Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up

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Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pot meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.

Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pot meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.

Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up

So many people ask me about my favorite dishes I make at home for my family, and this is certainly one of them! My mom is Colombian, and she used to always cook her version of this dish for me. It’s definitely a family favorite! If you want a lower-carb option, try my Cauliflower “Rice” and Chicken version. You may have also tried my Mom’s Arroz Con Pollo recipe. If so, I know you’re going to love my version!

Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pan meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.

Chicken recipes are the most popular in my house. There are many variations on the classic arroz con pollo. It is a traditional Latin American and Spanish chicken and rice recipe. I make many versions of this dish depending on my mood or what’s in my refrigerator.

This easy arroz con pollo recipe is the perfect answer to busy weeknights. It’s a one-pan meal that makes for simple cleanup. A lot of the cooking time is hands-off while the rice and chicken cook. My family likes to add hot sauce or Colombian aji picante and serve it with a simple green salad on the side.

Most recipes call for chicken on the bone with the skin on. I opted for boneless, skinless thighs to keep the dish lighter and help it cook faster. If you want to use bone-in thighs, just remove the skin. You can also use drumsticks. White meat is not my personal preference, but you can use diced chicken breast if you prefer.

I season my chicken and rice with sazon, a common Latin spice blend. If you can’t find it at your grocery store, you can make your own. My homemade sazon recipe calls for coriander, cumin, ground anatto seeds, garlic powder, salt, oregano, and pepper. If you don’t have annatto, you can substitute it with turmeric.

So, there you have it – get some hot sauce and dig in!

Variations and Tips:

  • You can add green Spanish olives, alcaparrado or peas.
  • Use a few threads of saffron instead of the Sazon.
  • Use drumsticks, bone-in thighs or boneless chicken breast in place of boneless thighs.
  • To make with brown rice, you can use quick cooking parboiled rice.
  • Leftovers can be frozen for up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator the night before, then heat in the microwave or oven.

Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pan meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.Brown chicken for rice and chicken.Brown chicken for arroz con pollomaking authentic Spanish rice and chicken.Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pan meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pan meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.

More Latin Rice Dishes You Will Love!

Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pot meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.
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Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up

410 Cals 33.5 Protein 47 Carbs 8 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Colombian, Latin, Spanish
Authentic Arroz Con Pollo, or Latin chicken and rice, is the ultimate one-pan meal. It’s a classic Colombian dish that I grew up on that I now love to cook for my family.

Ingredients

  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp Sazon, homemade or Badia Sazon Tropical
  • about 1/2 tsp adobo powder, Goya
  • about 1/2 garlic powder
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 scallions
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper
  • 1 medium vine tomato, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups enriched long grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • kosher salt to taste, about 2 tsp

Instructions

  • Season chicken with vinegar, 1/2 tsp sazon, adobo and garlic powder and let it sit 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large deep heavy skillet on medium, add 2 tsp oil when hot.
  • Add chicken and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
  • Place onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions and pepper in mini food processor. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet and sauté onion mixture on medium-low until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add tomato, cook another minute. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute.
  • Add water, bouillon (be sure it dissolves well) and remaining sazon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Taste for salt, should taste salty enough to suit your taste, add more as needed.
  • Add chicken and nestle into rice, bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line, then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape (You could place a piece of tin foil or paper towel in between the lid and the pot if steam escapes).
  • Cook 20 minutes without opening the lid. Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes (don't peak!!!) Fluff with a fork and eat!

Notes

Leftovers can be frozen for up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator the night before, then heat in the microwave or oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup rice plus 1 thigh, Calories: 410kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 33.5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 140mg, Sodium: 655mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.5g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: arroz con pollo, arroz con pollo recipe, chicken and rice, spanish chicken and rice, weight watchers chicken recipes

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340 comments

  1. Any idea how long to cook or what modifications to do (add rice later?) when using bone-in thighs? Gotta love the substitutions with grocery pickup! 

  2. This is an awesome dish. My father grew up with a puerto rican family and he made this for his own family often. It was one of our favorites. He passed away a few years ago and we hadn’t had this since then. It is almost exactly like his. I am so grateful for this recipe. Recently you posted your recipe for Sofrito, which is awesome also. How much of the premade sofrito would you use for this recipe? Thanks again!

  3. My family loves this dish. If I were to use shrimp rather than chicken, hat what point would you add the shrimp?

  4. Amazing!! 

  5. I love this arroz con pollo. Browning the chicken on a heavy skillet prior to starting the arroz con pollo is absolutely genius. We decided to use Cateveltrano olives, while not traditional in Latin American cooking, it gave it a delicious distinct flavor. I’m Panamanian and they usually shred the chicken and mix it up all together. I did the same with recipe and it came out phenomenal, I also use that Goya Recaito which has culantro in it, makes the arroz con pollo that much better. Thank you so much for this recipe, we love it!