, so I was eager to try a version made with chicken.

The original recipe called for green bell pepper, but I’m not a fan, so I substituted an orange bell pepper instead. I also left out the capers because they just aren’t my thing, but feel free to add them in if you like them. In addition to these changes, I also added a few extra spices, which allowed me to amp up the flavor of the recipe, while still keeping the nutritional value the same … again, who says eating healthy has to be dull!

So, was this heart-healthy recipe dull? Absolutely not! In addition to the gorgeous colors that made this dish beautiful, the taste was outstanding as well. A little sweet (from the bell peppers and golden raisins), a little salty (from the green olives), and perfectly spicy (who doesn’t love cumiun and coriander?), I’d be confident serving this dish to both health seekers and non-health seekers a like.

Here’s to your heart!

Chicken Picadillo

Chicken Picadillo


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/3 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green olives


1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic, and saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken, and saute for another 5 to 10 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside and chicken is lightly browned.

3. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, coriander, cumin, bay leaves, water, and raisins to the vegetables and chicken. Stir well.

4. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove the bay leaves, and garnish with cilantro and green olives. Serve.

NOTES: The Chef and I chose to serve the picadillo over some local rice, which made for a satisfying, fulfilling meal. The nutritional information below does not include the rice.

Yield: 6 servings

Serving size: 3/4 cup chicken and vegetables

Each serving provides: 162 calories; 5 grams total fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 46 milligrams cholesterol; 133 milligrams sodium 2 grams total fiber; 18 grams protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 380 milligrams potassium.

[This post is linked to It’s A Blog Party’s Weekly Round Up and Jennifer Cook’s Fusion Friday.

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  • Queen of Savings

    Stopping by from the Fusion Friday Link

    • kimberly9938

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • kitchenriffs

    Nice intro.  And a good recipe – I like a lot of the same flavors that you do (cumin and coriander seem to sneak into a lot of my recipes!).  Nice food styling on the picture – good garnish!  Thanks for this.

    • kimberly9938

      Thanks so much! This one is going on our “to make again” list, for sure. And yes, I do love cumin and coriander … they make an appearance in many of my recipes too!

  • Jey

    I love the savory and sweet mix of flavors in this dish.

    Thanks for participating in my event!

    • kimberly9938

      You are welcome, Jey … what a great way to honor your mom!

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