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Ropa Vieja

Yields8 ServingsPrep Time30 minsCook Time1 hr 10 minsTotal Time1 hr 40 mins

Ropa Vieja is on the of oldest and most popular national dishes of Cuba. The name means"old clothes' in Spanish, which connotes nothing of the taste, but perhaps more of what a spirited eater would want to wear while eating it! This dish is typically made with shredded beef, but my chicken version is a lighter and equally-delicious alternative.

Ropa Vieja

 2 lbs Chicken Breast, trimmed
 2 Bay Leaves
 ¾ cup Carrots, peeled and chopped
 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
 1 Small Onion, quartered and chopped
 2 cups Roma Tomatoes, chopped (approx. 4 Roma tomatoes)
 2 tsp Salt, or to taste
 ½ tsp Black Pepper
 1.50 tsp Dried Oregano
 1 tbsp Paprika
 ½ tsp Cumin
 3 tbsp Capers, with juice
 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 1 Green Pepper, cut into thin strips
 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips

In a dutch oven, add the chicken, bay leaves, carrots, ½ of the garlic, and onion. Pour water over the mixture, almost covering the chicken. Simmer on low for approximately 40 minutes, turning over the chicken after 20 minutes.


Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a cutting board to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before shredding. Leave the remaining ingredients in the pot, heat turned off.


In a separate fry or cast iron pan, heat the olive oil for 1 minute on medium heat and add the red and green peppers, along with the remaining garlic. Cook two minutes or until slightly softened. Remove from heat.


Shred the chicken and return it to the dutch oven. Add the red, green pepper, and garlic mixture, along with the tomatoes, spices, capers, and tomato paste.


Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Discard the bay leaves and serve over a bed of cooked white or yellow rice and enjoy! (For strict paleo diets, one would omit the rice as a side.) This dish is also traditionally served with fried plantains.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 8