Delicious Arroz Con Pollo Recipe for Your Next Meal

Welcome to the savory world of Arroz con Pollo, a traditional Latin American dish that is beloved across many cultures. This dish, which literally translates to “rice with chicken,” is a staple in my culinary repertoire, and today I’m delighted to share my favorite recipe with you.

I have always loved how this dish brings together simple yet flavorful ingredients to create a satisfying one-pot dinner. It’s perfect for feeding a hungry family or impressing guests with its colorful presentation and aromatic flavors.

The wholesome combination of tender chicken, hearty rice, and various vegetables will take your taste buds on a journey through Latin America’s diverse cuisine. This classic recipe can be found in various regions such as Cuba, Puerto Rico or Spain, each with its unique twist on seasonings and types of rice.

Are you craving some comfort food that’s easy to make and infinitely delicious? Then it’s time to dive into Arroz con Pollo, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. With this recipe in hand, prepare for an authentic experience that will tantalize your taste buds and transport you straight into a Latin American kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

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

My dear friends, let me tell you why this Arroz Con Pollo recipe will soon become your favorite dish. You might wonder what makes this dish so special, and the answer is simple: it’s the perfect blend of Latin American and Spanish flavors that create a mouth-watering explosion of taste in your mouth.

This dish incorporates succulent chicken thighs cooked with fragrant garlic, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, all blended together with perfectly cooked white rice. The secret behind the incredible taste of this recipe is a delectable combination of spices such as black pepper, cumin, saffron, and bomba rice. The result is a rich, savory flavor that tantalizes your taste buds.

Moreover, this recipe is versatile and adaptable to your preferences. You can adjust the spiciness level by adding more salsa or diced jalapenos. You can also switch up the proteins by using chicken breasts or even baked chicken if you prefer. The possibilities are endless!

This Arroz Con Pollo is an excellent option for a one-pot dinner, making it the perfect recipe to serve on busy weeknights or even as a centerpiece dish for family gatherings. The dish is made quickly and easily with just one pan- no fuss or mess.

Lastly, you can serve this dish alongside fresh green onions, black olives, and a side salad to make it a complete meal. It pairs wonderfully with red wine or any refreshing drink of your choice – showcasing again how versatile it is.

In conclusion, I am convinced that once you taste this Spanish and Latin American fusion recipe of arroz con pollo; you’ll fall in love at first bite! So give it a try today- It’s truly the best!

Ingredient List

 A colorful medley of spices and veggies make my arroz con pollo a feast for the eyes.
A colorful medley of spices and veggies make my arroz con pollo a feast for the eyes.

Before we move into the instructions, let’s first take a look at the ingredients needed to make this delicious Arroz Con Pollo recipe. Here’s everything you need:

For the Chicken:

  • Chicken thighs or breasts: Chicken is the star of this dish and you can use either chicken thighs or breasts depending on your preference.
  • Garlic cloves: Garlic will give the chicken a ton of flavor.
  • Ground black pepper: This gives a little bit of spice to the recipe
  • Ground cumin: Cumin is another important spice in Latin American dishes that will add depth to this recipe.

For the Rice:

  • Rice: This dish is traditionally made with white rice, but you can use brown rice if you prefer.
  • Water: For cooking the rice
  • Olive oil: We’ll be using olive oil for sautéing onions and peppers, as well as some for cooking the chicken too.
  • Green onions: These add a bit of freshness to the dish and color too.
  • Tomatoes: The tomatoes will provide a pop of acidity and sweetness
  • Black olives: Topping off our finished plate with black olives is optional but it adds some great texture.

Spices and Seasonings:

You will need the following spices and seasonings on hand for this recipe:

  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Ground cumin

This flavorful combination will give your Arroz Con Pollo a lovely blend of fragrant aromas once it hits your tastebuds.

The Recipe How-To

 The savory aroma of this Spanish chicken with rice will have your taste buds begging for more.
The savory aroma of this Spanish chicken with rice will have your taste buds begging for more.

Let’s Start Cooking!

Now that we have our ingredients, let’s start cooking this delicious Arroz con Pollo. To begin, gather a large pot or deep skillet and heat it with two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high.

Next, add one chopped onion, two diced garlic cloves into the heated pot, and saute them for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent.

Afterward, add in the chicken thighs and season with one teaspoon of ground cumin, one teaspoon of salt, and one-half teaspoon of black pepper. Cook for about six to eight minutes on each side until they turn golden brown.

You can now add two cups of white rice to the same pot, stirring it occasionally until no white grains appear. Pour in three cups of water, one cup of your favorite salsa, and mix well.

Cover and simmer the arroz con pollo on low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice becomes tender. You may check occasionally during the process to make sure that the mixture does not become too dry.

