Arroz Tapado (Rice with Chicken and Pork)

by Erica Dinho on July 12, 2010

Arroz Tapado

Arroz Tapado is a classic Colombian dish from the Boyaca department of Colombia. This rice has a lot happening! It is cooked in a chicken stock with chicken pieces, pork belly, pork ribs, vegetables, milk, cheese, sautéed onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, achiote or color and cilantro.

Colombians love arroz or rice… we cannot live without it. Since we eat it almost every day, Colombians have countless rice based dishes in our recipe arsenals. In this dish, the chicken pieces are marinated with garlic, scallions, salt and pepper. I like to serve Arroz Tapado with avocado slices, tomato and aji or hot sauce. It can also be served with fried ripe or green plantains.

Buen provecho!




  • 1/2 pound pork belly, diced
  • 1 pound pork ribs, cut into pieces
  • 6 chicken legs or thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cups peas
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Sofrito or Hogao

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon achiote or color


  1. To make the hogao: Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan, add the tomatoes, scallions, onion, garlic, ground cumin, achiote and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring until softened.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add the salt, pepper and cilantro, cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened. Check and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
  3. To make the rice: In a large pan over medium heat, add the pork belly. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the pork belly is brown. Add the pork ribs. Cook for 5 minutes more. Stirring often.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and sauté for 4 minutes on each side or until brown. Add the rice and stir to coat.
  5. Add the chicken stock, stir and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the peas, carrots, salt, pepper and cumin, cook for about 10 more minutes.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, add the hogao, milk and cheese and cook for 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the fresh cilantro and Serve warm.
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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angie's Recipes July 12, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Looks like a great comfort food!


2 Tracey@TangledNoodle July 12, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Looks like Filipinos and Colombians share a similar passion: rice! Reading the ingredients, I love that there’s mozzarella cheese in this, which gives it the look of a creamy risotto. I also thought that the achiote (atsuete in Tagalog) gives it such a sunny color. Another new and marvelous dish for me to try!


3 Belinda @zomppa July 12, 2010 at 11:18 AM

The photo already looked good enough to eat. THEN you tell me there is pork belly in the rice. I’m so so hungry now.


4 Barbara July 12, 2010 at 2:34 PM

I have eaten pork belly, but never done anything with it at home. It looks like it would be wonderful mixed with the rice. And all that cumin! Yum, Erica!
I really like the flavors in your Arroz Tapado.


5 Kim July 12, 2010 at 4:56 PM

This one sounds like a really flavorful dish. I’ve been seeing lots of recipes for pork belly here and there and I’m wondering where to find it. Do you have a good source?


6 Blond Duck July 12, 2010 at 5:13 PM

I’ll have to make that and not tell Ben there’s pork in it. :)


7 Juliana July 12, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Oh! This rice dish sounds and looks so tasty….love one pot meal….beautiful dish!


8 Jhonny Walker July 12, 2010 at 9:56 PM

The dish is sounding and looking super tasty..I will have to make this one :)


9 Joanne July 13, 2010 at 8:30 AM

This is one seriously tasty rice dish! Sounds delicious.


10 Erica July 13, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Thank you all for the comments!


11 Joan Nova July 13, 2010 at 11:43 AM

The surprise ingredient in this recipe for me is the mozzarella!


12 grace July 13, 2010 at 5:58 PM

the peas are a great little veggie to sneak in there, and i love the way your rice looks. no wonder it’s a staple. :)


13 Sandra G July 14, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Reminds me of something we make in The Dominican Republic Call “Locrio De Carne De Puerco”, have to try this Yummy!


14 Oysterculture July 17, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Love all the wonderful flavor combinations, and the pork + chicken in one dish – sounds pretty decadent =)


15 norma July 17, 2010 at 7:19 PM

This is such a comforting dish. Something my mama used to make.


16 ALFREDO November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Pork belly is quite fashionable right now, and expensive. But ask for a chunk of slab bacon and you got it! I save the fat religiously. One spoonful and you have the best tasting rice you can ever get. I buy pork tenderloin, boil it with spices, shred it, and give it the ropavieja treatment, saving the stock, of course.


17 Lyndz June 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

We’ve drawn Colombia from the dip at work for the world cup and am going to make this for my team!! Looks and sounds delicious!


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