Cuban Ropa Vieja (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker option)

Cuban ropa vieja is a flavorful, comforting meal of shredded beef and vegetables that can be cooked in either an Instant Pot or slow cooker. The easy recipe is SCD, Paleo, Whole30, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, and soy free!
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword beef, ropa vieja
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 334kcal
Author Jennifer from A Life of Happenstance



  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 " strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4" strips
  • 1 small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 5 ounces pitted Spanish cocktail olives, drained
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste


Instant Pot Directions

  • Cut flank steak into 4 equal chunks and place in the Instant Pot. In a small bowl mix together the tomato sauce, cumin, oregano, and sea salt. Pour over the beef and use your hands to mix.
  • Add the garlic cloves before covering and sealing the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally.
  • Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and use two forks to shred the beef. Place the shredded beef back into the Instant Pot along with the peppers, onions, and drained olives. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes before allowing the pressure to once again, release naturally.
  • Serve warm with your choice of sides. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Place crock pot on low setting. Cut flank steak into 4 chunks and place in crock pot. Add sliced peppers, onions, garlic and drained olives to the crock pot. 
  • In a small bowl combine tomato sauce, cumin, and oregano. Pour over beef and vegetables. Use tongs to ensure beef is covered in the sauce mixture. Cover crock pot and allow to cook for 7 1/2 hours. 
  • Remove the chunks of beef from the crock pot and use two forks to shred. Return shredded beef to crock pot and stir until all the beef is covered in sauce. Cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes longer. 
  • Serve with your choice of sides. 


  • If using an Instant Pot, the actual cook time for this recipe is 35 minutes, however, when factoring in the time needed for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure, the total time for this dish is just shy of 2 hours. 
  • In the slow cooker, this recipe takes 8 hours total to cook. 
* The calories calculated in this recipe are just an estimate.
The photos and content above are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own website or social media channels. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, you can provide a link back to my blog rather than copying the recipe. Thank you! XO, Jen