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This easy to make Spanish Chicken and Cauliflower Rice is an updated and healthy version of a personal favorite comfort food recipe. The cauli rice is super flavorful and loaded with Manzanilla Olives from Spain. It's also an excellent meal prep recipe for a healthy weekday lunch.
Spanish chicken for the big-time lunch/dinner/meal prep win! My vote is that you make this recipe for dinner then pack up the leftovers for a couple of quick and easy, grab and go lunches for the week. 2 in 1 Spanish chicken!
Or perhaps we should say Arroz con Pollo with our best Spanish accents. Spanish chicken is so much more fun said in Spanish.
We've taken this Spanish chicken and rice recipe and given it a bit of a healthy makeover. I honestly think this recipe is even better than the original.
What makes this Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe so amazing:
- Manzanilla Olives from Spain. They are those little green pimiento-stuffed beauties you see up there. I've packed lunch with a handful of them on the side (because the more Spanish Manzanillas the better!) but the cauliflower rice is full of them, too. They're healthy and crazy delicious.
- The cauliflower rice that isn't quite. I've left the cauliflower a little chunkier for this recipe which makes it more like a cross between cauliflower rice and Spanish pisto. (Pisto is a sauteed veggie dish that's similar to ratatouille.)
- This Spanish cauliflower rice got the thumbs up approval from my handsome man. This is a BIG deal! He's not one for veggies parading around as rice and noodles so the fact that he liked this ‘rice' is huge. I think it had to do with the chunky cauliflower bits.
- FLAVOR ← totally worth yelling about. Between the Spanish Manzanilla olives, the roasted red peppers, and my caramelized tomato paste trick, this Spanish chicken and rice recipe is seriously flavor packed.
- This crazy delicious recipe is all things healthy. It's paleo + gluten-free + Whole30 + so tasty that you'll forget about all those things.
See those tasty Spanish olives up there? I've been just a little obsessed with them lately. Case in point:
- Spanish Baked Eggs with Roasted Garlic and Hojiblanca Olives from Spain
- Easy Marinated Olives from Spain
- Cheesy Roasted Garlic Artichoke Olive Dip
In this recipe, I've used Spanish Manzanillas. Honestly, all of the olives from Spain that I've used in my recipes have been amazing. It's so for me hard to choose a favorite!
Manzanillas (often called Spanish olives) have a smooth texture and light flavor. They're my daughter's favorite and I give them to her as a snack often.
We cook with them quite a bit as well as I love how they add so much flavor to the dishes we make. They're also super healthy so I feel good about eating lots of them.
Did you know that 1 out of every 2 olives eaten in Canada is Spanish? I think I might be single-handedly responsible for eating most of those. Between my little girl and I, we go through A LOT of olives from Spain.
And a sneak peek at what the cauliflower rice looks like before you pop in the cauliflower. There's so much flavor going on here!
And another sneak peek, this time of the delicious Spanish chicken. I love keeping the skin on the chicken cause I'm a sucker for crispy skin, but it does add a bunch of calories to the recipe. If you're watching those, opt for skinless thighs.
There is enough flavor in this dish that the skinless thighs work great. Bonus → skinless thighs are better for packing for lunch.
Ok friends, let's meal-prep our hearts out and rock our weekday lunches. Spanish chicken and cauliflower rice all the way. And don't forget to pack some of those Spanish Manzanillas on the side. Bring it on!
Healthy Paleo Chicken Recipes:
- Sweet and Spicy Paleo Chicken Fingers
- Paleo Orange Chicken with Cauliflower Rice
- Asian Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Thai Chicken Curry Meatballs with Carrot Noodles
- One Pan Bacon Apple Chicken with Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
- 2 cups Manzanilla Olives from Spain (coarsely chopped (I like to leave several whole))
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- ½ medium onion (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 4 roasted red peppers (chopped)
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoons sea salt (more to taste)
- 2 cups chicken stock (divided)
- 1 large cauliflower (chopped into small pieces (about 8 cups))
- Put the Manzanilla Olives from Spain, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the onion into a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook until the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste starts to darken and turns fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and red peppers and let them cook for a few minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan while they cook.2 cups Manzanilla Olives from Spain, ½ medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ cup tomato paste, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 4 roasted red peppers
- While the onions are cooking, start the chicken. Sprinkle the smoked paprika and sea salt over both sides of the chicken. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick frying pan. Add the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.8 bone-in chicken thighs, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoons sea salt
- Add the cauliflower and chicken stock to the pan with the onions and mix together. To the same pan, the chicken and all the pan juices then bring the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and let the chicken simmer for 10 minutes then remove the cover and simmer for another 5 minutes until it is fully cooked and most of the liquid in the pan is gone.2 cups chicken stock, 1 large cauliflower
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.