Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Carne Guisada Tacos

A plate of three carne guisada tacos
Instant Pot Carne Guisada Tacos

Instant Pot Carne Guisada Tacos. Mexican “beef stew” taco filling, fall apart tender thanks to pressure cooking.

Carne Guisada, aka “Beef Stew” in Spanish, changes across the Spanish speaking world. This is a Tex-Mex version from the borderlands between Northern Mexico and the Southern United States. It’s a cousin to beef chili, with more emphasis on the beef and less on the chilis.

When I googled Carne Guisada, San Antonio’s Taco Cabana restaurant chain kept coming up. (That’s right, I’m not from Texas.) It’s a popular option for their taco plate; when I get back to Texas I’m going to try it out. Until then I will console myself with my own version of the recipe.

As always, I reach for my pressure cooker for stewed meats. And, as always, my Instant Pot came through. I brown the meat on one side, to give me the best tradeoff between flavor (browning gives the meat extra flavor) and speed (browning on more than one side takes a while.) This recipe is very similar to a Texas-style beef chunk chili, but with a lot less chili powder, so it comes out brown like a stew, not red like a chili. It is very brothy when it finishes, even with the corn starch slurry I add to thicken it up. (My kids were calling these “sloppy tacos” even before we finished serving. But that didn’t stop them from eating it, or gobbling up the leftovers the next day). Use a slotted spoon for serving, and add a little extra sauce if the tacos need it.

Recipe: Instant Pot Carne Guisada Tacos

Adapted from: Carne Guisada in Texas Monthly Magazine

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A plate of three carne guisada tacos

Instant Pot Carne Guisada Tacos

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 20 tacos 1x


Instant Pot Carne Guisada Tacos. Mexican “beef stew” taco filling, fall apart tender thanks to pressure cooking.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup beef broth or chicken broth (homemade or store-bought low sodium)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (if using homemade broth or water)
  • 10-ounce can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (Rotel tomatoes)

Cornstarch slurry (optional)

  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • At least 20 small flour tortillas
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced onions
  • Sliced jalapenos


  1. Sear the beef in batches: Heat the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot on Sauté mode adjusted to high until the oil shimmers. (Use medium-high heat with a stovetop PC). While the pot heats, sprinkle the beef cubes with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add ½ of the beef to the pot in a loose single layer and sear until well browned on one side, about 3 minutes. (Don’t crowd the pot or the beef will steam, not brown). Transfer the browned beef to a bowl, add the remaining half of the beef to the pot, and sear until browned on one side, another 3 minutes. Move the second batch of beef to the bowl.
  2. Sauté the aromatics, toast the spices: Add the onion, green pepper, jalapeño, and crushed garlic to the pot, and sprinkle with the chili powder, black pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally with a flat edged wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits of beef or onion stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Everything in the pot: Pour the broth into the pot (and sprinkle in ½ teaspoon of salt if using homemade broth.) Bring the broth to a simmer and scrape the bottom of the pot one last time to release any browned bits. Stir in the beef and any juices left in the bowl, and then the tomatoes and green chiles.
  4. Pressure cook for 15 minutes with a natural release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 more minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, you can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam.
  5. Thicken and serve: Whisk the water and cornstarch, and chili powder together to make a cornstarch slurry, and then stir the slurry into the pot. If you have the time, set the Instant Pot to Sauté – low heat and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken even more. (Use low heat on a stovetop PC). Serve with the tortillas and other accompaniments and enjoy!


The downside to pressure cooking is a thin sauce. The sealed pressure cooker lets us build pressure, but we don’t get any evaporation to thicken up the sauce. The cornstarch slurry thickens the sauce and gives it the mouthfeel of a long-simmered stew.

You can substitute bottom round roast for the chuck roast if that’s what’s available; everything else cooks the same.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Flat edged wooden spoon

  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Instant Pot Carne Guisada Tacos, Pressure Cooker Carne Guisada Tacos

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Flank Steak Tacos
Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos (Tinga de Pollo)
Pressure Cooker Quick Pork Tacos
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. What a delicious stew! Thanks for this recipe, Mike. I made few changes (of course) to the recipe: upped the garlic to 4 cloves, swapped out a serrano for the jalapeno and a little red pepper flake, cumin and black pepper instead of chili powder. I needed to save time (and effort) and wanted a smoother sauce, so coarse-chopped the onion and peppers, smushed the garlic, put them in my blender with 1/4 cup of the cooking water and the ground spices and ran it a few seconds to a fine chop. I just poured that over the browned meat – let the water cook off and then added broth (less the 1/4 cup) and diced canned tomatoes, cause that’s what I had on hand.
    To speed up the thickening, instead of corn starch I made a roux with butter and abt 3/4 tablespoon flour in a wide skillet, browned it lightly poured the stew (which was thin out of the pot) over it and mixed then let it thicken and cook down for 15 minutes. It came out great, and we had that over rice.
    Your cooking time was perfect for my 8qt IP. I quick-released pressure after fifteen minutes. The meat was tender but not “ropey” the way chuck can get: the one-inch cubes gave the beef lots of seasoning exposure and the gravy, oh that gravy. Tomorrow we’ll have the leftovers with tortillas. I never thought of trying carne guisada before, but this is a go-to recipe.
    Thanks very much!

  2. Rachel Haas says

    I look forward to trying! Any thoughts on doubling recipe in 8 qt IP? Timing? Thx!!

      • Rachel Haas says

        Made this tonight. Hadn’t seen your response and I added 2 min to cooking time. Recipe doubled in 8 qt IP. It was incredible!! Melt in your mouth delicious. I did leave out the jalapeño because I’m a wimp. The chili powder gave it ample heat for me. Many thanks!!

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