Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo – made in a fraction of the time! An easy, one-pot, chicken, rice and vegetable dish infused with delicious Spanish flavors of saffron and smoked paprika, similar to Paella but without the seafood.  Fast and easy! See recipe notes for the stove-top version!  Updated Recipe 3/11/20

Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo - made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! #instantpotchicken #instantpotrecipes #spanishchicken #easydinners #ArrozconPollo

Drop by drop a river is made.~ Rumi

Here’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner that can be made in an Instant Pot, or on the stovetop. Arroz con Pollo which translates to “rice with chicken”, is a traditional dish in both Spain and Latin countries. This version is influenced by Spanish flavors with the use of saffron and smoked paprika, similar to paella but without the seafood.

The saffron gives it its beautiful golden hue, whereas in Latin countries, the use of annatto is more common.

You can also make this on the stovetop!

Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo - made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! #instantpotchicken #instantpotrecipes #spanishchicken #easydinners #ArrozconPollo

Saffron does vary in flavor. Some are quite mild, and others like this Rumi Brand are more intense. Notice how deeply red the color is. The flavor is twice as intense as most saffron I’ve tried, so you’ll need a little less than the recipe calls for.

The saffron really gives this recipe for Arroz con Pollo,  it’s authentic Spanish flavor, so don’t skip it. Soak the threads in warm water, then add both the water and the threads to the dish.

Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo - made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! #instantpotchicken #instantpotrecipes #spanishchicken #easydinners #ArrozconPollo

Season chicken thighs with smoked paprika and salt and pepper.

Now, if you want these to have a little color, I suggest browning the tops for just a couple of minutes.

They taste totally fine without browning; they just won’t look like the photographs here.

Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo - made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! #instantpotchicken #instantpotrecipes #spanishchicken #easydinners #ArrozconPollo

Saute the onions and garlic, add the veggies, rinsed rice, stock, wine, and spices and nestle the chicken over top.

A note about rice. Different rice requires different amounts of water and cooking times. Be sure to check recipe notes to prevent the burn error.

Here I’ve just used plain old white rice. Not aborio, not calrose, not brown, not basmati. All of the others will work, but you will need to adjust water.

Pressure cook for 10 minutes, on high. Naturally release for 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and olives. Squeeze with lime.

Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo - made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! #instantpotchicken #instantpotrecipes #spanishchicken #easydinners #ArrozconPollo

Here I’ve kept the Arroz con Pollo simple, but you could serve it with warm tortillas, queso fresco cheese ( or sour cream), avocado slices and a lime wedge.

Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo - made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! #instantpotchicken #instantpotrecipes #spanishchicken #easydinners #ArrozconPollo

Here you go, Arroz con Pollo, made in an Instant Pot! So quick and easy! See the recipe notes for the stovetop version!

Enjoy and let us know what you think.



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Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo - made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! #instantpotchicken #instantpotrecipes #spanishchicken #easydinners #ArrozconPollo

Instant Pot Arroz Con Pollo

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 107 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: main, chicken,
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: Spanish


Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo – made in a fraction of the time! This Spanish version is infused with saffron and smoked paprika and full of amazing flavor! See notes for stovetop version. Please read recipe notes about the “Burn Error” before starting. Updated recipe 3/11/20


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs (whole, boneless, skinless)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ——
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • —–
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced or sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth (see notes, varies depening on rice you use)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika if you like.
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/21 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are nice) with the juices
  • 1 cup white rice, rinsed (use medium-grain or short-grain white rice) or see notes for other varieties -IMPORTANT!

  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 12 cups peas (frozen are fine, or sub shelled edamame)
  • a squeeze of fresh lime
  • Optional Garnishes: lime wedges, warm tortillas, queso fresco cheese or sour cream, avocado, fresh Italian parsley.


