Pollo Loco – Mexican Chicken and Rice

Pollo Loco – grilled chicken over Mexican rice and smothered in white queso – My favorite Mexican recipe! I literally licked my plate! SOOO good!!

Pollo Loco - grilled chicken over Mexican rice and smothered in white queso - My favorite Mexican recipe! I literally licked my plate! SOOO good!!

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This could quite possibly be the best thing that I have ever made!  We both took one bite and knew this was our new favorite meal.  It was inspired by a dish Chicken Legs had when he was out of town.  He described the dish to me, and I thought it sounded like something I would like.

I decided to take a shot at it and recreate it at home.  It was unbelievable!  The chicken had a fabulous flavor, and the Mexican rice was spot on!  We will never have to go out for Mexican again.

We grilled our chicken. If you don’t have access to a grill or the weather isn’t right to fire up the grill, you can cook the chicken inside. Pan sear the chicken breasts in a skillet for 3 or 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake at 425ºF for an additional 10 minutes. 

Chicken Legs said this was so good that he could write my blog post today –“YOU MUST MAKE THIS!”  Well said!

Pollo Loco - grilled chicken over Mexican rice and smothered in white queso - My favorite Mexican recipe! I literally licked my plate! SOOO good!!

Pollo Loco

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Pollo Loco – grilled chicken over Mexican rice and smothered in white queso – My favorite Mexican recipe! I literally licked my plate! SOOO good!!

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle Lawrys Baja Chipotle Marinade or Lawrys Mesquite Marinade
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice (not instant)
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Southwestern or Taco seasoning
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 container refrigerated white Mexican Queso (I used Gordos Cheese Dip)
  • 1 chopped tomato

Instructions:

  • Pour Lawrys Baja Chipotle Marinade over chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready, grill chicken until done (165 degrees).
  • While the chicken is grilling prepare the rice.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and Southwestern/Taco seasoning.
  • Stir in onion flakes, tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Heat cheese dip according to package directions set aside.
  • To assemble the Pollo Loco – place ¼ of the rice on a plate, top with grilled chicken. Pour 2-3 Tbsp cheese dip over chicken and rice and top with chopped tomatoes.

Notes:

If you don’t have access to a grill or the weather isn’t right to fire up the grill, you can cook the chicken inside. Pan sear the chicken breasts in a skillet for 3 or 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake at 425ºF for an additional 10 minutes. 
photo of two containers of mexican queso dip
I use Gordo’s or Pancho’s White Queso dip. I find it in the refrigerated cheese section at the store.
Pollo Loco - grilled chicken over Mexican rice and smothered in white queso - My favorite Mexican recipe! I literally licked my plate! SOOO good!!

Steph

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2 photos of chicken and rice

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Comments

  1. This was delicious!!! I followed your recipe exactly as written and I wouldn’t change a thing. This might have been the first time I made it but it won’t be the last!!! Thank you

  2. Made this and loved it…!!! Didn’t have Lawry’s but did find chipotle marinade and a baja marinade mixed them and let sit for 2 hours… WOW was my family impressed! Will be in the monthly rotation!

  3. Made this tonight for dinner for my family. When I asked if I should make it again, they practically screamed yes. Everyone loved it! The rice was especially good! Thanks for this one!!

  4. I have made this twice in 3 weeks. It is a huge hit with my family and friends!!!! Thank you for posting some amazing recipes. Pinning more to try since cooking is about all we can do right now. #quarantineNC

  5. I don’t usually leave comments, but I had to on this one. This is the BEST recipe I have come across in along time. It’s easy and simple but very delicious. I used Lawry’s mesquite marinade and marinated by chicken overnight. I also used Ranco’s white queso dip I found at Walmart. This will definitely be put into my arsenal of recipes.

  6. Are we cooking raw rice in oil and then adding water? I've never done that. Toasting the rice before cooking it, basically?

  7. I made this today and it was wonderful! I had to go to Kroger to get the Lawry’s Baja Chipotle marinade but it made the dish. I used white instant rice instead of brown and it was excellent.

  8. So good, it's a keeper. I did have a problem finding the McCommick's Southwest Seasoning looked in 3 stores, so I used taco seasoning, still looking for Southwest Seasoning.

