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.

“Awesome! Delicious! Easy! I doubled the recipe and froze the leftovers. I am making this again on Monday. Thanks for posting Ashley.”


Why use an Instant Pot?

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 with these 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

4.99 from 60 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


  • 1 cup beef broth or chicken stock
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch or thickener of choice optional


  • 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. Kris says

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing!
    I did do a couple of tweaks, green bell pepper in place of Serrano and ancho chili instead of Chipotle. I just got to say, the meat came out so tender and the gravy had an excellent flavor. My husband gave me so many compliments for it. And even my 5yr old ate his portion, including the gravy!
    I am keeping this recipe!

  2. Aunt D says

    5 stars
    I am from Texas and know good carne guisada. This is recipe is fantastic! I have only had better carne guisada maybe a couple of times and they were both at little hole in the wall Tex-Mex restaurants that were to die for. My whole family loves this recipe. Sometimes we add chunks of potatoes to it. Helps the meat go further.

  3. Laura says

    5 stars
    I made this today and it was FANTASTIC! It was super easy to make. The beef came out super tender. The only thing I changed was I used bell pepper for the serrano. I only did that because all I had was a bell pepper. It tastes like a local restaurants and that makes me so happy! Gonna save some money and have a delicious meal.

  4. Liz P says

    5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe and it has become a staple in our home. I’ve never used the Serrano pepper because I always forget to buy one at the store. I use olive oil as my base fat and add corn starch to thicken it up.

  5. Liz says

    5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe so much. It has become a staple in our house. It comes out good EVERY-TIME. I’ve never used the Serrano, only because I never have one on hand and forget to buy one for this recipe.

  6. J. B. says

    As we looked for staple food styles, during the pandemic, this was a life saver. A proper carne guisada, for a Texan, that lives “too far away, from central Texas, for a certain fast food joint to offer Carne Guisada.

    We passed through the San Antonio/Austin area, a few weeks ago, and my son was “unimpressed” with the local alternatives, that used to be my standard.

    I seem to prefer the results in s slow cooker, vs the results in an Instant Pot, and adjust for a 2.5-3lb per batch.

    My son prefers it over cornbread, while I prefer it as taco filling, but is has become a regular recipe at our house.

  7. Bill Cheek says

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe 3 or 4 times (it is a Sunday ritual for me). I live in San Antonio, Texas and Carne Guisada is ubiquitous, and fairly pricey.
    I scaled up the recipe to use 2-3 lbs of stew meat, since I make breakfast tacos every morning, and need the supply to last from Sunday to Sunday. I did tweak the recipe a little.
    I generously coat the beef in flour before browning, to aid in thickening the gravy. I also use less broth — just enough to barely cover the mixture. And I cook the meal for an hour in the pressure cooker, and allow a natural release.
    I am very happy that I found this recipe. Thanks

  8. Donnie Staggs says

    5 stars
    Awesome! Delicious! Easy! I doubled the recipe and froze the leftovers. I am making this again on Monday.
    Thanks for posting Ashley.

  9. Jacqueline Ben says

    I grew up eating carne guisada weekly and this is amazing!! My family makes it differently but I almost prefer this version more. Sometimes it’s a little spicy for my 4 year old but she loves the flavors so much she cants stop eating it. Been using this recipe for 3 years! Thanks

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!!!!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. Cristina says

    5 stars
    This is one of my top 5 favorite recipes and a staple in our home. The meat turns out delicious and tender, plus it’s so easy to throw together. Can’t thank you enough. We make it at least once a month and serve leftovers as breakfast tortillas with scrambled egg and cheese, or over tamales.

    Yum, yum, yum!!!

  20. Amanda says

    5 stars
    Just fantastic! Meat was tender and spices on point! I peeled and nuked my potatoes and add them in at the reducing stage! DELICIOUS!!!

  21. Chloe says

    5 stars
    This was amazing FLAVOR! From a carne guisada snob!!
    Did not have chipotle seasoning but added more paprika and chili powder to suffice. Also added bell pepper and used arrowroot to thicken to stay paleo.
    Some of the thicker pieces were still chewy. Would you say it needs more time to become extra tender? Or less time? Still getting the hang of the instapot.
    Thank you!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Chloe, love that a carne guisada snob liked my recipe lol!! Thank you for letting me know how it turned out for you 🙂 And hmm if there were any chewy pieces then yes it sounds like they may need some more time to cook next time – or maybe just cut them in half before cooking.

  22. Viewer says

    Please add nutrition info (calories, carbs, fat, fiber, protein, etc.). Also can this recipe be doubled? If so, is it a direct doubling of ingredients in the instapot or do you need to make adjustments? Thank you!

  23. Kathleen Mary Royter says

    5 stars
    It was very good. I live in San Antonio, Texas. We love good Mexican food. And this was so good. I used 1 and 3/4 pounds of stew meat. The gravy was thin, so I thickened with a traditional slurry of flour and water. The flavor was exactly what I was going for. We ate it in flour tortillas. Delicious!

    • Lydia R Avila says

      5 stars
      Hey Kathleen! I’m in San Antonio also. I made this tonight however I just used the broth and the Fiesta Carne guisada seasoning and a little Knorr Tomate chicken flavor and it came out so good. Nice to meet you

  24. Karen says

    5 stars
    This was divine and will be on a weekly rotation in our house! We can’t get chipotle powder here so I just used more smoked hot paprika instead. I even put chickpeas in to bulk it up as I was a tad short on beef, and it worked a treat. A taste sensation and I would encourage anyone to try this. I was getting a bit bored with bog-standard chilli so this makes an excellent substitution.

  25. Lorraine says

    5 stars
    My husband has been telling everyone about this dish! We double the meat, use half a bay leaf instead with a little more salt and cumin.

