Homemade Pollo Loco: A Delicious Mexican-Inspired Meal

Homemade Pollo Loco is a mouthwatering dish that combines perfectly seasoned chicken with flavorful rice, all topped with creamy queso cheese. This recipe is simple to follow and results in a meal that’s sure to impress. Here’s how you can make this delicious dish at home.


For the Chicken:

  • 2 pounds of chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Garlic powder (to taste)
  • Onion powder (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Paprika (to taste)

For the Rice:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of Knorr’s Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor
  • Garlic powder (to taste)
  • Onion powder (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

For Serving:

  • Store-bought queso cheese (as desired)


Preparing the Chicken

  1. Melt Butter: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Cook Chicken: Add the sliced chicken strips to the skillet. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir to coat the chicken evenly with the spices.
  3. Cook Thoroughly: Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until it starts to caramelize. This process usually takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken strips.

Preparing the Rice

  1. Boil Water: In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add Ingredients: Add the vegetable oil, Knorr’s Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to the boiling water.
  3. Cook Rice: Add the rice to the pot, stir well, and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the rice simmer for about 25 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  4. Fluff Rice: Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork to separate the grains.

Assembling the Dish

  1. Plate the Rice: Start by plating a generous portion of the cooked rice on each plate.
  2. Add Chicken: Place the caramelized chicken strips on top of the rice.
  3. Top with Queso: Drizzle the store-bought queso cheese over the chicken and rice. The amount of queso can be adjusted based on personal preference.

10 Reasons Why You’ll Love This Dish

  1. Flavorful: The combination of seasoned chicken and savory rice creates a burst of flavors in every bite.
  2. Simple Ingredients: Most of the ingredients are pantry staples, making this dish easy to prepare.
  3. Quick Preparation: This meal can be prepared in under an hour, perfect for busy weeknights.
  4. Comforting: The creamy queso cheese adds a comforting element to the dish.
  5. Versatile: You can easily adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.
  6. Family-Friendly: Both kids and adults will love this flavorful and satisfying meal.
  7. Affordable: The ingredients are budget-friendly, making this a cost-effective meal.
  8. Nutritious: The dish provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrates.
  9. Leftover Potential: Leftovers can be easily reheated for a quick lunch or dinner the next day.
  10. Mexican-Inspired: It brings a taste of Mexican cuisine to your home without the need for complicated ingredients or techniques.

Tips for Making the Perfect Pollo Loco

  • Even Slices: Slice the chicken evenly to ensure it cooks uniformly.
  • Spice Levels: Adjust the amount of paprika and pepper to control the heat level of the dish.
  • Rice Cooking: Make sure to simmer the rice on low heat to prevent it from burning and sticking to the pot.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Fresh garlic and onion can be used instead of powders for an enhanced flavor.
  • Queso Cheese: Warm the queso cheese before drizzling it over the dish for a smoother texture.

How to Store Homemade Pollo Loco

  • Refrigeration: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent the rice from drying out.
  • Freezing: This dish can be frozen for up to 2 months. Place cooled portions in freezer-safe containers or bags. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Reheating: When reheating, you may need to add a little bit of water or broth to maintain the desired consistency.

Homemade Pollo Loco is a delightful, flavorful meal that’s easy to prepare and sure to satisfy. With its rich combination of seasoned chicken, savory rice, and creamy queso cheese, it’s a dish that will quickly become a favorite in your household. Enjoy this delicious Mexican-inspired creation with your family and friends!

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