This recipe for Spanish Arroz con Pollo is a one pot meal that’s full of tender chicken thighs, creamy saffron rice and vegetables – the perfect quick and easy dinner!

I’m all about simple dinners, and this chicken and rice dish is a complete meal in just one pot. You can customize your Arroz con Pollo to meet your family’s taste by adding different vegetables and seasonings.

Arroz con Pollo Recipe | Chicken and Rice Recipe | Spanish Chicken #chicken #rice #onepot #dinner #dinneratthezoo #glutenfree Arroz con Pollo Recipe | Chicken and Rice Recipe | Spanish Chicken #chicken #rice #onepot #dinner #dinneratthezoo #glutenfree

A pan of arroz con pollo with chicken thighs, saffron rice and peas.

Here I am again, coming back at you with yet another one pot meal. This time I’ve got an amazing recipe for Spanish Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice). The chicken and saffron rice are cooked together along with some red peppers, onions and peas to make a delicious meal that’s fancy enough for company but easy enough to whip up on a busy weeknight.

What is Arroz con Pollo?

Arroz con Pollo translates to chicken and rice, and is a very popular dish in both Spanish and Latin American cuisines. It is similar to paella and contains chicken, yellow rice and vegetables. In Spain, the rice is colored yellow with the spice saffron. In Latin American countries, annatto is used to make the rice yellow.

How do you make Arroz con Pollo?

This recipe starts with bone in, skin on chicken thighs which are cooked to golden brown, then combined with rice, saffron, chicken broth and vegetables. Everything goes into a covered pot and bakes until the chicken is tender and rice is fluffy. Add a sprinkling of fresh herbs and dinner is ready!

Browned chicken thighs in a skillet.

This recipe does utilize a few ingredients that you might not have in your pantry. Do you own a vial of saffron? If not, you should buy some. It can be a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way and it lasts for a really long time. Saffron gives this dish a unique and aromatic flavor and is well worth the cost.

Sauteed peppers and onions in a skillet.

This recipe also uses a short grain rice. If you want to be really authentic, get yourself some Calasparra rice, that’s what they use in Spain. Otherwise you can use an arborio rice, pearl rice or a calrose rice, which is the inexpensive short grain rice available in my grocery store.

Chicken thighs, rice, chicken broth and vegetables in a skillet.

This dish is perfect as is, or if you want to round out the meal a little more you can serve it with a green salad or a loaf of crusty bread. Everyone in my family loves this Spanish Arroz con Pollo but for different reasons – one of my girls loves the chicken but not the rice, the other likes both the chicken and the rice and my littlest just eats the rice. But everyone’s happy, and that’s all that matters. Oh, and of course it’s always a bonus to have a one pot meal with less clean up.

A plate of Spanish Arroz con Pollo with chicken thighs, rice and a side of broccoli.

Still hungry? Follow Dinner at the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more great recipe ideas!

More chicken recipes you’ll love

Arroz con Pollo Video

5 from 43 votes

Arroz con Pollo

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of arroz con pollo with chicken thighs, saffron rice and peas.
This recipe for Spanish Arroz con Pollo is a one pot meal that's full of tender chicken thighs, creamy saffron rice and vegetables - the perfect quick and easy dinner!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Spanish
Serves 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs 6 ounces each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken broth plus more if needed
  • 1 cup short-grain rice such as Calasparra, Arborio or Calrose
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley optional
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas thawed


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Combine wine and saffron; let stand until ready to use.
  • Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Flip, and cook until golden brown; transfer to a plate.
  • Drain any excess oil, leaving 1 teaspoon of oil in the pan.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, red bell pepper and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in wine-saffron mixture, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaf.
  • Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes. Add chicken thighs, broth and rice; bring to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Stir the peas into the rice. 
  • Top with parsley and serve.


Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 9.8mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2.7mg

This post was originally published on May 17, 2015 and was updated January 1, 2019 with new photos and content.

