Ensopado Uruguayo with a Twist

Ensopado Uruguayo is a soup that is usually designated for cold weather in Uruguay as this delicious soup will warm you up in no time. Best of all, it is filled with delicious beef, vegetables, and noodles, so it is a healthy and hearty soup that will make you feel cozy and fully satisfied no matter how cold it is outside.

Ensopado Uraguayo

What is Ensopado Uruguayo?

The term Ensapado is derived from the Portuguese word for soup: sopa. Essentially it means a stew with a lot of sauce. This soup consists of two types of beef, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, noodles, and lots of fresh vegetables and herbs. 

Typically, the dish is made with macaroni or a similar type of pasta. However, today I decided to give this dish an Asian twist and added some shirataki noodles.

Ensopado Uraguayo

How To Store Ensopado Uruguayo?

You can store Ensopada Uruguayo in the fridge or the freezer. Simply portion the Ensopado Uruguayo into small airtight containers and let them cool completely. Cover the soup and place it in the fridge for 3 days. 

Freezing Ensapado Uruguayo is a bit more complicated. It’s best to remove the pasta from the soup to prevent it from becoming mushy once it thaws.

Furthermore, it may be best to cook the pasta in a separate pot and add it to the bowl of soup just before you serve it, especially if you know you are going to freeze the leftovers. You can always add fresh pasta to the Ensapado Uruguayo when you are reheating it. 

To freeze the Ensapado Uruguayo, place it into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty ziplock bags. Label the soup with the date and place it in the freezer for 1 month. You can reheat the Ensapado Uruguayo in the microwave or the stove. 

Ensopado Uraguayo

Ensopado Uruguayo Ingredients

Honestly, soup is not as delicious if it doesn’t have a long list of ingredients. Ensopado Uruguayo comes with a pretty long list but all of these ingredients come together to give you a myriad of flavors all in one bowl.

Water: Water is the cooking liquid of choice for the Ensopado Uruguayo. The beef infuses the water with flavor as it cooks, creating homemade beef broth. 

Beef Ribs: Beef ribs add a meaty flavor to the soup. Beef Back ribs are the best for this recipe. However, beef short ribs, beef shank, beef flanken ribs, and even lamb legs, lamb shanks, or pork ribs are great substitutes for beef ribs. 

Salt: Salt enhances the already existing flavors of the Ensopado Uruguayo. 

Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a mild peppery flavor to the soup, which rounds out the other flavors. 

Beef Shoulder: An inexpensive lean cut, beef shoulder adds a beautiful beefy flavor to the soup. It becomes super tender as it cooks in the soup. If you cannot find beef shoulder, however, you can use chuck roast, brisket roast, top sirloin roast, rib roast, lamb roast, or pork shoulder. 

Carrot: Carrots add a touch of sweetness to the Ensopada Uruguayo. The bright orange color of the carrots also stands outs in the soup. 

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes add a mildly sweet, starchy flavor to the Ensopado Uruguayo. 

Potatoes: Potatoes add a savory starchy flavor to the soup and soak up the flavor of all the other delicious ingredients in the soup. 

Pumpkin: Pumpkin adds a sweet, robust, nutty flavor to the Ensopado Uruguayo. 

Parsley: Parsley adds a bright, floral, yet herbaceous flavor to the Ensopado Uruguayo.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes add an acidic flavor that balances out the soup’s sweet and savory flavors. 

Bell Pepper: Bell peppers add a sweet bite of flavor. They also add texture to the soup. You can use red, yellow, orange, or green bell peppers in the Ensopado Uruguayo. However, green bell peppers are slightly less sweet and a little more bitter than their colorful counterparts. 

Onion: Onions also add a robust yet sweet aromatic flavor to the Ensopado Uruguayo. 

Bay Leaves: Bay leaves infuse the broth with a minty, peppery pine-like flavor giving the Ensapado Uruguayo an irresistible flavor. 

