Delicious Arroz Con Pollo Recipe for a Flavorful Meal

Are you looking for a hearty and flavorful meal that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Puerto Rico? Look no further than Arroz con Pollo, a classic one-pot chicken and rice dish beloved by many Latin American cultures including Cuban, Colombian, and Mexican.

In Spanish, “pollo” means “chicken” and “arroz con” means “rice with,” and that’s exactly what this dish is: juicy, tender chicken pieces cooked together with fragrant medium-grain white rice seasoned with savory spices like cumin, paprika, and turmeric. Brilliantly colored bell peppers and garlic add brightness and depth to the recipe, while crushed tomatoes create a rich tomatoey sauce.

This wholesome meal is perfect for those weeknight dinners when you crave something delicious but don’t have much time to prepare — it can be ready in as little as 45 minutes! Plus, it’s an affordable family meal that always delivers heartwarming memories of home.

Whether you prefer traditional Puerto Rican-style Arroz Con Pollo or want to experiment with Cuban or Colombian variations, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends. So let’s get started on creating a truly authentic taste of Latin America in your own kitchen!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken With Rice)
Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken With Rice)

If you’re a fan of hearty, one-pot meals that are bursting with flavor, then this Arroz Con Pollo recipe is one you won’t want to miss. This classic Puerto Rican dish, also called “Chicken With Rice,” is made with tender chicken pieces and fragrant medium-grain rice that has been simmered in a flavorful blend of spices and vegetables.

One of the reasons you will love this recipe is its versatility. There are so many different traditional ways to prepare Arroz Con Pollo, each with its unique regional twist. Whether it’s the Colombian version, the Cuban style, or classic Puerto Rican chicken rice, you can always find a variation that suits your taste buds perfectly.

This Arroz Con Pollo recipe packs a variety of aromatic and flavorful ingredients like garlic cloves, bell peppers, onion, ground turmeric, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. The combination of these ingredients releases an incredible aroma that’ll have your mouth watering in no time. These ingredients also give the dish a beautiful yellow color that’s sure to make it stand out on any table.

Another reason to love this recipe is that it’s easy to prepare. You only need about 5 minutes to sauté your chicken parts in olive oil before adding your veggies and spices. Once you add the rice and bouillon sazón pot, you just need to let everything cook together on high heat for a little while longer until the rice is cooked through.

Lastly, this dish pairs well with a variety of sides like beans or plantains making it an excellent choice for any day of the week. Plus leftovers store well in the fridge or freezer so that you can enjoy this classic dish whenever you like.

Overall, this Arroz Con Pollo recipe makes a perfect dinner option for anyone looking for deliciousness wrapped up in just one pot!

Ingredient List

“A piping hot plate of arroz con pollo, perfect for a cozy night in.”

The Essential Ingredients for Arroz Con Pollo

This puerto rican dish is an explosion of flavor created by cooking chicken with different spices and vegetables. The most important ingredient, of course, is rice which will absorb all the flavors in the pot creating a mouthwatering texture. Here is the list of everything you need to prepare this classic dish.

  • Water, as required
  • 2 cups medium-grain rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or beer
  • 1 can (14 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced Italian sausage
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • coarse salt
  • chicken parts (4 bone-in chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks or 8 skinless chicken thighs)
  • olive oil

Note: This recipe uses medium-grain white rice commonly used in Puerto Rican arroz con pollo dishes. However, you can substitute it with short grain or brown rice as per your preference.

The Recipe How-To

“Get ready to savor the delicious, juicy chicken in every bite!”

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken and Rice

  • First, heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat.

  • Season chicken parts with fresh ground black pepper and coarse salt, then brown both sides of the chicken pieces (4-5 minutes per side).

  • Remove the browned chicken pieces from the pot and set aside.

  • In the same pot, add chopped onion, bell pepper, and sliced Italian sausage, then sauté until vegetables are soft (5-6 minutes).

  • Add 2 crushed garlic cloves to the pot, followed by 1 cup of medium grain rice. Sauté for 3 more minutes until the rice is slightly toasted, then stir in 1 teaspoon each of ground turmeric, chili powder, and paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin.

Tip: Adding spices to toasted rice enhances their flavors.

  • Pour in 2 cups of warm water or broth, along with one whole can (14 oz) of undrained, crushed tomatoes, and 1/2 cup each of dry white wine and beer.

Traditionally, chicken cooking ingredients include Sazon Bouillon (or any other seasoning such as Adobo), but you can use any bouillon that you like.

  • Next, add back in chicken to cook alongside rice.

  • Add diced potatoes if optional as an ingredient

  • Bring everything to a boil while stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Once boiling lower heat to a simmer.

  • Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer until rice is cooked through and fluffy (about 20 minutes). You can sprinkle some liquid on top of the rice occasionally.

