Chicken Ropa Vieja Recipe (Instant Pot Recipe)

This Chicken Ropa Vieja is a wonderful way to spice things up for dinner tonight!

As some of you know, I’ve been trying to date. The world of dating is quite an adventure. It’s really pretty incredible what comes your way when you sign up on a dating app. Oy!

And overhead view looking down into a bowl of this Chicken Ropa Vieja Recipe.

But I’ve learned a little something new from each guy, and one of those guys was Cuban. He told me that his favorite dish from childhood is Ropa Vieja, which is traditionally a beef-based dish.

Not one to be deterred by beef (I can’t stand the flavor!), I gave it a try with chicken. I made a big batch and took it on my first date with this guy so he could be my authentic Cuban taste tester.

Looking down into a bowl filled with chicken ropa vieja and a side of pinto beans.

While he might have preferred the beef, he was impressed with my version, as was Mini Chef when he tried it for dinner the night before. So this one is a hit with guys of all ages, apparently. Oh, and I enjoyed it too!


This version is a simple, one-pot meal thanks to the Instant Pot. Stovetop instructions tend to get a bit more involved, and I like to keep things simple. So for this recipe, I only have the Instant Pot version. In the future, if I make this on the stovetop, I will update this page with the stove top instructions. Promise!

Making this dish is actually super easy. You sauté your veggies in the IP on the sauté setting and then dump everything else in to cook. Super easy and tastes great served over rice or with other sides like fried plantain or beans.

Pinto beans make a perfect side dish for this Chicken Ropa Vieja Recipe.

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And overhead view looking down into a bowl of this Chicken Ropa Vieja Recipe.

Chicken Ropa Vieja (Instant Pot Recipe)

A delicious Cuban meal made with chicken instead of beef.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 416kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup sliced baby carrots
  • cups chopped red onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 large green bell pepper (sliced)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 14.5 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 lb. chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste after cooking


  • Press the "Sauté" button on your IP.
  • Add the oil, along with the carrots and onions. Stir until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in the peppers and garlic and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more.
  • Pour in the canned tomatoes and chicken broth and add the tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and cumin as well. Stir to combine.
  • Turn off the sauté function and add the chicken. Stir to combine, and then gently press the bay leaves in without breaking them. If needed, simply spoon some of the mixture over the leaves.
  • Secure the lid and close the vent on your IP.
  • Press the "Meat/Stew" button on your IP or set to 35 minutes on high pressure with the Manual button.
  • Allow a 10 minute natural release, then open the steam valve to release any remaining steam. (Don't burn yourself on the steam!)
  • Remove the lid and shred the chicken with either two forks, or an electric hand mixer on it's lowest setting.
  • Serve with rice and beans. A side of fried plantains is also a yummy addition.


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 611mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4389IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg

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  1. This is delicious! The chicken just fell apart.. so good. Thank you! I only used a tsp of cumin because it’s a strong flavor for me, but otherwise perfect.