Vegan Ropa Vieja Recipe made using okra, red bell peppers and other fresh veggies.  I took this traditional Cuban recipe and made a vegan version of it.  Instead of shredded beef, I shredded the okra and it was so good.  My favorite part of this recipe is saying that I am eating “old clothes” for dinner

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Old Clothes!!”


That will be the conversation you will have with your kids when you make these Ropa Vieja at home.

Overhead and closeup view of a white bowl filled with Ropa Vieja

So, I am an eavesdropper and I make no apologies for it!

Whenever I am at the supermarket, my ears will perk up every time I hear someone talking about food or making dinner plans. I just can’t help myself because I am always intrigued by what people are putting on their dinner tables.

I am lucky to be living in a vibrant Latin community because they have a deep passion for food and are always talking about recipes at the supermarket

That’s how I came across “arroz con frijoles” that I made for Bowl-Me-Over’s Vegan Cuban Bowl.  I was so inspired by a conversation at the Cuban supermarket that I ran home and made Rice and Beans, Cuban style.

Today’s recipe is yet another one inspired by a Cuban conversation at my local supermarket.  Two Cuban women were waiting at the Deli counter to purchase beef for “Ropa Vieja” they were making for family visiting over the weekend.

Overhead view of 2 white bowls with Ropa Vieja on a dark blue surface with condiments on the side

I googled the recipe immediately and was completely fascinated by it.  I couldn’t wait to try a vegan version of this Cuban staple.  One of the main things in this recipe is to use shredded beef that has been oven roasted to perfection.

So, what works best a beef replacement?  I found that eggplant is the perfect consistency and it was dense enough to provide this recipe with a nice flavor.  I oven roasted the eggplant to perfection and then shredded it with a fork before mixing it with all the other ingredients

In my recipe, I used Okra that I had left over from my “Okra in a Blanket” recipe.  I also added other roasted veggies like Mushrooms, bell peppers and tomatoes.  For spices, I was so happy to make use of my homemade Cuban seasoning! You wouldn’t believe how delicious it all the ingredients worked together.

Overhead view of a baking tray filled with green bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, chopped mushrooms and whole okras

Look how vibrant and colorful that veggie tray looks!!! Its the perfect representation of the vibrant Cuban culture!

It was soooo good and I am so glad I experimented with this recipe because I would never have thought of making it for my blog.  I served it with white rice, but, you could also serve it with brown rice or tortillas.

This is one of my proudest recipes and I can’t wait to see what all of you thought of this recipe.  Feel free to leave me a comment below with your favorite cultural recipe.

Do you love eating Ropa Vieja for dinner?

Vegan Ropa Vieja

Overhead and closeup view of a white bowl filled with Ropa Vieja

Vegan Ropa Vieja

Vegan Ropa Vieja made with shredded eggplant, okra, bell peppers, tomatoes and topped with Homemade Cuban Seasoning
Go Ahead, Rate it now!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 3 people
Calories 194 kcal


To Roast The Veggies

  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano Dried
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley Dried
  • 1 Eggplant Small Sized
  • 30 pieces Okra Ends Cut Off
  • 2 cups Mushroom Brown Button Mushrooms Cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomato
  • 1/2 Green Bell Pepper

Bringing It All Together

  • 1/2 tsp Corn Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Crushed
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Crushed
  • 1/4 Red Onion Jullienned
  • 2/3 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes Optional
  • 1 tsp Cuban Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Green Olives With Pimento
  • 1.5 Tbsp Capers
  • 1/4 cup Red Bell Peppers Deli Sliced Roasted Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Lime Juice Freshly Squeezed
  • Cilantro Optional


Roasting The Veggies

  • Preheat oven to 450 Degrees
  • In a mixing bowl, add the Oil, Oregano and Parsley.  Mix well
  • Using a brush, use some of the oil mixture to brush the outside of the eggplant
    A green veggie brush on top of a small eggplant
  • Cover the eggplant with Aluminum Foil and place in the oven.  Cook for 1hr 10 minutes
    Eggplant wrapped in aluminium foil. Chopped veggies in the background
  • In a mixing bowl, add the okra, green bell peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms.
  • Add the remainder of the oil mixture remaining after the eggplant basting
  • Mix well and place these veggies on a baking tray
  • Place the tray in the bottom rack of the oven
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the okra
  • When all the veggies have completed roasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool
  • Open the aluminum foil and shred the eggplant using a fork.  Discard the green part and the skin of the eggplant
  • Roughly chop the eggplant and green bell pepper.  Set aside
  • In a small pan, add the corn oil and onions.  Cook until onions are translucent
  • Add the ginger, garlic, tomato sauce and water
  • Add all the roasted veggies, salt, red pepper flakes and Cuban seasoning.  Mix well
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Serve with Brown or White Rice


    – I made a slightly drier version of Ropa Vieja.  If you are looking for a more liquid version, add 1.5 cups of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water. 
    – Serve with Rice or Tortillas


    Serving: 1cupCalories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 1374mgPotassium: 945mgFiber: 8gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1190IUVitamin C: 54.9mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1.8mg
    Keyword can you make vegan ropa vieja, ropa vieja
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    One Comment

    1. My hubby is vegetarian and I am not so good in cooking vegan. At that time I viewed this blog along with this post. I tried this recipe and you know he loved it. Thank you a lots.