Delicious Arroz con Pollo Recipe for Dinner!

As a chef specializing in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I am excited to share with you one of my all-time favorite dishes – Arroz Con Pollo, or Chicken and Rice. This Puerto Rican classic is a delicious and hearty meal that is perfect for sharing with family and friends.

When it comes to rice dishes, Arroz Con Pollo is the ultimate comfort food. It’s a dish made with chicken, rice, and a medley of vegetables including onions, peppers, garlic, sweet peas, pimientos, Spanish olives, and capers. The combination of flavors and textures is simply irresistible.

This dish has been enjoyed by generations of Latinos across the world. Originally from Spain but popularized in Latin America over time, its history goes back centuries. One of its greatest appeals is the simplicity behind its ingredients making it an affordable option for people on a budget.

This recipe is versatile enough to be cooked in many styles – Cuban-style arroz con pollo (with beer), Puerto Rican arroz con pollo (with chicken thighs), Colombian arroz con pollo (with saffron rice). The possibilities are endless!

Why settle for plain old chicken soup when you can have this delicious rice dish? Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it. Let’s dive in!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)
Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)

Are you looking for an authentic and delicious Latin American dish that will surely satisfy your cravings? Then look no further than Arroz Con Pollo, a beloved recipe that combines savory chicken and fluffy rice in one mouthwatering meal.

One thing you’ll love about this recipe is how easy it is to prepare. With just a few simple ingredients such as Uncle Ben’s converted brand rice, chicken bouillon cubes, tomato sauce, garlic cloves, onion, green pepper, and Spanish olives, you can create a rich and flavorful dish that will have your taste buds dancing.

Another thing that makes this dish so special is its versatility. While traditionally made with whole chicken or skinless chicken thighs, you can easily substitute the protein for chicken breast if preferred. Plus, you can customize the recipe by adding in vegetables like pimiento or sweet peas, or even capers for added zing.

But what truly sets this recipe apart is its rich cultural history. Arroz Con Pollo had origins tracing back to the Spaniards’ arrival in Latin America, where they brought with them the idea of cooking rice with saffron. The dish later evolved to become a staple comfort food throughout the region and has since been adopted by many Latin American countries with unique variations such as Cuban-style Arroz Con Pollo or Colombian Chicken Rice.

So whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or want to impress your friends at your next potluck, Arroz Con Pollo is sure to please everyone’s palate. Its authentic taste and cultural significance make it not only a delicious meal but also a cultural experience worth indulging in.

Ingredient List

 This dish is a crowd-pleaser for any occasion!
This dish is a crowd-pleaser for any occasion!

For this Puerto Rican favorite of a dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the Rice:

For the Chicken:

  • A whole chicken, cut up (can also use skinless chicken thighs or breasts)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • ½ onion diced
  • ½ green pepper diced

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 small can pimientos (drained)
  • 1 small can sweet peas (drained)
  • 1 small can Spanish olives (drained)
  • Capers to taste

In addition to these main ingredients, you can also add your own twist to the recipe with other variations such as using Mexican or Cuban style ingredients like saffron rice and cuban chicken.

The Recipe How-To

 Say goodbye to boring chicken and rice with this recipe.
Say goodbye to boring chicken and rice with this recipe.

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken & Rice) Recipe

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces or 6 chicken thighs, skinless
  • 2 cups medium grain white rice, preferably Uncle Ben’s converted brand rice
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 packet of sazón seasoning
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 jar (4 oz drained weight) pimiento, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) sweet peas, drained
  • ½ cup Spanish olives stuffed with pimiento, sliced
  • 2 tbsp capers


  1. Preheat a large pot on medium-high heat with the olive oil until hot but not smoking.
  2. Add the chicken to the pot and cook until it turns golden brown.
  3. Once cooked remove the chicken and set aside.
  4. In the same pot over medium heat add the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for about five minutes or until they are soft.
  5. Next add the capers, tomato sauce, sazón seasoning, and drained pimiento to the same pot.
  6. Cook for about five minutes until you have a thick sauce.
  7. Add the seasoned water (boiling water with chicken bouillon cubes) to the pot and stir the contents together.
  8. Then add all of the rice, stir again until all the rice is covered in the mixture and let it cook uncovered over medium heat for about ten minutes.
  9. Gently place the chicken on top of the rice, pouring in any accumulated juices from the plate.
  10. Cover the pot and let it cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the chicken is completely done.
  11. Finally, sprinkle Spanish olives and sweet peas over the top of the arroz con pollo and mix it all together before serving.

