Seco de Carne (Peruvian Beef Stew with Cilantro)

If you’ve been looking for a low-stress meal that is full of flavor and different from your typical cuisine, this is it! This Instant Pot Peruvian Beef Stew (or as we call it in Peru, Seco de Carne) is one of my favorite comfort foods and is easy to make.

This Peruvian beef stew is one of my favorite childhood recipes from Peru and was one of my first dishes that I learned how to cook when I moved to the USA. Talk about flavor! It’s a great one to make for company, for the whole family, or simply to last all week long. It’s another one that leaves great leftovers, and like most stews, it tastes better the next day. 

Seco de Carne Ingredients

This seco de carne recipe uses Peruvian inspired ingredients that provide maximal flavor for this Peruvian stew. It includes:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red onion
  • Garlic
  • Cornstarch
  • Cumin
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Peruvian yellow chili paste (Aji Amarillo paste)
  • Lean beaf stewing meat
  • Beef broth
  • Cilantro
  • Yellow potatoes
  • Frozen vegetables

The cumin and cilantro are stand-out flavors that make this stew unique from stews you may be used to making.

Health Benefits of Peruvian Beef Stew with Cilantro

This recipe is a mix of:

  • high-quality protein from the beef
  • fiber and phytonutrients from the herbs, spices, and vegetables
  • healthy fats from the olive oil

Once you make it, you’ll have a ready-made meal for the rest of the week that is balanced and can help with your weight loss and health efforts.

Cilantro Benefits

Did you know that cilantro contains powerful phytonutrients that are thought to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti inflammatory benefits? It contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are anti inflammatory and also helpful to promote eye health. Cilantro also contains quercetin which is a flavonoid and antioxidant.

How to Make Seco de Carne

I’ve made this recipe easier by using a pressure cooker. With minimal work you’ll have a well-balanced meal full of vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Start by sautéing your onions and garlic, and separately cooking your beef. In a blender, blend together the cilantro and broth. Then add all the ingredients other than the potatoes and vegetables to the pressure cooker and set to cook for 25 minutes. Add the potatoes and vegetables and cook for another 20 minutes. In the Peruvian culture, you eat this dish with rice and pinto beans.

seco de carne peruvian beef stew manuel villacorta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
CourseMain Course
DietGluten Free


  • Instant Pot
  • Sieve
  • Pan
  • Blender


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 2 minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Peruvian yellow chili paste Aji Amarillo paste or any chili paste
  • pounds lean beef stewing meat 1 inch x 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • ½ pound small yellow potatoes about 3-4 flesh and skin, halved
  • 2 cups mixed frozen vegetables


  • Select the “sauté” function on your pressure cooker and heat up two teaspoons of oil (InstaPot) and sauté the onions and garlic for about 4 minutes or until translucent.
  • Using a sieve, sift the cornstarch and mixed well with the sauté mixture.
  • Add cumin, salt, black pepper, and yellow chili paste and mix well.
  • In a separate pan, add one teaspoon of oil and sear the beef over high heat for about 5 minutes. Reserve the beef juice.
  • Meanwhile in a blender, add cilantro and beef broth and blend. Set aside.
  • Poor in the cilantro broth mixture and the seared beef in the instant pot.
  • Cook on “manual” high pressure for 25 minutes. When done, turn the pressure valve to release the steam and open the lid.
  • Add potatoes and vegetables to the electric pressure cooker and mix well. Cook on “Manual” high pressure for 20 minutes. When done, turn the pressure valve to release the steam and open the lid.
  • Using a fork mash some of the potatoes to thicken the sauce.



Chef note: In the Peruvian culture, you eat this dish with rice and pinto beans.


Nutrition Facts
Seco de Carne (Peruvian Beef Stew with Cilantro)
Serving Size
1 cup
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried and enjoyed this recipe?Mention @manuel.villacorta in your post or story!

More Peruvian Recipes

Interested in other Peruvian recipes? Try some of these!

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