Once done, remove from heat and let it cool down for a few minutes before adding in one chopped tomato, one sliced green onion, and half a cup of sliced black olives.

Your Arroz con Pollo is now ready! Serve this dish hot as a main course or as a side dish to your favorite latin american meal.

Substitutions and Variations

 You don't have to travel to South America to enjoy a delicious bowl of arroz con pollo.
You don’t have to travel to South America to enjoy a delicious bowl of arroz con pollo.

In cooking, there’s always room for experimentation and customization. If you’re looking for ways to add your personal touch to this classic Arroz Con Pollo recipe, here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

1. VEGETARIAN OPTION: If you want to make this dish vegetarian, omit the chicken and replace it with your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers or zucchini. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to infuse the rice with a savory flavor.

2. SPICY VERSION: If you want to heat things up, add some diced jalapeño peppers into the mix. You can also top the dish with a generous drizzle of hot sauce or salsa.

3. HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE: For a healthier twist, replace white rice with brown rice or quinoa. These alternatives offer more fiber and protein than traditional white rice.

4. SEAFOOD ADDITIONS: To give this dish an extra punch of flavor, why not add shrimp, clams, or fish? Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly so that your seafood doesn’t overcook.

5. REGIONAL VARIATIONS: The beauty of Arroz Con Pollo is that it’s a dish that’s beloved all over Latin America and beyond. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavor profiles from different regions! For example, in Puerto Rico, they use bomba rice and saffron in their version of Arroz Con Pollo; while in Cuba, they cook it Cuban-style using tomato sauce and baked chicken.

No matter what substitutions or variations you go for, just remember to have fun and enjoy the process of making this delectable rice dish!

Serving and Pairing

 This dish is perfect for feeding a large family or hosting a dinner party with friends.
This dish is perfect for feeding a large family or hosting a dinner party with friends.

When it comes to serving and pairing, there are endless possibilities for this delicious Arroz con Pollo. This classic one-pot dinner is filling and satisfying on its own, but it also pairs well with various sides and choices of drinks.

Firstly, you can serve this dish as a standalone meal. A hearty plate of Arroz con Pollo is already packed with flavors, textures, and nutrients that will make your guests’ taste buds dance. A perfect accompaniment for this dish would be a fresh salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese topped off with a zesty vinaigrette dressing. Alternatively, a nice napkin-wrapped bread slice will help to soak up the delicious sauce that comes from the chicken dish.

You can also add some sides to the plate to elevate the food presentation and level up the experience. Some perfectly complementary options include refried beans, seasoned black beans, roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, asparagus or roasted cauliflower. Don’t forget some sliced avocado and caramelized plantains to add that extra touch.

For those who prefer spicy flavors, consider adding salsa or hot sauce for some kick. I suggest pairing this meal with a refreshing margarita or mojito in a tumbler glass with crushed ice.

Lastly, Arroz con Pollo pairs great with red wine such as a Chianti Classico that makes the spices of the dish stand out more. For non-alcoholic options – natural juice like mango or pineapple combined with citrus ingredients such as limes or grapefruit in garnish make an exotic choice.

In conclusion, there are countless ways to enjoy Arroz con Pollo based on your preferences regarding spice levels and drink pairings. Be creative! The only wrong choice is the one you don’t make!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This recipe is a true staple of Latin American cuisine with a unique twist of my own.
This recipe is a true staple of Latin American cuisine with a unique twist of my own.

Imagine you have a busy day ahead, but still want to enjoy the delectable taste of Arroz Con Pollo. Worry no more! This recipe is perfect for those who want to meal prep or save leftovers for later.

To make ahead, follow the same instructions in the recipe how-to section and let it cool completely before refrigerating it in an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

When it’s time to reheat, pour some water or chicken broth over the rice and microwave on high (covered) for 2-3 minutes. Or, you can heat it up on the stovetop with a splash of olive oil or chicken broth for added moisture.

One pro tip – if you’re reheating in advance, stop cooking while the rice is still a bit undercooked as reheating will continue cooking the rice.

If you have any leftovers that you need to store, store the chicken separately from the rice and veggies, as it tends to dry out when stored with other ingredients. The vegetables can be individually stored as well.

In case you made extra food but don’t want to eat it all at once, you can also keep your Arroz con Pollo in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to use an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag!

When reheating frozen arroz con pollo, let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat by following the same guidance provided above.

Now you can enjoy your delicious and hearty Arroz Con Pollo either freshly prepared or reheated any time of day or week!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The tender chicken and fluffy rice are perfectly complemented by the array of vegetables in the dish.
The tender chicken and fluffy rice are perfectly complemented by the array of vegetables in the dish.

