Family-Friendly Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe – SO easy!

This Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe combines tender chicken, fluffy rice, and a medley of veggies to create a savory dinner with hints of sweet paprika and aromatic garlic.

A platter of chicken set atop Spanish-style rice pilaf

The chicken’s succulence combines seamlessly with the rice’s comforting fluffiness. The bell peppers and peas add a crisp bite, while the saffron imparts a subtle earthiness. The marriage of garlic, paprika, and cumin elevates the Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe, giving it a warm and smoky essence. Every forkful delivers a harmonious blend of textures, from the tender chicken to the toothsome rice, creating a satisfying and flavorful experience that captures the essence of Spanish cuisine.

Ingredients for Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe

Experience Spanish flair with juicy chicken, aromatic spices, and vibrant veggies. This Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe’s blend of flavors and textures creates a culinary masterpiece.

  • Cured Dry Spanish Chorizo: Adds depth and smoky flavor, infusing the dish with the distinctive taste of Spanish chorizo.
  • Butter: Contributes a rich and velvety texture, enhancing the overall mouthfeel of the dish.
  • Thin spaghetti: Provides a unique texture, offering a delicate and fine element to complement the other ingredients.
  • Long-Grain White Rice: Serves as the foundation, offering a firm yet tender base for the dish, absorbing flavors while maintaining individual grains.
  • Onion: Imparts a sweet and savory depth, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Garlic cloves: Adds aromatic complexity, infusing the dish with a delightful garlic essence.
  • Salt and Black pepper, to taste: Seasoning enhances and balances flavors, ensuring a well-rounded taste.
  • Sweet Spanish Paprika: Introduces a sweet and smoky note, characteristic of Spanish cuisine, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Spanish White Wine: Elevates the dish with a sophisticated complexity, adding depth and acidity.
  • Chicken Stock: Forms a savory foundation, enriching the dish with a deep and flavorful base.
  • Golden Raisins: Offers a touch of sweetness, balancing the savory elements with a hint of fruity flavor.
  • Green Olives: Brings a briny and salty component, contributing to the overall flavor harmony.
  • Peas and carrots: Introduces color, sweetness, and a variety of textures to the dish.
  • Lemon: Provides a bright and citrusy element, enhancing freshness and balancing richer flavors.
  • Olive Oil: Ensures a flavorful sear on the chicken thighs, adding richness and depth.
  • Chicken Thighs: The main protein source, offering succulence and flavor.
  • Flat Leaf Parsley: Adds a fresh and herbaceous finish, enhancing visual appeal.
  • Cashews: Provides a delightful crunch, adding texture and a nutty undertone to the dish.

How to Make Spanish Chicken and Rice

Create a culinary masterpiece with this Spanish-inspired dish. Sauté chorizo, simmer in a blend of wine and spices, then bake for a flavorful feast!

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Cook diced Spanish Sausage until browned, about 3 mins; set aside.
  • Season and brown chicken thighs in the same pan; set aside.
  • Drain excess oil, leave 1 tbsp, and melt 1 tbsp butter.
  • Toast broken pasta for 1 minute, and stir in rice.
  • Add diced onions and garlic; cook 2 mins until translucent.
  • Stir in paprika, cook for 1 min.
  • Deglaze with white wine [optional], and scrape up browned bits.
  • Add chicken stock, raisins, olives, peas, carrots, and chorizo.
  • Top with lemon slices.
  • Layer chicken over rice, and simmer covered for 15 mins.
  • Fluff rice, check tenderness; transfer to a platter.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and chopped cashews. Enjoy!

Why this Recipe Works

Your family will love this Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe for its rich blend of flavors and textures. The savory chorizo, perfectly seared chicken, and aromatic spices create a symphony of taste. The combination of tender rice, briny olives, and sweet raisins adds depth, while the lemon slices bring a refreshing zing. This dish promises a culinary journey, marrying Spanish influences with a comforting, hearty feel. The ease of preparation and vibrant presentation make it a delightful family favorite, appealing to both adventurous and classic palates.

