Mexican Cauliflower Arroz con Pollo

Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo is a healthy twist to chicken with rice that replaces the rice with cauliflower rice but is still packed with lots of flavor and veggies.

Cauliflower arroz con pollo #arrozconpollo

Mexican Cauliflower Arroz Con Pollo

My husband and I are in the final stretch of our 30 days of the Whole30 diet. I have had so much fun these past 27 days following different Whole30 recipes and also coming up with some of my own!

There are so many recipes that can be made healthy and/or Whole30 compliant. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and persistence to get it just right.

I actually made this recipe for Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo on day one of our current Whole30.  It is a super healthy version of arroz con pollo (chicken with rice). It replaces the rice with cauliflower rice and the chicken bouillon with chicken broth, plus it’s packed with vegetables.

However, I was not very pleased with it on that first try. Thankfully my husband and kids eat pretty much everything I make for them, and they even enjoyed this dish. Yet, I just didn’t think it was blog worthy.

So after some tweaks and another attempt, I am happy to present to you my new and improved recipe for healthy Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo.

How to Make Mexican Cauliflower Arroz Con Pollo

To begin, wash, dry, and trim 2 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs. Then season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.

Next, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan.

Chicken thighs for Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo

In the same pan, add diced onions, diced garlic, and diced red bell pepper and sauté until soft and fragrant.

Vegetables for Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo

Add 1 cup of crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of saffron. Stir everything together and bring to a boil.

Crushed tomatoes and spices for Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo

I want to point out one of the changes I made to my original attempt of this recipe. The dish came out too salty the first time I made this. I realized that the cauliflower just did not absorb as much salt as regular rice. Instead, I opted to use a low sodium chicken broth and less salt the second time around. This was key to a better-balanced flavor.

Find the Whole30 compliant, low-sodium chicken broth I use by clicking here.

Once boiling, add the chicken back into the pan. Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. About 5 minutes before the 30 minutes are up, add the carrots to the pan.

Chicken for Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo

When the chicken is done, take it back out and add 2 bags of frozen cauliflower rice to the pan, along with 1 cup of frozen chopped green beans and 1/4 cup of chicken broth. I like to use frozen cauliflower rice but you can use two heads of fresh riced cauliflower instead.

Another note here is that you can also use fresh green beans that have been blanched instead of the frozen kind. However, do not use canned green beans as their flavor is too strong and will overpower the dish.

Cover the pan once more for 5 minutes to allow the cauliflower and green beans to thaw and cook. Stir occasionally.

Frozen cauliflower and green beans

Finally, stir in 3 tablespoons of chopped green olives and arrange the chicken back in the pan.

Olives for Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo

There you have it, Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo! I hope you enjoy.

Mexican cauliflower arroz con pollo #cauliflowerarrozconpollo

Do you have any dishes you’ve made into healthier versions? I’d love to know your ideas, leave me a comment below.

Mexican Cauliflower Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

A healthy twist to the classic arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) that replaces the rice with cauliflower rice, but is still packed with lots of flavor and veggies.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken thighs
  • 1 diced garlic clove
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1/2 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped frozen green beans
  • 2 bags cauliflower rice (or 2 heads of riced cauliflower)
  • 3 tbsp chopped green olives
  • 1 1/4 low sodium chicken broth (divided)
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Wash, dry, and trim 2 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs. Then season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown on both sides, for about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan.

  3. In the same pan, add the diced onions, diced garlic, and diced red bell pepper and sauté until soft and fragrant.

  4. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and the saffron. Bring to a boil.

  5. Once boiling, add the chicken back into the pan, cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. 

  6. About 5 minutes before the 30 minutes are up, add the carrots to the pan.

  7. When the chicken is done, take it back out and add 2 bags of frozen cauliflower rice to the pan, along with the frozen chopped green beans and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

  8. Cover the pan once more for 5 minutes to allow the cauliflower and green beans to thaw and cook. Stir occasionally.

  9. Finally, stir in 3 tablespoons of chopped green olives and arrange the chicken back in the pan.

Recipe Notes

Low sodium chicken broth helps keep the dish from coming out too salty.

You can also use fresh green beans that have been blanched instead of the frozen ones. However, do not use canned green beans as their flavor is too strong and will overpower the dish.

 

14 Comments

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    Reply

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