Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew) Includes Slow Cooker Version!

This simply delicious Puerto Rican chicken stew is a one pot wonder. Simply toss a few Latin pantry staples into a pot with some chicken, and you’ve got an amazing crowd-pleasing and budget-friendly meal!

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Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

There aren’t many things that can instantly trigger the nostalgia in me like a bowl of my mom’s Puerto Rican pollo guisado.  This delicious, one pot Puerto Rican chicken stew was a weekly staple in my home growing up, because it’s a simple recipe that comes together in no time, without a lot of drama. Toss chicken and bunch of simple, yet flavorful ingredients into a pot, cover and cook until the chicken is done.  It’s really that simple, using some basic Latin pantry staples!

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

What Is Pollo Guisado?

Pollo guisado is a chicken stew that is commonly found in Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean. You will find this style of chicken stew in Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic and Cuba. This version of Pollo Guisado (pronounced poe-yo gee-sah-dough) is a Puerto Rican stew made up of braised chicken, potatoes, carrots, and olives in a tomato-based broth. Like most savory dishes from the island, its deep flavor comes from sofrito, a blend of sweet peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro or culantro. This wonderful one pot meal is a common way to feed a big crowd for not a lot of money.

What Ingredients Are In Pollo Guisado?

The quintessential flavor profile of Puerto Rican stews comes from sofrito. Spices like adobo and sazon give the chicken stew its salty, umami flavor that keeps you coming back for more! Pollo guisado is an extremely budget-friendly dish, as it utilizes the cheapest cuts of chicken, like legs and thighs, to make an ultra-flavorful meal. I definitely recommend using skinless chicken on the bone, as the bones add a ton of flavor to the broth while the stew is cooking. If you prefer white meat, i.e chicken breasts, use the ones on the bone, and cut them in half.

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

Can You Make Pollo Guisado In Advance?

Heck yea! It’s even better after it has sat overnight in the fridge, if it lasts that long (it never does in my house). 

Can I Make This In The Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can also easily adapt this recipe for the slow cooker, just reduce the liquid amount to 2 cups since you won’t have any evaporation during the cooking process. Other than that, simply follow the recipe as is.

What To Serve With Pollo Guisado?

I like serving pollo guisado with steamed white rice, but you can also serve it with mashed potatoes or just some crusty bread for dipping. Make some tostones and you’ve got yourself a full blown Puerto Rican meal.

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

More Puerto Rican Recipes

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)
4.99 from 68 votes

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)

Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Keyword pollo guisado
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs or legs, skin removed about 2.5 pounds
  • 1 lemon or lime, for rinsing the chicken
  • 2 teaspoons Adobo all purpose seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Sazon seasoning with annatto
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon powdered chicken bouillon or more according to your taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons sofrito homemade or storebought
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce or 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup diced red or yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 cup carrots cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves or 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 cup pumpkin or sweet potatoes (optional) peeled and diced into large cubes
  • 10-12 pimento-stuffed olives
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, for garnish optional
  • salt, to taste


Stovetop Version

  1. Squeeze the lemon or lime over the chicken pieces and rub the juices into the chicken. Rinse and drain the chicken pieces, set aside.

  2. Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat.
  3. Season the chicken with the Adobo seasoning sazon, powdered chicken bouillon, garlic power, oregano and black pepper.

  4. Add the olive oil and season chicken to the pot. Let the pieces brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.

  5. Add the sofrito, tomato sauce, to the pot and stir until fragrant and bubbling. Add the water, chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin/sweet potatoes, bay leaves and olives into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the chicken back into the pot.

  6. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the pollo guisado for 40-50 minutes with the lid on* or until the chicken is cooked through.

    If your stew is too watery. cook with the lid off to reduce the liquid to your desired level.

  7. Check for seasoning and add a bit more chicken bouillon or salt if the pollo guisado needs a bit more salt.

  8. Sprinkle the finished stew with the chopped cilantro, if using, and stir.

  9. Serve with white rice, mashed potatoes or some crusty bread for dipping!

  10. Freeze leftovers in a freezer zipper bag for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Version

  1. Follow the above recipe, but reduce the water to 2 cups. Cook for 4-6 on high or 6-8 hours on low.

Recipe Video

Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew) Includes Slow Cooker Version!


