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Puerto Rican Carne Guisada

This Puerto Rican Carne Guisada is the best beef stew! Savory chunks of beef are simmered in a sofrito gravy until melt-in-your-mouth tender. The potatoes and carrots soak up all the flavor…this is Puerto Rican comfort food at its best!

Puerto Rican Carne Guisada served with rice and sliced avocado

Puerto Rican Carne Guisada Recipe

As many of you know we’re currently stationed in Japan with the Air Force.

Visits back to the States are rare, but I recently got to go home for a few weeks this year and Puerto Rican carne guisada is one of the first dishes I requested from mom!

I can’t believe I’ve never shared this dish on the blog, but today that changes.

Large caldero of Puerto Rican Carne Guisada (Beef Stew)

Nothing says comfort food like a steaming plate of beef simmered in a sofrito based gravy until tender!

Throw in some potatoes to thicken the stew, a little hint of sweetness from the carrots and a pop of salty flavor from green olives.

Serve with rice and avocado. The only thing that could have made this better would be a side of tostones.

Unfortunately, plantains are hard to come by in Japan. If anyone wants to send some I’ll be your best friend forever. 😊

You could even eat this with tortillas and I won’t judge!

I’m half Mexican, so growing up the two cultures were often intertwined.

We’d eat arroz con gandules with our tacos dorados and homemade flour tortillas with our Puerto Rican carne guisada!

I love being a part of so many cultures. ❤️

This post is specifically for Puerto Rican carne guisada. You can find my recipe for Mexican style carne guisada here.

Easy carne guisada recipe - tender chunks of beef in Mexican gravy! Authentic recipe from Texas #mexicanfoodrecipes #mexicanfood #easyrecipe #dinnerrecipes

Carne Guisada Mexican Style

What’s the difference between Mexican and Puerto Rican carne guisada?

The main difference comes from sofrito.

Sofrito is a cooking base used in Puerto Rican cuisine. It’s a blend of vegetables and herbs like garlic and recao that gives every dish a punch of distinctly Puerto Rican flavor.

It’s best to make homemade sofrito if you can.

In Mexican guiso the main seasonings are cumin and onions.

Large caldero of Puerto Rican Carne Guisada (Beef Stew)

Carne Guisada Puerto Rico

First, prepare the stew meat. I recommend any cut of beef chuck or beef round. Cheap meat works well here.

I like bite-sized pieces about 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. The smaller the pieces, the quicker it will cook.

I like to cook this in my caldero. It’s essential for making Puerto Rican rice, but it also has a lot of other great uses.

Browning the beef for Puerto Rican carne guisada

Sear the meat over high heat until brown on all sides. Then add the remaining ingredients except the vegetables.

Cover with water and simmer until tender. This can take 1-2 hours depending on the cut of beef and size of the pieces.

Once the carne is tender, add the potatoes, carrots and olives.

Cubed potatoes, carrots and olives for Puerto Rican carne guisada

I should also note that you can leave these out, or feel free to add other veggies such as yuca or calabaza.

Once again, make sure everything is covered with enough water and then simmer until the vegetables are fork tender (about 30 minutes).

At this point a luscious gravy will have developed. Give the broth a taste and add more adobo if necessary.

Enjoy with rice, aguacate and tostones if you’re lucky enough to get them! Finish the meal off with a slice of flan de queso or flancocho.

Puerto Rican Carne Guisada served with rice and sliced avocado

Puerto Rican Carne Guisada

Yield: 10-12 servings

Puerto Rican Carne Guisada - tender chunks of beef in a succulent gravy flavored with sofrito. Add potatoes and carrots and serve with rice for a complete meal!


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 ½-3 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup sofrito
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon adobo
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 packet Sazón (optional)
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 lb potatoes (about 2), peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 lb carrots (about 2), peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup Spanish green olives or alcaparrado
  • White rice, for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large 6-quart pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides.
  2. Add the sofrito and onion; saute for 2 minutes then stir in the tomato sauce, adobo, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper and Sazón.
  3. Add just enough water to cover the meat, about 1-2 cups, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours, or until meat is tender (check after 1 hour).
  4. After meat is tender, add the potatoes, carrots and olives. Add additional water, if needed. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  5. Taste the stew and season with additional adobo or salt if desired.
  6. Serve with rice.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 331mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 39g

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below! Or tag @kitchengidget on Instagram with the hashtag #kitchengidget


Thursday 7th of October 2021

My family loved it, thank you so much!! I use it all the time!!!


Friday 19th of February 2021

Would swapping out the olives for pigeon peas taste okay?


Friday 19th of February 2021

It'll be totally different flavor but still good. I love adding legumes to everything.


Saturday 16th of January 2021

Can i use the same recipe but use chicken instead?


Sunday 17th of January 2021

Yes, you can use chicken or even pork.


Saturday 26th of December 2020

This tasted more like a typical American-style beef stew than in does carne guisada.


Saturday 26th of December 2020

Hmm maybe more sofrito needed.


Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Have ever tried this in an insta pot? Curious if you would add the veggies later on after the meat cooked for awhile.


Thursday 12th of November 2020

I haven't tried it in my Instant Pot yet! I think I would add them all together and cook for 30 minutes with a natural release.

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