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One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken thighs, aromatic spices, and rice, all cooked together in a single pot. 

We love one pot meals as easy weeknight meals. If you like this recipe, be sure to test out two fan favorites, our one pot taco pasta and sweet and spicy pork lettuce wraps.

spanish chicken thighs with skillet rice and veggies
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Often referred to as “Arroz con Pollo,” this hearty and aromatic dish embodies the essence of Spanish cuisine. Similar to paella, this classic Spanish-inspired meal is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.

Why You’ll Love This One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe 

  • The whole family will enjoy the great flavors in this dish.
  • A complete meal cooked in a single pot, it’s a guaranteed easy dinner for busy days.
  • It’s a great way to sneak in extra veggies thanks to bold flavors.

Looking for another rice dish? Try Mexican beef and rice, one pot Hawaiian chicken and coconut rice, or ground turkey teriyaki rice bowls.

While it’s not technically a rice skillet like this one, this one skillet lemon chicken orzo if full of rich flavors.

Ingredients You Need

Here are the simple ingredients for this version of arroz con pollo. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Spice mix: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, onion powder, cumin, dried oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and saffron.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: You can also use chicken breasts.
  • Olive oil: Avocado oil is a good substitute.
  • Shallot: Follow our guide for how to cut shallots. Use a small chopped onion as a substitute.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is best.
  • Long-grain white rice: We like using basmati or jasmine.
  • Dry white wine: Like pinot grigio, pinot gris, and savignon blanc.
  • Chicken broth: Use chicken stock as a substitute.
  • Tomato sauce: Or 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes with juices.
  • Lemon: You’ll use the juice, plus lemon wedges to garnish.
  • Frozen peas: Cook them right from frozen. If you don’t like peas, frozen corn is a good substitute.
  • Toppings: Chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts, and lemon wedges for serving
golden brown chicken thighs on spanish rice

How to Make One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This one pan Spanish chicken and rice is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.

Season and sear the chicken. Combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Toss the chicken with olive oil and half of the seasoning. Add the seasoned chicken thighs smooth-side-down and sear them for 3-4 minutes without moving. Flip and cook the chicken for another 1-2 minutes until it’s deeply golden brown, but it does not need to be cooked all the way through. Transfer it to a clean plate or cutting board.

two process photos for making spanish chicken thighs

Saute shallots and garlic and toast the rice.  Add more olive oil to the pan and cook the shallot for 3-4 minutes, until soft, then cook the garlic. Add the remaining spice mixture and uncooked rice and cook for 2-3 minutes to combine and toast the rice.

two process photos for making spanish rice for spanish chicken and rice

Finish cooking. Pour in the white wine and chicken broth and scrape the brown bits (aka fond) from the bottom. Stir in the tomato sauce, lemon juice, and frozen peas. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the chicken, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Check the rice 1-2 times briefly while it’s cooking to ensure it’s not burning the bottom of the pan and adjust the heat lower as needed. 

two process photos for how to make spanish chicken and rice in one pan

Top, and serve. Top with fresh chopped parsley, flaky salt, or pine nuts and enjoy!

spanish seasoned chicken and rice in a skillet

Recipe Variations

There are a lot of different ways you could customize this dish based on either your tastes or what you have in your pantry. 

  • Use Spanish rice or yellow rice instead of white rice. Brown rice has a longer cooking time, so it might not be the best substitute.
  • Add more veggies like red bell pepper, green peppers, celery, corn or carrot.
  • Sub chicken for chorizo sausage for a little extra flavor.

Freezing and Storing Tips

This dish makes great leftovers. Allow the dish to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy it again, transfer the frozen portions from the freezer to the refrigerator and let them thaw overnight. Reheat in the microwave, stovetop, or oven, ensuring that the internal temperature reaches a safe level of at least 165°F.

scooping spanish chicken and rice from a pan

If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!

More One Pot Recipes We Love

Love a one pot meal? Grab a large skillet and try these other chicken recipes from different cuisines! We love one pot lemon chicken asparagus pastahealthy chicken pad Thai recipe, and coconut curry chicken.

Craving soup? Try our creamy sausage gnocchi soup or easy vegetable soup.

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5 from 1 vote

One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken thighs, aromatic spices, and rice, all cooked together in a single pot.

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Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: kosher salt, onion powder, cumin, and dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper optional
  • Pinch of saffron optional
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (Note 1 chicken breasts)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 shallot thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes with juices (sub 8 ounces tomato sauce)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon plus lemon wedges to garnish
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • Chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts, and lemon wedges for serving

Instructions 

  • Combine the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion, cumin, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and optional saffron and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and add to a separate medium bowl. Drizzle it with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and half of the seasoning. Toss to coat both sides well with the seasoning.
  • Add another Tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of a deep skillet, like a cast-iron skillet, over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken thighs smooth-side-down and sear for 3-4 minutes without moving. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. The chicken should be deeply golden brown, but it does not need to be cooked all the way through. Transfer it to a clean plate or cutting board.
  • Drizzle the last Tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of the skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  • Stir in the uncooked rice and remaining spice mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes to combine and toast the rice.
  • Pour in the white wine and chicken broth and use a spatula to scrape any brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, squeeze of lemon juice, and frozen peas, and stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and add the partially cooked chicken on top of the rice. Cover, turn it down to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is fluffy and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Check the rice 1-2 times briefly while it’s cooking to ensure it’s not burning the bottom of the pan and adjust the heat lower as needed.
  • Top with fresh chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice, flaky salt, or toasted pine nuts.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Notes

Note 1. Chicken Breasts. Slice the chicken in half lengthwise so you have thinner chicken cutlets. Sear the chicken breast for 2-3 minutes longer.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.

Video

Equipment

  • Large skillet with a lid

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 54.3g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 17.7g | Cholesterol: 129.3mg | Sodium: 794.6mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 3.3g | Vitamin A: 78.6IU | Vitamin C: 6.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Erica says:

    5 stars
    We made this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo party yesterday and it was so delicious! Everyone loved it!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      So glad to hear that!