How many carbs are in Arroz Con Pollo and rice?

Arroz con pollo is a classic Latin American dish that typically consists of chicken and rice cooked together with various spices and vegetables. It’s a flavorful one-pot meal that’s easy to make and enjoy. However, many people watching their carbohydrate intake wonder about the carb count of arroz con pollo and the rice it’s cooked with.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the carbohydrate content of arroz con pollo made with white rice. We’ll break down the carb counts in the individual ingredients and provide a final carb count per serving of this delicious chicken and rice dish. Read on to learn more about the carbohydrates in arroz con pollo!

Carbohydrates in Rice

Rice is the main source of carbohydrates in arroz con pollo. White rice has a high carb content, while brown rice has slightly fewer carbs since it contains more fiber.

Here are the carb counts in 1/2 cup of cooked white and brown rice (source):

Type of Rice Total Carbs (g) Net Carbs (g)
White rice 23 22
Brown rice 22 19

As you can see, a typical 1/2 cup serving of cooked white rice contains about 23 grams of total carbs and 22 grams of net digestible carbs.

Brown rice has slightly fewer total and net carbs due to its higher fiber content, but the difference is minimal. For arroz con pollo, most traditional recipes call for white rice.

Carbohydrates in Chicken

The chicken used in arroz con pollo adds only a small amount of carbohydrates.

Here are the carb counts for 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast with no skin (source):

Food Total Carbs (g) Net Carbs (g)
Chicken breast (3 oz) 0 0

As you can see, chicken breast without skin has no carbohydrates. So the chicken itself does not add any significant carbs to arroz con pollo.

Carbohydrates in Onions, Peppers, and Vegetables

In addition to chicken and rice, arroz con pollo recipes typically include small amounts of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and other vegetables. These add minimal extra carbs.

Here are the carb counts for 1/2 cup of the vegetables commonly used in arroz con pollo (source):

Food Total Carbs (g) Net Carbs (g)
Onion, chopped (1/2 cup) 7 6
Bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup) 3 3
Tomato, chopped (1/2 cup) 3 2
Garlic, minced (1/2 tsp) 1 1

As you can see, the carb contributions from the vegetables used in arroz con pollo are relatively small. When added to the rice, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic increase the total carb count by just a few grams per serving.

Carbohydrates in Arroz Con Pollo Seasonings

The seasonings used in arroz con pollo also contain minimal carbohydrates. Here are the typical seasonings and their carb contents (source):

Seasoning Total Carbs (g) per tsp Net Carbs (g) per tsp
Oregano 0.3 0.2
Cumin 0.5 0.5
Chili powder 0.7 0.7
Smoked paprika 0.9 0.7
Thyme 0.2 0.2

Typical arroz con pollo recipes use about 1-2 teaspoons total of these dried herbs and spices. So they add only 1-2 grams of net carbs total to each serving.

Putting It All Together

Now let’s put all the ingredients together to estimate the total carb count in a serving of arroz con pollo.

Here is a summary of the net carb counts:

Ingredient Net Carbs (g)
White rice (1/2 cup) 22
Chicken breast (3 oz) 0
Onion (1/2 cup) 6
Bell pepper (1/2 cup) 3
Tomato (1/2 cup) 2
Garlic (1/2 tsp) 1
Seasonings (~2 tsp) 2
Total per serving: 36g

For a typical serving of arroz con pollo with 1/2 cup rice, 3 ounces chicken, and 1/2 cup each of onions, peppers, and tomatoes, the total net carb count comes to **approximately 36 grams**.

This is a moderate carb meal, with most of the carbs coming from the rice. You can reduce the carbs by using less rice or swapping in riced cauliflower or broccoli rice.

Overall arroz con pollo is a healthy and balanced meal. By paying attention to portion sizes and making smart swaps where possible, it can easily fit into a carb conscious eating pattern!

Low Carb Arroz Con Pollo

If you’re following a ketogenic or very low carb diet, you can modify arroz con pollo to reduce the carb count significantly. Here are some tips:

– Use riced cauliflower or broccoli rice instead of regular white rice. This swaps 22g net carbs for around 5g net carbs per 1/2 cup serving.

– Increase the chicken to 4-6 ounces per serving and reduce the rice portion to 1/4 cup.

– Avoid starchy vegetables like corn or peas. Stick to lower carb options like bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini or spinach.

– Skip any sugary sauces or dressings. Stick to fresh herbs, spices, garlic, lemon/lime juice, olive oil, etc. for flavor.

– Be mindful of carb counts in any sides served with it. Stick to low carb options like a salad.

By using the above tweaks, you can make a lower carb arroz con pollo with approximately **15-20g net carbs per serving** or even less. This fits well into a keto or low carb eating plan.

Sample Recipe

Here is a sample recipe for easy arroz con pollo with approximate carb counts:


– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (480g), cut into 1 inch pieces (0g net carbs)
– 1⁄2 cup uncooked jasmine rice (22g net carbs)
– 1 medium onion, chopped (6g net carbs)
– 1 red bell pepper, chopped (3g net carbs)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced (2g net carbs)
– 1 cup chopped tomato (4g net carbs)
– 1 teaspoon oregano (0.2g net carbs)
– 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin (0.5g net carbs)
– 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder (0.2g net carbs)
– 1 cup chicken broth
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes until browned.
2. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
3. Stir in dry spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
4. Add rice, tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
6. Fluff gently with a fork and serve hot.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Makes 4 servings.

– Calories: 380
– Total Carbs: 38g
– Fiber: 2g
– **Net Carbs: 36g**
– Protein: 29g
– Fat: 12g

As you can see, this simple arroz con pollo recipe contains approximately 36g net carbs per serving when made with white rice. You can reduce the carbs by swapping cauliflower rice and increasing the chicken.


Here are some frequently asked questions about the carbs in arroz con pollo:

Does arroz con pollo have rice in it?

Yes, traditional arroz con pollo is made by cooking chicken in rice with seasonings and vegetables. Rice is the main ingredient that contributes most of the carbohydrates.

Can you make arroz con pollo low carb?

Yes, there are some simple substitutions to reduce the carbs in arroz con pollo significantly:

– Use riced cauliflower or broccoli instead of white rice
– Increase the chicken and reduce the rice portion
– Avoid starchy vegetables and stick to low carb options
– Skip sugary sauces or dressings

What rice has the lowest carbs?

Of the commonly available types of rice, cauliflower rice and broccoli rice have the fewest net carbs at around 5g per 1/2 cup serving. Basmati and wild rice have slightly fewer carbs than white and brown rice.

Is arroz con pollo keto friendly?

Arroz con pollo can be adapted to be keto friendly. By using riced vegetables instead of rice, increasing the chicken, and avoiding high carb ingredients, you can make a keto version with under 20g net carbs per serving.

Is arroz con pollo healthy?

Yes, arroz con pollo made with lean chicken, vegetables, rice, and spices is a balanced, nutritious one-pot meal. It provides protein, carbs, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals. In moderation, it can be part of a healthy diet.

The Bottom Line

Traditional arroz con pollo contains about 36 grams of net carbs per serving when made with white rice. This carb count comes mainly from the rice, with smaller amounts from onions, peppers, tomatoes, and seasonings.

You can reduce the carbs substantially by swapping cauliflower rice for regular rice, increasing the chicken, and avoiding starchy veggies. With simple modifications, arroz con pollo can be made low carb, keto, or diabetes friendly while still being flavorful and delicious.

So go ahead and enjoy some arroz con pollo! Just be mindful of portions and make carb-conscious tweaks so it fits into your healthy eating plan.

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