Delicious Arroz Con Pollo Recipe for Family Dinners

Are you looking for a dish that combines the savory flavors of Puerto Rican and Spanish cuisine? Look no further than this mouth-watering recipe for Chicken with Rice, or as it’s commonly known, Arroz con Pollo. This dish is a classic comfort food and a staple in Latin cuisine, perfect for any meal or occasion.

Puerto Ricans and Cubans alike have claimed this dish as their own, but its origins date back to Spain’s Moorish occupation in the 8th century. This classic Arroz con Pollo recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, each cook adding their own unique flair to create the perfect blend of flavors.

In my recipe, I take the classic flavors of arroz con pollo and add my own twist to make it an unforgettable experience. With juicy chicken thighs and aromatic spices such as saffron, garlic, and black pepper, this dish is sure to become your new go-to comfort food.

Don’t let the ingredients fool you; even though there are many spices and seasonings included, they are easy to find and will make all the difference in creating an authentic taste. The simple combination of these ingredients creates a colorful and flavorful explosion that will tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just whipping up a weeknight dinner for the family, this Chicken with Rice recipe is sure to please everyone at the table. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

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

Cooking is an art, and like any artist, you need to have the right recipe to make a masterpiece. That’s why I am thrilled to share with you my favorite dish: Chicken with Rice (Arroz Con Pollo) Recipe. I believe this dish is the perfect blend of Puerto Rican and Cuban cuisine, making it a unique recipe that will leave you wanting more.

There are many reasons why you will love this arroz con pollo recipe. Firstly, it’s a one-pot meal that’s easy to prepare and doesn’t require a lot of cleaning up afterward. All you need is your trusty pot to cook all the ingredients together until perfection. From chicken broth and sliced green chilies to freshly diced tomatoes and saffron thread, each ingredient plays a vital role in bringing out the classic arroz con pollo flavor.

Furthermore, this recipe is versatile and can be customized based on your preferences. You can add more crushed red pepper flakes or black pepper for an even more intense flavor. Don’t like peas? Substitute them with chopped pimientos or fresh peas. Want more veggies? Chop some onions and garlic cloves.

Lastly, this dish is perfect for anyone who loves Latin cuisine. It’s an excellent representation of Puerto Rican and Cuban food, making it ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy a delicious meal without leaving their home.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an easy-to-make dish that’s bursting with flavor and reminds you of tropical beaches and warm breezes, then Chicken with Rice (Arroz Con Pollo) Recipe is the perfect choice. So grab your ingredients, put on some Latin music, and get cooking! Trust me; your taste buds will thank you later.

Ingredient List

 A steaming pot of aromatic Arroz Con Pollo
A steaming pot of aromatic Arroz Con Pollo

Here’s what you’ll need to make the classic and flavorful Arroz con Pollo, a Puerto Rican and Cuban chicken rice dish that is perfect for any occasion.


  • 2 lbs skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut up into small pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pinch saffron thread (optional)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 jar pimientos (4 oz), drained and sliced
  • 1 can green chilies (4 oz), drained and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh peas (or frozen peas, thawed)

Note: You can adjust the amount of spices and seasoning according to your preference.

The Recipe How-To

 Get a burst of Latin flavor with this Chicken with Rice dish
Get a burst of Latin flavor with this Chicken with Rice dish

Now that we have all of our ingredients, it’s time to start cooking! This Arroz Con Pollo recipe is made all in one pot, which means less clean-up and more time to enjoy your delicious meal.

Step One: Cook the Chicken

  • In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Season 2 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts with salt and black pepper.
  • Place the chicken top-side down in the pot and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and set aside.

Step Two: Prepare the Vegetables

  • In the same pot, add 1 diced onion and 1 diced green onion.
  • Sauté until they are soft.
  • Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 diced pimiento, and 1 tablespoon of chopped green chilies.
  • Add in 1 cup of fresh peas, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and a pinch of saffron thread. Let this mixture cook for roughly 3 minutes.

