This keto Moroccan picadillo is rich with aromatic spices, onions, tomatoes, and green olives. The perfect meal for busy weeknights and served with cauliflower rice.
It’s picadillo Moroccan style! A delicious recipe that is made in under 30 minutes with ground beef and spices. I’m a fan of using ground beef in my keto meals because it’s a fast and easy way to bring a low carb option to the table. Plus, it’s also economical.
When it comes to this low carb Moroccan picadillo, it’s a simple dish that gets its Moorish flavor by cooking ground beef with the exotic spices of Morocco. The warmth of paprika, cumin, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and Harissa paste is the basis of this very flavorful dish.
The mixture of all the aromatic spices is balanced by the tomatoes, green olives, a garnish of fresh herbs and hard-boiled eggs.
Picadillo has its origins from Latin America and the Philippians. However, just about every country has a classic dish that uses minced meat. This is our interpretation of a Moroccan picadillo.
Keto Moroccan Picadillo
To be clear this is not a true Moroccan dish. I don’t want to offend any Moroccan food purists by making you think otherwise. This is fusion cuisine at it’s best. Because it’s inspired by other classic Morocco dishes like Moroccan beef stew, or even kefta a popular minced meat street food.
In the case of kefta the ground beef is formed into patties that are wrapped around a skewer and then grilled. Although the flavors may be similar they are distinctively different.
You might even call this a Moroccan beef chili of sorts. It borrows the flavor of a typical Moroccan beef stew but speeds up the cooking process by using ground beef instead. Although I have not tried it with ground lamb, I suspect it would also be amazing since these spices work perfectly with lamb.
If you’re wondering what a keto-friendly Moroccan Picadillo tastes like, well it’s full of flavor and quite savory. It has a slightly spicy kick that comes from the Harissa paste. This dish also uses spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice that are normally used in sweet dishes here in America but adds a flavor depth that is unmatched in this easy picadillo dish.
It’s a great dish when you are looking for a bit of variety with your ground beef. Not only does it come together quickly because it uses ground beef it’s also economical.
Keto Moroccan Fusion Dish
They say that necessity is the mother of inventions and that was the beginning of this flavorful dish. You see the other day my daughter Michelle, who also happens to know her way around the kitchen. Was ready to make a Cuban picadillo when she realized she had run out of tomato paste.
Instinctively she reached for the Harissa paste and thought she would give it whirl. The next day she came raving to me about how much she and Peter had enjoyed the swap of ingredients. Of course, upon hearing this I was struck with major curiosity and had to try this for myself.
That my friend is how this delicious keto Moroccan picadillo dish was birthed. Don’t you just love it when you strike gold with a keto-friendly recipe out of a need?
How To Make Keto Moroccan Picadillo
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Because of the complexity of flavors in this low carb Moorish dish, it has a variety of spices. But don’t let that deter you from trying to make it. You see despite all the spices it comes together rather quickly just like any picadillo does.
Plus, you should not be concerned about the spiciness factor since you can completely adjust the level of spice by simply reducing the amount of Harissa paste.
The following is a list of items you will need to make this keto-friendly Moroccan dish. Note that the full printable recipe card is at the bottom of this page. But you might want to keep reading to learn my detailed instructions. I’m also sharing where I get my spices since not all are created equal.
- Ground beef 90/10
- Oregano (dried)
- Cilantro (fresh)
- Parsley (flat-leaf, fresh)
- Smoked paprika
- Ground cumin
- Tumeric powder
- Cinnamon powder
- Ground allspice
- Nutmeg powder
- Ground coriander
- Harissa paste
- Lemon peel (grated fresh)
- Pimento stuffed green olives
- Hard-boiled eggs (for garnish)
What To Serve Your Keto Moroccan Picadillo With
Typically a Moroccan dish like this would be served with couscous but that’s not an option while doing keto since it is very high in carbs. So I serve this flavorful dish over cauliflower rice. It made the perfect canvas for this Moroccan minced meat meal.
The tangy and spicy flavor of harissa combined with the spices of Morocco gives this dish a depth of flavor that is unmatched.
It’s what keeps this girl encouraged to keep sharing and perfecting her recipes.
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- 3 pounds of lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt
- 3 teaspoons of dried oregano
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of Harissa paste
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups of diced tomatoes fresh or canned
- ½ cup of water
- ½ cup of pimiento-stuffed green olives
- 2 hard boiled eggs sliced
Keto Moroccan Picadillo
- Boil two whole eggs, then peel, slice an set aside for garnish.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté the onions and garlic until the onion is translucent, around 5 minutes.
- Raise the heat to high and brown the ground beef making sure to break up the pieces of meat.
- Next add the salt, black pepper, dried oregano, cumin powder, tumeric powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, ground allspice, ground coriander seeds.
- Then stir in the Harissa paste, lemon peel, diced tomatoes, olives and water.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 15-20 minutes.
- Once the picadillo is cooked, check for seasonings and adjust the salt and pepper is necessary.
- Garnish the top of the picadillo with fresh cilantro, parsley and sliced boiled eggs.
- Trader Joe’s Traditional Tunisian Harissa Hot Chili Pepper Paste With Herbs & Spices, 6 oz Jar (Single)
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 285 Total Fat: 12.9g Saturated Fat: 3.8g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 130mg Sodium: 171mg Carbohydrates: 3.8g Fiber: 0.7g Sugar: 1.5g Protein: 35.8g