Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew is a hearty braised chicken stew popular in Caribbean, Central and South American cuisines, with loads of flavor and so easy to make!

Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)
Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)

This pollo guisado recipe my favorite comfort food dish, especially when the weather is cold. This is my go-to chicken stew recipe that is huge on flavor and my family loves it. I probably make this as often as I make picadillo, and if you’ve been following for a while, then you know how much we love picadillo! I have many variations of this recipe, like my Instant Pot Latin Chicken Stew with Corn and Sofrito Chicken Stew. Another chicken stew we love is this Paprika Chicken Stew.

Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)

What is pollo guisado?

Pollo guisado translates to “chicken stew” in English. This stew has several variations as it is very popular in many countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The recipes slightly vary by country and even from house to house. Since I am half Colombian and my husband is half Puerto Rican, this recipe is inspired by both countries. Sometimes I add potatoes, or corn or omit the olives.

Pollo Guisado Ingredients

Here are the ingredients I use in my pollo guisado recipe:

  • Chicken – I use bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks – don’t use boneless. The bone adds so much flavor to the stew but I removed the skin to make it a bit healthier, and to be honest you don’t miss it. If you prefer white meat, bone-in chicken breast works fine.
  • Spanish Olives and the olive brine give this dish lots of flavor. If you don’t like olives you can omit and add more salt, to taste.
  • Seasoning – Adobo and Sazon are typically used in Puerto Rico and add so much flavor to this stew. Cumin and bay leaf are also added for flavor. If using sazon, look for Sazon with Achiote, or make your own sazon from scratch.
  • Chicken bouillon adds great flavor, if you prefer to omit add salt to taste.
  • Aromatics and Herbs – Scallions, Garlic, Cilantro

How to Serve Pollo Guisado

Eat this Latin chicken stew over rice to soak up all the delicious broth, or top it with avocado and a quick cabbage slaw on the side.

Freezer Tips:

To freeze any leftovers, transfer to an air-tight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm on the stove, in the pressure cooker, or microwave.


  • Chicken: You can use all drumsticks or all thighs if you don’t want to use both.
  • Vegetables: Add corn, yucca or potatoes.

Latin chicken stew with olives

More Chicken Stew Recipes You’ll Love:

Pollo Guisado (Latin Chicken Stew with Olives)
Print WW Personal Points
4.99 from 52 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew

344 Cals 49 Protein 7 Carbs 12 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Colombian, Latin
Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew is a hearty braised chicken stew popular in Caribbean, Central and South American cuisines, with loads of flavor and so easy to make!


  • 4 skinless chicken drumsticks, on the bone, 14 oz total
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, on the bone, trimmed, 20 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 medium scallions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus 2 tbsp for garnish
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 packet sazon seasoning, optional
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, plus 2 tablespoons brine
  • 1 tablespoon Chicken Better Than Bouillon, or 1 cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Season chicken with adobo seasoning salt.
  • In a large deep skillet,  pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat saute the scallions in olive oil until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and 1/4 cup cilantro cook until soft, 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Nestle the chicken in the pot and let brown 5 minutes, turning halfway.
    how to make chicken stew
  • Add tomato sauce, Sazon if using, 1 cup water, olive, olive brine, Bouillon, cumin and stir. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil.
    Pollo Guisado or Latin Chicken Stew
  • Cover and cook 50 minutes over medium-low heat, until the chicken is tender.
  • Uncover the pot, increase the heat to high and cook to thicken the sauce, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves, adjust salt if needed and add the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

To make this in the Instant Pot

  • Cook on high pressure 20 minutes.
  • Natural release, discard bay leaves and top with remaining cilantro.



Serving: 2pieces chicken, 1/3 cup sauce, Calories: 344kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 49g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 221mg, Sodium: 1100mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g
Keywords: chicken stew, pollo guisado

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this Recipe:


  1. I love this recipe. It’s perfect perfect perfect

  2. I’ve never left a recipe review before. This is my most favorite recipe and I just can’t get enough of it! On repeat!!!

  3. Absolutely delicious ! Thanks for the great recipe.

  4. This was amazing. My husband kept saying it tasted like something from our favorite Latin restaurant. I didn’t have scallions or bay leaves and the flavor was still insane. It would be delicious with fried plantains.

  5. Just made this for the first time! Omitted the olives, and it came our really delicious. I also pulled the chicken off the bones after cooking/before eating because otherwise the stew has big pieces of chicken in it. There is so much taste, and I used the Sauzon, but it might be a little salty because of that.

  6. How can i make this in a slow cooker

  7. So excited to make this. I did throw in yellow saffron rice during the time it is boiling 

  8. We tried it last night and loved it. It was simple and delicious. Also very economical. Used a family pack of chicken legs we had in the freezer and could have easily fed 6 people with the $7 pack of chicken. We will definitely be making again. 

  9. All I can say is OH MY GOSH!  This is amazing!  We loved it – it truly was good to the last bite! 

  10. Looking for a dish to impress company? This is it. The 50 minute simmer lets you set it and forget it while you do other guest prep tasks. It looks amazing on the table. I served it my most gourmet foodie friend and he raved. And had seconds.

  11. I used the instant pot to cook this and loved it, just for the heck of it I threw in a couple of pieces of frozen Yuca. The yuca sucked up some of that great sauce. Super easy to make and such great flavors.

  12. I made my own Sazon mix and have no idea of how much is in a “packet” of store-bought seasoning. How much of it should I put in the dish? A tsp….tablespoon?

  13. Amazing!  Everyone loved it and we licked the sauce out of the pot. 

  14. This recipe blew me away! The building of the flavors with the cilantro and scallions was new for me, but totally delicious. My husband said it went to the top of his list of favorite dinners I’ve cooked.

  15. I have a 10lb Bag of Chicken Quarters and was thinking of making this for a Pot Luck we will be attending in the next month. Any recommendations on how to cook a large quantity of this if I only have 2 large pots? Can it be done in the oven in large roasting pans?

  16. This was extremely good and easy to make. I swapped the green olive/tomato sauce ratio with a 6oz can of pitted green olives plus brine and a 28oz container of pomi stewed tomatoes. I finished it with lime zest and juice. I can’t wait to try it again after it’s marinated a night in the fridge. 

  17. NO ADOBO – NO SAZON – NO CILANTRO available? GO for it! Still amazing recipe!

    It really breaks my heart sometimes…in Germany we have to search for cilantro and for the adobo/sazon…..I did not have the energy to blend it my self. Still….we bathed in it!

    I tricked a bit with 4 drops of “Maggi” (if any european reads this^^), a splash of soy sauce, more cumino, garlic powder, chives(!), , doubled garlic cloves, lots of green olives….it was a feast! next time i will try with adobo and cilantro….but whenever you dont have it: never mind! Thanks for this recipe :*