Mama’s Puerto Rican Hen and Rice

All my life I’ve beloved my Mother’s . As most of you realize, my mother is full Puerto Rican and so are my grandparents. After I was younger, we principally lived off rice and beans. Don’t get me fallacious, my mother made a whole lot of recipes, however that was the one I remembered probably the most.

Years later, I found that cooking from your individual heritage was a good way to faucet into your roots, create nostalgia and keep in mind these particular moments with your loved ones.

This Puerto Rican hen and rice recipe is simply a type of comforting, nostalgic ones that I come again to time and time once more. I really like this recipe as a result of every part is made in a single pan, is simple to prepare dinner, surprises folks with its distinctive, scrumptious taste and is ideal for meal prep.

Now it’s vital to keep in mind that everybody’s model of arroz con pollo is totally different — that’s the nice half about cooking is you can actually make it your individual. That is our tackle it, and one I do know you’re going to like!

What’s arroz con pollo?

Arroz con pollo actually interprets to “rice with hen” in Spanish. It’s a standard dish in Spain and Latin America and is one which I grew up on due to my Puerto Rican grandparents and mother! The hen and rice are cooked in a single pan or pot with a beautiful mix of spices and a do-it-yourself sofrito.

Every part you’ll must make Puerto Rican hen & rice

You’re going to LOVE how scrumptious and nourishing this recipe is. My mother’s explicit Puerto Rican tackle arroz con pollo includes a number of particular twists:

  • Hen: I like to make use of boneless, skinless hen thighs as a result of they’ve the perfect taste.
  • Home made adobo seasoning: you’re going to toss the hen in adobo seasoning, which consists of 9 scrumptious spices (together with salt & pepper).
  • Home made sofrito: We’re making the holy trinity of taste right here and the bottom for many Puerto Rican dishes: inexperienced bell pepper, cilantro (or culantro if you’ll find it!) and onion. Then you definately’ll add your sazon spices and tomato sauce and say howdy to DELICIOUSNESS.
  • Home made sazon: sazon is a extremely in style Puerto Rican spice and I really like making it from scratch with ! It flavors the rice SO a lot and pulls the entire dish collectively.
  • Tomato sauce: you’ll additionally want some (and water) to prepare dinner the rice with the sofrito.
  • Rice: I really like utilizing white due to how fluffy the rice will get.
  • Peas: inexperienced pigeon peas are one in every of my favourite issues. Sadly, they are often tough to seek out. I sometimes buy them within the Hispanic part of my grocery retailer, head to our native Hispanic retailer, or . Don’t fear although — if you wish to use frozen peas as an alternative that’s completely an possibility and normally what I do as a result of I usually have them readily available.

Can I swap the rice?

I extremely advocate utilizing white basmati rice for the perfect texture, however you possibly can additionally use or 2/3 cup quinoa. I’d NOT advocate utilizing brown rice as a result of it takes for much longer to prepare dinner.

Easy methods to make one pan Puerto Rican hen and rice

  1. Marinate your hen. Begin by tossing your hen in a bowl with olive oil and the adobo spices. Cowl and let the hen marinate for at the very least half-hour.
  2. Brown the hen. Subsequent, brown the hen in a with olive oil by cooking it for about 4-5 minutes on every. Switch the hen to a plate
  3. Make the sofrito. In the identical skillet add the garlic, jalapeño, inexperienced pepper, onion and cilantro and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the sazon spices and prepare dinner for 30 seconds, then stir within the tomato sauce and water.
  4. Add the rice. Convey the combination to a simmer, then fold within the rice, peas, and olives (if utilizing). Add your browned hen on high.
  5. Simmer & serve. Scale back the warmth to low, cowl the skillet, and let every part prepare dinner for about 20-25 minutes till the rice is totally cooked. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of contemporary lime juice and serve!

Serving & storing ideas

  • To serve: this arroz con pollo recipe is ideal for serving a crowd as a result of you may simply double the recipe.
  • To retailer: merely retailer any leftover hen & rice in  within the fridge for as much as 4-5 days. This recipe is ideal for meal prep!

Extra household recipes to strive

Get all of my globally-inspired !

In the event you make this Puerto Rican hen and rice recipe make certain and tag #ambitiouskitchen on or go away a remark beneath and charge it so I can understand how you appreciated it.  Thanks for being right here — have a stunning week! xo.

Mama’s Puerto Rican Hen and Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

Prep Time 20 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 20 minutes

Complete Time 40 minutes

Serves4 servings

My mama's well-known Puerto Rican hen and rice, also called arroz con pollo, is made in a single pan with do-it-yourself adobo seasoned hen sofrito and savory rice. This comforting dish is simple to make and the proper nourishing weeknight meal. You will make this recipe repeatedly!


  • For the hen:
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ kilos boneless skinless hen thighs
  • For the adobo seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon pink cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly floor black pepper
  • For the sofrito & rice:
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely diced inexperienced pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced white onion
  • ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
  • Non-compulsory: 1 jalapeno, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon floor coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon floor turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup basmati white rice (don’t use brown, it is going to take too lengthy to prepare dinner)**
  • cup frozen peas (or rinsed and drained pigeon peas)
  • OPTIONAL: ½ cup pitted inexperienced olives


  • Add hen to a big bowl. Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil and your adobo seasoning: cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Use clear arms to toss the hen within the combination. Cowl and permit hen to marinate for half-hour, or you may skip this utterly and start the cooking course of!

  • Subsequent add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to a big deep 10 inch skillet and place over medium excessive warmth. (In the event you do not need a skillet a big pot may even work very nicely!) As soon as oil is sizzling, add in hen and season with just a little extra salt and pepper. Prepare dinner till browned 4-5 minutes, then flip and and prepare dinner an extra 4-5 minutes. Take away from pan and switch to a plate.

  • In the identical skillet (it must be greased sufficient already for sauteing) you'll make your sofrito by including in garlic, jalapeno, diced inexperienced pepper, diced onion and cilantro. 

  • Saute for 2-3 minutes, then add in your spices (also called do-it-yourself sazon spices): cumin, turmeric, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and prepare dinner for 30 seconds. Then add in tomato sauce and water and stir nicely to mix. 

  • Convey to a simmer then fold within the rice, peas and olive (if utilizing) ensuring they're evenly distributed. Add browned hen on high.

  • Scale back warmth to low, cowl the skillet instantly and prepare dinner for 20-25 minutes.

  • After 20-25 minutes, many of the liquid must be absorbed and rice must be cooked. Serve instantly. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a squeeze of contemporary lime juice.

  • To meal prep: This meal serves 4. Place rice in a meal prep containers and high with 1 hen thigh. Garnish with cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Don't use brown rice. It takes rather a lot longer to prepare dinner and I'd NOT advocate it. Cauliflower rice works nicely on this recipe. In case you are on the lookout for a grain different, I'd advocate subbing about 2/3 cup quinoa. The cooking time and liquid ratio will keep the identical.


Serving: 1servingEnergy: 485calCarbohydrates: 46.8gProtein: 37.6gFats: 18.8gSaturated Fats: 4.1gFiber: 4.6gSugar: 5g

This put up was initially revealed on April sixteenth, 2018, republished on March twelfth, 2022, and republished on October fifteenth, 2023.


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