As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I can attest that executing a good arroz con pollo recipe can be easy as long as you have the right ingredients and follow the recipe instructions. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your chicken and rice dish turns out to be a success:

1. Choose the right type of rice

When making arroz con pollo, you want to use a medium or long-grain rice variety such as jasmine or basmati rice. These types of rice are less starchy and will not turn mushy after being cooked. Additionally, make sure to rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking to avoid any impurities.

2. Don’t overcook the chicken

Chicken is the star ingredient of this dish, and it’s crucial that it’s tender and juicy. It’s essential not to overcook the chicken, especially if you’re baking it in the oven with the rice. To achieve perfect results, cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

3. Add extra flavor

One way to elevate the taste of your arroz con pollo is by adding extra flavorings such as saffron or cilantro while cooking the rice. You can also experiment with different spice blends such as thyme, paprika, or even smoked paprika for a more complex taste.

4. Let the dish rest before serving

Once your chicken and rice are cooked, set them aside for a few minutes before serving to allow them to rest. This helps redistribute the juices throughout the meat and creates a moister texture.

5. Garnish with fresh vegetables

Don’t be afraid to add some crunchiness and color to your arroz con pollo recipe by garnishing it with some fresh green onions, black olives, or even stir-fried onions and peppers on top.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to impress your guests with a delicious and authentic arroz con pollo recipe that everyone will love.


As with any recipe, there may be questions that come up along the way. Below are some common FAQs and their answers to help you achieve a perfect Arroz Con Pollo dish every time.

What is a famous dish from Spain that is made with rice chicken and vegetables?

Paella is a well-known rice dish that originated from Spain. It is a flavorful combination of rice, saffron, vegetables, chicken, and seafood that is traditionally prepared and cooked in a single pan for a hearty one-pan meal.

What is the best side dish for arroz con pollo?

Arroz con Pollo is a filling dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of accompaniments such as yogurt or sour cream, hot sauce, fresh fruit and a large green salad drizzled with Cilantro Lime Dressing. To make the meal more exciting, Corn Salad, Fruit Salad or Pina Colada Salad can also be served alongside Arroz con Pollo.

Why is my arroz con pollo mushy?

Looking for a delightful and easy-to-make dinner option? Arroz con Pollo might be your answer! Typically paired with plantains, this one-pot meal is satisfying in every bite. However, have you ever wondered why your finished product may come out mushy? It’s possible you may have used an excess of water or overcooked it.

What is the difference between arroz con pollo and paella?

Two dishes that are often compared and sometimes even interchanged are Arroz Valenciana and Paella. While Paella is prepared with an assortment of seafood, vegetables, and rice, Arroz Valenciana is made with chicken, vegetables, and rice. Both dishes are traditionally cooked in a special pan over an open fire and served alongside a flavorful saffron sauce.

Which country has the best arroz con pollo?

A beloved dish in Puerto Rican cuisine is arroz con pollo, which derives its unique flavor and vibrant yellow color from a blend of annatto oil and beer. This combination is reminiscent of the traditional use of saffron to season and color rice.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I highly recommend this delicious Arroz Con Pollo recipe. With its blend of flavorful spices and tender, juicy chicken, this dish is sure to be a hit at any gathering or family dinner. And best of all, it’s incredibly easy to make in just one pot or pan.

Whether you’re a fan of Latin American cuisine or simply looking to mix up your weeknight dinner routine, this recipe is definitely worth trying. Plus, with so many variations and substitutions available, you can easily adjust it to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs.

So why not give it a try? Gather up your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal that everyone will love. From the classic Arroz con Pollo to the Cuban-style version with bomba rice, there’s no shortage of delicious possibilities with this dish.

Trust me, once you try this recipe for yourself, you’ll be hooked!

Favorite Arroz Con Pollo (Spanish Chicken With Rice)

Favorite Arroz Con Pollo (Spanish Chicken With Rice) Recipe

This is a healthy family favorite. Fresh chicken is best, but in a pinch you can used frozen breast tenderloins. I use saffron rice from the health food store in place of white or brown rice. More flavor!
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Calories 773 kcal


  • 1 chicken (2 1/2 to 3 lbs, cut into pieces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced


  • Simmer chicken, garlic, and salt in water 30 minutes.
  • Remove chicken, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. De-bone and dice chicken. (chicken can be cooked and de-boned the night before.).
  • Saute rice in oil in skillet until golden. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, chicken, salsa, cumin, pepper, and an additional teaspoon of salt.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Layer top of skillet mixture with tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. Cover and continue cooking about 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 430gCalories: 773kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 47.4gFat: 43.7gSaturated Fat: 11.2gCholesterol: 172.5mgSodium: 736.8mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 2.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Inexpensive, Long-Grain Rice, One-Dish Meal, Rice, South American, 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.