Welcome to the vibrant culinary world of Costa Rica! One dish that perfectly encapsulates the flavors and spirit of this beautiful Central American country is Arroz con Pollo, which translates to "rice with chicken." This beloved dish is a staple in Costa Rican households and is cherished for its simplicity, heartiness, and delicious combination of flavors.

In this recipe, we will guide you through the steps to recreate an authentic Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo in your own kitchen. From tender chicken pieces to perfectly cooked rice infused with aromatic spices, this dish is sure to transport your taste buds to the sunny shores of Costa Rica. So, let's dive in and embark on a culinary journey to discover the essence of Costa Rican cuisine through this delightful Arroz con Pollo recipe!


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving


1- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

2- Stir in the diced red and green bell peppers, and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.

3- Add the diced tomatoes to the skillet and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they start to break down slightly.

4- Add the rice to the skillet and stir to coat it with the vegetables and oil. Toast the rice for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5- Pour in the chicken broth, then add the ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

6- Nestle the chicken pieces into the rice mixture, ensuring they are partially submerged in the liquid. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

7- Cover the skillet or Dutch oven with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Let the Arroz con Pollo simmer gently for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the chicken is tender.

8- About halfway through the cooking time, add the frozen peas to the skillet and stir them into the rice and chicken mixture.

9- Once the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender, remove the skillet from the heat. Discard the bay leaves. If desired, sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro over the Arroz con Pollo for added freshness and flavor.

10- Serve the Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo hot, accompanied by lime wedges for squeezing over the dish. Enjoy this flavorful one-pot meal that captures the essence of Costa Rican cuisine!

Nutritional Values:

Here's an approximate breakdown of the nutritional values for the listed ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil:

  • Calories: 240
  • Total fat: 28g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

benefits:Source of healthy fats, provides energy, supports brain health, and aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

1 onion, finely chopped:

  • Calories: 44
  • Total fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 4mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.4g
  • Dietary fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugars: 4.7g
  • Protein: 1.2g

benefits: Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, supports heart health, boosts immunity, and may help regulate blood sugar levels.

3 cloves garlic, minced:

  • Calories: 13
  • Total fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 3g
  • Dietary fiber: 0.2g
  • Sugars: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.6g

benefits:Contains compounds with potent medicinal properties, supports heart health, boosts the immune system, and may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

1 red bell pepper, diced:

  • Calories: 37
  • Total fat: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 3mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 7g
  • Dietary fiber: 2.5g
  • Sugars: 4.7g
  • Protein: 1.3g

benefits:Excellent source of vitamin C, supports immune function, promotes healthy skin, aids in digestion, and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases due to its antioxidant content.

1 green bell pepper, diced:

  • Calories: 33
  • Total fat: 0.3g
  • Sodium: 2mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 6.9g
  • Dietary fiber: 2.5g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Protein: 1.3g

benefits:High in vitamins A and C, supports eye health, boosts immunity, aids in weight management, and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

2 tomatoes, diced:

  • Calories: 33
  • Total fat: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 6mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 7.2g
  • Dietary fiber: 2.2g
  • Sugars: 4.7g
  • Protein: 1.6g

benefits:Rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, supports heart health, reduces inflammation, promotes healthy skin, and may help protect against certain types of cancer.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific brands of ingredients used and variations in preparation methods. Additionally, values for the whole chicken are not provided as they can vary greatly based on the size and cut of the chicken used.


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