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Where in the world are you longing for lately? For me, it’s a sunny place where humble food is prepared with passion, I can wander through the countryside all day, and a hearty bowl of Spanish Chicken Stew hits the spot at dinner time.

two bowls of healthy Spanish chicken stew with peppers and tomatoes

A simple, comforting dish of chicken thighs simmered with tomatoes, peppers, and classic Spanish ingredients like olives and raisins, this Spanish chicken stew recipe riffs on some of the traditional flavors that Ben and I enjoyed during our time in Spain.

In addition to being a complete, healthy dinner packed with vegetables and lean protein, this chicken stew is also a feeling.

Its simple ingredients and long simmer give it a rustic vibe that fits an intentionally relaxed vacation pace, with the everyday life benefit that you certainly don’t need all day to make it.

Start to finish, this easy stew takes about an hour, but most of that time is hands-off while it simmers, just like my Chicken Stew. Its warm, rich smell will draw you into the kitchen as it cooks.

We served our stew over rice, an idea I borrowed from the Dominican chicken stew Ben’s host mom prepared for us when I visited him during his time in the Peace Corps (braised chicken stew is popular throughout the Caribbean).

Adding rice also stretches the stew’s servings, and I really enjoy rice in soup in general (this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup is another fave). I’ve suggested this recipe serves four but if you add rice, it’s appropriate for a crowd.

This chicken stew is hearty but not heavy, a fantastic quality in a meal you’ll want to enjoy regularly.

Like most of my healthy soup and stew recipes, this one freezes and reheats like a dream. You can make it once, then enjoy the leftovers all week or freeze them for future healthy dinners on demand.

two bowls of chicken and vegetable stew over rice

How to Make Spanish Chicken Stew

Like any good one-pot meal, the ingredients in this stew are flexible. Case-in-point: I’d originally planned to make it with potatoes (another classic Spanish ingredient that made its way over to the Caribbean)….but we were out.

Solution: I tossed in a sweet potato instead. Delicious!

Feel free to use other root veggies (butternut squash or carrots) to make this stew your own.

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs. I like using chicken thighs in stew recipes like this because they’re more flavorful and hold up better during long, slow cooking styles, such as braising. If you prefer, you can make this recipe with chicken breasts.
  • Bell Peppers. For a beautiful, colorful stew, I chose to include yellow, green, and red bell pepper. They’re a tasty addition and are rich in Vitamin-C.
  • Sweet Potato. My happy accident! Not only do they bring a light sweetness to the stew, but they’re also packed with fiber and antioxidants. If you prefer, you could swap in Yukon gold or russet potatoes instead.
  • Smoked Paprika. A touch of smoked paprika instantly gives this soup a deep, smoky flavor. It’s not to be missed.
  • Spices and Herbs. Dried oregano and rosemary, bay leaf, and cloves help turn this stew into a truly special, memorable dish. (Peruvian Chicken is another dish of mine with wonderful unique flavor.)
  • Crushed Tomatoes. The stew’s foundation. It makes the broth thick and rich.
  • Olives + Raisins. These two classic Spanish ingredients melt into the stew, making it a little sweet and a little salty at the same time. Even if you don’t normally enjoy these ingredients on their own, here they work together in harmony.
  • Sherry Vinegar. A critical flavor component. It gives the stew brightness and makes it linger in your memory. If you aren’t able to find sherry vinegar, you could try using rice vinegar or white wine vinegar instead, though I highly recommend sherry if you can swing it.

The Directions

a plate of seared chicken thighs
  1. Season the chicken, then sear it in a Dutch oven. Once golden, remove it to a plate (it does not need to be cooked through yet).
A pot of sauteed peppers with tomatoes
  1. Sauté the onion until soft, then add the peppers, spices, herbs, and garlic.
  2. Stir in the sweet potato, tomatoes, and broth. Simmer and stir for about 15 minutes.
A dutch oven with chicken and tomatoes for making chicken stew
  1. Add the olives, raisins, and chicken. Let simmer (partially covered) until the chicken is cooked through and ridiculously tender. Dice or shred the chicken, then return it to the pot. Drizzle in the vinegar, then simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with desired toppings and sides. ENJOY!

