Carne en Salsa Verde or Mexican Beef Stew in Green Salsa

Vivi Carne and Green Salsa 2

Carne en salsa verde is just what Vivi Abeja craves on super-frio Chicago days. She stirs up a pot of this cozy beef, potato, calabaza and green salsa stew. It has so many benefits, she tells Familia Kitchen. She and her boyfriend love it. It’s nutritious. It’s comforting, reminding her of growing up in the Chicago Mexican-heritage neighborhood of Little Village, with her mom and so many sisters, brothers, tios, tios, primos, and, of course: her abuela, who is her great kitchen inspiration.

Corundas Vivi
During the early days of COVID, Vivi started making her abuela’s recipe for Michoacan-style corundas, a triangle-shaped sort of tamale, and selling them on the streets of Little Village, Chicago.

Food is home for Vivi, she says. ”Cooking fills my soul.” She especially loves making dishes steeped in her family Mexican comida traditions, like her grandmother’s family recipes for Michoacan-style corundas and uchepos, which Vivi sold on the sidewalk in front of her grandmother’s house in Little Village. From there, she won a scholarship to Food, a local community-focused cooking school and now cooks at Bavette’s Steakhouse and Bar in the Chicago Loop. But she holds firm to her commitment to feed people she loves in the streets she grew up. That’s why she regularly hosts Vivis_Table Mexican-comida Instagram Live cook-a-longs and still sells food to her Little Village neighbors on weekends and days off.

Watch Vivi make this carne and salsa verde stew, step by step. ”This is the taste of home,” says Vivi.

This traditional stew is the ”type of food I make when I want to eat something that feels good and fulfilling and comforting. Carne con salsa verde is, for me, super nostalgic. It’s super comforting,” says Vivi. ”I’m really trying to get back to my roots and cook things that remind me of home.”

Another huge selling point for this dish? ”We think these recipes are so hard,” says Vivi. ”But they’re super simple.” She ticks off the accessible main ingredients: beef, chiles, potatoes, zucchini. All cooked in one pan. That’s it, she says. ”Simple, simple, simple.”

carne en salsa verde
Vivi slices the beef, onion and poblano chiles into thin strips.

Did she grow up eating this stew? ”This is my most favorite meal that my mom would make when I was growing up,” says Vivi. ”My mom did not cook a lot, because you know: not everybody enjoys cooking. And she was always super busy. She worked so hard and was very tired. You know, mom life. So whenever she would make this, I just thought it was the best meal in the whole world.”

How to Eat Carne en Salsa Verde Stew

One of her favorite things about this carne en salsa verde is that it’s so tortilla-sop-up-able, says Vivi. “When my mom would make this, she would make it with frijoles on the side. And she would dip a fresh tortilla inside the pan, while there was still the cooking liquid in there. So the tortilla would soak up that liquid. Then she would pull out the tortilla and put it in a plate or a bowl and give it us, while she was still cooking the rest of it. We would just snack on it. Oh, that was my favorite!”

Vivi Carne and Green Salsa 2
Vivi adds Mexican calabaza to her mom’s family recipe for this carne and potatoes stew to give a healthier twist, she says.

Vivi also remembers this dish coming together quickly, which was another bonus for her mom. ”My mother would pick up some carne, cook it in the same pan with the salsa, and it would just sit in the pan and soak in all those flavors. Oh, I just loved it.”

Now that she’s the one making it, Vivi likes to add Mexican calabaza or zucchini to the meat and potatoes. “I was wanting something a little lighter, a little healthier. And I love calabacitas. So I threw a few of those in there too. I cut them thick instead of the really thin slices that I would usually cut them because I knew that they were going to sit in the sauce. They just sit in the pan and soak in all those beautiful flavors. I just love it.”

Don’t forget the corn tortillas, adds Vivi. Either freshly made or store-bought is fine. Dipping yours into the bowl just might make this beef and green salsa stew one of your forever-favorite, soul-filling meals too.

Ready to Make Vivi’s Carne en Green Salsa Stew?

Carne en Salsa Verde or Mexican Beef & Green Salsa Stew

Recipe by Vivi Abeja
5.0 from 2 votes
Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Salsa Verde
  • 6 to 8 tomatillos

  • 2 serrano chiles

  • 1 jalapeño chile

  • 1/4 onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 handful cilantro (about ½ cup)

  • 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder (Vivi uses Knorr)

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • For the Carne Stew
  • 1 lb beef, try a cut like sirloin (bistec de res), sliced into strips

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 onion, large

  • 2 poblano peppers, sliced into strips

  • 2 Mexican calabazas or zucchini, chopped in medium chunks

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped in medium chunks


  • Make the Salsa Verde
  • Prep the vegetables: Husk and rinse the tomatillos. Stem and rinse the serrano and jalapeño chiles. Vivi keeps the chiles whole but you can deseed, according to your heat tolerance. Peel and slice the onion. Peel the garlic cloves and keep them whole.
  • In a medium-high hot pan, comal or griddle, place the tomatillos, chiles, onion, and garlic cloves. Sprinkle olive oil and salt on them. Toast until blistered and charred in spots. (Alternately, place the vegetables on a baking sheet in a 375° oven and roast until blistered and charred in spots.)
  • Make the Carne Stew
  • Place the cooked vegetables in a blender. Add the cilantro, cumin and chicken seasoning. Pulse until well blended.
  • Slice the beef into strips. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place a large pan on medium-high heat. Coat with olive oil.
  • Add sliced onion, beef strips and sliced poblano chiles to the hot pan. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the Mexican calabaza or zucchini and the potato chunks.
  • Pour in about 2 cups of the salsa verde, so that it covers the meat and vegetables. Stir together.
  • Bring to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let it cook on low until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • When it’s ready, give the stew one final good stir. Serve in bowls with a dollop of Mexican crema or sour cream, a squeeze of lime, and a side of hot tortillas to dip into the salsa verde sauce.


  • Making your own tortillas with this family recipe makes this stew taste even better.

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