  26. Emily McKay says

    After thirty-plus years of living in Texas and loving Carne Guisada, I finally worked up the courage to try this recipe. I loved it! my son loved it so much, he licked the plate! Thanks for making one of my favorite meals so approachable!

  27. Steve Branam says

    5 stars
    My wife introduced me to carne guisada at Taco Cabana in San Antonio 37 years ago. Heavenly! We moved to Massachusetts 27 years ago and have searched in vain for anything close ever since. Almost nobody makes it, and those who do don’t do it right, at least by TC standard. It was always tough, with too much tomato sauce and not enough spice.

    This recipe was our first use of our new Instant Pot, and it was fantastic! We used 1.5 lbs of beef, increasing the tomato sauce and beef broth accordingly. The pot reduced the meat to falling apart, and the flavor! This reminds me of going to an Ethiopian restaurant, what I call shoveling food, because it’s so good you just keep shoveling it in your mouth and it’s gone before you know it.

    We added a little sour cream and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese to our bowls, serving it as a cheesy carne guisada soup. It was so good my wife and I finished off the entire pound and a half of meat in one sitting.

    Total time to make the meal was just over an hour from start of prep to opening the lid. The hot sauteed ingredients came up to pressure in about 5 minutes, and the natural pressure release took just over 20.

    Next we’ll try this with the paleo naan. Yum! Thank you!

  28. rbc303 says

    5 stars
    We love potatoes in our Carne G. How would I do this? Is there a way to add the potatoes half way?
    I just tried adding all together and the potatoes were mushy 🙁

    • My Heart Beets says

      You could try putting a trivet in the stew then placing large whole potatoes on top – then cut them up and stir them in at the end. They may still be pretty tender but hopefully they won’t turn to mush. Let me know if you try it!

    • Lisa says

      Cook it for 20 minutes, quick release and add chopped potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. I actually add in a packet of brown gravy at this point and it thickens it up.

  29. Tim says

    5 stars
    Will definitely try this. I’m mostly keto, so I am also going to try a keto tortilla recipe to go with it.

    There is a Guisados taco place with a few locations in Los Angeles and it’s amazing. This looks like the real deal.

    I’ll thicken it with masa harina instead of potato starch, it gives it a slight corn flavor and a bit of a texture. I use it in my Instant Pot Texas Chile.

  30. James says

    What are typical sides you would serve this with?
    I was thinking either rice or tortillas.
    Any other suggestions?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi James, rice or tortillas would be great! I love using this as a taco filling and I also enjoy eating it as a stew with a lot of toppings (cilantro, red onions, avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos).

  31. Luna says

    5 stars
    This recipe came out amazing! Thank you! We like things spicy so I added quite a bit of cayenne pepper as well. Also subbed the potato starch for tapioca flour. Great recipe!!

  32. Kyle King says

    5 stars
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe!!! Thank you for sharing!

    This is my FAVORITE go-to recipe for carne guisada! I have made it several times and it has turned out perfectly each time. I now use 5 pounds of beef stew meat (COSTCO) and double the amounts for everything else (could triple for more “gravy”). (Tip: I brown some of the meat in a large skillet to save time.) This lasts several days at our home and gets better each day!

  33. Danielle says

    5 stars
    This was really delicious! I had 2 lbs of stew meat, so I doubled the recipe. Perhaps I should have kept it the same…pretty soupy. No matter, it was delicious! The kids felt it was too spicy, but I tthouht it was awesome! I tossed in about a dozen small potatoez, which came out ready to mash. Perfect!

  34. Rebecca says

    5 stars
    This S Texas native is in a very happy place right now. This will be made again!!

    One note, it was tough to get the gravy thickened with arrowroot. Gotta work on figuring out proportions. But seriously so good.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Rebecca, I’m so happy to hear that you liked it! 🙂 If you eat potatoes, it might be easier to thicken it with potato flour? Or even some mashed up potatoes (that’s my secret to thickening up my beef stew).

      • Rebecca says

        Yeah, probably – I just had arrowroot in the house so I used it. I will have to experiment next time I made it, because yes, there will be a next time.

  35. Carrie says

    I was hesitant on this recipe at first – I am not a stew person really or a huge beef fan, but….I am glad I tried it anyway because it’s so flavorful and tasty!! Have made this several times now. It’s so nice and easy in the Instant Pot. Tastes like it was slow cooking for hours but done in minutes. Another one of your recipes is now a staple in our home 🙂

  36. Courtney says

    4 stars
    This was really delicious. I will add more meat next time so we have leftovers. There was plenty of gravy left so I don’t think adding another pound of beef would hurt. Thanks for the recipe.

  37. Orsi says

    Yay, Ashley! Fantastic as always! I felt like having minced meat and had only pork and lamb on hand, so i went with it and also doubled the recipe. Turned out awesome!

  38. Barbara Woldridge says

    Made this tonight – fantastic! Flavor was amazing. Did not put in the chili powder and used a jalapeno pepper rather then a Serrano pepper, as that is what we had on hand. It was plenty spicy! Used arrowroot for the thickener and cooked it in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes. I am not a stew fan, but loved this. Next time I would add some carrots, just to get in the extra veggies.

    I love your recipes. Thanks so much!

  39. Lisa Marie Davis says

    We loved this! My husband said its the best thing I’ve ever made! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes– please share more for the Insta-Pot!!

  40. Samantha says

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it turned out wonderful. I didn’t have any Chipotle powder so just omitted it, I’m not sure how much of a change in flavor it would have been but we loved it nonetheless and will be making it again, maybe this time with the Chipotle Powder. Very easy to throw together in the Instant Pot so thank you for giving the directions.

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