Classic Arroz Con Pollo Recipe

Arroz con Pollo is a staple on any Hispanic menu, although there are literally countless individual tricks and certain flair on the dish that varies depending on where the dish is being made, and by whom.

“Arroz con Pollo” is, at it’s heart, a simple dish. Spanish for “rice with chicken”, that’s really all that has to be in the dish to be considered a basic Arroz con Pollo, however there are a few things you can do to give this dish an early, natural flavor that would be similar to the way it’s made through much of Latin America.

If you want to make it real, don’t be afraid of heat. A little red pepper and/or jalapeno goes a long way with this dish, and does an amazing job of really giving a rather simple dish a much needed “edge”. Our “must haves” for Arroz con Pollo is really documented below – lots of depth, with a huge flavor profile and a decent amount of heat.

Bringing paprika, lime, heat, onion, and pepper gives the dish the proper character it deserves, and will give you an authentic masterpiece that you’ll have a hard time waiting to finish before you dig in!

Arroz con Pollo


  • ½ pound chicken breast or “tenders ” cut into hunks (I just cut “tenders” in half)
  • 1 small red bell pepper cut into 1/8”-wide, long strips
  • 1 small Spanish onion finely diced/minced
  • 2 - 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1, 14- oonce can diced tomatoes I use hand-crushed San Marzanos from Italy
  • ½ cup sliced green olives (with pimentos)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon smoky paprika
  • Olive oil to brown the chicken in
  • Salt ground, black pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • Jalapeño slices optional
  • Red-pepper flakes optional
  • ½ cup cooked white rice (½ cup cooked rice = cooking ¼ cup raw rice)


  • Cook ¼ cup white rice ahead of time with ½ cup water, a pinch of salt and just ½ teaspoon oil.
  • Wash the chicken in cold, running water; season well with salt, garlic powder and black pepper.
  • In 10-inch skillet, place just a little olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Brown chicken in skillet. Add onion and garlic, cook down until translucent. Add bell pepper, cook until soft.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, including the cooked rice, and simmer over very low heat (covered) one half hour. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding a little more salt, if needed before serving.

Featured image by: Kobako [CC BY-SA 2.5 (]

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