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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5 from 50 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. I am literally drooling, im adding this to my arsenal of cheat meals (currently on keto). Ive always loved a good Spanish rice, can’t wait to make it

  2. 5 stars
    This looks like a delicious dish and with making for my friends. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get saffron though. Is there a way around that? I love golden chicken. And I agree with you, as someone who hates house chores, one pot meal is a lifesaver

  3. 5 stars
    That chicken looks incredible! I can’t stop staring at that crispy skin…yum! I love one pot meals like this πŸ™‚

  4. Add capers. … and cube a half a bell pepper. And use atbs of aciete seeds (Mexican spices sectoion..little red seed pods) added to two tbs olive oil inthe bottom of a warming fry pan…when the oil turn an orange color, scoop out and throw away the seeds… what you now have left is Oil of Achote.. then fry the rice in 2 tbs that oil until it just starts to smell a little like popping corn. This is how Mexican and Spanish Rice gets its distInctive Orange/yellow color and flavor. Now proceed to finish the receipe.. One part rice,two parts liquid….and never lift the lid until a half hour. AUTENTICO!

  5. Are you kidding me? This sounds AMAZING. And how gorgeous is that presentation? NO one is going to say no to that!

  6. One pot meals are essential for busy weeknights in my house! I love that you’ve packed so much flavor into this chicken dish!

  7. Oh yum, I’ve been needing a good recipe for Arroz con Pollo! I’d have to agree that you either love olives or you hate them. In my case, I can’t stand them, but my hubby loves them! I’d probably just pick them out, because everything else in this looks amazing!!

    1. It’s a board made of wine corks – my mom found it for $2 at a rummage sale, makes an interesting background for photos!

  8. This looks great! I love one pot dinners. And olives too. We are olive people over here πŸ™‚