Arros Caldoso

Arros caldoso is the best one-pot Spanish rice stew, made for the cost of the coins in your pocket

a large pot of arros caldoso cooks on a stovetop

Literally translating to “Brothy Rice”, Arros Caldoso is a typical Valencian rice dish. It’s an easy one-pot wonder and can be found all over the Iberian peninsular and is by far one of the most hearty Spanish recipes you can make on a budget!

One-pot Recipe | Easy Dinner Recipe | Rice Recipe |Cheap Dinner Ideas | Authentic Spanish Cuisine | Spanish Food |Valencian Food |Meat Recipe | Rice and Meat 

Serving:

Mains for 8 people

Ready in:

1 hr, 20 mins.

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Fresh bread

About This Recipe

Arros Caldoso is typically made during the colder months of the year and is made with root and winter vegetables alongside a base of rice. Arros caldoso is always served in a large steaming pot on the table, accompanied by a large ladle so you can scoop out the steaming rice and broth.

Depending on where you try it, there will also be a few other ingredients added, from the bones of serrano ham to seafood, mushrooms, beans, or lentils.

Types of Arros Caldoso

It’s an incredibly diverse dish, made with different ingredients depending on where you try it in Spain.

In its simplest form, Arros Caldoso contains the broth of any meat, some garlic and onions, and short-grain rice. You’ll also find recipe variations, including long green beans, broad beans, lentils, and seafood such as mussels, clams, prawns, and fish.

Arros Caldoso with Mushrooms (Vegetarian)

Another delicious variety is made with mushrooms. This dish slowly simmers the mushrooms, releasing their juices, then adding a cup of port, sherry, or even a dark stout or beer to add to the broth. Then toss in some white or green beans and some other root vegetables and you’ve got a very hearty meal indeed!

Arros Caldoso with Mariscos (Seafood)

For those looking for a more spiced version, make an Arros Caldoso with seafood and add a few heaped tablespoons of smoked paprika (pimenton). Trying this dish anywhere near the Valencian region, and you’ll often find seasonal sea fare, from cockles, clams, mussels, and prawns (gambas).

Arros Caldoso with Serrano Ham

This dish is very popular in the quaint farm home in the Valencian mountainous villages. It is utterly delicious and combines fresh vegetables with chicken and a sizeable chunk of Serrano ham that slowly stews and releases its delicious salty flavor.

Any of these recipes are perfect when you’re looking to make a bulky meal on a budget. Another thing that these recipes share is that they all are very easy to make, require just one large pot, and once done, you’ll have a hearty meal that can easily serve 8 people or more for the cost of some change in your pocket!

Arros Caldoso – Serving tips and garnishes

Crack a couple of eggs on top just before serving for the ultimate winter warmer experience! This works particularly well with arros caldoso and seafood!

For a meaty or vegetarian arros caldoso, garnish with some lemon and place some pickled chilies on the table and you’ll be transported to a Valencian kitchen!

The recipe below will make a hearty stew for 8 people as a main meal, approx 300 grams per serving.

Ingredients for arros caldoso, a bowl of cooked mixed vegetables, with carrots, onion, peas, beans
A large pot of arros caldoso sits simmering on a gas kitchen stove.
A huge pot of arros caldoso con mariscos simmers on a kitchen stove. Egg and large prawns are sitting on top.
A line of Iberico hams hang from a ceiling in a restaurant

Ingredients

Method (step-by-step)

  • 60 ml of Olive oil (Extra-Virgin)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (two cloves crushed/the rest remain whole) 
  • Chicken (drumsticks, thigh, wings, etc..) 
  • 200 g serrano ham on the bone
  • 1 large tomato (grated) 
  • 2 artichokes (break leaves off the stalk and use hearts only, halved) 
  • 2 Potatoes (chopped into 1-inch cubes)
  • 2 carrots (1-inch slices)
  • 200g pumpkin (sliced into 1-inch cubes)
  • 30 grams of salt (for seasoning) 
  • 200 grams of chickpeas (tinned, rinsed) 
  • 150 grams green beans (Ideally fresh, though frozen or tinned is OK) 
  • 150 grams of white beans (Ideally fresh, though frozen or tinned is OK) 
  • short-grain rice – unwashed. (2 handfuls per person)
  • 200 g spinach (Optional)

To Garnish

  • 2 Lemons (sliced into wedges) 
  • Guindillas (small skinny green chilies, pickled in white wine vinegar) 
  • 2-4 large fresh free-range eggs (seafood version)

Method (step-by-step)

 Step 1 – Fry garlic and chicken

  • On medium heat, add some olive oil to a large pot. 
  • Crush two cloves of garlic and add the other garlic whole into the oil.
  • Add chicken pieces and season the meat with a few pinches of salt.
  • Cook chicken for 5 mins until the skin is golden 

Step 2 – Add artichokes, Serrano ham, and seasonal vegetables

  • Add artichoke hearts and give a good stir
  • After a few moments, add grated tomato 
  • Add chickpeas, pumpkins, carrots, white and green beans, and serrano ham. 
  • Add enough cold water to cover everything and cover. Increase heat to high until boiling, then return to medium heat.

