Carne Guisada

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
5 — Votes 6 votes

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If you follow this recipe to the letter, you will end up with the most tender, flavorful, satisfying carne guisada ever. Hailing from my own family’s recipe vault, this rich stew meat has a host of Mexican flavors, a luscious gravy, and caramelized veggies that build incredible flavor. We love it most in a tortilla with a generous sprinkle of fresh onion!

A large enameled cast iron pot filled with carne guisada topped with diced white onion and cilantro next to a bowl of sliced avocado, a bowl of lime wedges, and a bowl of diced white onion.

If you’re new to carne guisada, know that it’s a slow-cooked Mexican stew meat. While some recipes have more gravy than others, I like mine thick like you see here. This is ideal for spooning over tortillas or enjoying on a plate next to beans and rice.

Slow and low is the name of the game, so don’t be shy about putting it on a few hours before dinner, letting it slowly simmer away (covered), filling the house with the best smells and your family’s bellies with the best meal a little later.

Carne Guisada Ingredients

The list may seem long, but it’s actually full of really common pantry items. Here’s everything you’ll need:

All of the ingredients for carne guisada - broth, garlic, salt, pepper, flour, onion, stew meat, Rotel, butter, and spices - sitting in small bowls on a marble surface.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1-1¼ pounds of stew meat
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ black of pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon of mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon of ancho chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of chicken or beef broth
  • 1 can of Rotel
  • Flour tortillas, for serving
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Avocado, sliced, for garnish
  • White onion, diced, for garnish
  • Refried beans, for serving

Ingredient Modifications and Variations

If you’re looking for modifications and variations for this homemade carne guisada recipe, we’ve got you! 

  • Make it gluten-free: if you’re looking for a gluten-free option here, you’re in luck! Simply swap the flour in this recipe for a gluten-free flour (THIS one is our favorite!). If you’re serving your carne guisada in or alongside flour tortillas, be sure to snag gluten-free ones too.
  • Make it dairy-free: for dairy-free carne guisada, substitute in dairy-free butter for the regular butter in this recipe. Easy peasy! 
  • Use regular oregano: can’t find Mexican oregano? No worries – regular oregano will work just fine here!

How to Make Carne Guisada

Stew meat searing in a large cast iron enameled pot.
Diced onion and minced garlic sauteing in a large enameled cast iron pot.
spices and flour toasting in a large enameled cast iron pot
chicken broth being poured into a large, yellow enameled cast iron pot.
a large yellow enameled cast iron pot filled with carne guisada before simmering and thickening
finished carne guisada in a large enameled cast iron pot being stirred with a wooden spoon
  1. Melt the butter and season the meat – melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 3-quart pot (with a lid) over high heat. While the butter is melting, season the stew meat with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear the meat – add the stew meat in a single layer to the pot and sear on all sides, then remove from the pot.
  3. Saute the garlic and onion – reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and onion to the pot. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the spices and flour – add the spices and flour to the garlic and onion and toast, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot – add the broth, meat, and Rotel to the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Simmer – after 45 minutes, uncover and simmer on low until the sauce reaches your desired thickness.
  7. Serve and enjoy – spoon the carne guisada into tortillas and top with cilantro, avocado, and diced white onion. Enjoy alongside refried beans (if you want!).

Can I Make Carne Guisada in a Crock Pot?

You can definitely make your carne guisada in a crock pot, but it isn’t quite as simple as most slow cooker recipes. For the best results, you’ll want to grab a skillet and follow steps 1-4 on the stovetop. Then, transfer everything to the crock pot and set to cook on low for 8-10 hours.

How to Serve Carne Guisada

There are a couple of ways that you can serve your carne guisada! You can serve it taco-style in warmed tortillas (like we did here) complete with a cilantro, sliced avocado, and diced white onion garnish, or you can eat the carne guisada with a spoon and use a warm flour tortilla to sop up the goodness – the choice is yours, and truly, you can’t go wrong either way!

A carne guisada taco topped with cilantro and sliced avocado on a plate next to a serving of refried beans, a small bowl of diced white onion, and a lime wedge.

What does carne guisada mean?

Carne guisada is spanish for “meat stew” – makes perfect sense! 

What meat is carne guisada at the store?

Carne guisada is made using beef stew meat. When cooked for long enough, it will literally FALL apart – so YUMMY.

Is carne guisada the same as beef?

Carne guisada (“meat stew”) is made with beef cooked in a sauce loaded with delicious Mexican spices.

What Is The Difference Between Carne Asada And Carne Guisada?

Carne guisada (what we’re making here!) is a stewed beef dish typically made with chuck roast stew meat, while carne asada is a grilled beef dish typically made with marinated skirt steak or flank steak.

A carne guisada taco topped with cilantro and sliced avocado on a plate next to a serving of refried beans, a small bowl of diced white onion, and a lime wedge.

More of Our Favorite Beef Recipes

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Carne Guisada Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
5 — Votes 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-1¼ pounds stew meat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ white onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1 can Rotel
  • Flour tortillas for serving
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Avocado sliced, for garnish
  • White onion diced, for garnish
  • Refried beans for serving

Instructions

  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 3-quart pot (with a lid) over high heat. While the butter is melting, season the stew meat with salt and pepper.
  • Add the stew meat in a single layer to the pot and sear on all sides, then remove from the pot.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and onion to the pot. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the spices and flour to the garlic and onion and toast, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the broth, meat, and Rotel to the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After 45 minutes, uncover and simmer on low until the sauce reaches your desired thickness.
  • Spoon the carne guisada into tortillas and top with cilantro, avocado, and diced white onion. Enjoy alongside refried beans (if you want!).

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Carne Guisada Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
252
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9.2
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
4.4
g
28
%
Cholesterol
 
101.1
mg
34
%
Sodium
 
963.5
mg
42
%
Carbohydrates
 
10.6
g
4
%
Fiber
 
2.6
g
11
%
Sugar
 
2.4
g
3
%
Protein
 
33.2
g
66
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Modifications and Variations
  • Make it gluten-free: if you’re looking for a gluten-free option here, you’re in luck! Simply swap the flour in this recipe for a gluten-free flour (THIS one is our favorite!). If you’re serving your carne guisada in or alongside flour tortillas, be sure to snag gluten-free ones too.
  • Make it dairy-free: for dairy-free carne guisada, substitute in dairy-free butter for the regular butter in this recipe. Easy peasy!
  • Use regular oregano: can’t find Mexican oregano? No worries – regular oregano will work just fine here!
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy
copywriter: Brandi Schilhab
photographer: Jess Gaertner

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