Delicious and authentic Valencian rice recipe

Are you looking for a dish that is comforting, flavorful and easy to make? Look no further than the classic Valencian Rice, also known as “Arroz a La Valenciana.” This traditional rice dish hails from Valencia, Spain, but has made its way into kitchens all around the world. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be tailored to fit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegan, this recipe can be made to suit your needs.

The recipe calls for simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry, including white rice, tomato paste, olives, peas and shrimp. It is cooked in a combination of white wine and chicken broth which adds depth and richness to the dish. The dish can be easily modified by adding chorizo sausage or even coconut milk for a creamy twist on the classic.

What are you waiting for? Follow me as I take you through step-by-step instructions on how to make this delicious Valencian Rice. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or family gatherings. I promise it will become a go-to recipe in your kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Valencian Rice (Arroz a La Valenciana)
Valencian Rice (Arroz a La Valenciana)

Greetings, food enthusiasts!

Let me tell you why you are going to love this Valencian Rice recipe (Arroz a La Valenciana) as much as I do. Have you ever craved a creamy rice dish with a bold mix of flavors and textures? That’s exactly what this recipe provides!

Picture this – perfectly cooked white rice, mixed with tender chicken pieces, juicy shrimp, and spicy chorizo de Bilbao (smoked link sausage). It’s like a party in your mouth! And that’s just the beginning.

This Valencian Rice recipe is packed with tasty treasures like black olives, green olives, capers, peas, tomatoes, green onions and red bell pepper. The aroma of tomato paste and white wine adds an extra depth of flavor that will make your taste buds sing.

The addition of coconut milk takes the creamy texture to another level altogether. Would you believe that the recipe can even be made vegan by substituting butter with olive oil? Trust me; the variations are endless with this recipe.

It’s perfect as a weeknight meal that can be easily prepared within an hour or for special occasions when you want to impress your guests. This dish is traditionally served at big gatherings because it makes enough to feed many mouths.

So don’t miss out on one of the best rice dishes out there. This Valencian Rice recipe will not disappoint!

Ingredient List

 Aromatic saffron elevates the flavors of this classic Valencian rice dish.
Aromatic saffron elevates the flavors of this classic Valencian rice dish.

Here are the ingredients you will need for this delicious Valencian rice (Arroz a La Valenciana) recipe:

  • 1 lb. of chicken, diced
  • 1 lb. of smoked link sausage, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup of green olives, halved
  • ½ cup of black olives, halved
  • ½ cup of capers
  • ½ cup of peas
  • 4 cups of rice (preferably short-grain or sushi rice)
  • 8 cups of water or broth
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 bottle of beer or white wine
  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) coconut milk (for vegan option)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You can find these ingredients easily in your local grocery store or in any Latin American grocery store. If you cannot find some of the ingredients, don’t worry: I will provide some substitutions and variations in the next section.

The Recipe How-To

 One bite of Arroz a La Valenciana will transport you to the sunny streets of Valencia.
One bite of Arroz a La Valenciana will transport you to the sunny streets of Valencia.

Ingredients you need:

  • 1 whole chicken, chopped
  • 1lb smoked link sausage, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 cups water or chicken stock
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup peas
  • ½ cup black and/or green olives, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. capers
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Let’s get started!

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped chicken and sliced sausage to the pot.
  3. Brown the meat until it is cooked thoroughly, then remove it from the pot and set it aside.
  4. In the same pot, sauté the red bell pepper, green onions, and garlic until they are soft.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, and capers, and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Add the previously prepared meat back into the pot and mix well with vegetable mixture.
  7. Pour in the water or chicken stock, bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to low.
  8. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  9. Afterwards add peas while stirring occasionally then remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Side Notes:

  • Instead of water or chicken stock, you can use coconut milk for thicker consistency rice dish.
  • This recipe can also be made vegan by omitting the meat products and using vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
  • You may also use jasmine rice or glutinous rice instead of white rice.

Don’t underestimate simplicity!

While there are some complex rice dishes out there, Valencian rice is a simple and easy rice dish that stands on its own. By following this recipe’s How-To you will obtain a tasty and savory Valencia Rice that is guaranteed to satisfy any craving or hunger.

Substitutions and Variations

 This vibrant dish is a true feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
This vibrant dish is a true feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

Valencian Rice is a famously versatile dish that can be customized in a multitude of ways. If certain ingredients from the original recipe aren’t to your liking—or if you’re just feeling experimental—here are some substitution suggestions that can help you tailor your Valencian Rice to your taste:

– Seafood: Though the original recipe calls for shrimp, feel free to substitute it with other types of seafood like clams, mussels or calamari. You can even mix and match different kinds of seafood to create a unique flavor profile.