Step Three: Add Rice and Chicken Broth

  • Stir in 2 cups of long-grain white rice and coat the rice with the vegetable mixture.
  • Pour in 3 cups of chicken broth and bring everything to a boil.
  • Once it reaches boiling point, reduce heat to medium-low heat.

Step Four: Bake

  • Place the cooked chicken top-side over the rice mixture.
  • Cover with a lid and bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid.

Step Five: Serve

Your savory Arroz Con Pollo is now ready! Scoop up a hearty serving onto your plate, garnish with crushed red pepper flakes, serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Layers of bold and savory flavors
Layers of bold and savory flavors

A recipe is like a blueprint for a meal; it gives you a basic plan to follow, but there’s always room for creativity and personal touches. That’s where substitutions and variations come in. Like a painter adding different colors to their palette, a chef can alter the recipe with different ingredients or methods, creating unique flavors that suit their tastes.

But first things first: let’s talk about the main ingredient of this dish – chicken. While chicken thighs are commonly used for Arroz con Pollo, you can substitute them for chicken breasts. You could also use bone-in chicken pieces instead of skinless chicken thighs or mix different types of chicken meat if you prefer.

The recipe usually calls for long-grain white rice, but you could substitute it with medium grain white rice or yellow rice for added color. Cubans like me love to add saffron threads to our rice dishes to give the dish extra flavor and beautiful color.

If you don’t have access to some of the listed ingredients, here are some alternatives that will work as good substitutes in your arroz con pollo recipe:

– Crushed red pepper flakes: if you don’t have any red pepper flakes on hand, feel free to use chili powder or cayenne pepper.

– Fresh peas: You can replace fresh peas with frozen ones.

– Diced tomatoes: Try canned tomatoes instead, they will give your dish that same rich tomato flavor.

– Pimientos: You can omit them entirely or substitute them with red bell peppers.

– Green chilies: Jalapeño or poblano peppers make great substitutes.

You can also play around with additional seasonings and herbs according to your taste preference. Cumin is a classic addition in many Puerto Rican arroz con pollo recipes, and paprika adds another layer of smokiness and flavor.

So get creative with your substitutions and variations! Take ownership of your dish and make it your own masterpiece.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect balance of tender chicken and fluffy rice
The perfect balance of tender chicken and fluffy rice

When it comes to serving and pairing this delicious Arroz Con Pollo recipe, there are a few things you might want to consider. First and foremost, this chicken and rice dish is a meal in itself. It’s hearty, filling, and packed with flavor, so you won’t need much else on the table. However, if you do want to add some extra dishes to go with it, there are some great options that will complement your Arroz Con Pollo perfectly.

One classic pairing for this Puerto Rican favorite is fried plantains or Tostones. These crispy delights are made from green plantains that are sliced and fried until they’re golden brown. They’re salty and sweet all at once, making them the perfect complement to the savory rice and chicken.

Another great option is a simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The fresh greens will balance out the richness of the chicken and rice, while the bright acidity of the vinaigrette will cut through the spice.

If you’re looking for something heartier to serve alongside your Arroz Con Pollo, try black beans or refried beans. These traditional Latin American sides are an excellent source of protein and fiber, making them perfect for rounding out your meal.

Of course, no meal would be complete without a refreshing beverage to wash it all down. When it comes to pairing drinks with this classic dish, you can’t go wrong with a cold beer or a glass of full-bodied red wine. And if you want to stick to something non-alcoholic, try some iced tea or lemonade for a summery twist.

Regardless of what you choose to serve with your Arroz Con Pollo, one thing is certain: everyone around the table is going to love digging into this delicious one-pan meal!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Take your taste buds on a trip to Brazil with this Arroz Con Pollo recipe
Take your taste buds on a trip to Brazil with this Arroz Con Pollo recipe

Making this chicken with rice dish ahead of time is an excellent way to plan and prepare for a busy week. You can make this dish up to two days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. To reheat, place the leftovers in a microwave-safe dish and heat it on high for 3-4 minutes or until it’s heated all the way through.

