Chicken Ropa Vieja | Shredded Chicken

by Chef Zee

Regular Ropa Vieja is but this classic Cuban Dish can also be made with chicken and used as an empanada filling, tacos filling, and much, much, more. In fact, I make Chicken Ropa Vieja more often than regular Ropa Vieja because it’s easier and faster to make! Depending on what you’re using it for, you can also control just how saucey you make this dish. Regardless, it’s a crowd pleaser & winner each and every single time. Be sure to give this recipe a try when you want to try something different, or give beef a break.

Don’t miss my step-by-step video on How to Make Chicken Ropa Vieja | Shredded Chicken


Chicken Ropa Vieja | Shredded Chicken | Made To Order | Chef Zee Cooks

Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.4/5
( 9 voted )


  • 2 lbs Chicken Breasts
  • ½ tbs Sopita or Adobo
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Dominican Oregano
  • ¼ tsp Cumin
  • ½ tbs sazón
  • ¼ Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp (Salsa China) Lite Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Fresh Lime
  • Olive Oil
  • 1-2 tbs Tomato Paste or Sauce
  • Spanish Olives *Optional
  • ½ Onion Minced
  • ⅓ Green or Red Pepper Minced


  1. Cut chicken breasts into medium-large cubes and place in mixing bowl
  2. Mince onions and pepper and add to mixing bowl
  3. Add adobo or sopita, onion powder, garlic powder, Dominican orégano, cumin, sazón, black pepper, salsa china (low sodium soy sauce), freshly squeezed lime juice and olive oil to mixing bowl. Mix until well combined
  4. Marinate for an 1 hour or overnight
  5. Warm up olive oil in skillet over medium flame
  6. Add chicken and brown on all sides for 5-7 minutes
  7. Add water making sure to add the leftover marinade in mixing bowl into the chicken as well
  8. Braise for 25-30 mins until chicken has cooked through. Add more water if necessary
  9. Add tomato paste and stir. Cook for another 2 minutes or until tomato paste has dissolved
  10. Remove chicken leaving behind sauce in pan
  11. Shred chicken by hand, forks, or tongs. Place shredded into large mixing bowl
  12. Once all of the chicken is shredded, heat up skillet with leftover sauce
  13. Add chicken and carefully fold chicken into sauce
  14. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add olives if you like


This dish is great as a filler for empanadas or any other stuffed savory pastry. You can also enjoy this dish with rice, mashed plantains or potatoes. As the leftover sauce cools, it will thicken on its own. If using as a filling, make sure to let sauce thicken considerably. If you eating with rice or potatoes, feel free to have a much more runny sauce. Enjoy. Buen provecho!


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