  1. Please read instructions all the way through first, including the NOTES, taking note of the type of rice being used -and be precise with measuring!
  2. Season the whole chicken thighs, generously on all sides with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Set aside. You could brown the top side in oil if you like (so they end up like photos) or just plop them in raw (they will still taste really good, but look a bit paler – totally fine if in a hurry)!
  3. In a small bowl, pour 2 tablespoons warm water over  the saffron threads, if using and let this steep. (If using Rumi Saffron, ¼ teaspoon is enough.)
  4. Heat oil in a 6 quart Instant Pot, using the “saute” function. Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes, then add bell pepper and carrots and cook 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the saffron and its water, the chicken broth and wine to the instant pot,  bring to a simmer, then using a wood spoon or spatula,  scrap up any browned bits – getting into all those corners (this is absolutely imperative to preventing the burn error!!!).
  6. Stir in the remaining spices and salt.
  7. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices.
  8. Rinse the rice (important) and sprinkle it evenly over top – do not stir!
  9. Place the seasoned chicken over top of the rice, nestling it in a bit.
  10. Pressure cook on High for 10 minutes.
  11. Naturally release, for 10 minutes.
  12. Break the chicken apart with two forks, and stir in the olives and peas, covering on warm for just a few minutes until peas heat through.
  13. Squeeze with lime and serve with the optional garnishes.


RICE: If using a different kind of rice, you will need to adjust broth amount. Read rice to liquid ratio on the package of your rice, (considering liquid from tomatoes) and add more or less broth accordingly. So if your rice requires 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice, you will need to add 2 cups broth (instead of the 1 1/2 cup in the recipe). Different kinds of rice also require different cooking times. For example, brown rice takes 15 mins of pressure cooking. Wild rice takes 25. If unsure how much liquid your type of rice needs, just google. Thinner, long-grain rice ( like Basmati) won’t work as well here and tends to get soggy or mushy. 

I have not tried this with brown rice, but I am guessing the brown rice would need 1/4-1/2 cup more liquid and take 5 minutes longer to cook.

BURN ERRORS: I used a 6-quart instant pot, have tested this 4 times, with no burn errors using jasmine rice and white basmati rice.  With that being said, a few of you are still getting burn errors- and I believe it is because you are using a different kind of rice, with not enough liquid.  So just make sure to read your rice package. Please leave any notes in the comments below for suggested ratios and times- for others to reference. Thanks!!!

STOVE TOP VERSION: If making on the stovetop, follow the same directions, but brown the thighs first before nestling into the rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until rice is cooked through and all the liquid is absorbed. (30-45 minutes).


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 382
  • Sugar: 5.1 g
  • Sodium: 1095 mg
  • Fat: 10.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.3 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 28 g
  • Cholesterol: 106.5 mg

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  1. So delicious! Loved this recipe was quick and easy too 🙂 My fiance loved this, he kept going back for seconds and thirds haha Reminded me when we used to dine out and get paella, so fun to be able to eat those flavors again even while staying home.

  2. This is the first recipe I made in my new pressure cooker and it was an absolute hit!!! I was so impressed, the depth of flavour was amazing and it was so easy. I used brown basmati rice and it was perfect. Can’t wait to try more of Sylivia’s recipes!

  3. Mmm! Something different, and a cozy meal for a cold January day. Hit the spot! I followed the recipe to a T and had no issues. In fact this is the first Instapot recipe that I am impressed with! I used Uncle Ben’s white rice and I felt the texture of the meal was spot on. My 5 & 7 year old children enjoyed this meal.

  4. Hello ! Ive made this recipe twice now and both time ended up with very soggy rice … I followed the instructions and used pre cooked rice so I added 2 cups of chicken broth per cup of rice … and 2 cans of tomato since I was making 2 cups of rice:(

    1. I have not tried this with pre-cooked rice- I suspect that is the issue? Try with raw rice.

  5. This is a great recipe. I veganized it by using no-chicken vegetarian broth and cauliflower instead of chicken. I even used vegan sour cream and queso. Super yummy! I used jasmine rice and had no burn errors. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I’m sorry, but you are rating a totally different recipe. How can you use vegan broth, cauliflower for chicken, vegan sour cream and vegan queso??? and give 4 stars for a recipe that is NOT the same posted? I think this mess up the ratings. I don’t want to be nasty, but… this doesn’t make any sense.

      1. This is easily transformed into a vegan-friendly recipe. She used cauliflower which would take around the same time to tenderize as chicken thighs would cook through. Vegan broth = vegetable broth. . . This is a super helpful review in my opinion for someone that might be interested in a veggie alternative. You’re being very nasty, as it makes plenty of sense.