One of my favorite things about this dish is that it tastes even better as leftovers because the flavors have had time to meld together. When you are ready to eat it again, I suggest serving it with some fresh lime wedges and chopped cilantro to give it that extra pop of flavor.

If you need to make a larger batch for meal prep or want to freeze some for later, you can easily double or triple the recipe. Before storing in the freezer, allow the chicken and rice to cool completely. Then transfer them into an airtight container or a freezer-friendly bag. Properly stored, this dish will last up to three months in the freezer.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen leftover arroz con pollo, transfer it from your freezer to your fridge overnight. The following day, using your preferred reheating method, heat it on medium-low heat until piping hot.

Finally, when reheating or freezing, make sure that you have separated any chicken from rice before packaging so that each component can be reheated at its most optimal temperature. And there you have it – perfectly flavorful, make-ahead meal prep done right!

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to arroz con pollo, getting the perfect texture and flavor can be tricky. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you achieve delicious results every time.

1. Use the right rice: For arroz con pollo, long-grain white rice is the way to go. Medium-grain rice doesn’t absorb the liquid as well and can result in a mushy texture.

2. Rinse the rice first: Before cooking, rinse the rice several times until the water runs clear. This will remove excess starch and prevent the rice from clumping together.

3. Sauté the rice: One of my secrets for extra flavor is to sauté the rice in oil before adding any liquid. This helps give the dish a nutty and toasted flavor.

4. Don’t skip the sofrito: Sofrito is a blend of onions, garlic, peppers, and other spices that help give arroz con pollo its signature taste. Make sure to take the time to properly develop these flavors.

5. Use chicken broth: While water works fine, using chicken broth adds even more depth of flavor to the dish. If you don’t have any on hand, you can also use bouillon cubes or granules.

6. Don’t over-stir: Once you’ve added the rice and liquid, give it one good stir and then leave it alone. Stirring too much can cause the rice to become sticky and gummy.

7. Know when to add in ingredients: Adding in fresh peas or pimientos near the end helps preserve their texture while also adding pops of color and flavor.

8. Let it rest: Once your arroz con pollo is cooked through, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes off heat before serving. This allows all the flavors to fully meld together.

By following these tips, your arroz con pollo will be bursting with flavor and have the perfect texture every time.

Bottom Line

Now that you have all the information, ingredients and instructions needed to create a truly delicious Arroz Con Pollo, it’s time to get cooking and impress your guests or family! This recipe is perfect for any occasion and is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Whether you’re a fan of Puerto Rican, Cuban or Spanish cuisine, this dish offers a fusion of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

So why not try something new and daring by indulging in Arroz Con Pollo? With the right ingredients, a bit of patience, and practice with the recipe, this dish can quickly become one of your favorites. Additionally, its’ versatility allows for a variety of substitutions and variations too.

Prepare it however you want – with chicken breasts or thighs, with fresh peas or pimientos – and make it your own!

So let’s get cooking together! Enjoy experimenting with this recipe and discovering new ways to personalize it. And don’t forget to share your creations with friends and family so they can enjoy this classic Latin American dish too!

Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo)

Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo) Recipe

"I grew up with this recipe, it is a meal in itself. Serve with slices of buttered bread or corn tortillas. To complete this delicious Latin dish, serve with coffee."
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 461.4 kcal


  • 8 boneless chicken thighs, with skin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups converted long-grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron thread
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar pimientos, drained
  • 0.5 (8 ounce) jar pimento stuffed olives, drained and sliced
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Sear the chicken until golden, then set aside. Stir in the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the rice, and season with salt, pepper, and saffron. Cook rice until golden, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, green chiles, and chicken broth. Place chicken thighs on top, then bring to a boil, cover, and place in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, then sprinkle the peas, pimentos, and olives on top. Pour in the water, but do not stir. Recover and continue baking until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 323gCalories: 461.4kcalCarbohydrates: 41.8gProtein: 18.2gFat: 24.7gSaturated Fat: 5.2gCholesterol: 63.2mgSodium: 1089mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 6.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Chicken Thigh & Leg, Easy, Guatemalan, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Meat, Mexican, One-Dish Meal, Poultry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found



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.