Carne Guisada (in the Instant Pot)

Carne Guisada (in the Instant Pot)

Living in central Texas I’m surrounded by delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex food. My favorite dish to order at a Mexican restaurant is carne guisada. The direct translation is “stewed meat” and is made with pork, chicken, or beef. If made well the meat is tender and flavorful. It is a meal in itself but my favorite way to eat it is wrapped in a warm tortilla.

I’m a fairly lazy cook and usually avoid recipes that involve a lot of chopping. I’m a terrible chopper and never get my diced veggies in a uniform size. It’s very frustrating! But ever since getting a food chopper (similar to the one in the link) I’ve been a chopping fool. It supports my desire for efficiency. In less than an hour I made this tender and delicious carne guisada in my Instant Pot. If you haven’t jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet, you can make this in the crock pot too. You’ll just cook the stew meat on low for 4 to 6 hours.

Carne Guisada in the Instant Pot

If you like leftovers you are in for a treat. The next day the carne guisada was even better. The flavors had more time to fuse together and had me craving more after my last bite.


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced with seeds (or Serrano pepper if you are brave)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I used Alaea sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican or regular oregano or even marjoram)
  • 1 cup broth, beef or chicken
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Select the “Sauté” mode on the Instant Pot.
  2. Once the pot is hot, add the oil and half the stew meat to the pot. Brown the meat on all sides before transferring to a plate while you brown the other half of the stew meat.
  3. Once the second batch of stew meat is browned, add back the first batch of stew meat, onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, bay leaf, and spices. Stir together until everything is well mixed.
  4. Pour the broth and tomato sauce over the seasoned stew meat. You do not need to stir.
  5. Cover and lock the lid.
  6. Select “Meat/Stew” mode which defaults to 35 minutes. Make sure to set the top knob to “Sealing” and not “Venting”.
  7. The Instant Pot will beep at you when it finishes cooking the stew meat and sets itself to “Keep Warm” mode.
  8. You can let manually release the pressure if you are ready to eat or you can allow the pressure to release naturally.
  9. If you want to thicken the sauce, whisk the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until there are no lumps.
  10. Open the lid and gently whisk the cornstarch mix into the sauce until slightly thickened.
  11. Make sure to remove the bay leaves.
  12. Serve with a tortilla, refried beans, and rice. It’s also delicious with scrambled eggs.

Adapted from My Heart Beets

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10 thoughts on “Carne Guisada (in the Instant Pot)

  1. Amanda | Yum In Your Tum says:

    Oh this looks scrumptious! I love Mexican food, and need start making it at home more so this is perfect! I usually eat out whenever I want Mexican, but homemade is always better! I am a terrible chopper as well, LOL!

  2. Julia Cory says:

    Could you add pinto beans to this. I have an OLD recipe that uses a pork roast and beans that sounds a lot liket his spice wise. I’m new to the Instant Pot so not sure yet how to remake old recipe favorites.

    • Tanya says:

      Julia, that’s a great question. Yes, you can add pinto beans to this recipe. I would make sure the beans are pre-soaked and add 1 cup of water so there is plenty of liquid to cook the beans. I’m fairly new to cooking with the Instant Pot too and have had plenty of failures. But the successes have made it worth it! It’s all about experimenting and adjusting until it’s perfect for you and your tastes. Please let me know how your recipe turns out. Thanks! Tanya

  3. Cindy says:

    This was a huge hit with my family. We loved it. It was so easy. I will be making this again.
    Thank you for a great recipe.

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