The most delicious Mexican Arroz Con Pollo Recipe, our new weeknight staple. Bone-in chicken thighs seasoned with chili powder, black pepper, and salt baked with rice, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet peas. Top the chicken with cilantro and lemon juice just as it comes out of the oven.
As I write this we are mid-winter and there’s no better time to bake up a bubbly, warm casserole dish of Mexican chicken and rice.
Imagine the aromas wafting through your kitchen: perfectly seasoned chicken, aromatic spices, and tender vegetables. Whatever is cold and blustery outside will immediately be forgotten and replaced with the warmth happening around the table.
This family-friendly recipe is based on my other favorite chicken and rice recipe, One-pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice but with generous Mexican flavors of chili, cumin, and cilantro—a perfect solution for those busy evenings when you crave the comfort of homemade Mexican food.
Many chicken and rice recipes use saffron to make the rice yellow. This is common in Spanish chicken and rice but this recipe is more like traditional Mexican rice with a red tomato sauce base.
Keep reading for the step-by-step guide to bring the magic of Mexican Arroz Con Pollo to your home kitchen.
Here’s Why You’ll Love This Mexican Arroz Con Pollo Recipe
- Satisfying, comforting, all-in-one meal
- 100% homemade
- Rice comes out soft and fluffy, never hard or mushy
- Chicken is perfectly seasoned and juicy
- A filling, healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free dinner
See recipe card for exact amounts
- Bone-in, Skin-On Chicken Thighs or breasts
- Kosher salt
- Mild chili powder
- Cracked black pepper
- Olive oil
- White onion
- Green bell peppers
- Red bell peppers
- Jasmine rice or other long-grain white rice like white basmati rice
- Garlic clove
- Tomato paste
- Roma tomatoes
- Ground cumin
- Chicken broth. I use store-bought stock, but homemade would be great if you have it or even water will work.
- Frozen peas
- Fresh cilantro
- Lemon or lime juice
How To Make This Recipe (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Prep chicken. Before starting the chicken, make sure to heat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Then combine the teaspoon salt, pepper, and chili powder in a small bowl. Season the chicken on both sides with the spice mixture.
Brown the chicken. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken, skin side-down. Let cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes then flip and sear on the other side. remove to a baking sheet.
Sauté the onions and peppers. Add the diced onion, peppers, and uncooked rice to the frying pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until onions start to become tender.
Add remaining veggies. First add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Give it a good stir to make sure no rice is sticking to the bottom. Then add the Roma tomatoes and the teaspoon cumin and cook until the tomatoes start to break down.
Combine in casserole dish. Spoon the rice mixture into the casserole dish and add the chicken broth (or 2 cups of water). Stir to combine then place the browned chicken pieces on top. Cover with foil.
Bake. Bake chicken and rice in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the peas on top then push them down into the rice mixture. Cover again and return to the oven a final 10 minutes.
Serve. Let casserole sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top then squeeze half of the lemon over everything. Cut the other half into wedges and serve with the casserole.
Easy Arroz Con Pollo FAQ’s
Can I make this in a Dutch oven? Sure, if you have a large Dutch oven or pot with a lid, you can make the whole dish in there instead of baking everything in a baking dish.
I prefer to use the baking dish because it gives the rice more surface area and the liquid evaporates more quickly, making for rice that is tender but not mushy.
How do I make this on the stove? Use a large, shallow pot with a lid. Instead of transferring everything to a baking dish, add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the chicken pieces and cover. Cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.
What do I serve with it? I serve this by itself with zero complaints but if you want to make it part of a bigger meal you could start with a pitcher of Sangria, some chips and Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa. Then serve with Arroz Con Pollo along with my Crockpot Mexican Pinto Beans and favorite Cucumber Salad and finish with slices of Tres Leches Cake for dessert.
Top 5 Most Popular Chicken Recipes
- Salsa Verde Chicken For Tacos
- Slow Cooker Caldo de Pollo
- Chile Verde Chicken Tamales
- Enchiladas Verdes With Chicken
- Chicken Mole Verde
You Are Going To Love This Version Of Arroz Con Pollo
Tender rice, juicy chicken thighs, so much flavor! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
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