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

Related Posts

Free Bonus

5 Secrets to Meal Planning + Free Toolkit!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I changed this recipe significantly based on what I had in the house. I didn’t have red bell pepper so I used paprika and red pepper flakes on the diced onion and asparagus dice (about 2 cups: tip length) I had left over which i sauteed as directed. I also didn’t have wine and used a LOT of salt and pepper when seasoning the thighs so I just used water. Good call. When all was said and done, (and I agree the saffron is essential) it came out perfectly with the amount of liquid prescribed. For an acidic salty pop I chopped pitted kalamata & pimento stuffed green olives and sprinkled that over the top with chopped fresh Parsley and Scallions. I found the dish lacking in acid so I squeezed the juice from a fresh lemon over the whole thing and WHAM. Best chicken and rice I’ve ever made. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. 5 stars
    My husband could not stop taking about this recipe. Delish!!! I cook all the time and I’m always looking for stellar recipes. This one is awesome ❤️

  3. 5 stars
    I make this almost weekly now and it is absolutely DELICIOUS. Instead of the frozen peas I’ll add wherever vegetables I have around and it never fails to impress

  4. 5 stars
    I made the recipe with some adaptations (simply because it’s what I had access to). I used a bag of Vigo Spanish style yellow rice and chicken broth as my only liquid. It was delicious. My husband devoured it and wanted more. As a Tampa resident who has eaten many Spanish & Cuban style chicken and yellow rice dishes, this was lovely!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this last night and we devoured the entire thing! This is getting added to my go-to recipes.
    Made a few adjustments that worked really well. I used a jalapeño pepper in place of the red bell pepper, added cumin to the sauteeing onions, and added corn with the other vegetables. To die for!

  6. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! The only changed I made was using turmeric instead of saffron threads. My husband and I usually have at least a few changes we would make when trying a recipe for the first time but no comments on this. Simply fantastic.

  7. 5 stars
    It’s hard for me to fully enjoy a meal I made myself, I’m always critiquing or just weighing the work against the result the whole time. This dish is absolutely an exception. I made it for my husband and myself last week and it was one of my most enjoyed meals, at home or at a restaurant, in quite some time. The only change I made was using a Goya saffron seasoning packet instead of just saffron. I should also mention I am Cuban and have lived in Miami my whole life, so I have high standards for this dish! Trying again tonight while doubling the recipe. Can’t wait, hope it turns out!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a few weeks now and finally made it tonight. And what a treat, it was delicious and so easy. Not spicy like other recipes I’ve found but just right and pleasant to the palate. My boyfriend is a really picky eater and he just loved it. Definitely will make it again and again.. 🙂

  9. This dish was a staple growing up. I have made this dish hundreds of times, and I love your recipe best. Having made it, how do you reheat your leftovers?

    1. I typically reheat individual portions in the microwave in 30 second increments until warm, you could also reheat in a pan on the stovetop or covered in a 325 degrees F oven.

  10. 5 stars
    This was such a lovely dinner. My guests raved over it. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  11. 5 stars
    Amazing!!! We loved it! I keep sneaking into the fridge to take a bite of the few leftovers I have. I have to make again for guests. This is a great recipe. I’ll make two batches if guests come. I went to a specialty store to make sure I could get saffron threads and the Arborio rice. The only problem I had was that I got the chicken thighs nice and crisp, but after being in the pot they skin got soft again, so after the 30 mins of baking I broiled the chicken a few minutes to get the skin crisp again. I also put the rice on simmer for a little longer because it seemed to wet. It was so yummy after that!

  12. 5 stars
    My first time making arroz pollo with this recipe and it was a total success! Very juice and delicious !!
    Is it possible to make the recipe for 10 people at once in an oven dutch pot??

  13. 5 stars
    This was the most delicious dish I have ever made. I added a chicken bouillon cube to the broth. This was so good and authentic.