– You can use any type of chicken you prefer such as chicken breast or cubed chicken pieces.
– For a more authentic taste, you can substitute some broth for beer when cooking the rice.
– If you prefer, you can also add saffron to give your rice that iconic yellow color.
– Arroz Con Pollo is a Latin American dish made in many different styles such as Colombian, Cuban, Mexican and Puerto Rican.

Substitutions and Variations

 Mix up your weeknight menu with this delicious meal.
Mix up your weeknight menu with this delicious meal.

As a chef, I know that sometimes you don’t have all the ingredients at hand or want to make a recipe your own. For this Arroz Con Pollo recipe, there are some substitutions and variations you can try.

Let’s start with the rice. The recipe calls for Uncle Ben’s converted brand rice, which is a medium-grain rice ideal for absorbing liquids without becoming mushy. If you can’t find this brand, you can use any other medium-grain white rice. If you want to add some color and flavor, you can use saffron rice instead.

Next up are the veggies. The recipe includes pimiento, sweet peas, Spanish olives, and capers, but you can adjust these according to your preferences. If you don’t like olives, leave them out or replace with sun-dried tomatoes. You can also add some diced carrots or corn for more texture and color.

For the chicken, the recipe calls for a whole chicken cut into pieces or skinless chicken thighs. If you prefer white meat, you can use chicken breast instead. You can also use pre-cooked shredded chicken and skip the step of boiling the chicken first.

If you’re a fan of spice, you can add some chopped jalapenos or green chilies to the mix. Or if you’re looking for a different take on the dish, try adding pineapple chunks for a sweet and savory combo.

Lastly, let’s talk about beer. While not an essential ingredient in this recipe, some variations call for adding beer to the mix for flavor and depth. If you’re feeling adventurous, try substituting a cup of boiling water with your favorite beer.

These substitutions and variations will certainly change the taste profile of the dish but will not compromise its authenticity as an Arroz Con Pollo dish. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients until you find your perfect version of this classic Puerto Rican dish.

Serving and Pairing

 Layers of flavor in every bite.
Layers of flavor in every bite.

Arroz con Pollo is a deliciously savory and hearty dish that’s easily enjoyed as a meal on its own. However, you can elevate the flavor and texture of the dish even further by pairing it with certain sides and drinks.

Firstly, I recommend serving this Puerto Rican-style chicken and rice with a side of sweet plantains. Their sweet flavor and soft texture provide the perfect contrast to the savory and slightly tangy taste of the Arroz con Pollo. You can also try serving it with a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables for a healthier option.

If you’re in the mood for something more indulgent, consider serving it with some crispy fried yucca, which adds a warm crunch to your dish. You can also pair it with some traditional Latin-style black beans, which are slightly sweet and offer an earthier flavor with every bite.

When choosing a drink to go with Arroz con Pollo, keep it simple and refreshing. A classic Spanish red wine like Tempranillo would nicely complement the rich flavors in this chicken rice recipe. Alternatively, you can pair it with a light lager beer such as Corona or Dos Equis that will refresh your palate without overpowering the flavors of the dish.

Arroz con Pollo is best enjoyed fresh off the stove or reheated the next day. Serve it hot and let your taste buds indulge in this traditional rice dish made with succulent chicken, flavorful spices, tomatoes, onion peppers, capers & olives blended together perfectly!

Overall, Arroz con Pollo lends itself well to many different pairing options, so feel free to get creative with your side dishes and beverage choices depending on your preferences!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Your taste buds will dance with joy from the explosion of spices.
Your taste buds will dance with joy from the explosion of spices.

Now that your Arroz con Pollo is ready, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. I don’t recommend storing it longer than that as it may dry out and lose its flavor.

When reheating, you can do so either in the microwave or on the stovetop. If using the microwave, add a splash of water to the dish and cover with cling wrap to keep in moisture. Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

If you prefer to reheat on the stovetop, add a bit of chicken stock or water to the pot and stir every few minutes until heated through. This will help prevent sticking and will also give a fresher taste compared to using the microwave.

