Arroz Con Pollo is the go-to order for both of my kids at a Mexican restaurant. I finally figure out how I can make this super easy Mexican chicken and rice with queso cheese recipe at home. We may never have to go out for Mexican again. Who am I kidding, we will never stop our local Mexican restaurant. But there is no reason we can't make this super easy arroz con pollo or as the kids call it acp recipe at home.
If you love chicken and rice and Mexican food, then this Mexican chicken and rice with queso recipe is just for you. It is simple to put together thanks to the simplicity of making grilled chicken on the Ninja Foodi Grill. I just can't stop with this countertop appliance. And no they are not paying me to say that.
Arroz Con Pollo Ingredients
Many of the recipes for arroz con pollo come up as a Cuban or Puerto Rican version of this recipe. But this version of arroz con pollo is the Mexican chicken and rice recipe including the white queso cheese. Here are the ingredients you will need to make this Mexican specialty.
- Mexican Rice: For this recipe, I used the Old Elpaso Cheesy Mexican Rice. Any packaged Mexican rice will work.
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are my preference for this recipe because they cook quickly and are full of flavor. Chicken breasts could definitely be substituted for this.
- Taco Seasoning: This is to season the chicken before you cook it. Adobo seasoning can also be used instead of taco seasoning.
- Water: Obviously, this rice needs to cook.
- Shredded Queso Quesadilla: If you have not started having a few rounds of this on hand at all times, are you even taking Mexican food seriously? Look for it where all the Mexican cheeses and creams are sold.
- Queso Cheese: The white delicious goodness. I know your grocery store has it in plastic tubs.
How to Make Mexican Chicken and Rice Recipe
The ease of putting this recipe together is why I love it. Arroz con pollo was definitely inspired by my traditional chicken and rice recipe. Rice packets are definitely underutilized in my house and that is ending right now. Rice packets are my new answer to an easy dinner. However, to get this meal in the oven, you need to start by making the chicken. Season the chicken with the taco seasoning and throw it on a grill or in the skillet.
While the chicken cooks, shred the quesadilla cheese. Then pour the boxes of rice into a rectangular casserole dish or 13 x 9 pan. Dump the seasoning over the rice and then top off with the water. Stir the water into the rice and let sit until the chicken is done.
When the chicken is cooked, pull off the grill or out of the pan. Let rest a few minutes and then slice. Lay the chicken into the rice and water. Spread it out over the entire area of the pan.
Cover the pan and bake for one hour. Stir the chicken and rice together. Leave uncovered and bake another 15 minutes. Pull out of the oven and spoon warmed queso cheese dip over the entire casserole.
Serve with extra cheese if you are a cheese-crazy family like we are. Go ahead and serve with a big bowl of tortilla chips too. You might as well make ACP as much like a Mexican restaurant as possible. Your family will love this arroz con pollo dish at home.
Whether it is not having the ingredients as the recipe calls on hand or you just have other dietary restrictions, here are some suggestions for making this arroz con pollo recipe.
- Ground Beef and Rice - Want to try this recipe with ground beef? Check out this arroz con carne molida recipe.
- Rice and taco seasoning - Don't have a box of Mexican cheesy rice. Use long-grain rice and taco seasoning as a substitute. You will want to add a bit more cheese and maybe a splash of taco sauce too.
- Vegetarian - the chicken can be replaced with black beans, chickpeas, or even a plant-based burger to make this vegetarian.
Easy Mexican Recipes
We love Mexican food at our house. Every single day of the week, my kids will ask for one of the amazing recipes I make with Mexican inspiration.
Arroz Con Pollo - Mexican Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 2 packages Old Elpaso Cheesy Mexican Rice
- 8 ounces Queso Quesadilla Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 3.5 cups water
- 1 cup queso cheese dip
- Heat oven to 350°.
- Season the chicken pieces with taco seasoning. Cook on an indoor grill or sautéed in a pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, and then remove and let rest.
- Spray a rectangle casserole dish with cooking spray. Dump the two packages of rice and seasoning into the dish, spreading them out evenly across the bottom.
- Pour water over the rice. Shred the queso quesadilla cheese. Stir half of it into the rice.
- Slice chicken and lay into the rice, water, and cheese. Stir to combine.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes. Stir to make sure the liquid is reaching all the rice. Top with the remaining shredded cheese. Then finish cooking for another 15 minutes or until rice is soft.
- When ready, spoon the queso cheese dip over the top of the casserole.
Shared on Meal Plan Monday