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Ropa Vieja, It’s Cuban, and It’s Veganized!

Ropa Vieja, It’s Cuban, and It’s Veganized!

ropa vieja

Vegan Ropa Vieja With Culinary Author Raydel Hernandez

Let’s eat Ropa Vieja, the vegan version of the original Cuban dish, savory beef hash. Culinary author and chef Raydel Hernandez, a first-generation Cuban American, is our chef today and he will WOW you with this recipe. His dishes are very authentic, with Cuban flare, and oh so delicious. They are influenced by traditional Cuban recipes, which he has perfected at veganizing.  Let’s take a look…



He Knows His Vegan Cuban Food!

Raydel Hernandez is a first-generation Cuban American, home cook, and culinary author. His dishes are authentic, delicious, and distinctly Cuban. Heavily influenced by traditional Cuban cooking, Raydel’s culinary sensibilities were shaped by his family experience, primarily his grandmother Pilar Mejido. After learning how to cook Cuban food using traditional ingredients, Raydel became a vegan and spent 10 years experimenting with plant-based ingredients to achieve a Cuban/Vegan fusion that maintains the integrity, and delicious flavors of the original recipes, all with the goal of promoting a long and healthy life through the foods we eat.

His book is called  It’s Delicious, it’s Vegan, it’s Cuban: A Cookbook for people who want to be vegetarian/vegan but don’t know how to startBe sure to check it out on Amazon.  For more of Raydel’s great cooking, you can follow him on Facebook and TikTok.


Raydel's book
Raydel’s Book.


It’s Time For The Vegan Ropa Vieja!

Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban beef hash dish, but today it was veganized.  You can use soy curls or seitan to substitute the beef, and end up with a vegan dish full of flavor, and a much healthier choice.  This recipe has all the Cuban flare you’d expect from this dish, but it is 100% plant-based.  Raydel has no doubt perfected the vegan twist on many traditional Cuban recipes, and this Ropa Vieja is just one example of the magic he has in the kitchen.


See Also

Ingredients for Ropa Vieja
Some of the ingredients used in the Ropa Vieja.


Ropa Vieja
The finished Ropa Vieja.


Raydel and his Ropa Vieja
Raydel showing off his Ropa Vieja dish.


Ropa Vieja (Originally Savory Beef Hash - Butler's Soy Curls or Seitan substitute for the Beef) 

(Can be found on pg 97 of 'Its Delicious, it's Cuban, It's Vegan') The English translation of Ropa Vieja is literally “Old Clothes”. I know it doesn’t sound appetizing but don’t let the title fool you, this is a delicious savory dish. In this rendition, Seitan or Soy Curls are substituted for the beef. Seitan and soy curls are great meat substitutes. They both remain firm when cooked and both absorb the flavors of the recipe you are cooking. I serve this savory dish with white rice, sweet plantains and lots of bread to sponge up the sauce. Enjoy!
Course Main Courses
Cuisine Cuban


  • 2 pounds of Butler’s Soy Curls or 2 pounds of store-bought seitan I use Gardein brand meatless Chicken strips or 2 pounds of homemade seitan cut into 1 inch thin strips (think shredded beef)
  • 1 large green bell pepper charred deseeded, cored, and sliced into strips
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of dry white wine Can Omit if you want
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 6oz jar of red roasted peppers (pimientos) drained and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil


  • Step-1 If you are using Butler Soy Curls, hydrate the soy curls as per the package instructions, once hydrated strain in a colander and allow the soy curls to drip dry. If you are using seitan then add this ingredient when the recipe calls for it.
  • Step-2 If you have a gas stove, place the green pepper right on the burner on medium to low heat and char the pepper black on all sides. Or place the pepper on a roasting pan and use the broil setting on your electric toaster oven or normal oven, to char the pepper black on all sides. Once you have charred the pepper if you’d like you may remove the black charred skin and then deseed and chop the pepper, or if you want to be more traditional you may leave the black skin intact and deseed, and chop the charred pepper as is.
  • Step-3 Mash the garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and oregano into a paste using a mortar and pedestal. If you do not own a mortar and pedestal then you can mince the garlic with a knife and mash the garlic and seasoning together with a fork. (mortar and pedestal works best)
  • Step-4 Place the chopped onion, bay leaf, and olive oil in a large pot. Mix the onion, and bay leaf with the olive oil without using heat, and coat the onion completely with the oil. Sauté the onion and bay leaf, over medium heat until the onion becomes shiny and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the charred pepper strips and garlic mixture and stir the onion and pepper until they are all coated with the garlic mixture. Keep stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the vegetables to sit for a minute.
  • Step-5 Add to the sautéed vegetables the broth, tomato sauce,  wine (if using), vinegar and water. Stir all the ingredients in the pot together, and set the heat to high and bring all the ingredients to a rolling boil, boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium/low and add the seitan or soy curls and cook for 5 minutes more. Then lower the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  • Step-6 Transfer the Ropa Vieja to a serving dish and garnish it with the roasted red peppers. Serve hot!
Keyword vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Thanks For Joining In On This Cuban Vegan Adventure!

Wow, that was a fun adventure, all the way to Cuba!  The Ropa Vieja Raydel made looks so incredibly tasty and authentic.  Cuban food has a very specific delicious flare to it, and Raydel nailed it, as always!  Be sure to check out his book  It’s Delicious, it’s Vegan, it’s Cuban, for more fun recipes!. And if you want even more choices for easy vegan recipes, stop by the #LunchBreakLIVE page.  We have a ton of recipes for you to choose from.  Until next time…keep cookin’!

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