This Mexican style carne guisada is beef that is stewed with tomatoes, peppers and spices until it becomes tender and flavorful. Serve your stewed beef as-is, or use it to make burritos, enchiladas, or many other different specialty dishes!

In my house, we enjoy Mexican food at least once a week. Some of our favorites include marinated carne asada, chile verde, and this savory carne guisada.

This Mexican style carne guisada is beef that is stewed with tomatoes, peppers and spices until it becomes tender and flavorful. This Mexican style carne guisada is beef that is stewed with tomatoes, peppers and spices until it becomes tender and flavorful.

Carne guisada served with rice, beans and avocado.

My local Mexican restaurant makes the absolute best carne guisada, and I decided it was time to learn to make this classic dish at home. It turns out that this tender beef is actually quite simple to make, with ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

What is carne guisada?

Carne guisada is a type of stewed beef that is cooked with tomatoes, peppers and onions. Mexican style carne guisada consists of beef in a thick gravy and is often served as a main course with a side of tortillas, or as a filling for tacos and other dishes. There is another version of carne guisada that is popular in other Latin American countries that consists of beef stewed with potatoes and beer. This version here leans toward the Mexican interpretation.

Bowls of ingredients including cubed beef, vegetables and seasonings.

How do you make carne guisada?

Start by searing the beef until it’s golden brown. Add peppers and onions to the pot, then cook until the veggies are soft. Stir in some flour to help thicken the sauce. Next, add in fresh diced tomatoes along with tomato sauce, beef broth and an assortment of seasonings. Cover the pot, and let the meat simmer on the stove until it’s very tender. Add some cilantro, then serve and enjoy.

Seared beef chunks in a pot.

Tips for the perfect dish

  • Choose a well marbled cut of beef for this recipe such as beef stew meat or chuck roast.
  • You can make carne guisada up to two days before you plan to serve it. The meat will become even more flavorful as it sits in the sauce. Reheat the beef in a pan on the stove over low heat until warmed through.
  • This dish is a great candidate for the freezer. Place the cooked meat into airtight containers or freezer bags, and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator over night, then reheat on the stove.
  • I like to serve my meat with pinto beans and rice, as well as homemade pico de gallo to add a fresh flavor and some color.

Beef chunks with tomatoes, peppers and onions.

What is the difference between carne guisada and carne asada?

Carne guisada is a stewed beef dish, whereas carne asada is a grilled beef dish. Carne asada is made with steak, while guisada is more likely to be made with a less tender cut of beef. Both dishes are staples in Mexican cuisine!

Flavor Variations

While I find this meat to be delicious as-is, you can experiment with different ingredients to make the flavors your own.

  • Meat: Some varieties of this dish call for sirloin, which is a leaner cut of meat that does not need to be cooked as long. You can use sirloin, just be careful to make sure it doesn’t overcook! This dish also works with pork shoulder, although that is not a traditional choice for guisada.
  • Spice: If you prefer your food on the hot and spicy side, feel free to add 1-2 canned chipotle peppers or 1/2 teaspoon (or more!) of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Toppings: Top your stewed beef with cotija cheese, sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, fresh avocado or a drizzle of crema.

A bowl of carne guisada topped with pico de gallo.

You simply can’t go wrong with this dish; it’s an easy way to bring authentic restaurant style flavors into the comfort of your own home!

More Mexican style recipes to try

Carne Guisada Video

5 from 13 votes

Carne Guisada

AuthorSara Welch
Carne guisada served with rice, beans and avocado.
This Mexican style carne guisada is beef that is stewed with tomatoes, peppers and spices until it becomes tender and flavorful. Serve your stewed beef as-is, or use it to make burritos, enchiladas, or many other different specialty dishes!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican
Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat or chuck roast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Place the beef in a single layer in the pot. Season the beef with the salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. You may need to work in batches.
  • Return all the meat to the pot. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, cumin, oregano, chili powder, paprika and beef broth.
  • Stir to combine, then turn up the heat to medium-high until the mixture comes to a simmer.
  • Cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until beef is tender. If you feel like the mixture is getting too dry you can add more beef broth, 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Uncover the pot. Sprinkle with cilantro, then serve.


Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 846mg | Potassium: 954mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 513IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 6mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I am an avid cook & had never heard of Carne Guisada before. Decided to give it a try. It was delicious & I’ve made it 3 times (by request) in the last 2 weeks, which is unheard of in our house. I slow simmer for closer to 3 1/2 hours and use closer to 3 1/2 cups of beef broth, due to the length of simmering time. Personal preference has me using a whole poblano, instead of green pepper, a whole medium onion, and 2 roma tomatoes. The seasonings are kept the same. Simple to throw together and definitely a keeper. Thank you so much for adding to my cooking repertoire!!

    1. I made mine in my instapot it was delicious and was ready in 30mins. I’m sure it can be done in a crockpot. I would probably sear everything in a pan first then transfer the mix in the crockpot to slow cook.

  2. 5 stars
    I am wishing I had a plate of this right now in front of me!! It’s on the weekend menu!! Love tender, flavorful meat!! I’ll be adding this on tacos, in burritos, you name it!

  3. 5 stars
    Super delicious! Full of so much incredible flavor and so perfectly tender! Served it up on make-your-own taco night and we all loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    We really loved every bite of this carne guisada! The beef came out so tender, and that sauce had the perfect spice kick.

  5. 5 stars
    I have never tried it before. But it sure looks delicious. Going to make it for sure. Thanks, for sharing.

  6. 5 stars
    My family loves flavourful beef, and this carne guisada recipe was the perfect choice for our family. The beef was so delicious we can’t wait to make it again!

  7. 5 stars
    I love a good, slow cooked beef. I actually preferred this to carne asada – so much flavor and so tender. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    I’m familiar with carne asada but I’ve never had carnea guisada before; it looks delicious! The suggestion to use it for burritos definitely caught my attention, I’ll have to give that a try!