Instant Pot Carne Guisada


Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipe: Carne Guisada on

Carne Guisada = Mexican Beef Stew

Most of us have heard of carne asada (translation: grilled meat), but how many have heard of carne guisada? If you haven’t tried the latter, you’ve been missing out. Carne guisada is an absolutely delicious traditional Mexican beef stew. Guisada means “stewed meat in gravy,” and that’s exactly what this dish is. There are different ways to make the gravy – you can add bell peppers or potatoes to the dish. Personally, I prefer to keep it simple – tender meat and flavorful gravy. If you like beef stew and like Latin flavor, you will most definitely like this recipe for carne guisada.

Why use a pressure cooker?

Carne guisada is typically a slow-simmered stew that can take hours to make, but I’ve been able to recreate the dish using my new pressure cooker, Instant Pot.

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I had been coveting this pressure cooker for nearly a year before I bought it. It went on sale over the holidays (I bought it for about $115 – it’s only $134 right now!), and I’ve been using it several times a week ever since. It’s one of the best kitchen investments I’ve made – it can do so many things.

You can definitely make this dish in a stovetop pressure cooker or a slow cooker, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking method. For the slow cooker, cook until the meat is tender (estimate: ~6 hours).

How to thicken the stew:

Once the Instant Pot has finished cooking your meal, you’ll see that the stew is a bit thin. You’ll want to ladle out the liquid into a bowl and whisk a tablespoon of potato starch into the stew. I’m sure potato flour will work too. Different thickeners require different steps, so make sure to use them correctly. For example, if you use arrowroot or tapioca flour, you’ll want to mix it well with cold water and then pour that into the stew. Regardless, once it’s well mixed, pour the thick slurry back into the Instant Pot and mix well to thicken the whole stew.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipe: Carne Guisada on

We enjoy eating carne guisada in paleo tortillas or corn tortillas, served with avocado slices and fresh salsa. I think the carne guisada tacos are my favorite… way better than the carne asada fajita-type meat you’re probably used to eating at Mexican restaurants. If you like spicy food, serve the carne guisada with thin slices of Serrano pepper on top!

Instant Pot Carne Guisada

Instant Pot Carne Guisada

4.97 from 28 reviews
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  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or fat of choice
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Serrano pepper minced
  • 1 bay leaf



  • Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot, add the oil and beef cubes to the pot. Sear the meat on all sides.
  • Once the meat has browned , add the onion, garlic, serrano pepper, bay leaf and spices. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce.
  • Secure the lid, close the valve and cook for 35 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • Optional step: to thicken the sauce, either press sauté to reduce the liquid or ladle out some liquid into a bowl and combine it with thickener of choice. Mix well and then add the thick slurry back into the pot, and stir-well.
  • Serve over cauli-rice, or in a tortilla!


  • To make in a slow cooker: Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Try these:

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Instant Pot Taco Meat
Instant Pot Saag
Instant Pot Habanero Chili
Instant Pot Dal Makhani
Goat Curry in a Hurry
Instant Pot Texas Beef Chili
Instant Pot Ground Lamb Curry
Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Jeannie Rivera says

    5 stars
    This is quite delicious, Ashley. I’ve been making this dish for decades and didn’t think I could improve on it but your recipe now will be my new go-to. I made this exactly as you’ve written and it was just fabulous served alongside basmati rice with lime and cilantro.

    Thank you!

  2. Summer says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. Instantly a favorite with me and my husband. This is the best recipe I have ever made of Carne Guisada. Thanks, Ashley!

  3. Frank J Nicholson says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice. The first time I had just over a pound of stew beef and was superb – tender, but just chewy enough to know there was meat in it. My Mexican friend said it was the best he’d ever had, which was quite a compliment.
    The second time I had almost two pounds of stew beef so I cooked it about 20 minutes longer. What a mistake, the beef came out stringy, like a chuck or pot roast. The spices were spot on, we were just disappointed with the texture. I even allowed a NPR so I’m not exactly sure what went wrong.
    Any idea how to avoid this in the future?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Frank, if you double the recipe, I would suggest keeping the cook time the same. The pot accounts for the extra meat and takes longer to build pressure, so there’s no need to add more time. Hope that helps!

  4. Fatima Mun says

    5 stars
    Hi, we absolutely love this in our home! It reminds me a lot of my other favorite comfort food – Nihari. Please oh please, can you post a recipe for beef nihari next? I know I could make a passable one with store bought packets but I really like your philosophy of making it with fresh spices at home. Same for Haleem. My family and I would be even more eternally grateful to you and your blog!

  5. Zury Bourque says

    5 stars
    Delish!! I have tried different recipes & I will definitely pin this one. Very flavorful! I used cayenne for heat instead of using the serrano and the chipotle powder. The meat was so tender. I served it with cauliflower rice. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Mickie says

    Ashley, when you say bay leaf, do you mean the Indian bay leaf or the European (the kind Americans use)? My husband Sebastian is from Kerala & I’m sure he would love this dish. I just ordered your cookbook & can’t wait to get it! Many thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mickie! For my Indian recipes, I use Indian bay leaves (tej patta) and for my non-Indian recipes I use regular bay leaves 🙂 I hope your hubby loves this! And I hope you love all the recipes from my cookbook!

  7. Ginny says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. We used the meat in a burrito with rice, refried beans, guacamole, cheese, and lettuce and tomato……soooooo good!!!!

  8. Rebecca says

    I made this for the first time tonight and oh my goodness, it was so good! My two teens loved it and asked for leftovers in their lunches tomorrow. I doubled the recipe and used Bob’s Red Mill Instant Mashed Potato Flakes to thicken. Amazing!

  9. Leesa Tomsett says

    5 stars
    If your homesick for San Antonio and Tex Mex, try this excellent and simple recipe. We will never buy a commercial carne guisada taco again and could kick myself for not trying this sooner.

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