    1. After I saw your comment and starting putting my list together, I checked Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, Target and store here that carries everything from around the world. If you can’t fijd something, go there. They didn’t have it either. I emailed McCormick and they told me they discontinued both lines of southwest seasoning they had (the salt free and an organic). Mrs. Dash sells a southwest blend and Target has a Market Pantry blend like Mrs. Dash. Hope that helps!

  9. Made this tonight. Pollo loco is one of my favorite Mexican dishes. Absolutely loved it!!!! I added cilantro and put it on a tortilla. I also sliced up an avocado and lime. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Love this recipe! Sometimes I make the rice as a side dish to other Mexican entrees. I adapted the rice recipe for the Instant Pot by reducing liquids to 1 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup tomato sauce/puree, to satisfy the rule of thumb liquid to rice ratio of 1:1. Sauteed the rice and seasoning just like the recipe states, then cook manual (high pressure) for 3 minutes and natural pressure release (at least 15 minutes, i let mine go closer to 30 because i was doing something else). Worked like a charm and didn't have to watch the pot!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  11. I can't find either of those marinades…..what can I substitute? Would a sweet roasted chipotle barbecue sauce work for the marinade?

  12. We live in an apartment and don't have access to a grill 🙁 Is there another process we could use to cook the chicken?

    1. You can cook it a few minutes on each side in the skillet and then finish baking in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

    2. @lucylou231 yes – cook it in a tablespoon or so of oil and then finish it in the oven. Enjoy!

  13. I would love to make this, however I cannot find any of that type cheese/dip you listed. Is there anything i can sub for it?

  14. I absolutely adore Pollo Loco!!!! I can't wait to try your version this week. I LOVE every single recipe I've ever made of yours and want you to know how much I appreciate the time you take on your recipes and blog. Thank you so much!!

  15. Some how I didn't notice the queso dip part of the recipe so I had to leave it off, but this was still delicious! We used the mesquite marindae and loved it!

  16. I hate to ask, but what kinds of herbs/spices do you think would work as a substitute for the Lawry's? I am gluten free, so their marinades are a huge no-no for me. I'm dying to make this because it looks amazing. Thanks for any help you can offer. I have it on the menu for next week, but I'm afraid skipping the marinade will mess it all up.

    1. I have celiac and was also wondering about the marinade. But, after checking the Lawry's product info, I found that the Baja Chipotle and Mesquite marinades are both gluten free. 🙂

  17. I've been making this recipe for about a year now and it's truly a family-favorite at our house. Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. Is there a 12-step program for Pollo Loco addicts? Ever since I cooked this the first time, my son has INSISTED that we have it at least once a week. He is hooked! : )

  19. Made this for dinner last night – I honestly ate so much I was sick. THIS IS SOOO GOOD! Thanks for sharing!

  20. This was sooo good! My husband gobbled it up and talked about it for the rest of the night. I had to go to 3 different stores to find the Baja Chipotle, but it made the dish. So much great flavor here!

  21. My family LOVED this Loco Chicken and it was so easy! Made enough for leftovers, but there weren't any. My teenage son asked me to make it again tomorrow night. A new family favorite! Thanks, Steph.

  22. I made this last night and really enjoyed it! I used Arizona Dreaming from Penzey's spices in the rice. Next time I think I'll try to incorporate some corn and black beans into the rice as well. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  23. I made this last night and it was delicious…I actually used the Carribean jerk marinade since my store didn't have the Baja Chipotle. Hubby and kids gave it 5 stars!!Delicious and easy…Thanks!

  24. TammyJapan – you can use Lawry's Mesquite marinade if you can't find the new Baja Chipotle. The flavors are very similar. Good Luck!

  25. I want to make this, but I live in a rural area and neither of the grocery stores carries Lawry's Baja Chipotle. Can you tell me what the flavors are in it so I can possibly recreate it? Thanks!

    1. Made this and it’s DELICIOUS!! Next time I think I’ll make some refried beans to go along with it. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

  26. It looks delicious and with all the great food you make, calling it your best ever, certainly moved it to the top of my try list.

  27. this looks amazing! can't wait to try this soon…i crave mexican food way too often to go out for it, so this is perfect. thanks for posting! 🙂

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