  1. Flavor Harmony: The combination of Spanish chorizo, seared chicken, and aromatic spices creates a rich and balanced flavor profile that is both savory and satisfying.
  2. Texture Variety: From the tender chicken and fluffy rice to the briny olives, sweet raisins, and crunchy cashews, this recipe offers a delightful mix of textures, making each bite interesting and enjoyable.
  3. Ease of Preparation: With clear instructions and simple steps, this recipe is accessible for home cooks. Using a single pan simplifies the cooking process, making it convenient for busy families while ensuring a delicious and impressive outcome.

Recipe Tips and Kitchen Tricks

My kitchen and recipe tips offer valuable insights to enhance your cooking experience. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice, these tips provide practical advice, time-saving techniques, and creative ideas to elevate your dishes. From ingredient substitutions to cooking hacks, they aim to make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable, efficient, and successful. Whether you’re looking to troubleshoot a culinary challenge or explore new flavors, these tips are designed to support and enhance your skills, helping you create delicious meals with confidence.

  1. Flavor Layering: When building a dish, consider layering flavors for depth. Start with aromatics like onions and garlic, add spices, then incorporate protein, and finish with fresh herbs or a splash of acid for a well-balanced taste.
  2. Knife Handling: Mastering knife skills improves efficiency and safety in the kitchen. Practice proper techniques, like the rocking motion for chopping, and maintain sharp blades for smoother cutting. A well-handled knife enhances your overall cooking experience.
  3. Ingredient Substitutions: Don’t hesitate to experiment with ingredient swaps based on availability or dietary preferences. For example, replace buttermilk with yogurt or use applesauce instead of oil in baking. Understanding substitutions allows flexibility while maintaining the essence of the dish.
A simmering skillet filled with the ingredients for the pilaf base.

Recipe Variations

  1. Mushroom and Saffron Risotto: Transform the dish into a creamy risotto by swapping out the long-grain rice for Arborio rice. Infuse saffron threads for a subtle yet distinctive flavor, and incorporate a mix of assorted mushrooms for a rich, earthy taste. This variation offers a luxurious and comforting twist on the traditional Spanish Chicken and Rice.
  2. Seafood Paella: Replace chicken thighs with a mix of seafood such as shrimp, mussels, and calamari. Use fish or seafood stock to intensify the oceanic taste, offering a delightful variation with a distinct maritime flair.
  3. Spicy Cajun Twist: Infuse Cajun flavors by replacing Spanish paprika with a Cajun spice blend. Add Andouille sausage for a smoky kick, creating a fusion of Spanish and Cajun influences, resulting in a spicy and flavorful dish.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Classic Garnish: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the dish just before serving to add a burst of freshness and a pop of color.
  2. Citrus Wedges: Serve the Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe with extra lemon wedges on the side. Squeezing a bit of lemon over the individual portions enhances the overall brightness of the flavors.
  3. Crusty Bread: Accompany the meal with crusty bread or a baguette. The bread can be used to soak up the flavorful broth and complement the dish perfectly.
  4. Spanish Tapas Spread: Create a Spanish tapas experience by serving small portions alongside other traditional tapas dishes, like patatas bravas, olives, and chorizo bites.
  5. Light Salad: Balance the richness of the Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe with a light salad. A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing or a tomato and cucumber salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty main course.

What to serve with this Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe


  1. Cheesy Garlic Bread: Bake or purchase Italian bread, brush with garlic butter, and sprinkle with melted cheese. A delightful and kid-friendly accompaniment.
  2. Rainbow Fruit Skewers: Thread colorful fruits like strawberries, pineapple chunks, grapes, and melon onto skewers. This vibrant and sweet side is not only visually appealing but also a healthy choice.
  3. Veggie Sticks with Hummus: Slice colorful vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers into sticks. Serve with a side of hummus for a crunchy and nutritious snack.


  1. Garlic Butter Green Beans: Sauté fresh green beans in garlic butter until tender-crisp. Simple yet delicious, this side dish adds a burst of vibrant color to the table.
  2. Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries: Slice zucchini into sticks, coat with Parmesan and breadcrumbs, then bake until golden. A crispy and flavorful side that appeals to all ages.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: Toss a mix of seasonal vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini with olive oil and roast until caramelized. A versatile and nutritious side that complements various main dishes.

