Arroz con pollo is a traditional Latin American dish that combines chicken and rice in a flavorful one-pot meal. It is a staple in many countries, including Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. The dish is known for its vibrant colors, delicious flavors, and comforting nature.

The name “arroz con pollo” translates to “rice with chicken” in English, and it perfectly describes the essence of this dish. The chicken is typically seasoned and seared to perfection before being added to a pot with rice, vegetables, and a variety of spices. The ingredients are then cooked together until the flavors meld and the rice is tender.

Arroz con pollo is a versatile dish that can be made using different ingredients and cooking methods. The recipe can vary from region to region and even from family to family, but the basic concept remains the same. It is a filling and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed any day of the week.

In this article, we will explore different recipes and techniques for cooking arroz con pollo. We will also provide tips and tricks for achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures in your dish. Whether you are a beginner cook or an experienced chef, this guide will help you master the art of cooking arroz con pollo.

Ingredients for Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con pollo, a traditional Latin American dish, is a delicious combination of chicken and rice. Here are the ingredients you will need to make this flavorful dish:


1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

Note: You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or drumsticks if you prefer.

Rice Mixture:

2 cups long-grain white rice

4 cups chicken broth

1 onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 tomato, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup pitted green olives

Lime wedges for serving

With these ingredients, you can create a delicious and comforting arroz con pollo that will impress your family and friends!

Step-by-Step Guide to Cook Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con pollo is a delicious and popular dish in Latin American cuisine. It is a combination of seasoned chicken and rice cooked together to create a flavorful one-pot meal. Here is a step-by-step guide to cook arroz con pollo:


  • 2 pounds of chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup of long-grain rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Step 1: Season the chicken pieces with cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.

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Step 2: Add the chicken to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

Step 3: In the same pot, sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until softened.

Step 4: Add the rice to the pot and stir it with the vegetables for a few minutes until it is coated with the oil and slightly toasted.

Step 5: Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 6: Lower the heat to a simmer, then return the chicken to the pot. Cover and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender.

Step 7: Once the rice and chicken are cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Step 8: Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy your delicious arroz con pollo!

Tips for Perfect Arroz Con Pollo

1. Choose the right rice: When making arroz con pollo, it is important to choose the right type of rice. Short-grain rice, such as Arborio or Valencia rice, is perfect for this dish as it absorbs the flavors well and creates a creamy texture.

2. Sauté the chicken: Before adding the chicken to the rice, it is important to sauté it first. This helps to develop the flavors and ensures that the chicken is cooked through.

3. Use a flavorful broth: The broth is an important component of arroz con pollo, as it adds depth and richness to the dish. Use a homemade chicken broth or a high-quality store-bought broth to enhance the flavors.

4. Add the ingredients in layers: To ensure that all the flavors are well-distributed, add the ingredients in layers. Start with a base of onions, garlic, and peppers, then add the rice, chicken, and broth. This will ensure that every bite is full of flavor.

5. Don’t stir too much: Once all the ingredients are added, it can be tempting to constantly stir the rice. However, for the best results, it is important to resist this urge. Stirring the rice too much can release the starch and make the dish sticky.

6. Let it rest: Once the arroz con pollo is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the rice to settle.

7. Garnish with fresh herbs: Before serving, garnish the arroz con pollo with fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley. This adds a pop of freshness and brightness to the dish.

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8. Serve with a side of beans: Arroz con pollo is traditionally served with a side of beans, such as black beans or kidney beans. The combination of rice and beans provides a complete protein and adds even more flavor to the meal.

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to making the perfect arroz con pollo every time!

Variations of Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con pollo, or “rice with chicken,” is a popular dish in many Latin American countries. While the basic concept remains the same, there are several variations of arroz con pollo that differ in ingredients and preparation methods. Here are some of the most common variations:

1. Cuban Arroz Con Pollo

In the Cuban version of arroz con pollo, the chicken is typically marinated in a citrusy mixture of lime juice and garlic before being cooked with white rice, bell peppers, onions, and spices such as cumin and saffron. This gives the dish a unique tangy and flavorful taste.

2. Mexican Arroz Con Pollo

Mexican arroz con pollo often includes ingredients such as tomatoes, green chilies, and cilantro, giving it a spicy and vibrant flavor. The chicken is usually cooked with long-grain white rice and seasoned with Mexican spices like chili powder and cumin.

3. Puerto Rican Arroz Con Pollo

Puerto Rican arroz con pollo is known for its rich and savory taste. The chicken is slow-cooked with rice, sofrito (a flavorful sauce made with onions, peppers, garlic, and herbs), and spices like adobo and sazon. This variation often includes ingredients like olives, capers, and peas for added flavor and texture.

These are just a few examples of the many variations of arroz con pollo that exist. Each region and family may have their own unique twist on this classic dish, making it a versatile and delicious meal enjoyed by many.

Serving Suggestions for Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be served as a main course. Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your arroz con pollo experience:

1. Garnish with Fresh Herbs:

After cooking the arroz con pollo, garnish it with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or parsley. This adds a burst of freshness and a pop of color to the dish.

2. Serve with a Side Salad:

Pair arroz con pollo with a simple side salad to add some crunch and freshness to the meal. Consider a salad with mixed greens, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette dressing.

Pro-tip: You can also include some avocado slices for added creaminess and flavor!

3. Offer Some Salsa or Hot Sauce:

If you enjoy a bit of heat, accompany your arroz con pollo with a side of salsa or hot sauce. This will add an extra kick and a touch of spice to the dish.

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Note: Adjust the level of spiciness according to your taste preferences.

4. Serve with a Side of Fried Plantains:

Add a touch of sweetness to your arroz con pollo by serving it with a side of fried plantains. The caramelized flavor of the plantains pairs perfectly with the savory chicken and rice.

Additional serving suggestions:

  • Top with sliced green onions for a hint of onion flavor.
  • Serve with a side of black beans for added protein and texture.
  • Pair with a refreshing glass of traditional Horchata or your favorite beverage.

Experiment with these serving suggestions to enhance your arroz con pollo and create a memorable dining experience!


What is arroz con pollo?

Arroz con pollo is a popular traditional Spanish dish that translates to “rice with chicken”. It is made by cooking seasoned chicken and rice together with vegetables and spices to create a flavorful one-pot meal.

What ingredients do I need to cook arroz con pollo?

To cook arroz con pollo, you will need the following ingredients: chicken pieces, rice, chicken broth, onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, peas, saffron, paprika, salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Some variations may also include additional spices or ingredients like chorizo or olives.

How do I cook arroz con pollo?

To cook arroz con pollo, you first need to season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika. Then, heat some olive oil in a large pot or skillet and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. In the same pot, sauté onions, garlic, and bell peppers until they are soft. Add rice, saffron, and chicken broth to the pot, and bring it to a boil. Place the chicken pieces back into the pot and simmer everything together until the rice is cooked. Finally, add peas and tomatoes, cover the pot, and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Can I use other meats instead of chicken?

Yes, you can definitely use other meats instead of chicken in arroz con pollo. Some popular alternatives include using pork, beef, or a combination of different meats. However, keep in mind that the cooking times and flavors may vary depending on the meat you choose.

Is arroz con pollo a healthy dish?

Arroz con pollo can be a healthy dish if prepared with lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables. By using skinless chicken, brown rice, and a variety of colorful vegetables, you can create a nutritious meal that is low in fat and high in vitamins and minerals. However, be mindful of the portion size and the amount of added fats or sodium in the recipe.