Arroz con Pollo {Vegan}

Day 294.

My version of this dish would more accurately be called “Arroz con Garbanzo,” but it’s converted from “Arroz con Pollo” so I’m sticking with that. I’ve always been a little wary of dishes that cook the rice in the pan or in the CrockPot or whatever cooking utensils you’re using. I can make Mexican rice just fine, but somehow the series of ingredients with other one-pot rice meals always makes me screw up royally. I either end up with crunchy rice and over-cooked veggies or a big pot o’ mush. But this one seemed like it would be so tasty that I was tempted. Plus, it’s so simple to convert! I used chickpeas as my “chicken” and left off the cheese entirely (though dairy-free cheese on top would be great, too, I’m sure).

Arroz con Pollo
Adapted from Arroz con Pollo.

Serves 4-8 (4 entrees, 8 sides)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chickpeas (OR 4 ounces seitan, cubed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup sofrito (OR 1/2 onion, chopped and 1/2 bell pepper, chopped)
  • 4 ounces green chiles, diced
  • 1/2 can (7 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup rice, dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup cheese, shredded (optional)
  • cilantro, fresh chopped (optional)


Heat a large skillet or medium pot and add olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cumin, coriander and turmeric in a small bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon of that mix to your chickpeas and stir to coat. Set aside remaining mix for later use.

Add seasoned chickpeas to pan. Add in sofrito (or onion and bell pepper) and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add chiles and tomatoes and stir.

Add broth and rice. Add remaining cumin-coriander-turmeric mix. Add chile powder, salt and onion powder and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered, or until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed. Add cheese if desired and cover. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes to allow cheese to melt.

The Results
Hallelujah! I did it. The rice is perfect and the veggies are delicious. And I absolutely love the bright colors in this dish. I often leave turmeric out of recipes, but it really does make pretty fantastic-looking rice. This is incredibly tasty and I think the chickpeas are perfect as the protein in this dish. They really hold their own among all the rice and veggies in a way that I don’t think other “meats” or even “real” meats would. Yum. The husband and kids dug this stuff, too. I’ll admit it, selfishly, I kinda wish they hadn’t.

This post shared at Tasty Tuesday, Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday and I’m Lovin’ It.

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  1. Kristi says

    Hi Debbie, I used white rice here. You could use brown, but you'd likely have to parboil it a bit before hand since it takes longer to cook brown rice.

  2. KB says

    Ok I feel stupid for asking but did you soak the garbanzos before using them? Were they fresh or canned? I don't want to try this and end up not having cooked them! I'm slowly but surely weaning my boyfriend off the midwest meat and potatoes plan and I think he would love this. Thanks for any suggestions!

  3. Kristi says

    No problem KB, don't feel stupid at all! I used cooked formerly dry beans (rinsed and cooked in a crockpot for 8 hours), but if you're using canned you can just add them from the can as-is, no need to cook. Hope that helps!