How to Cook Beef Caldereta Without Liver Spread

Beef caldereta is a popular Filipino beef stew dish that is creamy tasty and comforting. It is traditionally made with liver spread, which gives it a rich, velvety texture. However, not everyone has liver spread on hand or wants to use it. Thankfully, there are easy substitutes for liver spread that allow you to make delicious beef caldereta without it!

Caldereta originates from the Spanish cuisine caldeirada, meaning ‘broth in a caldera (cooking pot)’. It was adapted in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period into the Filipino caldereta we know today.

Some key features of caldereta are

  • Beef (or sometimes goat, pork, or chicken) stewed in tomato sauce

  • Liver spread or peanut butter for creaminess

  • Potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, peas

  • Savory-spicy flavor

The rich taste comes from cooking the meat slowly in the spices and liver spread/peanut butter. The potatoes soak up the delicious sauce. It’s often served over white rice.

Why Cook Without Liver Spread?

Liver spread contains ground pork liver, giving caldereta a lush texture. But it may not always be readily available. Here are some reasons you may want to cook beef caldereta without liver spread:

  • Don’t have it on hand
  • Want a healthier version
  • Allergic/averse to liver
  • Want to experiment with flavors
  • Cost savings

Thankfully, liver spread can be substituted while retaining the essential flavors and texture of caldereta. Let’s look at easy ingredient swaps.

Creamy Substitutes for Liver Spread

1. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a popular substitute as it mimics the rich creaminess of liver spread. Use 2-3 tablespoons of creamy, unsweetened peanut butter. Saute it in the pan with the garlic and onions to help it dissolve evenly into the sauce.

Peanut butter adds body to the sauce and a slight peanut flavor. Reduce the salt in the recipe since peanut butter contains salt already.

2. Pureed Tofu

For a vegan/dairy-free option, puree firm tofu in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Use about 1/2 block of drained tofu (around 150g).

Stir the pureed tofu into the beef mixture just before serving so it doesn’t break down from prolonged cooking. It provides a thick, creamy texture without any animal products.

3. Coconut Milk

Full-fat coconut milk lends a creamy richness similar to liver spread. Use around half a can, adding it at the end once the beef is cooked through. The milk will break down a bit when simmered, thickening the sauce.

Shake the can well before opening. You want an even consistency without separated liquid. Some tanginess from the tomatoes balances out the coconut flavor.

4. Mashed Potatoes

For a quick and easy substitution, use 2-3 tablespoons of prepared mashed potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are well-mashed into a lump-free puree. You can even use leftover mashed potatoes.

Stir them in at the very end to preserve their creaminess. Potatoes thicken the gravy nicely. Add more potatoes if a thicker sauce is desired.

Other Substitutions & Tips

  • For added richness, saute minced pork fat along with the garlic and onions.

  • Mix in a spoonful of cream cheese or condensed milk when serving for extra creaminess.

  • Add a splash of evaporated milk or coconut cream when simmering to make the sauce more luscious.

  • For convenience, use already cooked beef cubes instead of raw meat. Simmer briefly just to meld the flavors.

  • Cook the potatoes in the stew rather than separately for fuller flavor absorption.

  • Try using beef bones and cartilage to simmer the caldereta for enhanced body and collagen. Strain before serving.

  • Saute the tomato paste with the garlic and onions to help counteract the tanginess from canned tomatoes.

  • Adjust chili and pepper amounts to preference. Add more for spicier or less for milder.

  • Garnish with crushed chicharon, grated cheese, or green onions for texture.

  • Serve over cauliflower rice instead of regular rice for a low-carb option.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Caldereta without Liver Spread

Now let’s walk through an easy recipe for classic beef caldereta using coconut milk instead of liver spread.


  • 1 lb beef stew meat, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • Green onions, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove beef and set aside.

  2. In the same pot, saute onions and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened in color.

  4. Pour in beef broth and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.

  5. Add soy sauce, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Return beef to pot and bring to a simmer.

  6. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes to develop flavors.

  7. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and carrots. Cook 10 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender.

  8. Stir in coconut milk and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

  9. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

  10. Serve warm over rice, garnished with green onions. Enjoy!

With just a few easy swaps, you can make delicious liver spread-free beef caldereta. Ingredients like peanut butter, coconut milk, mashed potatoes, and pureed tofu mimic its velvety texture.

The key is adding the creamy element at the end so it retains its richness and gives your caldereta that signature indulgent quality. Feel free to customize with your favorite spices, vegetables, and garnishes. Enjoy this Filipino favorite without having to use liver spread!

Very easy & creamy Kalderetang Baka (Beef Caldereta) No liver spread! | Nica’s Kitchen | Easy Recipe


What is a substitute for liver spread in caldereta?

You can also turn this stew vegan by replacing the liver spread with creamy peanut butter.

What is a substitute for Reno liver spread?

Canned liver pate is a good substitute for reno liver spread. It should be available in most grocery stores.

How do you thicken caldereta?

A thickener isn’t usually added. The sauce thickens as you simmer the stew. If the sauce is too thin, let it simmer without the lid. If the meat and vegetables are already tender, thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry.

What part of beef is caldereta cut?

The best beef parts for caldereta include chuck, sirloin, and short ribs. They’re tough, lean cuts with a bit of fat and lots of connective tissues. These work well for stewing because the proteins in their tissues turn into gelatin that makes the beef tender.

Can you make caldereta without liver spread?

There are other Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved ingredients that you can use for your next caldereta recipe. If you’re willing to try a new and different way of making your caldereta without any liver spread, here are some creamy alternatives for that caldereta recipe: 1 Use peanut butter.

Does kaldereta have liver paste?

Despite not having the liver paste included in the recipe, it did not take away the distinct aroma of Filipino kaldereta. Feel free to add or leave out some of the ingredients, if you wish. Caldereta especially beef is always best when paired with white rice.

Can you eat caldereta with white rice?

Caldereta especially beef is always best when paired with white rice. But, if you’re not a fan of white rice, you can always add more potatoes and other vegetables if you prefer it that way. Heat vegetable oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic. Add beef and mix until brown. Cover for 5 minutes.

Can you cook beef caldereta in a slow cooker?

This Asian beef stew (Beef Caldereta) is totally robust in flavor and so delicious! Cooking in the slow cooker makes it very convenient, too. FOR FULL RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS and to PRINT, SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW. What are the INGREDIENTS for Slow Cooker Beef Caldereta? Beef Stew Meat – use chuck roast cut into chunks or your favorite stewing beef.

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