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Do you love Cuban food? Here is one of my all-time favorite Cuban dishes and you can make this in the slow cooker. You will love this tender, juicy Cuban ropa vieja beef roast. You have to serve this with a side of black beans and fried plantain too! This is a very easy dish to make and has some great flavors plus it freezes well so make a big batch! | ethnicspoon.com
5 from 15 votes

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja Recipe Card

Authentic Cuban ropa vieja literally translated it means "old clothes" due to its shredded appearance. This rather unappetizing moniker conjures up images of someone's old T-shirt or distressed jeans laying on a plate. Let me tell you, this dish is nothing short of delicious. The blend of spices and the way the meat falls apart will make your mouth water as it cooks and fills your entire house with a delicious aroma. Although the meat will cook down considerably, you will still end up with a fair amount of meat. This is a great slow cooker recipe.

Course Main dish
Cuisine Cuban, Latin American
Keyword beef, crock pot, flank steak, shredded beef, slow cook, stew, tender
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 12 servings
Calories 392 kcal


  • 4 lbs. beef flank steak or chuck roast
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 jalapenos seeded, diced and cored
  • ½ cup celery chopped
  • 1 tsp salt paleo diet: sea salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 onion medium, cut into small pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 Tbsp recaito


  1. Place the meat in the slow cooker and add water.  Place all vegetables and the spices in the slow cooker and stir.

  2.  Cover and let it cook for about 6 hours.  Flip the beef over half way through.

  3. Also make sure to poke meat with a fork to check for tenderness. 

  4. When the meat falls apart and it is fork tender, it is done.   Add salt to taste, serve with rice and a side of tostones. Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

FAQ's about Ropa Vieja

  • Is ropa vieja keto? Yes. A serving of ropa vieja has only one carb. Enjoy it on a keto eating plan.
  • Can you make ropa vieja without a slow cooker? Yes. You can use a roasting pan (covered) and make ropa vieja in the oven. You'll want to keep the heat low at 300°F and it will take about 3 to 5 hours. Follow the recipe for when the meat is fork tender then shred.
  • Is ropa vieja healthy? Everything in moderation. Ropa vieja has a high fat content so I would not recommend eating it every day. I'm not a nutritionist though, take the advice as you will.
  • When is ropa vieja eaten? You can eat it at all times of the day, really! Add it to rice for a lunch or dinner. There is also recalentada (in scrambled eggs) a Latin American way of eating leftovers. It translates literally to "reheated".
  • How long can I save this ropa vieja? You can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Be sure to allow it to completely cool before refrigerating.
  • Can I freeze this ropa vieja? Yes, you must completely cool the ropa vieja before freezing. Store in airtight containers for up to 4-6 months. For single servings, freeze portions in a muffin tin and pop out the frozen rounds and store in freezer bags.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja Recipe Card
Amount Per Serving
Calories 392 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 299mg13%
Potassium 452mg13%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 3.9mg5%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.