Date Night Sides

  1. Truffle Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Roast asparagus spears with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese for an elegant and indulgent side dish that pairs well with various main courses.
  2. Lemon Garlic Butter Brussels Sprouts: Sauté Brussels sprouts in a lemony garlic butter sauce until caramelized. A sophisticated side with a perfect balance of citrus and savory flavors.
  3. Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles: Wrap asparagus spears with prosciutto and bake until crispy. A delightful and elegant side that combines the freshness of asparagus with the savory richness of prosciutto.

Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions


  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Spanish Chicken and Rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking.
  2. Separation: If possible, store the chicken and rice separately to maintain optimal texture.


  1. Cooling: Allow the dish to cool completely before freezing.
  2. Portioning: Divide into individual or family-sized portions for convenient thawing and reheating.
  3. Airtight Containers: Use freezer-safe, airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Labeling: Clearly label the containers with the date of preparation to track freshness.


  1. Thawing: If frozen, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Stovetop: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a bit of water or broth to prevent drying. Stir occasionally.
  3. Microwave: For individual servings, use the microwave, covering with a damp paper towel to retain moisture.
  4. Oven: Place in a covered oven-safe dish at a low temperature, checking and stirring periodically until heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a different type of rice for the Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe?

Yes, you can experiment with different rice varieties, but adjust cooking times accordingly. Short-grain rice or Arborio rice can create a creamier texture, while brown rice adds nuttiness but requires a longer cooking time.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Certainly! You can prepare components in advance. Store cooked chicken and rice separately in the refrigerator. Combine and reheat when ready to serve, adding a bit of extra liquid if needed.

Is it necessary to use Spanish white wine in the recipe?

No, it’s optional. You can omit the wine or substitute with chicken broth for deglazing. The wine adds complexity, but the dish will still be flavorful without it.

What are suitable garnishes for this dish?

Freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkling of chopped cashews work well as garnishes. Lemon wedges on the side add a bright, citrusy touch. Feel free to personalize with your favorite herbs and nuts.

Drink Pairings


  1. Fruit Punch Sparkler: Mix fruit punch with sparkling water for a refreshing, kid-friendly mocktail. Garnish with fruit slices for added appeal.
  2. Berry Lemonade: Prepare a homemade berry lemonade by mixing lemonade with a blend of fresh berries. Serve over ice for a fruity and thirst-quenching option.
  3. Watermelon Cooler: Blend fresh watermelon chunks with ice for a cool and hydrating drink. Optionally, add a splash of apple juice for a touch of sweetness.


  1. Classic Lemonade: A timeless favorite, freshly squeezed lemonade is a versatile and family-friendly choice. Adjust sweetness to preference and serve over ice.
  2. Iced Herbal Tea: Brew a caffeine-free herbal tea like chamomile or fruity blends. Chill and serve over ice, offering a soothing and flavorful beverage for the whole family.
  3. Sparkling Apple Cider: Elevate the meal with sparkling apple cider. Its effervescence and sweet apple flavor make it a festive and non-alcoholic option suitable for all ages.
  4. Homemade Fruit Infused Water: Create a colorful and hydrating drink by infusing water with slices of fruits like citrus, berries, and cucumber. A refreshing choice that encourages hydration.
a platter of Spanish Chicken and Rice ready for serving.

Wine, Cocktails, and Beer Pairings

Wine Pairings:

  1. Rioja Red Wine: A robust Rioja red wine complements the Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe with its bold flavors. The rich, fruity notes enhance the savory elements of the dish.
  2. Albariño White Wine: For a white wine option, Albariño offers crisp acidity and citrus undertones that pair well with the chicken and rice, providing a refreshing contrast.
  3. Sangria: A fruity and vibrant sangria, either red or white, adds a festive touch to the meal. The fruity flavors complement the Spanish-inspired dish.

