One Pot Meals

Delicious Chicken Arroz Caldo Recipe

at a glance
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
4 — Votes 4 votes

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The ultimate in comfort food, this Chicken Arroz Caldo is like a warm hug in a bowl and perfect for any meal in any season. Steeped in Filipino culture (albeit Spanish in its name), it is loaded with the most nourishing ingredients and packed with flavor. 

The first time I had this dish was when I was postpartum with my second child. My friend and ultimate support system, Mercy, made me the most delicious and nourishing meal, Arroz Caldo. I was so blown away by the flavors and found it so comforting that I knew it needed to become a regular staple in my home. And as it turns out, my husband’s family (who are 1st generation Filipino Americans) had their own family version of the recipe that I’m honored to share with you now. An extra bonus? This dish cooks and stews in one pot, making it a true one-pot meal.

Top down view of a grey tablescape set with two wooden bowls of arroz clad and a large pot with arroz caldo. There is a white dish with crispy fried garlic and a wooden cutting board with hard-boiled eggs, lemon wedges, and sliced green onions.

Arroz Caldo, which literally means “warm rice,” is rice congee that is a native dish to the Philippines. It was originally introduced through the migrant Chinese-Filipino community, has evolved over the years, and is a common dish in every Filipino home. Many Filipino dishes, last names (like my married name, Guevara), and parts of the native Tagalog language get their Spanish influence from the Spanish conquest that took place in the Philippines in the 1500s. 

It is commonly enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or snack throughout the day, but is also perfect for cold weather days, when in a time of healing (this makes for the perfect postpartum meal, like my friend, Mercy, made me the first time I had it), or a delicious family dinner.  

Ingredients in Chicken Arroz Caldo

The ingredients for this chicken arroz caldo are humble and fresh, making for the most nourishing and tasty meal. Here’s what you’ll need:

Chicken arroz caldo ingredients on a grey and white marble surface.
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 pounds of chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Hard-boiled egg, for garnish
  • Green onion, for garnish
  • Fried garlic, for garnish
  • Lemon wedge, for garnish

Ingredient Modifications and Variations

  • Change up the chicken – most traditional Arroz Caldo recipes actually call for bone-in chicken, but we love using boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the ease and convenience without compromising on flavor. Cooking with bone-in meat delivers extra nutrients into the dish, so feel free to sub the boneless, skinless chicken thighs for bone-in, or use whole chicken parts (wings, legs, thighs, breasts, etc.). You’ll just take the bones out and shred the meat after it’s finished cooking before you eat the meal.
  • Decrease the fish sauce – another super common ingredient in Asian cuisine, fish sauce, adds a delicious depth of flavor, umami, and salt to the dish (it’s actually a great lower-sodium option if you’re trying to reduce your salt intake). If you’re sensitive to the flavor, feel free to decrease the amount and adjust the salt in the dish to your preference.
  • Use a different rice – we used jasmine rice here, but you can use your rice of choice. Any long-grain rice (i.e., Basmati, jasmine, long-grain white and brown rice) will cook up the same. If you use a shorter grain, the dish will definitely be thicker in consistency from the starchier nature of the rice.

How to Cook Arroz Caldo

Mincing the garlic and ginger is honestly the part of this dish that takes the longest, but it is well worth it to use the fresh ingredients, for the flavor is out of this world! But as for the cooking, it all comes together in one pot and is truly such an easy meal. Here’s how you’ll make it:

Minced garlic, onion, and ginger being scraped off of a cutting board into a white dutch oven.
Cubed chicken with sautéed ginger, garlic, and onion in a white dutch oven.
Chicken stock being poured into a white dutch oven.
Cubed chicken getting scraped off of a cutting board into a white dutch oven.
Fish sauce being poured over chicken in a white dutch oven.
Lemon juice being squeezed over the broth in a white dutch oven.
Salt and pepper being added on top of chicken in a white dutch oven.
Rice being poured into a white dutch oven.
Chicken arroz clad cooked in a white dutch oven with a wooden spoon.
  1. Cook the aromatics  – heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute for 5 minutes until fragrant. 
  2. Add the chicken – add the chicken, salt, and pepper to the pot with the onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add the fish sauce and rice – add the fish sauce and toss to coat. Then add the rice and stir.
  4. Add the broth and lemon – pour the chicken broth and lemon juice into the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer – reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Garnish – garnish with a hard-boiled egg, sliced green onion, fried garlic, and a squeeze of lemon. 
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Top down view of a wooden bowl filled with chicken arroz clad. The rice congee is topped with a hard boiled egg, crispy garlic, sliced green onion, and a lemon wedge.

How to Make Toasted Garlic

To make the crispy, fried garlic, mince 4-5 cloves of garlic. Heat olive oil in a saute pan (enough to add a couple inches of oil to the pan) over high heat. Add the garlic and stir continuously until golden brown in color. Drain and enjoy!!

Toppings for Arroz Caldo

While optional, the garnishes for this dish are highly recommended and add another dimension of flavor, freshness, and nutrients to the dish. Here are the most common toppings for Arroz Caldo:

  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Crispy, fried garlic
  • Sliced green onion
  • Lemon or calamansi (Philippine lime) wedge
  • Drizzle of fish sauce
  • Drizzle of saffron or sesame oil
Top down view of a grey tablescape set with two wooden bowls of arroz clad and a large pot with arroz caldo. There is a white dish with crispy fried garlic and a wooden cutting board with hard-boiled eggs, lemon wedges, and sliced green onions.

Tips for Making the Best Arroz Caldo

  • Don’t skimp on the fresh ingredients – the bulk of the flavor comes from the fresh garlic, ginger, and onions in the dish, so for those reasons, we do not recommend subbing for dried.
  • Add more broth for a “soup-like” texture – the dish will be more soup-like when it first finishes cooking. Over time, it will thicken more and become more congee-like as the rice continues to absorb more liquid. If you want it to be more soup-like, you can add an additional couple of cups of chicken broth.