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167 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe, because it’s pretty much the same as I ate as a child,
    I makes it at least once a week in the cold season. Have a pot going as I write. Muchas gracias

    1. 5 stars
      I always make extra lol. I use all chicken thighs. I have 2 teens a near 6 year old and have to make sure he has lunch and dinner just in case he has to work late which is frequently. I used a ten pack of boneless thighs today because it’s what I had. I usually use regular thighs. This is a super easy recipe to adjust. I basically just eye ball it. I cut my veggies while my meat marinated in adobo, Sazon and Badia complete. For a big amount I generally use 3 or 4 cubes frozen sofrito. I add about 4 cups heated water to start to dissolve the boullion then add my veggies. From there a you can see how much more water you will need. Generally on can of tomatoe sauce is enough. I usually do everything in my big caldero. This is a recipe you can’t really mess up unless you add too much salt which my husband tends to do ‍♀️ I can’t follow instructions. I have so many good recipes and I would love to share them but measuring just isn’t my thing unless I’m baking lol

    2. 5 stars
      My sister first pass this for us and everyone loved it! I have made several times now and it’s always delicious! Thank you!

  2. Is it suppose to stay very liquidity? I used chicken breast followed the recipe but it never thickened. I cooked it with out the lid on it. What can I do to thicken it up? It smells wonder and taste great but it was as thick as I though it was going to be. Thanks

    1. Pollo guisado doesn’t have a thick sauce. You can add cornstarch (dissolve in a bit of water before stirring into the stew) to thicken if desired.

    2. @Christine With the back of a spoon smush one or two of the potatoes which will thicken it up!! My Puerto Rican mom taught me this ❤️❤️❤️

    3. 5 stars
      My mother-in-law taught me to use plantain. Sheed it into a masa and make into little balls. Drop them in and it adds flavor and thickens the sauce, along with the potatoes.

        1. You simply shred on a cheese/box grater, roll into balls by hand and drop in just don’t let them touch right away when you drop them in kind of space them out for a moment or two

  3. 5 stars
    This was soooo good! I didn’t have any bay leaves or olives, my sofrito only consisted of cilantro, garlic and an Italian green pepper but it still came out very tasty, can’t wait to try it again with all the ingredients.

    I would say just add the chicken powder little by little as it was slightly on the salty side (might be my seasoning ) but definitely worth the try.

    Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this 3 times using your recipe. I’m not Puerto Rican, but my boyfriend is and every time I make it, he gobbles it down and is so impressed with how it comes out. He says it reminds him of his grandma’s recipe. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Any suggestion what to do with the left over sauce/liquid?

    First time to do it and it is amazing!!

      1. HI Jannese,

        This POLLO GUISADO was amazing thank you for the recipe. I see you said I can make arroz con gandules with the left over liquid. How do I use the liquid from the POLLO GUISADO meal to make arroz con gandules?

          1. 5 stars
            Oh my gosh, adding this to arroz con gandules must heighten the flavor so much!!!!!!!! I can’t wait. Although, knowing my family, there won’t be any caldo left. Lol.

  6. Haven’t made this in ages as hubby was Puerto Rican. If I don’t have homemade sofrito then I usually use a blend of the goya sofrito and recaito equal amount from both. I have a pot on now and it smells so wonderful, will probably have to be extra bad and do a pot of rice and gandules using the juice from the stewed chicken 🙂 TO DIE FOR!!!!

  7. 5 stars
    I’m making it right now. On a Sunday and for lunches for the week. And I know the leftovers taste better because its on marinating. Buen Provecho!!!

    1. I make this all the time. Put water in the pot and start adding ingredients immediately. Then cook until potatoes are done. That should be it

  8. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a good puerto rican stew. Made this 2 days ago for the first time and used the slow cooker. I have alot of liquid with little chicken left. What can I do with this delicious stew? I doo not want to throw it away.

    1. Hello Sandra.
      I had a lot of the juices/stew left b4 and i froze it until the next time. My boys say its “On Fire”…lol I took it as they loved it when i first made and when i used the stew for my next time. Delicious!

