Save on Pinterest

Easy Ropa Vieja Stew

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


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups (calculated without rice): 306 calories, 16g fat (5g saturated fat), 74mg cholesterol, 821mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 25g protein.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Kristen
    Jun 26, 2020

    (first, I'm annoyed that someone would base their stars on the number of ingredients, it's also silly to say that chopping veggies into big chunks is super time consuming) This was one of the VERY BEST recipes I've ever made. Everyone in the family loved it, and I will definitely make it again and again. I modified to use an off-brand pressure cooker and it went GREAT. Here are my notes: I was worried about adding too many peppers, but they weren't an issue, and ultimately the recipe wasn't too hot. I used our garden-grown habaneros, serranos, and jalapenos. I used Better than Bouillon chicken because I didn't have beef bouillon and it was fine. I cut out the water because the cans of diced tomatoes were quite juicy, and I used a little garlic powder in addition to fewer garlic cloves (I was short). I left out the olives because they often have such a strong, funky taste. I browned the meat with olive oil in the pressure cooker using one of the settings (I'm totally not a pressure cooker pro) called brown rice. Then I threw all of the other ingredients on top of the meat, mixed it up a bit and put the lid on the pot. I then set it to cook for 30 minutes. When done I let it do the natural release for several minutes until I couldn't stand it anymore and quick released the rest. The chuck roast was tender, but I would probably use a better cut next time (we got a piece that was bigtime on sale). The flavor was amazing, and we served it over rice. I'm not exaggerating when I say we're glad there are some leftovers for today. The saucy stuff is so good it doesn't really need the meat, either, and we are a carnivorous group, so that says a lot. Big time 5 stars from this family.

  • pajamaangel
    Aug 17, 2016

    No comment left

  • Igraine32
    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.

  • beadkitty330
    Feb 17, 2014

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

  • cliftonhanger
    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.

  • lolohiser
    Sep 3, 2013


  • caryneileen04
    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!

  • brb4y
    Oct 15, 2012

    With my crew, will need to use 2 habaneros and keep the same # jalapenos. Will use the rice too. We like hot especially on a cold winter night. We are not Mexican, but our priest is and so is his helper. My husband and the priest can eat habaneros like apples....they love this stuff.

  • Pamlico
    Oct 15, 2012

    No comment left

  • mlbillick
    Jul 16, 2012

    We adjusted the heat on this recipe, used one whole habanero, 2 green chiles, and 2 jalapenos. Would suggest NOT adding the water to the crock pot to make a bit thicker. Needs a little bit of salt added. Will tweak the recipe to suit my individual tastes. Also used 3 lb chuck roast!