Note: keep an eye on it since sometimes you may need to add some more water if the liquid gets absorbed too quickly. Just remember, you want the rice soft and fluffy, not dry and hard.

  • Taste the rice and chicken seasons for extra flavor. If it needs some more salt or other seasonings, add accordingly.

Step 2: Serve the Dish

  • Serve your ‘Arroz con Pollo’ hot, with slices of red pepper and paprika powder as a garnish on top.

  • You can also serve any side dish that you like along with it; traditionally, we like to serve it with beans, which adds a nice balance of flavors to the dish.

Buen Provecho! (which means “enjoy your meal” in Spanish)

Substitutions and Variations

“A colorful blast of flavors and textures with every forkful.”

When it comes to arroz con pollo, there are many ways to personalize this classic dish. From different types of rice to a variety of seasonings and herbs, the possibilities are endless.

To start, you can try using a different grain of rice, such as short-grain or brown rice. Short-grain rice is perfect for cooking in a Puerto Rican style because it absorbs flavors well and creates a creamy texture. Brown rice is another healthier option that is high in fiber and has a nuttier taste.

If you prefer a richer flavor in your arroz con pollo, you can substitute the water with chicken broth or beef broth. These will add depth and complexity to the dish, bringing out savory flavors. Another option is to switch up the herbs and spices. Instead of chili powder or paprika, try using saffron or oregano for an earthier taste.

For those who want to make this dish more hearty and filling, adding sausage or bacon is a great option. This will not only add more flavor but also give more texture. You can use Italian sausage or chorizo depending on your preference.

If you want to make this dish vegetarian-friendly or simply reduce your meat intake, you can substitute chicken with tofu or tempeh. These options are packed with protein and texture that pairs well with the rice.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to explore different cultural variations of arroz con pollo. From Cuban-style arroz con pollo to Mexican arroz rojo, each has its own unique flavor profile that you might enjoy. The possibilities are endless when it comes to substitutions and variations of this classic recipe!

Serving and Pairing

“This dish is as comforting and nourishing as a big warm hug.”

Looking for the perfect pairing to your Arroz con Pollo dish? Look no further! This savory creation is both delicious and versatile, making it a great side dish or even a main entree.

For a classic pairing, consider serving Arroz con Pollo with a simple mixed salad or roasted vegetables. The bright and fresh flavors will balance the richness of the rice and chicken perfectly.

If you’re looking to lean into the dish’s Puerto Rican roots, try serving it alongside sweet plantains or fried yucca. These traditional Caribbean sides will add depth and interest to your meal while complementing the flavors of the Arroz con Pollo.

Of course, no meal is complete without a drink to wash it down. To keep the Latin-inspired theme going, consider serving your Arroz con Pollo with a cold beer or crisp white wine. A dry white wine like a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for balancing out the rich and hearty flavors of the dish.

Overall, Arroz con Pollo is a wonderful dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you’re looking for a cozy weeknight dinner or a show-stopping party side, this recipe is sure to impress.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Spice up your weeknight dinner routine with this easy and satisfying recipe.”

If you’re planning to make Arroz Con Pollo for a party or weeknight dinner, it’s important to know how to prepare it in advance, store and reheat it without sacrificing the dish’s flavors and texture.

To prepare Arroz Con Pollo ahead of time, you can cook the rice and chicken separately, then combine them when ready to serve. Store the rice and chicken in separate containers in the fridge for up to two days. Be sure to cover tightly with cling film or store in airtight containers.

When ready to serve, reheat both the rice and chicken in separate pans over low heat until fully warmed through. Then combine them gently in a large pot or skillet over medium-low heat, adding a bit of water until everything is heated through.

If your leftovers are still uncooked, let them cool down at room temperature first before storing them in the fridge. To reheat leftovers from the fridge, put your covered Arroz Con Pollo dish in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through. You may also reheat it on a stovetop using low heat for around 10-15 minutes or until fully hot.

Pro tip: Whenever reheating rice dishes like this one, add a splash of chicken broth or water before microwaving or reheating. This will help keep the rice moist and tender.

Arroz Con Pollo is also freezable for up to 3 months. Store the cooked dish in an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bag then thaw at room temperature before reheating using any of the methods discussed above.

With these simple tips on making ahead, storing and reheating your Arroz Con Pollo dish, you can now enjoy this classic Puerto Rican chicken and rice recipe anytime!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Rice and chicken never tasted so good. You’ll be licking your plate clean!”

When it comes to Arroz Con Pollo, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve the perfect texture and flavor. Here are my top tips for making an outstanding Arroz Con Pollo:

1. Use medium-grain white rice: This type of rice is ideal because it absorbs liquid well without becoming mushy, resulting in fluffy and tender grains.

