A hearty and sustaining dish, asopao is a Puerto Rican stew filled with rice and plenty of vegetables and topped with spiced ground chicken. Starchy potato can stand in for the yucca.

Asopao Recipe
Photo: Oriana Koren
Total Time:
50 mins



  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion

  • 1 cup finely diced carrots

  • 1 cup finely diced celery

  • 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

  • 1 cup uncooked medium-grain white rice

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 Thai chile, unseeded and thinly sliced (about 1/2 teaspoon)

  • 8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1/4 pounds yuca, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 1/4 cups)

  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1  tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Spiced Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • 1 cup diced red onion

  • 2 tablespoons za’atar

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 2 Thai chiles, unseeded and thinly sliced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Make the asopao

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add yellow onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in rice, turmeric, and chile; cook, stirring often, until rice is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth, yuca, cilantro, salt, and black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until rice and yuca are tender, 16 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Season asopao with salt to taste.

While asopao cooks, make the spiced chicken

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add red onion, za’atar, coriander, garlic, ginger, and chiles; cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned, crumbly, and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

  2. Divide asopao evenly among 6 bowls; top with spiced chicken.

Make Ahead

Asopao and spiced chicken can be made up to 3 days ahead and reheated gently before serving.

Related Articles