Step 3 – Simmer and season

  • After around 15 mins, remove the froth from the top of the stew. Season with a good sprinkle of salt (20g) 
  • Cover and continue on medium heat, stirring occasionally with lid off. 
  • If you have added too much water, ladle some out and it can be used for stock or stored.

Step 4 – Add Rice and simmer

  • After 5 mins, season again if required and add the round rice (2 small handfuls per person). Give it all a good stir and continue to cook the rice for around 16-18 minutes with the lid off. 
  • After the rice has been cooking for around 5-7mins, add a few handfuls of spinach and give it one final stir. (optional) 
  • Remove ham from bone and serve generous chunks of the serrano ham on top of each bowl.

Nutrition & Diet

Arros Caldoso (Low salt version)

Arros Caldoso doesn’t use any stock. Instead, you’re making the stock by simmering and stewing all the ingredients together. It’s true that this recipe uses a generous amount of salt and that may not suit every diet. However, you can make a low-salt version and/or completely remove the salt from this recipe and it will still taste great. 

The key to this recipe is to use the freshest ingredients you can find. Especially the vegetables and seafood components of the dish.

  • 50% 50%
  • Carbs 32% 32%
  • Total Fat 18% 18%
Arros Caldoso ingredients. A large chopping board sits on a kitchen counter with carrots, tomato, and a bowl of peas sitting nearby

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A steaming arros caldoso cooks in a alrge green pot on a kitchen stove

Arros Caldoso - Spanish rice stew with Serrano ham and chicken

Literally translating to “Brothy Rice”, arros caldoso is a typical Valencian rice dish. It’s an easy one-pot wonder and can be found all over the Iberian peninsular and is by far one of the most hearty Spanish recipes you can make on a budget!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Soup, Spanish, stew
Cuisine Mediterranean, spanish, winter
Servings 8 300
Calories 598 kcal

Equipment

  • One large 30cm/12 inch pot with deep sides

Ingredients

  • 60 ml of Olive oil Extra-Virgin
  • 6 cloves of garlic two cloves crushed/the rest remain whole
  • Chicken drumsticks, thigh, wings, etc..
  • 200 g serrano ham on the bone
  • 1 large tomato grated
  • 2 artichokes break leaves off the stalk and use hearts only, halved
  • 2 Potatoes chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 carrots 1-inch slices
  • 200 g pumpkin sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • 30 grams of salt for seasoning
  • 200 grams of chickpeas tinned, rinsed
  • 150 grams green beans Ideally fresh, though frozen or tinned is OK
  • 150 grams of white beans Ideally fresh, though frozen or tinned is OK
  • Redondo rice - unwashed. 2 handfuls per person
  • 200 g spinach Optional

For Garnishing

  • 2 Lemons sliced into wedges
  • Guindillas small skinny green chilies, pickled in white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 large fresh free-range eggs seafood version

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Fry the garlic and chicken

  • On medium heat, add some olive oil to a large pot.
  • Crush two cloves of garlic and add the other garlic whole into the oil.
  • Add chicken pieces, cook for 5 mins until the skin is golden
  • Season the meat with a few pinches of salt

Step 2 - Add artichokes, Serrano ham, and seasonal vegetables

  • Add artichoke hearts and give a good stir
  • After a few moments, add grated tomato
  • Add chickpeas, carrots, white and green beans, and serrano ham.
  • Add enough cold water to cover everything and cover. Increase heat to high until boiling, then return to medium heat.

Step 3 - Simmer and season

  • After around 15 mins, remove the froth from the top of the stew. Season with a good sprinkle of salt (20g)
  • Cover and continue on medium heat, stirring occasionally with lid off.
  • If you have added too much water, ladle some out and it can be used for stock or stored.

Step 4 - Add Rice and simmer

  • After 5 mins, season again if required and add the round rice (2 small handfuls per person). Give it all a good stir and continue to cook the rice for around 16-18 minutes with the lid off.
  • After the rice has been cooking for around 5-7mins, add a few handfuls of spinach and give it one final stir. (optional)
  • Remove ham from bone and serve generous chunks of the serrano ham on top of each bowl.

Notes

Arros caldoso - Serving tips and garnishes

Crack a couple of eggs on top just before serving for the ultimate winter warmer experience! This works particularly well with arros caldoso and seafood! 
For a meaty or vegetarian arros caldoso, garnish with some lemon and place some pickled chilies on the table and you’ll be transported to a Valencian kitchen! 

Nutrition

Calories: 598kcal
Keyword arros caldoso, chicken, healthy, mediterranean, rice, Rice stew, serrano ham, spain, Spanish cuisine, vegetables, winter