  9. Was looking at your recipe to see what the difference between this and Cuban fricase de pollo is and the only thing I notice is the carrots. Maybe you could explain the difference to me?

      1. I know homeade is best but if Im not going to make my own sofrito this one time, which of the Goya sofrito should I purchase the red or green? Thank you

          1. 5 stars
            I ended up making the homeade sofrito and it turned out delicious. Btw, I also made Pastellon yesterday using frozen platanos just like you mentioned and it was so sweet and probabaly the best one I’ve had. My family loved both of these recipes. Thank you very much!!

  10. Should I simmer with the pot covered or uncovered? In the directions you say covered and in the ingredients you say uncovered. Thanks!

    1. It depends on how quickly your liquid is evaporating. If it’s too watery, cook with the lid off until it reduces to your desired consistency. Otherwise, simmer using a lid.

  11. Hi, should I leave the skin on chicken or take it off? I’m using legs and thighs. Thank you so much!

      1. Thank you for sharing your recipe! It was delicious! My husband and kids aren’t fans of fricase de pollo, and weren’t very excited when I told them what I was making tonight, but they loved it! Your pollo guisado recipe is delicious!!! Thanks again!

  12. 5 stars
    Delicious! Instead of adding 3 cups of water, I added 2 and 1 cup of Modelo beer, suggested by another cook. So awesome 🙂 Thanks for sharing this recipe – and I have tried several Pollo Guisado recipes in my lifetime!

      1. Hi Kim. Did you end up making it with chicken broth instead of water, if so, how did it turn out?

        1. 4 stars
          Yummy recipe hubby loves when I make this for him one of his fav dishes. Thankyou for sharing so flavorful ♥️

    1. 5 stars
      Hello, how do you make this in a slow cooker? I made it on the stove but would prefer it in the slow cooker. It was also delicious. Thank you.

    2. 5 stars
      Just made this today and OMG the house smells amazing!!!! I added chick pea to mine just because, chopped up onions (sauté in the same pot i browned the chicken) and i also put the carrots and potatoes in at the 2nd 20 minute mark. It’s perfect.

  13. 5 stars
    Sooooo good! I don’t consider myself a cook. I make easy dishes that don’t require a lot of ingredients or time. I’m Puerto Rican, but don’t really cook any Puerto Rican dishes. This dish was so good. Never imagined I would be cooking latin food and this recipe made it easy. Thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    This is the best dish ever. I always use the recipe for my base, then add on to make it my own. Thank you so much for having your recipe for those who don’t know how to cook traditional Spanish food

  15. 5 stars
    I have made this in a Dutch oven several times. Sooooo good. Trying the slow cooker today. Muchísimas gracias por esta receta. Deliciosa!

  16. 5 stars
    I love making this! It’s my second time and it tastes so good! But my potatoes ALWAYS overcook and it becomes slop. So I would suggest adding the potatoes and carrots 20 minutes in from the simmer time. Other than, awesome recipe!

  17. Do you have the instant pot instructions?
    If not, do you still brown them first and then throw everything else in? Is it high pressure and how many minutes? Thank you. 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Sooo delicious! I didn’t have bone in chicken, just boneless breast. Turned out great either way, added about 1 1/2 cups of chopped spinach and celery for more veggies. Yummy! Thanks

  18. 5 stars
    Hi Jannese,

    This dish is delish! I made it over the weekend! I just wanted to check on 1 ingredient! On your ingredient list, you have tomato “paste”, but in the instructions, you have tomato “sauce”. I’m assuming that you meant sauce, but because I opened the can of paste going by the ingredients list, that’s what I used.

          1. Hello,
            Using tomato sauce will that be half a can for this dish or whole? Can you use cumin on this or will it be too much?

          2. This dish is very forgiving. You can absolutely use a whole 8 oz can. Watch out with cumin, use sparingly, as it quickly takes over a dish.

  19. 5 stars
    OMG. DELISH…… I was lucky enough to have a friend to give me some homemade
    Sofrito and it made this even more yummy. This is absoultely a keeper…..

