I’ve had some requests to make Cuban food lately, and when you ask I give. #aimtoplease.  I gotta be honest with ya guys….I think I’ve had Cuban food only a couple of times.  Once in a restaurant, and again when I was making my e-book Almost Authentic. (It’s the Cuban Papa Rellena recipe in the e-book)

ropa vieja

I recently became the parent of an Instant Pot and the first thing that came to mind when I got this was I MUST MAKE CUBAN FOOD…STAT!!  So I scoured the ol’ www for a good Cuban recipe that would make my tastebuds do a happy dance.  And then, after looking for awhile, I remembered when I was making my book that I wrote down a recipe for Ropa Vieja! I want to let you all know that I was nervous AF to not only make a recipe I have never done before, but to do it in an appliance that I have never used before!! Questions like, how long do I cook a big hunk of meat? Is my food reealllly gonna be done as quick as it says it will be done? How do I make my veggies not turn into mush?

cuban ropa vieja

This Ropa Vieja is off the chain and I’m so SO glad that it turned out, on the 1st try, and in the Instant Pot!  If you do not have an Instant Pot, do not worry.  You can easily do this in a slow cooker! Also, like most of my meals, this freezes wonderfully!


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4-6


  • 3 lbs chuck roast (or pork shoulder works too)
  • 1 tbl oil or 2 tbl ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of crushedtomatoes
  • 2 tbl tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 tbl apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 jar of green olives with pimentos, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • fresh parsley
  • OPTIONAL: cauli-rice
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp all-spice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes


  1. Turn your Instant Pot to the saute mode. Add in your oil or ghee and let it get hot.
  2. Put in your diced onion and minced garlic and stir around until fragrant. 2-3 minutes. Add in your carrot and celery and let cook another 3 minutes.
  3. Place your chuck roast over the onion and garlic and let brown on all sides.
  4. Once brown add in all spices and ingredients other than the bell pepper and the green olives.
  5. Close the lid and set on MANUAL (high pressure) for 45 minutes.
  6. When 45 minutes is up manually release the pressure, open lid, and take meat out and shred it. Place back into Instant Pot and add in your diced bell pepper and green olives.
  7. Close lid back up and manual set for 1 minute under high pressure.
  8. Once done, release pressure then spoon over cauli rice
  9. Top with fresh parsley


If using a slow cooker, put all ingredients in (except parsley and cauli-rice) and let cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

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cuban ropa vieja


Had I used the Instant Pot previously, I would probably say that this is the best meal that I have cooked in it.  I should have started with something sucky because now the other meals I create in there have some MAJOR competition!

cuban ropa vieja

Whole30: yes

Paleo: yes



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