Recreate this classic Spanish and Latin American recipe at home with my easy recipe for Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice).
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Traditional authentic Arroz Con Pollo (Spanish for “chicken and rice”) has many varieties depending on where it originates from and who is cooking it, with the Puerto Rican versions usually including beer and annatto, whereas the Spanish version would omit those and sometimes use saffron instead.
My version has neither beer, annatto, or saffron in it. I wanted to make it with readily available everyday ingredients, make sure it is gluten free, and also keep the cost down and saffron is pretty pricey to use for a regular weeknight chicken dinner!
How to Make Easy Arroz Con Pollo
Step 1 – Mix lime zest, lime juice, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and cumin together in a large Ziploc type bag and toss all the chicken pieces to get them evenly coated. Marinate for about thirty minutes to an hour before cooking. See the recipe notes for details on using skinless or boneless thighs.
Step 2 – Heat the olive oil in a large wide Dutch Oven and if using skin on thighs cook them skin side down over a medium heat until they are browned, about four to five minutes, and then turn and brown the other side then remove and set aside. If using boneless skinless thighs you’ll only need to brown them for about three minutes per side.
Step 3 – If you used chicken with skin on you may need to pour off some of the oil. Next, add the onion and bell peppers to the Dutch oven with a little oil if need and cook for five more minutes, until soft.
Step 4 – Next, add the garlic and rice and stir well.
Step 5 – Add the gluten free chicken broth along with the reserved chicken marinade, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves, and green peas and give it a stir.
Step 6 – After adding the rice you can nestle the chicken pieces back into the rice.
Step 7 – Put the lid on and make sure it is tight fitting, bake in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, see recipe notes for more details on timing.
More Chicken Dinner Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Risotto
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Brunswick Stew
- Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)
- Lemon Thyme Chicken
- Gluten Free Chicken Fajitas
- How to Make Chicken Broth (three ways!)
- Chicken Saltimbocca
- Lemon Rosemary Chicken
- Moroccan Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Arroz Con Pollo
An easy oven baked version of Arroz Con Pollo (chicken and rice) that's perfect for a family friendly weeknight supper.
- 8 chicken thighs (bone in, skinless) , see notes for other cuts of chicken
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion , finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper , sliced
- 1.5 cups long grain rice , 410g, rinsed
- 3.5 cups chicken broth , 830mls, we used gluten free broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste , (UK readers – use tomato puree)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
You can use bone-in chicken thighs with skin on, bone-in skinless chicken thighs, or boneless skinless thighs, please read the recipe notes first for more details on timing. I usually add 6-8 chicken thighs depending on what comes in the pack, cook time is the same regardless.
Mix lime zest, lime juice, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and cumin together in a ziploc type bag and toss all the chicken pieces to get them evenly coated. Marinate for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the marinade after 30 minutes, reserve any marinade left in the bag.
Preheat your oven to 350°F
Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large Dutch Oven and brown the chicken thighs on both sides. For skinless bone in thighs brown for four minutes per side, for boneless skinless about 2-3 minutes per side is sufficient. Once browned remove the chicken pieces and set aside.
Add the chopped onion and bell peppers to the Dutch Oven over a medium/low heat, add 1 tbsp more olive oil if needed, cook for about five minutes until soft and then add the garlic and rice and stir for one more minute.
Add the gluten free chicken broth, any reserved marinade, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves, and green peas and stir well.
Place the chicken pieces back into the rice.
Bring the liquid to a simmer on the stove then put the lid on and cook in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes for bone in chicken thighs. If using boneless skinless chicken thighs you can check to see if the rice and chicken are cooked after 30 minutes.
Chicken thighs – if you choose massive chicken thighs then this recipe may take longer to cook. If you use skin on chicken thighs they may add a lot of extra fat to the rice once they cook, to avoid this use skinless thighs. You can also use boneless skinless thighs which cook much faster but they can be prone to overcooking in the oven, check to see if the rice is cooked after 30-35 minutes in the oven if using boneless skinless chicken.
Dutch Oven – you need to ensure that the lid is tight fitting, if not the liquid may evaporate before the rice is cooked. If you have any doubts you can add a layer of foil to the pot and then also add the lid.
Nutrition – assumes one thigh per person and 1/8th of the rice and vegetables, and that you are using bone-in, skin off thighs.