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Peel and chop the potatoes, peppers, and onion up to 1 day in advance, and store them in separate airtight storage containers in the refrigerator.
  • To Store. Place stew in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Store chicken stew in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
A photo of braised chicken stew with rice

What to Serve with Spanish Chicken Stew

This stew is already a healthy all-in-one meal featuring oodles of veggies and lean protein, but here are a few ideas of what you could serve with it to bulk up the meal if you so choose:

  • Grains. Either cooked brown rice or quinoa would be delicious served alongside (or underneath) this chicken stew. For a low-carb option, you could serve it with cauliflower rice.
  • Bread. Dunk slices of Crock Pot Bread into the stew, or grab a crusty loaf from your local bakery.
  • Salad. Try it with a light, subtly-flavored salad like this Anytime Arugula Salad.

More Healthy, Hearty Stew Recipes

A bowl of spanish chicken stew with rice
  • Dutch Oven. This is beautiful enough to go from stove to table.
  • Chef’s Knife. A high-quality chef’s knife makes chopping a breeze.
  • Measuring Spoons. These use magnets to stay together during storage.

However you serve this healthy stew—over rice or cauliflower rice; dipped with bread; from a giant pot placed at the center of your table—I hope its bright flavors and earnest ingredients transport you somewhere beautiful.

Spanish Chicken Stew

4.94 from 16 votes
Spanish chicken stew is a comforting and healthy one-pot meal filled with rich, authentic flavor. Serve over rice or on its own for a crowd-pleasing dinner.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Servings: 4 servings (about 7.5 cups)


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional as needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs about 8 thighs
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into ½-inch dice (or swap Yukon gold or russet potato)
  • 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup green olives pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins optional
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • For serving: cooked brown rice or steamed cauliflower rice


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or similar large, sturdy pot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs in a single layer. Brown for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until light golden brown, transfer to a plate. If the chicken won’t all fit in a single layer, brown it in batches. The thighs do not need to be cooked all the way through.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. To the Dutch oven, add 1 additional tablespoon oil. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf, and garlic. Stir constantly for 30 seconds, just until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the sweet potato, crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth. Increase the heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring periodically.
  • Add the olives, raisins, and reserved chicken thighs, along with any liquid that has accumulated on the plate. Partially cover the pot and let simmer 20 additional minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, dice or shred, then return to the pot. Stir in the sherry vinegar. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning (I found my stew tastes a little sweet, so I like to add a pinch of salt). Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with rice or other grains or bread.


  • TO STORE: Place stew in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm stew in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Store leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1(of 4); about 1 3/4 cups without riceCalories: 479kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 41gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 162mgPotassium: 1533mgFiber: 9gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 9960IUVitamin C: 85mgCalcium: 138mgIron: 5mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

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  1. Hooray, a use for the jar of Spanish olives languishing in my pantry! This was easy and very tasty, though I changed it up: I used chicken breast (I cut it into bite-size pieces, so didn’t have a need to shred); I only had a 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (instead of 28-ounce); and I forgot the sherry vinegar (is that the same as cooking sherry?). I also added a little more smoked paprika. Because I used less than the amount of crushed tomatoes called for in the recipe, mine was very thick (probably a little thicker than a stew). And still, this made quite a bit! Several dinners worth, served over rice. I can’t help feeling like this could use *something* to take it to the next level, though. Chicken thighs probably would have contributed more flavor. Thanks for the recipe!4 stars

        1. Hi Tanya! You could try using rice vinegar or white wine vinegar instead of the sherry vinegar, and I think red potatoes would work fine. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

    1. Hi Jen! Since sodium content can vary so much based on the brands of ingredients used, I recommend using an online calculator like MyFitnessPal, which you can customize based on the ingredients you have to get a more accurate number. I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  2. Our whole family loved this. I was worried about the olives because I’m not a huge fan but they made the dish. Thanks for an easy recipe we’ll make regularly.5 stars