  6. Delish! My was first Instant Pot meal and it was a success – my 6 and 8 year olds even enjoyed it. I used brown rice and extra chicken, and next time I will definitely reduce the liquid to 1 1/4 cups. After 17 mins cooking and 10 mins release there was a lot of liquid, so put it on for another 10 mins cooking and 10 mins release and it was a lot better. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. I loved the end result but I had lots of problems with the “Burn” message even though I did all the Sauteing in a different pan on my hob. First time – I took the lid off and deglazed with a wooden spoon. Put it back on. Burn message again. This time I took everything out, cleaned the InstantPot and then transferred back again. Burn message again. i ended up finishing it off on the hob. I followed the recipe to the letter so not sure why I would get the Burn message?

    1. I’m so sorry. Frustrating! I don’t understand why it works for some doesn’t for others…it sounds like you did everything right. What size Instant pot do you have?

  8. Used organic long grain brown rice – the bag called for 1 1/4 cup of broth for 1 cup of rice. I pressure cooked for 17 minutes and it came out nearly perfect (just a little bit of excess liquid). Will be adding this to our dinner rotation. Thank you!

  9. Made this and the flavours or a party in your mouth, spicing is bang on. My rice came out mushy, next time will go 1/2 cup less water and manual steam release when done and see if this will leave me a fluffy rice. I used basmati rice and will be trying this recipie again especially for a large crowd as it made a lot.

    1. I’m so sorry I havent tried this with long grain white rice. My gut is telling me you would need less water and less pressure cooking time.

  10. Just made this and I am an instant pot newbie! My husband is raving over how much he loves the dish! I will definitely be making this again! Simply delicious!!! Thank you so much!

  11. Scrumptious rice! Chicken was good. Didn’t have a couple of ingredients, so I substituted. This is a keeper!

  12. This was my first Instant Pot cook!!! I loved it. I would probably use less chili powder next time, but I loved the “slow burn” in my mouth!
    I was SO worried about the “burn error” and “rice:water ratio”. I used jasmine brown rice and 2 c. broth. 15 minutes pressure/10 minutes natural release and it looked like a stew. 5 more minutes pressure/5 minutes natural release – still too much liquid. 10 minutes more pressure and I got the burn error at about 8 minutes. Natural release for about 5 minutes and dug in. Didn’t break up the chicken in the cooker and I used breast instead of thighs. Idk if that makes a difference – and it might have been more than 1 1/2 lbs chicken.
    Anyway, when it was done, it was awesome!!!! I wish I would have gotten some sour cream to top it off. Some avocdado too!
    Also, I forgot the peas. That would have been tasty, but it was still super goodR!!
    I loved this as my first Instant Pot experience!!! All your tips were helpful and without them I would have been lost.

  13. Amazing recipe. Me & my husband loved it! I have now learned to only put a little bit of the spices in and it was lovely flavorful but not too spicy for us. Delish! Will be making this again.

  14. Excellent taste. I used basmati rice and it came out great in the instant pot. I added an extra half cup of water for the rice and it was just right. I would make it again in the instant pot.

  15. This was a big hit with the hubby and it’ll certainly be in our regular rotation. Used two cups of medium grain white rice with two cups of chicken stock, 1 can of diced tomatoes and 3 tsp of each spice. Omitted white wine and chilli powder as I didnt have it at hand. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. So easy to make and delicious!

    A huge hit in our house, we have three people with very different palettes and we all loved it. I will definitely make it again.

  17. I made this tonight for the first time and it was fantastic. My wife had to force herself to stop at two helpings! It will be going in the regular rotation. Thanks for this great recipe, and I look forward to trying more from your site.

  18. I’ve made this about four times because the flavor is so amazing. Every time I make it I reduce the liquid and still it’s coming out really soupy. I’m going to try Basmati with a 1:1.25 ratio since that seems to be working for people. I also sear the chicken on the stove and that’s prevented the burn error (which I got the first two attempts). But really fantastic flavor and the chicken comes out so tender, worth playing around with.

  19. This is a fantastic instapot recipe, thanks! I used Mahatma long grain white rice & upped the stock to about 1.75 cups and everything turned out great.

  20. So, I made it, but got the burn message. Used regular long grain rice. The liquid shouldn’t have been the issue. Added more, but didn’t matter. Wound up putting it on the stove on low with lid. Had soooooo much liquid come out I added another cup of rice. At this point it was more like jambalaya. Thankful for the seasonings, cause we still loved it as jambalaya. I found The seasonings were not really meant for spanish rice, but it worked.

    1. Sorry about that. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this works for some people and doesn’t for others. I know it is related to rice somehow. anyways, glad you figured out how to salvage it. 😉


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