These Cuban Beef Bowls are a perfect slow cooker meal the whole family will enjoy! Tender slow cooked beef in a Cuban Mojo sauce with rice, beans, fried plantains and a pineapple salsa is exactly what your family needs on a busy weeknight. This meal can serve everyone in your family from baby to adult!
Having an easy meal ready for the whole family is a serious game changer. We are in that stage of life right now where everything just seems to be ramping up – more activities, more schedule craziness, more of everything but sleep (can we get a little more of that, please?). And seriously, my kiddos are still little, so I can’t even imagine what things will be like when they are all driving and doing things on their own!
This slow cooker shredded beef recipe is amazingly perfect for family’s who need one meal that feeds everyone – from the older baby capable of having purees to “asserting their independence” toddlers, to older kids and adults who want an exciting and tasty dinner – this meal has it all! The beef roast is cooked in a cuban mojo sauce that helps it to be so flavorful and tender, so its perfect to shred and serve as finger food. Combine it with rice and beans (I give both super quick options and ideas for when you have more time down below), some sweet and fruity fruit salsa and fried plantains, and you have yourself an amazing meal the whole family is going to love!
Thank you to Iowa Beef Industry Council for sponsoring this post. And THANK YOU, Dear Reader, for supporting the brands that support me and allow me to continue to grow my blog. All opinions, recipe and photographs are my own.
Beef is one of my total go-to’s for easy family meals. Not only is it super versatile, comes in so many different cuts (that you can do so many different things with), but its also an amazing nutritional powerhouse that is great for kids and adults alike. Protein, Iron, and Zinc are all super important building blocks that little bodies need to grow, and beef is an awesome source of all three of those. So you can bet your behind that I turn to beef to fuel those little bodies that are busy crawling, learning, and growing!
Other healthy beef recipes for families with babies:
- Herbed Steak Sheet Pan is an excellent meal for the whole family – including two purees.
- Chimichurri Ground Beef and Rice Bowl is perfect for those first finger-food stages.
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef is a great finger food meal that is super easy to make!
- Greek Meatballs with Lemon Orzo Skillet is an awesome one pan meal perfect for toddlers and children!
- Grilled Za’atar Beef Kabobs with Veggies, Couscous and Mint-Yogurt Sauce – this easy grilling recipe is packed with fun flavor and beautiful colors!
How Your Kids Can Cook With You:
- Kids aged 1-3 can help pick out the items at the store, help measure ingredients for the slow cooker and help set the table.
- Kids aged 4-6 can help you do everything above, plus cook the black beans and rice, shred the beef, and slice the plantain.
- Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above, plus prepare homemade pineapple salsa, as well as fry the plantains
*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.
How to Serve Cuban Beef Bowl Recipe
- For older babies (10+ months) and toddlers: Serve shredded beef, black beans, rice, and big chunks of avocado for little fingers to grab and eat as they can.
- For children: You have two options here. You can either serve this deconstructed on a plate with the components in their own little piles, or you can serve this meal family style and allow your child to place what and how much of each item they want into their own bowl/plate.
- For adults: Serve this bowl arranged together and dig in!
Somedays when life is super busy I use a few shortcuts to make this meal even faster.
- Use microwavable rice pouches! These things are for real life savers, am I right?! But on days when I have a little more time on hand, Cilantro Lime Rice or Coconut Rice is so the way to go!
- Depending on my time frame, somedays I make these awesome Cuban Black Beans, and some days I just warm up a can of black beans on the stove-top! Both ways are really good!
- Ready made pineapple or mango salsa from the produce section of your grocery store is a huge time saver! Or make your own Pineapple Salsa or Mango Salsa!
- I usually fry my plantains in a little coconut oil and call it good, but you will want to read this awesome guide to frying plantains – its the best I’ve found!
Make sure you check out the Beginner’s Guide to Latin American Food for more tips and tricks on how to make Latin American cuisine weeknight and kid-friendly!
Shredded Cuban Beef Bowl (Slow Cooker)
- 3 lb beef chuck roast
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- 2 oranges juiced
- 2 limes juiced
- 6 oz tomato paste no salt added
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cup cooked white rice
- 15 oz Black Beans
- 2 cups pineapple salsa
- Place the chuck roast in a slow cooker.
- Slice 1 onion and add into the slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, tomato paste, water, olive oil, cumin, oregano, minced garlic, paprika, and chopped cilantro. Pour this over the beef and onions in the slow cooker.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Using two forks, shred the beef.
- Warm the back beans and cook the rice.
- Peel the plantain like a banana and slice into coins. Fry in a large non-stick skillet with coconut oil, for a few minutes per side, or until golden brown. Place on a paper plate when cooked, until all are ready. Do not drain on a paper towel, they will stick!
- Serve shredded beef with black beans and white rice. Top with fried plantains and pineapple or mango salsa.
Looking for more adventurous meals that are weeknight and kid friendly? Try these out:
- Chimichurri Ground Beef and Rice Recipe is a great one pot meal that feeds the whole family in one go!
- Greek Beef Souvlaki Skewers are easy to make, full of colorful vegetables, and are served with an awesome feta and dill dipping sauce!
- Classic Roast Beef Sheet Pan is an easy Classic Roast Beef turned Sheet Pan Recipe is a fantastic choice for busy weeknights.
- 30 Minute Korean Bulgogi Beef Bowls are loaded with fresh ingredients & bold flavors, while still being kid-friendly & quick enough for any night of the week.