  3. I enjoyed this tomato based stew. I added some mushrooms and a leek because I like a lot of vegetgables. I also increased the spice a little to compensate. But next time I think I will add carrots instead.5 stars

      1. Since we have a 6 week newborn at home I am always looking for one pot meals. This was perfect for our family. We thought it was delicious, however thought the spices needed to be doubled. The sherry vinegar is a wonderful touch and thought the arugula salad that was recommended was refreshing. Perfect combination!5 stars

  4. I made this recipe for dinner tonight. It was amazing! It’s so flavorful. It’s simple to make, but special enough yo serve company as well! . I will definitely be making this again.5 stars

      1. This was delicious! My Cuban husband LOVED it as well – which is high praise! Will make again and again for sure. Thanks! I boiled some liquid off at the end to make it a bit thicker but otherwise followed recipe exactly.5 stars

  5. This was delicious. My husband always comments on how the house smells when I’m cooking… he loved this fragrance. :-)
    We don’t like olives so I omitted them and added carrots instead.
    I thickened with a little cornstarch. We served it over noodles, but I will probably use rice next time to soak up some more of the liquid.5 stars

  6. Erin:
    I am planning to try to make your recipe (Spanish Chicken Stew) in my InstaPot. Do you have any particular instructions that may help my effort? Thank you! Laura

    1. Hi Laura! I have only tested the recipe as written, so it would be an experiment. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  7. this was really an amazing recipe, imma be honest I forgot the vinegar and it was still one of the best dishes I have had in a while with enough leftovers for tomorrow! I added more spices for a kick (pepper, cayenne, jezebel, cajun seasoning), squash and a lot more garlic.

    Thank you so much, I did my happy dance all night!5 stars

  8. Hello everyone!!

    Just made this recipe. I added both the sweet potato and the white potatoes. The olives, raisins and the vinegar added additional flavors as was suggested. It was perfect meal for our cold day we had here in Michigan today, 16° !!

    Will definitely make again! ?

    Lary5 stars

    1. Hi Andrhea! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so you’d be experimenting. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  9. I’ve made this one twice now and it is easy and delicious! The smoked paprika, raisins and green olives plus the vinegar – SO GOOD! I leave the thighs whole though – removes a step and I think it looks quite rustic to keep them whole.5 stars

  10. I am fourteen years old and wanted to start cooking dinner for my family more often. I found this recipe online and thought I’d try it out. I made it with jasmine rice on the side and my family loved it. It was so good and I’m definitely going to make it again in the future. This was a great recipe and I even followed your Pinterest so I can find more recipes like it.5 stars

  11. This must be one of my favorite dishes ever! I really enjoyed it. The only thing I did differently was added an extra sweet potato. I sort of wanted just a little more sweet potato too. Next time I will do just a bit more. I made your crock pot chicken and rice dish last night. That was absolutely delish! I plan on freezing the left overs for both meals :)5 stars

  12. I made this in my instapot. I followed the recipe pie up to when all the ingredients were combined, I put on the lid and turned on the pressure cooker on for 15 mins and BAM! Everything was cooked! Fall apart moist, tender chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, everything. And delicious! Ah! I’m making it again this week! Don’t skim the sherry vinegar, Its awesome!5 stars

    1. Hi Joan! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review and the feedback on using the instant pot!

    1. ’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Amy. The method and timing has worked well for myself (and others) but I know how frustrating it can be to try a new recipe and not have it work out, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  13. This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s wonderful enough to make for company! The aromatic flavors fill the house as it is simmering on the stove. It is such a comforting and delicious dish. I always double the recipe and freeze some for another quick weeknight meal.5 stars

  14. This recipe looks delicious. Before I purchase the ingredients, are the canned tomatoes 87 ounces or 8 – 7 ounce cans? Thanks, I love your recipes. Great job!

  15. This was delicious! I omitted the olives, but kept the raisins. It didn’t have the normal acidity that you find in a dish with tomato sauce, so I liked that it was milder in that sense. The entire recipe took about 2 hours to complete, so this will be more of a special occasion meal. Definitely worth trying!5 stars