Cocktail Pairings:

  1. Spanish Gin and Tonic: The Spanish Gin and Tonic, garnished with botanicals and citrus, complements the dish with its refreshing and aromatic qualities.
  2. Classic Mojito: The minty freshness of a classic mojito provides a delightful contrast to the savory flavors of the Chicken and Rice, making it a lively pairing.
  3. Paloma: A Paloma, made with tequila and grapefruit soda, offers a citrusy and slightly tangy profile that enhances the overall dining experience.

Beer Pairings:

  1. Spanish Lager: A crisp and clean Spanish lager serves as a versatile companion, refreshing the palate between bites of the Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe.
  2. Belgian Witbier: The citrus and spice notes in a Belgian Witbier complement the dish’s flavors, providing a light and effervescent pairing.
  3. Amber Ale: An amber ale with its malty sweetness and moderate bitterness can stand up well to the richness of the Chicken and Rice, creating a balanced pairing.
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One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice Pilaf plated on a family style platter close up image

Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
This Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe combines tender chicken, fluffy rice, and a medley of veggies to create a savory dinner with hints of sweet paprika and aromatic garlic.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Hispinac
Servings 4 servings
Calories 992 kcal


For the Rice Pilaf:

  • 5 oz Cured Dry Spanish Chorizo, diced
  • 1 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 cup Thin spaghetti, broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup Long-Grain White Rice, (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Sweet Spanish Paprika
  • 1/2 cup Spanish White Wine [See Note]
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/4 cup Green Olives, Spanish-style, sliced
  • 1/2 cup peas and carrots, frozen blend
  • 1 Lemon, sliced

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 6 Chicken Thighs
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Optional Garnishes:

  • 1 tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cashews


  • In a large, 16-inch skillet, paella pan [paid link] (affiliate link), or Dutch Oven [paid link] (affiliate link) with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, over medium heat. Add the diced Spanish Sausage and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. This renders some of the fat and a ton of flavor for the chicken and later the rice. 
  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and then add them to the pan skin side down. Cook over medium heat, until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes; transfer to the plate with the chorizo and set aside. 
  • Drain most of the accumulated oil leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, about 1 tablespoon and return it to the stove. Into the pan with the oil, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the broken pasta pieces and toast for 1 minute. Stir in the rice to coat with the oil. 
  • Next, add the diced onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions will turn translucent and have no color. 
  • Add the paprika and stir to combine; cook to bloom the spice, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. 
  • Add the dry white wine to deglaze the pan [optional], stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  • Add chicken stock, golden raisins, olives, peas and carrots, and chorizo into the pan. Stir well to combine and distribute the ingredients. Top with lemon slices. 
  • Layer the chicken over the top of the rice. Reduce the stove to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for another 15 minutes. 
  • Fluff the rice pilaf with a fork and check it’s tenderness. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkling of chopped cashews. 


  1. If dried Spanish sausage isn’t available in your grocery store, a portion from a deli-style whole pepperoni stick (not sliced pepperoni) makes a great substitution. Cajun-style Andouille sausage is also a great substitution in this dish.
  2. This is not yet fully cooked and will be returned to the pan to finish cooking with the rice in step 8. While the chicken cooks, use this time to chop the onion, slice the olives, and measure the other ingredients.
  3. Coating the rice with oil keeps the rice from clumping for the rice pilaf.
  4.  Rueda is one of Spain’s leading white wines but if this is not available to you, try a sauvignon blanc. If you prefer not to cook with wine, simply omit the wine and increase the chicken stock by 1/2 cup. 
  5. The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh is 165 degrees F, the center is no longer pink, and the juices run clear. 
  6. If the rice sticks near the end of the cooking time, add a splash more chicken stock or water. Taste the rice and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  7. Chopped pistachios or slivered almonds also make a great substitution for this dish.
  8. Nutrition is calculated based on the recipe as written. The addition or omission of ingredients will alter the nutritional information.


Serving: 2chicken thighs plus 1/4 of the rice pilafCalories: 992kcalCarbohydrates: 82gProtein: 46gFat: 50gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 907mgPotassium: 883mgFiber: 4gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 2615IUVitamin C: 21.6mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 4.3mg
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