Storing and Reheating Chicken Arroz Caldo

To store your Arroz Caldo, allow it to cool, then store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months in an airtight container. We recommend separating it out into individual portions and freezing it that way so it’s easier to remove and reheat when you’re in need of a comforting meal. 

Top down view of a wooden bowl filled with chicken arroz clad. The rice congee is topped with a hard boiled egg, crispy garlic, sliced green onion, and a lemon wedge.
Q What type of rice should you use?
A

We recommend using long-grain rice in this dish. Jasmine or Basmati work great. You can also use short-grain rice, but the dish will be thicker due to the starchier nature of the rice.

Q I don’t like fish sauce – do I have to add it?
A

The fish sauce acts as a salt in the dish and adds a depth of flavor and extra umami to the dish. That said, we know it’s not for everyone! Your can definitely decrease the amount from 3 tablespoons (it’s a lot in this dish!), or if you prefer to exclude it, I would add an additional 1-2 teaspoons of salt to taste in the dish.

Top down view of three chicken Tinga tacos on a teal plate. The tacos are topped with cilantro, avocado, a drizzle of crema, with a side of lime. There is an avocado cut in half on the table as well as charred corn tortillas, a plate of purple cabbage slaw, a bowl of chopped cilantro, and a sheet pan with chicken Tinga. All are sitting on a teal surface.

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Chicken Arroz Caldo Recipe

By: Melissa Guevara
4 — Votes 4 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
The ultimate in comfort food, this Chicken Arroz Caldo is like a warm hug in a bowl and perfect for any meal in any season. Steeped in Filipino culture, it is loaded with the most nourishing ingredients and packed with flavor.

Ingredients  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger (about 4") minced
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless cubed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • hard-boiled egg for garnish
  • green onion for garnish
  • fried garlic for garnish
  • lemon or calamansi wedge for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute for 5 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken, salt, and pepper to the pot with the onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the fish sauce and toss to coat. Then add the rice and stir.
  • Pour the chicken broth and lemon juice into the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with a hard boiled egg, sliced green onion, fried garlic, and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Modifications and Variations
  • Change up the chicken – most traditional Arroz Caldo recipes actually call for bone-in chicken, but we love using boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the ease and convenience without compromising on flavor. Cooking with bone-in meat delivers extra nutrients into the dish, so feel free to sub the boneless, skinless chicken thighs for bone-in, or use whole chicken parts (wings, legs, thighs, breasts, etc.). You’ll just take the bones out and shred the meat after it’s finished cooking before you eat the meal.
  • Decrease the fish sauce – another super common ingredient in Asian cuisine, fish sauce adds a delicious depth of flavor, umami, and salt to the dish (it’s actually a great lower-sodium option if you’re trying to reduce your salt intake). If you’re sensitive to the flavor, feel free to decrease the amount and adjust the salt in the dish to your preference.
  • Use a different rice – we used jasmine rice here, but you can use your rice of choice. Any long-grain rice (i.e., Basmati, jasmine, long-grain white and brown rice) will cook up the same. If you use a shorter-grain, the dish will definitely be thicker in consistency from the starchier nature of the rice.
Toppings
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Crispy, fried garlic
  • Sliced green onion
  • Lemon or calamansi (Philippine lime) wedge
  • Drizzle of fish sauce
  • Drizzle of saffron or sesame oil
Tips for Making the Best Arroz Caldo
  • Don’t skimp on the fresh – The bulk of the flavor comes from the fresh garlic, ginger, and onions in the dish, so for those reasons, we do not recommend subbing for dried.
  • The dish will be more “soup-like” when it first finishes cooking. Over time, it will thicken more and become more “congee-like” as the rice continues to absorb more liquid. If you want it to be more soup-like, you can add an additional couple cups of chicken broth.
Meet the Author
Melissa Headshot

Melissa Guevara

Melissa spends the bulk of her time writing, managing our content calendar, and lending a hand in recipe shoots. She values time spent exploring outdoors with her family and baking all things sourdough.⁠
Get to know Melissa
photographer: Jessica Gaertner

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    Recipe Rating




  1. Andrea says

    Andrea —  11/18/2022 At 16:37

    5 stars
    Delicious as written! I used bone in thighs, which were a breeze to shred after simmering with the rice. My 1 year old also devoured this. I topped mine with a hard boiled egg and topped the baby’s with scrambled eggs. Yum!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  11/18/2022 At 20:48

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us, Andrea! It really means a lot to me and the FF team. So glad that this special-to-me recipe was such a hit with you and your 1-year old. Warms my heart!

  2. Robyn says

    Robyn —  11/19/2022 At 17:36

    So yummy and comforting on a cold day! Also some of the family is sick right now so this was perfect. I was in a bit of a rush so used boneless thighs and Trader Joe’s sells frozen cubes of both minced garlic and ginger which I think sped things up without sacrificing too much freshness. I did wind up cutting some fresh garlic to fry as recommended . Don’t skip the garnishes- they add a lot of flavor!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  11/20/2022 At 11:42

      I am so glad to hear that this meal Brough warmth and comfort to you and your family, Robyn! Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. It truly means so much. -Team FF

  3. Robyn says

    Robyn —  11/19/2022 At 17:40

    5 stars
    Sorry I just left a comment but forgot to add the stars. I think this is the first time I’ve actually reviewed a recipe! Lol – feel free to add 5 stars to the first comment if you can.

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  11/20/2022 At 11:43

      You’re so sweet, Robyn! Haha, thank you! -Team FF

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