Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

The slow cooker is one of our favorite cold-weather appliances. It’s great for making hearty chili and melt-in-your-mouth pot roast – two of our favorite fall meals. But if you’re looking for new recipes and want take a break from the slow cooker classics, add slow cooker ropa vieja to your must-try list.

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Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
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18 ratings

Yield: Serves 8-10

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja


  • 2 cans (10.5 ounces) medium heat diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 (3 ½ to 4 pounds) flank steak, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
  • 1 cup pitted stuffed Spanish olives
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • Cooked white rice
  • Flour tortilla


  1. In a slow cooker crock, stir together diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, basil, salt, cumin and black pepper.
  2. Add flank steak to crock and and top with onion, peppers and garlic.
  3. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 5 ½ to 6 hours or LOW for 10 1/2 to 11 hours.
  4. Remove flank steak to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred meat and return to crock.
  5. Add olives, capers and remaining cilantro. Stir until blended.
  6. Serve with rice or in a tortilla.

We love experimenting with international recipes and lately, we’ve seen in influx of Cuban recipes online – whether it’s piled-high mojo pork on Instagram or traditional cuban sandwiches on Pinterest. Feeling inspired by Cuban flavors, the Test Kitchen developed a version of ropa vieja for the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

Ropa vieja is a classic Cuban shredded beef dish. It’s packed full of flavor and will satisfy those with a love of all things tangy (there are plenty of delicious Spanish olives and vinegar to go around).

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

In the slow cooker crock, stir together diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cilantro, basil, cumin, salt and pepper. Add flank steak to the crock and top with onions, red and green bell pepper, and garlic. Cook on HIGH for 5 ½ to 6 hours or on LOW for 10 ½ to 11 hours.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

When the steak is finished cooking, remove it and shred using two forks (the meat should shred easily after cooking low and slow). Returned the shredded meat to the crock and stir in olives, capers and cilantro before serving. The bright olives, red and green bell peppers, and fresh cilantro make the dish truly a feast for the eyes.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

Use your Hamilton Beach® rice cooker to make white rice or spanish rice to serve alongside your ropa vieja or plug in the deep fryer and make fried plantains for the ultimate Cuban feast. End the meal with a slice of tres leches cake and a piping hot cup of silky Cuban coffee to turn your dinner table into a day-trip to Havana.

Other slow cooker recipes to try: 

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

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