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.

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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.

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Arroz con Pollo Video

5 from 37 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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Love this one-skillet meal – packed with delicious flavors, hearty and with such a lovely presentation, too!

  2. Sara,
    This looks like a great meal! I’m a fan of one pot dinners, and a fairly recent convert to green olives. I’d tarred them with the same brush as black olives on pizza, but wow do green olives have such a wonderful flavor! The whole family would dig right in.

  3. This looks delicious! I have never cooked with saffron before but I would love to try!

  4. I love this and must try it ASAP. Arroz con Pollo is a family favorite, but the Mexican version. I have never even thought about a Spanish version! Love it.

  5. 5 stars
    What a wonderful looking dinner! I’m always on the lookout for new family meals, this one would hit the spot for sure!

  6. Olives are totally one of those foods that people love or hate. I love them!!! Especially green ones! This chicken dish looks like a perfect weeknight meal to me!

  7. 5 stars
    This looks so yummy! I would never of thought to put green olives with with Spanish rice, but it looks amazing! Well done with the blog post and how you formatted it 🙂

  8. This is an awesome recipe. I happen to love olives as well. My family not so much, but I think they’d love it with this dish.

  9. Wow! This looks fantastic! I love one pot meals and cast iron. With only two of us at home now that the girls have grown and flown, I can make this exactly as you’ve done and have it for two meals. Not having to cook one night is always a treat.

  10. Looks delicious! I love olives green or black but I never thought of putting them in my spanish rice. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Pinning and sharing!