Arroz con Pollo is also a great dish for make-ahead meals or meal prepping. You can prepare this recipe up to two days in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and serve. Just be sure to stir well before reheating to redistribute any moisture that may have settled during storage.

Whether you are making this recipe for a crowd or for yourself, knowing how to store and reheat Arroz con Pollo correctly will help ensure that it remains delicious and full of flavor even after being stored for a few days.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A one-pot wonder that's easy to make and clean up after.
A one-pot wonder that’s easy to make and clean up after.

When it comes to cooking arroz con pollo, there are a few tips that can help guarantee perfect results every time. As someone who has cooked this dish for years, here are my top tips to ensure that your version of this classic Latin American meal always comes out perfectly.

First and foremost, it is important to use the right type of rice. I highly recommend using Uncle Ben’s Converted Brand Rice, which is preferred by many Puerto Rican and Cuban cooks for its perfect balance of starchy and firm grains that absorb the delicious flavors of the dish.

Additionally, when cooking the chicken, it’s important to achieve a nice sear on the skinless chicken thighs. This can easily be done by heating up some olive oil in the pot and adding the chicken, skin-side down first. Give them a few minutes on each side until they are browned before removing them from the pot to add in the onions, peppers and garlic.

Next, using high-quality chicken bouillon cubes will definitely take your arroz con pollo to the next level in terms of flavor. Make sure to dissolve them well in boiling water before adding them to the pot with the tomato sauce and sazón.

As far as seasoning goes, I like to add a pinch of saffron threads instead of using food coloring for that authentic yellow color without harmful dyes. It’s also important not to overcrowd the pot when adding in the rice – only add what you need according to how many servings you’re making.

Finally, letting the rice cook uncovered for five minutes on high heat can help evaporate any excess water so you end up with fluffy rice with just enough moisture. Once you turn off the heat, let it rest for 5-10 minutes covered with foil so those flavors can meld together even further.

Follow these tips and your arroz con pollo will be nothing short of perfection every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, arroz con pollo is a flavorful and comforting dish that will delight your taste buds. With its combination of tender chicken, fragrant rice, and savory seasonings, it’s no wonder why this dish is a staple in Latin American cuisine.

While there are many variations of arroz con pollo, including Colombian, Cuban, and Puerto Rican recipes, the basic ingredients remain the same. With Uncle Ben’s converted brand rice and a blend of aromatic vegetables like onion, garlic, and green pepper, this recipe is sure to impress.

Whether you choose to prepare arroz con pollo with skinless chicken thighs or breasts, or incorporate unique ingredients like pimiento or Spanish olives, this dish is versatile enough to suit any taste preference.

So why not try your hand at making this mouth-watering dish for your next family dinner or gathering? Your loved ones are sure to appreciate the heartiness and warmth that arroz con pollo brings to the table. Have fun experimenting with different variants of the recipe and enjoy relaxing with loved ones over a meal that blends tradition with modern flavor.

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken & Rice) Recipe

This recipe comes from my sister's mother-in-law that is from Cuba. It is a little different than most chicken and rice dishes, but very tasty.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 1168.6 kcal


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can tomato soup
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 14 Spanish olives
  • 1 (15 ounce) can sweet peas, with juice
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar pimiento, with juice
  • 2 cups Uncle Ben's converted brand rice, rinsed
  • 0.5 (12 ounce) can beer


  • Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
  • Fry in vegetable oil until brown on both sides; set aside.
  • Sauté green pepper, onion, and garlic in olive oil.
  • Place browned chicken and sautéed vegetables into a large pot,on medium heat.
  • Dissolve the chicken bouillon in the boiling water.
  • Add to the pot, tomato soup, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon, and capers.
  • Cook on medium heat.
  • When the mixture starts to boil, add the Spanish olives, sweet peas (with juice), and pimentos (with juice).
  • Add the rice and beer.
  • Simmer for 2 hours.
  • If it gets too thick thin with a little beer.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 840gCalories: 1168.6kcalCarbohydrates: 77.6gProtein: 70.4gFat: 61.8gSaturated Fat: 16.6gCholesterol: 244.3mgSodium: 1735.3mgFiber: 9.4gSugar: 18g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Caribbean, Chicken, Cuban, Meat, Poultry, Stove Top, Weeknight
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.