Sauté the veggies. Start with olive oil, onions and peppers in a pan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until the onions become translucent.
Add sofrito and ground beef. Add sofrito and sauté another minute before adding in ground beef. While the ground beef is browning, break it up with a wooden spoon.
Add seasonings, olives, and water. Next add sazon, adobo, bay leaves, and tomato sauce. Mix to evenly incorporate everything into the beef. At this point, add olives and water before bringing to a boil.
Lower to a simmer, cover slightly and cook. Cook for 10 minutes or until beef is fully cooked. Add salt to taste, garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice, plantains, or pan de agua.
Crockpot Picadillo: follow the directions as instructed up until step 4 (just before lowing the temperature to a simmer and covering). At this step, transfer everything to your crockpot and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
Instant pot Picadillo: follow the directions as instructed, sautéing everything directly in your Instant pot. At step 4, cover the Instant pot and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.