– Meat: If you’re not a fan of shrimp or seafood, meat is also an excellent choice for Valencian Rice. Chorizo de al horno and smoked link sausage are classic options, but you can use any type of meat that you prefer.

– Vegetarian/Vegan: To make this dish vegan-friendly, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and omit any animal products such as shrimp, sausage or butter. You can add veggies like carrots, kale and roasted red peppers to give it texture and flavor.

– Gluten-Free: Swap white rice with glutinous rice or jasmine rice if you’re on a gluten-free diet.

– Tomato Paste: For a sweeter flavor profile or for those with tomato sensitivities, consider swapping tomato paste with coconut milk along with salt to taste.

Once you’ve got the hang of the basic recipe, experiment with different variations until you find your favorite version of Valencian Rice!

Serving and Pairing

 From the colorful veggies to the tender meats, every ingredient in this dish plays a crucial role.
From the colorful veggies to the tender meats, every ingredient in this dish plays a crucial role.

Valencian Rice (Arroz a La Valenciana) is a hearty and delicious rice dish that is perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or casual dinner parties. It’s relatively easy to serve and can be paired with a wide assortment of beverages and side dishes. Here are some of my favorite serving suggestions:

Beverages: A glass of chilled white wine or beer would complement the flavors of the dish beautifully. You can also serve it with a refreshing glass of iced tea or lemonade to balance out the richness of the rice.

Side dishes: This rice dish pairs well with a variety of side dishes. You can serve it with a simple green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette, roasted vegetables like carrots, asparagus or zucchini, or even grilled chicken or steak.

Garnishes: To add some depth to the flavors and present it more appealingly, you could also add some crispy fried onions on top a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or parsley on each serving. I’d also recommend serving some sliced avocados on the side to add extra creaminess and flavor to each bite.

Overall, Valencian Rice (Arroz a La Valenciana) is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own as a main course or paired with other complementary side dishes and beverages for an all-around satisfying meal experience.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Bring the flavors and traditions of Spain to your kitchen with this timeless rice dish.
Bring the flavors and traditions of Spain to your kitchen with this timeless rice dish.

Are you planning to have a party but don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen? Well, I have good news for you! Valencian Rice is the perfect dish for those who like to enjoy their own party without sacrificing quality food.

One of the great things about Arroz a La Valenciana is that it can be conveniently made ahead of time. You can cook the rice and all of the ingredients separately beforehand and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When it’s time to serve, simply mix everything together and reheat it on the stove or in the oven for an easy and delicious meal.

If you have leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, moisten with a little bit of water or chicken stock and warm it up on low heat. If you want to freeze it, transfer the cooled rice mixture to freezer-safe containers or bags, remove any excess air, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Valencian Rice is such a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course with some crusty bread or as a side dish. You can also use this recipe as a base for many other rice dishes by simply swapping out some of the ingredients according to your taste preference or dietary restrictions. So whether you’re cooking for yourself or feeding a crowd, this dish will be sure to impress anyone who tries it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 If you've never tasted saffron before, this recipe is the perfect place to start.
If you’ve never tasted saffron before, this recipe is the perfect place to start.

Cooking Valencian Rice may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, you can make a delicious and authentic dish. Here are some tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time you make Arroz a la Valenciana.

1. Use the right rice

The type of rice you use can make or break your Valencian Rice dish. For this recipe, it is best to use short-grain white rice, also known as arborio rice. Avoid using long-grain rice as it doesn’t absorb flavors as well as short-grain.

2. Don’t Overcook the Rice

Cook your Valencian Rice until it is fully cooked but still has a bite to it. Overcooking the rice will turn it into mush and ruin your dish’s texture.

3. Fluff the Rice

Once the rice is cooked, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then fluff it up with a fork. This helps to release any trapped steam and prevent the rice from becoming too sticky.

4. Prep everything ahead

This recipe involves several ingredients, including meats and vegetables, which require different cooking times. To ensure that all elements are well-cooked in the same time span, have everything prepped ahead of time so that they’re easily accessible one after another.

5. Add broth periodically

To avoid ending up with dry rice or overcooked rice on top and undercooked on the bottom layer, be sure to add broth periodically throughout the cooking process.

6. Let it rest

Allowing your Valencian Rice to rest after cooking allows all of its flavors to meld together properly, resulting in a more delicious meal at serving time.

By following these tips, you can perfect your Arroz a la Valenciana recipe every time and savor its delectable blend of flavors and spices from Valencia into your kitchen!


Before we conclude, let’s take a closer look at some possible questions about making this delicious Valencian Rice. Here are several common FAQs to help you achieve the perfect result every time.

What is the difference between Paella and arroz Valenciana?

