Press ESC to close

Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe


If you’re looking for a taste of Cuba in your own kitchen, then the Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe is a must-try! This flavorful and hearty dish has a rich history and is sure to impress your taste buds. Join me as we delve into the origins, ingredients, preparation steps, and more of this delicious recipe!

Origin and History Of This Recipe:

The Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe has its roots in Cuba, where it is considered a traditional and beloved dish. The name “Ropa Vieja” translates to “old clothes” in Spanish, which refers to the shredded appearance of the meat in the dish. Legend has it that a poor man once shredded and cooked his old clothes in a flavorful sauce, resulting in this now-iconic dish. Over time, the recipe evolved to include more ingredients like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, making it a staple in Cuban cuisine.

Things To Expect In This Post Article:

In this post, we will explore the history and origins of the Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe, provide a detailed list of ingredients, offer step-by-step preparation instructions, and share tips and tricks to make the dish even more delicious. Additionally, we will discuss the nutritional information, as well as variations, substitutions, and serving suggestions. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey to Cuba with this mouthwatering recipe!

Ingredients List:

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olives, sliced (optional)
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

Preparation Steps:

  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, sear the flank steak on both sides until browned. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until softened.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Return the flank steak to the skillet and cover with the sauce mixture. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender and easily shreds with a fork.
  5. Shred the meat using two forks, then stir in the sliced olives.
  6. Serve the Ropa Vieja over cooked white rice and enjoy!

Cooking Time & Servings:

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2-3 hours
Servings: 4-6

Personal Touch:

Growing up, my grandmother used to make Cuban Ropa Vieja for special occasions, and it always brings back fond memories of family gatherings and delicious meals. The combination of flavors in this dish is truly unforgettable, and I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do!

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 350 per serving
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fat: 15g

Health Conditions And People To Avoid This:

  • Individuals with a sensitivity to tomatoes or beef should avoid this dish.
  • Those with high blood pressure should limit their intake of olives due to their high sodium content.

Nutrition and Benefits To The Body:

  • Protein from the flank steak helps support muscle growth and repair.
  • Vitamins and minerals from the vegetables contribute to overall health and well-being.


  • Excessive consumption of olives can lead to increased sodium intake and potentially raise blood pressure. (Eating moderately is perfectly fine, but acquiring excess of this nutrient is harmful).

Tips and Tricks:

  • For a healthier version, use lean cuts of beef or substitute with chicken.
  • Add a splash of red wine or vinegar for extra depth of flavor.
  • Leftovers can be used in sandwiches or quesadillas for a delicious twist.

Equipment Needed:

  • Skillet or Dutch oven
  • Forks for shredding
  • Serving dishes for presentation

Variations or Substitutions:

  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the flank steak with jackfruit or extra veggies.
  • Add black beans or corn for extra fiber and protein.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley for a pop of color.
  • Serve with warm tortillas or crusty bread for a complete meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.


I hope this Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe inspires you to bring a taste of Cuba into your own kitchen. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the ingredients and make it your own! Share your creations on social media and tag us – we’d love to see your delicious dishes. Thank you for joining me on this culinary adventure!

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different cut of meat for this recipe?
A: Yes, you can use brisket or chuck roast as alternative options for the flank steak.

Q: Is it necessary to cook the Ropa Vieja for 2-3 hours?
A: Cooking the dish low and slow helps to tenderize the meat and develop the flavors, but you can shorten the cooking time if needed.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of this dish?
A: Yes, you can freeze the Ropa Vieja in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat before serving.

Q: What can I serve with Cuban Ropa Vieja?
A: White rice, black beans, plantains, or a side salad are popular options to serve alongside this dish.

@Katen on Instagram
[instagram-feed feed=1]