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.

xoxo

Sylvia

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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

Description

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


Ingredients

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.

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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).

Nutrition

  • 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

Share this with the world!

Subscribe
to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Comments

  1. Followed the recipe, used basmati rice… still got a burn error. Added extra liquid the second time, still without success.






    1. Sorry to hear that Kyra. I have bad luck with basmati rice, as it is a longer grain rice. Short grain rice is best here.

  2. Has anyone tried freezing this? I was hoping to make a double batch and stick half in the freezer for later. I’m 8 months pregnant and trying to stock the freezer with healthy home made meals now before I’m too tired to cook! Wondering if the rice will get weird in the freezer?

    1. We freeze this a lot, using the little round 2-cup glass pyrex dishes. We just pulled some out from 3 months ago and it was still great, and didn’t even add more liquid to heat, just warmed on stove and broke apart/stirred. Love this recipe so much!

  3. Followed this recipe to the T twice and both times came out watery. We used 1 cup of short grain white rice and 1.5 cups of broth. The second time we used 1.25 cups and it still came out watery. Something is amiss…

    1. Sorry Dan- this recipe can be frustrating- it works for me, and others, but sometimes it can really be difficult! Sorry about that, I think it is… the many different types of rice varieties out there. You could try equal rice and water?

  4. I made this dish for my wife and myself. I was absolutely delicious. We used basmati rice and it was good but perhaps a longer or heartier rice like a brown rice would be better. The lime adds a lot to the final flavor. Thanks so much for a great recipe.






  5. I love this recipe. I make it with yellow rice for added flavor and it comes out so beautifully. Top it with a very little cotija, cilantro and a squeeze of lime and its to die for. Thank you!






  6. Made this in a dutch oven, and it was good but not great. For me, considering how much spice was in the recipe, the tomatoes overpowered the dish. Still tasted good, just not exactly what I was expecting.






    1. Thanks Ashley- did you use fire roasted tomatoes by chance- sometimes those can come on a bit strong.

  7. i think i got the burn notice because i am cooking it in an 8 quart instead of a 6, i wonder if that is the problem.

  8. I love this recipe and have made it about 8-10 times. But it burns for me every single time I make it. I just open the pot, stir it to get rid of the stuck on food and start it again I wish I could figure out why it burns, but I don’t let it get in the way of me making it.

    1. Hi Diana! I wish you could too! 😂 It has never burned for me, but it does for some people. Aggravating… I can’t figure it out either!

      1. I’ve read that there is a variation in temperature among individual Instant Pots. Some just run hotter which may account for the difficulties experienced. I’d be interested to know if the people who have problems with this recipe have encountered other recipes they struggle with

        1. Thanks Peggy! This recipe has been a challenge for sure! I bet that is it, it would make sense!

    2. Just wanted to share my experience with burning: my instant pot lid was not sealing as well as it had when I first started using it, and I noticed that a lot of steam was actually coming out from the sides of the lid before the pin would go up/ set the seal. Now I watch for this, make sure to check the inner ring every time, and turn the lid closed like hard/solid. Hope that helps!






  9. Just made this for dinner. Made it on the stovetop in a braiser. It is so yummy! I followed the recipe as written and browned the chicken at the beginning only thing I would do differently if I make on the stove again would be to add a bit more liquid. The rice didn’t cook as well as it should have (probably because I used a braiser instead of Dutch oven. ) I will definitely make again






  10. Just made this for dinner. Made it on the stovetop in a braiser. It is so yummy! I followed the recipe as written and browned the chicken at the beginning only thing I would do differently if I make on the stove again would be to add a bit more liquid. The rice didn’t cook as well as it should have (probably because I used a braiser instead of Dutch oven. )






  11. Spouse loved this so much that we are making a third week in a row now! Love it, worked great for us with basic white (mahatma organic), and we had to use turmeric powder instead of saffron. Love the additions and the green olives were especially perfect!






  12. Can’t wait to try this. I got the burn notice unfortunately, I wonder if there’s a hard limit to the amount of rice that will work even if water ratio is correct. However, I still added too little water. I’ve transfered to the stove top.