Garlic: I used crushed garlic cloves instead of chopped garlic. This makes it easier to infuse the soup with a garlic flavor, and I can easily pull the garlic out of the soup if there are people who do not like garlic. However, you can use chopped or minced garlic instead of crushed garlic. 

Oregano: Oregano adds a bitter grassy and minty flavor to the Ensopado Uruguayo. You can use fresh or dried oregano. You can also use basil in the Ensopado Uruguayo if you do not like oregano. 

Noodles: Any type of noodles will work for Ensapado Uruguayo. Spaghetti broken into smaller pieces, elbow noodles, orecchiette, or any other short pasta all work well in Ensopado Uruguayo.

How To Make The Perfect Ensopado Uruguayo?

Making a perfect bowl of Ensopado Uruguayo is very easy and requires very little hands-on work. You start by making your beef broth – boil some water and add the beef ribs, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cook for an hour, strain, and you have your broth ready.

Now, you take the broth, add the beef shoulder, aromatics, and seasonings to it and let it cook for 30 minutes. Add the pumpkin and the noodles, and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring to prevent any sticking. Add the chopped parsley and you’re ready to enjoy your soup.

Traditionally, crackers and a drink accompany the Ensopado Uruguayo. This soup is hearty and the side dishes need to balance it out perfectly so choose something light and fresh.


What does Ensopado mean?

Ensopado means stew in the Portuguese language. It can also stand for something soaking or wet, essentially what a soup is.

What is Uruguayan cuisine inspired by?

Uruguayan cuisine is inspired by a whole host of different European countries. There are influences from Spain, Italy, Germany, and Portugal. Some of the favorites around the country include barbecued meats, pasta, and decadent sandwiches, all drawing inspiration from flavors that have been brought over by settlers through the years.

Can I use any other protein in Ensopado Uruguayo?

Yes, you can. If you don’t like red meat or would like to use up any chicken or pork you have left in the fridge, you can add it to this soup. You will just have to remember to keep the cooking times in mind and add them accordingly. Chicken takes less time to cook so it should go in fairly late while pork can be left in the pot for longer.

Can I make this Ensopado Uruguayo vegetarian?

Of course, you can! Instead of using any meat, you can use tofu or leave out the protein completely and just add more vegetables. Ensopado Uruguayo is a versatile soup and you can make any customizations you want as per your taste.

What are the best side dishes for Ensopado Uruguayo?

If you don’t want to serve Ensopado Uruguayo with only crackers and a drink, you can always serve it with white rice, freshly baked bread, or a fresh side salad. Fried eggs are also a great side dish to add more warmth to the soup.

More Flavorful Dishes


Ensopado Uruguayo

Ensopado Uruguayo is Uruguay's comfort food. It is a warm, rich, and hearty stew filled with beef, pasta, and vegetables. Today, I decided to give it a bit of a twist by using Asian noodles instead of the traditional pasta. I hope you enjoy it!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Uruguayan
Servings 4
Calories 402 kcal


  • 6 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 pound Beef Ribs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 pound Beef Shoulder
  • 1 large Carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 pound Sweet Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 large Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound Pumpkin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch Parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 medium Bell Pepper, diced small
  • 1 Onion, diced small
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 pound Noodles


  • Place the water into a large pot, set it over medium-high heat, and let it come to a boil.
  • Add the beef ribs, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook for an hour. Remove any fat that forms on the surface.
  • Turn off the heat, remove the meat, and strain the broth. Set aisde for later.
  • Place the reserved broth into a large pot and add the beef shoulder, onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Let cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add in the pumpkin and let it cook for good 10 minutes, and then add the noodles and cook for another 15 minutes. Keep stirring constantly to prevent the noodles and the pumpkin from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the chopped parsley and remove the Ensopado Uruguayo from the heat.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Truly Ensopado Uruguayo is a dish that satisfies everyone who tastes it. However, Uruguayans accompany it with crackers and a drink to cope with the cold during the winter season.


Calories: 402kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 67gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 831mgPotassium: 1155mgFiber: 7gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 11495IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 9mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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