One Pan Spanish-Style Chicken & Rice
Yield: 4 servings
This all-in-one meal is a weeknight favorite that’s loaded with filling protein, satisfying carbs, healthy vegetables and lots of great flavor.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus an extra drizzle if needed)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup; color of choice or a mix)
  • 1 tablespoon homemade sazón seasoning mix or store-bought Sazón
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup (180 grams) long grain white rice
  • ½ cup (120 grams) salsa (mild, medium or hot as preferred)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 8 Manzanilla olives or basic pimento-stuffed green olives, thinly sliced (may omit if not an olive fan)


  1. Heat the oil in large (10- to 12-inch diameter) lidded skillet, Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (It’s okay if it’s not cooked through.) Transfer to a plate. Add the onion, peppers and an extra drizzle of olive oil, if needed, to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sazón and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the water, rice, salsa and chicken to the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the rice is tender and the water is mostly absorbed, about 15 minutes – but check the rice after about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peas and olives. Cover the pan and let sit for 5 minutes, and then enjoy.


*My preference in this recipe is for thigh meat because it remains juicier when simmered with the rice. If preferred, however, breast meat may be used. In this case, you may wish to omit the browning stage and stir in the raw chicken pieces when the rice is added. This will prevent overcooking and drying out the leaner breast meat.

A few more options:
Add 2 minced garlic cloves along with the Sazón seasoning.
Omit the peas or substitute frozen cut green beans if preferred. (You can use fresh but may wish to add them a few minutes earlier to reach your preferred level of tenderness.)
I have not used brown rice but if you would like to try, you will need to increase the cooking time and will likely need to add a little extra water. In this case I would especially recommend using chicken thighs to avoid drying out the meat.
Sprinkle the cooked chicken and rice with fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired.
Or top the finished dish with chopped avocado, an extra dollop of salsa, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and/or a few crushed tortilla chips.

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