  20. Sounds very yummy. I loved my Abuela’s Pollo Guisado and cant wait to try this recipe. I read that you can use the crockpot instead, but what are the instructions in how to make it in a crockpot instead.

    1. 5 stars
      I make my pollo guisado but Never with water. My mom used and teach us to make with beer or red wine; not cooking wine, Red wine the ones you drink during of after dinner and believe me nobody going to get drunk with that pollo guisado. Have made like this since I learned how to cook.

  21. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I have made it a number of times, and found that it is very easy to adjust for different quantities. It is also very forgiving in that I don’t always have exact measurements, but as long as I follow the general proportions of the ingredients, it will still turn out tasty. It is now one of my go-tos. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. 5 stars
      Luuuuv, I mean absolutely luuuuuv the pollo guisado! Ingredients are great but I always use my own sofrito. Do you have a sofrito recipe? Mine is very basic. I would love to see what other people put in theirs.

  22. Going to try this recipe out this weekend for my friend Bday Party wanted to see if Mofongo will go with the Pollo Guisado instead of steam Rice.

  23. I have been waiting for this recipe! I’m Puerto Rican and my mom was an excellent cook, but she did everything with a pinch of this, a pinch of that so no recipes survived her. I found your site looking for arroz con gandules, made them.. GREAT! Made your carne guisa… GREAT! So I’ve been waiting for the 3rd in my trio of favorite recipes, and this is it. Can’t wait to try it! BTW your recipes are very much in line with the way mom cooked so for me, so far, your recipes are perfection itself.

    1. 5 stars
      I agree with you! The recipes are amazing. Some people attempt to imitate Spanish cooking and somehiw always miss the mark BY LARGE but this cook definitely knew what spices to use!

  24. 5 stars
    thanks for the recipe made this today with chicken thighs added onion and garlic powder to season the chicken as well as the stew came out so good!

  25. 5 stars
    Hi I’m so excited to cook both carne and pollo guisada! I’ve never cooked it but I remember being 13 and my friends mother cooked carne guisada I’m 37 so I’m craving this dish. My husband doesn’t eat beef so that’s why I’m cooking both lol. Is it ok to make arroz con gandules instead of white rice??

  26. 5 stars
    Yum! I just got back from PR and I’m excited to find your website!! For sofrito, are you making your own? If so, could you share your recipe? Otherwise are you using the red or green?

  27. 5 stars
    Tastes delicious! I added some flour to make the stew a little thicker but the flavors were amazing! Thank you!

  28. 5 stars
    Hi I’m excited to ry this dish tonight. I’m going to use chicken wings and drum sticks, good idea? Also I’m hoping for fall off the bone chicken am I still only simmering for 20 to 30 mintues?

  29. 5 stars
    I’m sorry it took so long to comment. I made this recipe a while ago and my wife told me she didn’t like pollo guisado. I am still laughing about that comment because I got to eat the whole thing all by myself. it was delish….. muchas gracias

  30. 5 stars
    Made it last night and it was a hit!!!
    I made it of course with the white rice
    So so delicious my kids and boyfriend loved it
    Thanks for the easy recipe

  31. 5 stars
    Just made this dish and must say it replaces my old recipe ten fold! Followed your recipe to the letter and “que sabroso!” Gracias

  32. 5 stars
    This recipe looks delicious! I am white and my husband is Puerto Rican, and I can cook pretty good but am always looking to better my Puerto Rican dishes. My mother in law is Dominican so they usually have that touch from her teaching me. : )
    I’ll be making this tonight, with rice of course.
    Thanks so much for the recipe.

  33. 5 stars
    Do you have any recipes for Yuca? My mother in law gave me a recipe a long time ago but has since passed away and I lost my recipe book when I moved. My husband has been craving Yuca for months now and I would love to make it for him. I just found your site and thought you would be the best person to ask!!

  34. 5 stars
    I new to cooking and I will be attempting this tonight but with chicken breasts. Do I have to brown them first aswell ?

  35. 5 stars
    Being Puerto Rican Myself and cooking since I was 10 yrs, I find nestled at this golden age of 46 going to the Internet to refresh myself with recipes from my past, and our recipes is on point… thank you for sharing and made my life easier…

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I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.