    1. I’m not sure Jamie- did you happen to double the recipe? I struggle with this particular recipe because I know some people get the burn notice, but I can’t seem to recreate that problem. Not really sure what is causing it. Sorry…

  13. Loved this recipe. My husband loved it to as it reminded him of my paella recipe, only quicker. Will add in some chorizo as well next time






  14. I made this recently and it turned out wonderfully. Would love to make again but repurpose with shrimp (for my wife, who is a pescatarian). Aside from using veggie broth, do you think I could merely replace the chicken with shrimp? Or, cook the shrimp separately and stir in at the end?






  15. Hi, love this recipe ! The rice does come out a bit soggy am putting in to much liquid? Also if I need to make more rice (big family) how should I adjust the recipe. Add more stock and/or add more canned tomatoes to? Thank you

    1. Perhaps try reducing liquid by 1/4 cup? I would just try doubling the recipe if you think it will fit in your instant pot? Or 1.5 times the recipe- reducing liquid just a bit?

  16. This was a wonderful recipe. I followed the recipe but I used 1 Cup of Jasmin Basmati Rice with 2 Cups of Chicken Stock. Pressure Cooked for 15 minutes.
    Turned out beautifully. Thank you.






  17. This is outstanding. Loaded with flavor. I skipped the carrot, had green bell pepper on hand, and used Rotel tomatoes. The added touch of avocado ( I toss cubed avocado with lime juice, salt and pepper), as well as a dollop of sour cream really push this over the top. Sooo good- and easy!






  18. This was so delicious! I was scared to make it because of all the comments about the difficulties with the rice. I used sushi rice and followed all the proportions of the recipe and it worked perfectly! I used an extra 1/4 of broth (instead of the wine because my one year old was eating too) even she loved it!






  19. Just tried this out and ended up with a very flavorful meal. Had to leave out the saffron since the two stores I tried were sold out and I didn’t have it in me to keep looking. But having done that, I still think this turned out delicious. No burn error, either.

    The only thing I didn’t love was the texture of the rice. I used 1 cup basmati, and it became extremely mushy. If that is how it should turn out, then this recipe is spot on. Maybe adding a bit more rice next time would solve this? I would love to hear suggestions.

    Cooking the rice separately would solve that problem, but it kind of defeats the perk of the instant pot being all-in-one. The amount of liquid would probably need to be reduced, as well, and I expect that would lead to a burn error.






    1. Exactly. And sorry about that. Long grain rice, doesn’t seem to work well here. Short grain rice seems to have the best results.

  20. Hi. thanks so much for the recipe. I finally was able to make this dish but unfortunately, I ended up getting the burn notice. The really strange thing was that I got the burn notice even tho there was a lot of liquid in the instantpot.
    Then I asked my husband to transfer it to a deep pan to finish cooking and he burned the pan too! lol…i used the Aborio rice and I believe the right amount of water as directed by the bag and entire two cans of diced tomato with juice per your recipe. I used an 8 quart instant pot…it turned out to be like porridge but it was still tasty….although the flavor of the onions/peppers was brought down…

    any thoughts on what could have gone wrong? stir the onion/bell peppers completely? too much liquid from the diced tomatoes??

    1. I’m sorry, It might be the aborio rice. That is a risotto rice and can be quite starchy.

  21. I made this on the stove in a big Dutch oven.Just one cup rice didn’t seem like enough so I added 1/2 cup (white basmati) and used a total of 2 1/4 c broth. It was pretty spot on; maybe a little mushy but I think it’s because the liquid from the tomatoes and the wine should probably be factored in to total cooking liquid? Is the wine necessary? I had no sticky bits to deglaze. Anyway, I let it sit on the stove lid off while we ate and when we came back for seconds the rice had dried out a bit and it was perfect. Topped with parsley and sour cream plus a little cheese. Next time I’ll stick with the 1 c rice (I had way too much) and won’t bother with the saffron.It’s too perfumey for me (expensive too!). I only had spicy paprika so mine was quite spicy which we liked.






  22. This chicken recipe is my go-to recipe for instant pot chicken. The only thing is that I cannot seem to figure out the best ratio of liquid, since I use a little bit more rice (about 1/2 cup more) than the recipe calls for. I get it a little mushy. I will try again today, using only 1/2 cup more liquid, not just doubling it. Wish me luck.






Our Latest Recipes