Easy Ropa Vieja Stew Recipe
Easy Ropa Vieja Stew Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Easy Ropa Vieja Stew Recipe

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Use your slow cooker for this meaty Cuban classic, which offers bold flavors without a lot of hands-on time. —Denise Nyland, Panama City, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 6 hours
MAKES:8 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 6 hours
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (2 pounds), cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large green peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, coarsely chopped
  • Hot cooked rice, optional

Nutritional Facts

1.333 cups (calculated without rice) equals 306 calories, 16 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 74 mg cholesterol, 821 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 25 g protein.


  1. In a large skillet, brown beef in oil on all sides. Transfer meat to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add onions and peppers. Combine tomatoes, water, garlic, cilantro, beef bouillon, pepper, cumin and oregano; pour over vegetables.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove beef; cool slightly. Skim fat from cooking juices; stir in olives. Shred beef with two forks and return to slow cooker; heat through. Serve with rice if desired.
    Freeze option: Transfer individual portions of stew to freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary.
    Yield: 8 servings.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Originally published as Easy Ropa Vieja Stew in Taste of Home November 2011, p42

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Reviewed Mar. 12, 2015

"This smelled amazing while cooking. I wish I could have added the habanero, but couldn't because of a child. I did add the jalape?os and it wasn't very spicy at all. The kid even liked it and I didn't have to fight with him to eat. Would definitely make this again. However, this was way more time consuming than 25 minutes, unless you have a food processor. But, I wouldn't say it was difficult by any means."

Reviewed Feb. 17, 2014

"16 ingredients in a recipe labeled "easy"? Really?"

Reviewed Oct. 19, 2013

"I'm a bit surprised that most reviews were 5 star. For me, it was somewhere between fair and good. I don't dislike this recipe but I would not make it again."

Reviewed Sep. 3, 2013


Reviewed Feb. 24, 2013

"I left out the jalapenos and habanero, as we have little kids. I also left out the olives because we don't like them. Even without those, this recipe was excellent! I paired it with some cilantro lime rice and black beans. My husband grew up eating Mexican food, as his dad was born in Mexico. He (my husband) said that this tasted like something from a Mexican restaurant. He couldn't stop eating it!"

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