Asopao de Pollo is a deliciously hearty Puerto Rican chicken stew made with sofrito, adobo seasoning, and rice. It's the perfect meal for a cold winter night, or whenever you're feeling under the weather.
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If you like Arroz con Pollo, you are going to love this dish.
With all of that flavor packed into one pot, this savory dish is guaranteed to become your new favorite spin on chicken soup with rice.
Here's what you'll need to make asopao de pollo:
- achiote oil or olive oil
- chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized pieces
- adobo seasoning (see note for substitutions)
- sazon seasoning (see note for substitutions)
- sofrito (see note for substitutions)
- red bell pepper, diced
- carrot, diced
- celery, diced
- bay leafs
- tomato sauce
- chicken stock
- medium grain white rice, rinsed
- pimento stuffed olives, drained and sliced in half
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh cilantro to garnish
- a squeeze of lime to garnish
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Asopao de Pollo
Add sofrito, bell pepper, carrot and celery to the pot and cook for a few more minutes or until the onions become translucent.
Toss in bay leafs, tomato sauce, stock and water and bringing to a boil.
Once the liquid reaches a boil, add rice, lower to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked through.
Once it's cooked, add peas and olives; stir and cook for another minute or two.
Taste before adding salt and pepper. Garnish with extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
Some of the ingredients in Asopao de Pollo can be difficult to track down if you live in a smaller city like me.
Here are some accessible substitution ideas that will result in great flavor:
- achiote oil: my recipe for achiote oil is super easy to make in minute but if you don't have annatto seeds you can also buy it pre-made.
- adobo seasoning: if you can't find this spice blend make your own with equal parts garlic powder, oregano, paprika, & onion powder
- sazon seasoning: if you can't find this spice blend make your own with equal parts annatto powder, oregano, garlic powder, cumin & coriander
- sofrito: if you don't have time to make sofrito you can swap it for chopped yellow onion, minced cloves garlic, minced cilantro, and chopped bell pepper
Customize your Asopao
Asopaos (or stews, in English) are one of my favorite categories of dishes to make because of how easy they are to customize.
Here are some of my favorite ways to mix things up in this Puerto Rican Chicken Stew if I'm feeling like breaking away from tradition:
- Add corn - adding in a bit of frozen or canned corn, or even fresh corn can be a delicious addition.
- Spicy - add a jalapeño to your sofrito or just diced up with the carrots and celery to amp up the heat .
- Vegetarian - I haven't tried this trick yet but with all the flavor layering, I'm sure this stew would be equally delicious with tofu swapped for the chicken. Let me know if you try it!
Stews and soups are such awesome meals to make for family because they usually come together in one pot and make excellent leftovers.
Asopao de Pollo in particular, is almost always better the next day once the flavors have time to develop.
Keep it in an airtight container in your fridge and it should stay fresh for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it and reaheat if you can't finish it all in 5 days!