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 49 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
    It was very good, but I think I did something wrong πŸ˜… the rice did not come out yellow at all… I’m thinking maybe it’s because I used white cooking wine from the grocery store instead of actual dry white wine but I am not sure. What do you think?

  2. This looks great, but I don’t have white wine in the house and don’t want to venture out for just this one item as I socially distance. Can I soak the saffron in more chicken broth? I think the Pinot Noir I have would muddy the color. Thanks!

  3. Made this last night and it is Amazing. Simple to put together but so much more than “chicken and rice”.
    We added some sliced green olives when we put it into the oven and it was fabulous!
    Thanks so much for this recipe!!

  4. Would REALLY love to try making this but I don’t have an oven that works… How might I go about completing this dish on my stove top? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you for posting this recipe. It was easy to follow and just what I was looking for in terms of an authentic chicken and rice dish. Can’t wait to dig in!

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe was delicious! I used it for my first time making arroz con pollo and it was extremely juicy and delicious!!
      Is it ok to make in a dutch oven pot if you’re cooking for 10 people?

  6. 5 stars
    Sometimes you need a recipe that you can adapt to what you have in the house. Tonight I had 1 1/2 leftover grilled chicken breasts and not much else! But by subbing an orange pepper for red and plain long grain rice for short, and dicing the chicken and tossing it in with everything else, I had dinner on the table in an hour, with no trip to the grocery, and my family raved about it. Next time I’ll use the called-for ingredients and really knock their socks off! πŸ™‚

  7. 5 stars
    I forgot to rate this 10 star recipe I’m so sorry 😐 absolutely the best Paella recipe I’ve come across. I grew up in Spain we ate this often. My Mom used fresh seafood I live in Dallas today no fresh enough for me seafood around here . I made this with boneless skinless chicken breast I bought real paella rice from Spain from Amazon. I look forward to trying other recipes you post . Yum πŸ˜‹ thank you πŸ™.

    1. Brilliant recipe! So easy to make and so tasty ! My daughter had it as a home for Spanish lesson and she managed so well following the recipe. Many thanks for sharing 😊

  8. 5 stars
    This looks like a paella. I would love to try this recipe, it looks so delicious and really tempting.

  9. 5 stars
    Chicken can be so boring… but I have never had this dish before, it makes chicken fun again. πŸ™‚

    1. Love this !!!! I used boneless skinless chicken breast . I grew up in Spain. I bought Spanish rice from Amazon just for this recipe . It smells sooo good cooking !! Taste like real Paella that we often ate in Spain. My Mom used fresh seafood I live in Dallas no fresh enough for me seafood around here . Thank you for posting this recipe πŸ™πŸ™

  10. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious! I know for a fact that my hubby is going to love this recipe, can’t wait to make it tonight!