2. Don’t skip the bay leaf: A dried bay leaf contributes to the distinct flavor of this dish. Remember to remove it before serving.

3. Sauté the rice before adding liquid: This step helps the rice grains separate and absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.

4. Add seasoning in layers: Start by seasoning the chicken parts with garlic, chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Then, as you add each ingredient layer (onions, bell peppers, crushed tomatoes), season each layer with a sprinkle of spices.

5. Cook covered on low heat: Covering locks in moisture and makes the chicken thighs juicy while also cooking the rice evenly.

6. Avoid over-stirring: An occasional stir is okay, but too much stirring can break up the rice grains and make them gummy.

7. Let sit after cooking: Allow your Arroz Con Pollo to rest for at least 10 minutes to allow it to fully absorb flavor and cool down just enough to not burn your mouth when eating.

8. Serve with garnishes to brighten flavors :Scallions chopped cilantro more spicey chiles! These additional ingredients add brightness and balance to this flavorful dish.

By following these simple steps and helpful tips Arroz Con Pollo will be a delicious addition to any Latin mealtime!


As with any recipe, there may be questions that come up during the cooking process. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding Arroz Con Pollo to help you along your cooking journey.

Can you cook raw chicken and rice at the same time?

Cooking raw chicken and rice together in a single pot is a convenient and delicious option. I recommend searing the chicken in the pot prior to cooking with the rice, as this will elevate the overall flavor of the dish.

Why is my arroz con pollo mushy?

A popular one-pot dinner option is Arroz con Pollo, typically served with a side of plantains. If you’re finding that your Arroz con Pollo is turning out mushy, it may be due to adding too much water or overcooking it.

What is the best side dish for arroz con pollo?

Looking for a satisfying one-pot meal? Try Arroz Con Pollo! This dish is best enjoyed with yogurt or sour cream, hot sauce, fresh fruit and a delicious green salad drizzled with a tangy Cilantro Lime Dressing. For those who want to take it up a notch, add Corn Salad, Fruit Salad or a refreshing Pina Colada Salad on the side.

What is arroz con pollo the national dish of?

A well-known dish from Spain and Latin America is arroz con pollo. This recipe consists of chicken and rice and has different variations depending on the country of origin.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Arroz Con Pollo, a classic chicken and rice dish loved by many cultures in Latin America, is a recipe that you should definitely try! Whether you prefer the Puerto Rican or the Cuban style, this one-pot meal is easy to make and has endless variations to suit your taste.

With simple ingredients like chicken pieces, medium grain white rice, and spices like chili powder, paprika, and cumin, you can create a flavorful and aromatic dish that will feed your family and impress your guests. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutions and variations to make this dish your own.

When it comes time to serve, Arroz Con Pollo can stand on its own or be paired with a variety of side dishes like plantains, black beans, or salad to make it a complete meal. And don’t forget to save any leftovers for later because this dish is just as delicious when reheated the next day.

So why not give this recipe a try? Arroz Con Pollo is not just a meal; it’s an experience that will transport you to the colorful streets of Latin America. With its rich history and diverse flavors, this dish truly represents the cultural fusion found in Latin American cuisine. So grab your ingredients and start cooking today!

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken With Rice)

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken With Rice) Recipe

A Sarah Jay recipe, from Fine Cooking, issue #37.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 1018.4 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken parts, patted dry and liberally seasoned with
  • coarse salt, and
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2-1 lb Italian sausage, cut in 2-inch pieces (sweet or hot)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice (green or red)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 cup peeled crushed tomatoes (I use canned)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/2 cup beer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups medium grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water


  • In a deep, heavy-based pot (such as a Dutch oven), heat the oil on medium high. Sauté the chicken, in batches if necessary, until golden on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to a platter.
  • Sauté the sausage until browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the sausage to the platter.
  • Pour off and discard the excess oil, leaving about 1 Tbs. in the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion, pepper, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Return the chicken and sausage to the pot and add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, and turmeric, if using, stirring to distribute the spices. Cook for 1 minute and then add the tomatoes, wine (or beer), and bay leaf.
  • Increase the heat to medium high, stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. (If the rice is done but still very soupy, remove the cover and cook very gently until the liquid evaporates, taking care not to burn the rice.).
  • Give a toss and then let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 530gCalories: 1018.4kcalCarbohydrates: 87.2gProtein: 59.3gFat: 43.5gSaturated Fat: 12.2gCholesterol: 164.5mgSodium: 888.7mgFiber: 2.9gSugar: 3.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh & Leg, Easy, European, Free Of..., Kid-Friendly, Lactose-free, Meat, Medium-Grain Rice, One-Dish Meal, Pork, Poultry, Rice, Spanish
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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.