Paella and Arroz Valenciana differ in how they are made and the ingredients used. Arroz Valenciana is typically cooked on a stovetop, while Paella is baked and incorporates specialty items like saffron, seafood, and wine.

Which is Valencian rice dish?

Originating from the city of Valencia, Paella is a traditional rice dish that has become a staple of Spanish cuisine. With various methods of preparation and cooking, this dish has evolved into a diverse menu item served across different regions of Spain and around the world.

Which country is Arroz a la Valenciana originated?

Arroz a la Valenciana is a delicious dish originated from the Valencian Community of Spain but became prominent in the Philippines. It is a savory meal made with rice as the main ingredient, combined with a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables. The dish usually gets its distinct yellow color from saffron, turmeric, or annatto. Arroz a la Valenciana is a meal that will leave your taste buds satiated with its rich and flavorful taste.

What do you use Valencia rice for?

Valencia rice, commonly referred to as paella rice, is highly renowned for its use in the popular traditional dish, paella. However, this type of rice is versatile and useful in various other recipes, such as desserts, soups, stews, croquettes, stuffing, and more. It can also be an essential ingredient in dishes like Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken).

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a delicious and flavorful rice dish that is easy to prepare, look no further than Arroz a La Valenciana. This traditional Valencian recipe is versatile enough to accommodate substitutions and variations, so feel free to experiment with different ingredients and make it your own.

Whether you’re using white rice or glutinous rice, substituting shrimp with chicken, or adding coconut milk for a vegan option, this dish is sure to impress your taste buds. So gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and enjoy the aroma and taste of this classic Spanish favorite.

With its blend of aromatic spices, juicy meats, and fresh vegetables, Arroz a La Valenciana is the perfect choice for any occasion. It’s also easy to store and reheat, making it a great option for meal prep or leftovers.

So why not give this recipe a try? You won’t be disappointed. And who knows? You might even discover your own unique twist on this timeless classic. Happy cooking!

Valencian Rice (Arroz a La Valenciana)

Valencian Rice (Arroz a La Valenciana) Recipe

Paella originated in the provinces of Spain. An international dish nowadays with as many variations as countries that have embraced it, the different versions of Paella became better known in Latin America as Arroz a la Valenciana (Valencian Rice) and adapted to the agriculture and foodstuff available in the particular country. Nicaragua is quite famous for its love of Arroz a la Valenciana. Whatever you call it, it is delicious and can be very complicated. Most people agree that the traditional Paella must contain rabbit meat. However, if you have ever tried to debone a rabbit you will see why that tradition is not a popular one. So, here for your enjoyment, is a very simple way to make Arroz a la Valenciana. May the Paella gods forgive me.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Calories 757.5 kcal


  • 1 (3 lb) whole chickens
  • 1 lb white rice (cooked)
  • 1 lb smoked link sausage (sliced into 1/2 inch slices)
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion (chopped into medium chunks)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into long strips)
  • 3 green onions (chopped very finely)
  • 2 large tomatoes (diced into large chunks)
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 8 1/2 ounces canned early peas (petit-pois)
  • 3 ounces canned smoked oysters (optional)
  • 4 -5 ounces sliced black olives or 4 -5 ounces whole green olives, as is traditional
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional) or 1/2 cup beer, you decide, traditional (optional)
  • salt and pepper


  • 1) Place the whole chicken in a pot. Pour enough water into the pot to barely cover the chicken. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of poultry seasoning (optional).
  • 2) Bring water to a boil, cover and cook at medium/low heat for about one hour. Turn the chicken over about half way through to insure even cooking. Keep an eye on it so that it will not dry out and burn. However, the level of the water at the end should be fairly low, so don’t add a lot of water through the cooking process. The tighter your lid fits on the pot, the less water you will need to replace. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it can be handled comfortably.
  • 3) Debone the chicken setting all the bones and skin aside in a bowl. Do not discard the broth from the chicken.
  • 4) In a very large frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes, bell pepper strips, chopped onions (both) and 1 teaspoon of salt. When white onions look transparent, add the tomato paste, capers and olives and stir. Add the sausage slices, shrimp, oysters, the de-boned chicken meat and whatever broth you had left. Now is also the time to add the wine or beer if you are using any.
  • 5) Continue to stir over medium/low heat until the mixture becomes almost dry (broth has evaporated and been absorbed). Now add the cooked rice a little at a time while stirring. Finally, add the early peas and stir gently to blend them inches.
  • 6) Serve hot accompanied by a large glass of Spanish Sangría poured over some ice, an orange wedge and a wedge of pineapple.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 462gCalories: 757.5kcalCarbohydrates: 60.7gProtein: 33.1gFat: 41.9gSaturated Fat: 12.9gCholesterol: 122.5mgSodium: 980.6mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, European, From Scratch, Meat, One-Dish Meal, 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.