Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano Recipe from Puerto Rico

Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano

Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano Recipe from Puerto Rico
Region / culture: Puerto Rico | Preparation time: 2 hours | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 6


Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano
Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano

Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano is a hearty and comforting dish that combines the rich flavors of chicken stew with the unique texture of plantain dumplings. This recipe is a celebration of traditional Latin American cuisine, offering a warm and satisfying meal that's perfect for family gatherings or a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken, aromatic spices, and the subtle sweetness of plantains creates a culinary experience that's both exotic and familiar.


The origins of Asopao de Pollo can be traced back to the Caribbean, where it is considered a staple in countries like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Each region has its own variation of the dish, but the essence remains the same: a comforting chicken soup thickened with rice or, in this case, plantain dumplings. The addition of Bollitas de Platano is a nod to the indigenous Taino people, who were among the first to cultivate plantains in the Caribbean.


Bollitas de platano

How to prepare

  1. Use canned adobo powder, which can be found at most grocery stores, and generously coat all sides of the chicken pieces (the goal is to give each piece a small bite of chicken).
  2. When preparing the asopao for your family, adjust the amount of chicken pieces accordingly.
  3. For best results, allow the chicken to marinate for two hours.
  4. In a deep pot, bring three cups of water and the chicken pieces to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the number of pieces.
  6. Optionally, remove some of the broth (which can be delicious for sipping or used in other dishes).
  7. Alternatively, you can also remove some of the skins from the cooked chicken pieces.
  8. Remove everything from the pot, add two tablespoonfuls of olive oil, and heat for about one minute.
  9. Sauté the onion and diced cilantro for less than a minute, then add garlic, tomato, and bay leaf, and sauté for another minute.
  10. Add the chicken pieces along with their broth.
  11. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  12. Add the rice.
  13. Cook over medium heat, covered, for approximately twenty minutes.
  14. If the pot is not deep enough, it may boil over, so remember to uncover it occasionally, stir, and release some steam to prevent this.
  15. Add the diced potatoes and red peppers.
  16. Cook for another ten minutes.
  17. You can substitute the potatoes with:

Bollitas de platano

  1. Grate a green plantain into thin shreds.
  2. Take a small amount and form it into a ball in the palm of your hand, adding a pinch of flour as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Add the bollitas to the pot when the cooking time is reduced to fifteen minutes.


  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken with chickpeas or tofu, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add other vegetables like carrots or peas to increase the dish's nutritional value.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best flavor, marinate the chicken pieces in adobo seasoning for at least two hours before cooking. This allows the spices to penetrate the meat deeply. When forming the Bollitas de Platano, make sure the plantain shreds are finely grated to ensure they cook thoroughly and evenly. To prevent the Asopao from boiling over, keep a close eye on the pot, especially after adding the rice, and stir occasionally to release steam.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Asopao hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for an added zest. It pairs well with a side of avocado salad or fried plantains for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a successful Asopao is in the simmering process. Slow cooking allows the flavors to meld together and the chicken to become tender. When making the Bollitas de Platano, ensure they are not too large, so they cook thoroughly without falling apart.

Ingredient Substitutions

If plantains are not available, you can use potatoes or yams as a substitute in the dumplings. For a gluten-free version, replace the wheat flour with rice flour or another gluten-free flour.

Make Ahead Tips

The Asopao can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days. The flavors often deepen over time, making leftovers even more delicious. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until thoroughly warmed.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Asopao in a deep bowl, with the Bollitas de Platano prominently displayed. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a lime wedge for a pop of color and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine or a cold beer complements the rich flavors of the Asopao. For a non-alcoholic option, a tangy tamarind juice or a refreshing limeade pairs well with the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, simmer on the stove over medium heat until hot. Avoid microwaving, as it can affect the texture of the Bollitas de Platano.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano contains about 350-450 calories. This can vary based on the ingredients and portion sizes.


This dish is relatively high in carbohydrates, primarily due to the presence of rice and plantains. A single serving can contain approximately 45-60 grams of carbohydrates. The exact amount may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes.


The fat content in Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano mainly comes from the chicken and olive oil. Using skinless chicken pieces can help reduce the overall fat content. On average, a serving may contain about 10-15 grams of fat.


Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, making this dish a good option for those looking to increase their protein intake. A single serving can provide approximately 25-35 grams of protein, depending on the amount of chicken used.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of vegetables and chicken. It provides vitamin C from tomatoes and red peppers, potassium from plantains, and iron and zinc from the chicken.


The primary allergen in this recipe is wheat flour, used in the Bollitas de Platano. Those with gluten sensitivities can substitute the wheat flour with a gluten-free alternative.


Overall, Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a hearty meal that can fit into a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.


Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano is a flavorful and nourishing dish that brings the warmth and richness of Latin American cuisine to your table. With its combination of tender chicken, aromatic spices, and hearty plantain dumplings, it's a comforting meal that's perfect for any occasion. Whether you're cooking for a family dinner or a special gathering, this recipe is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano. It was a hot summer day in Puerto Rico, and I had just finished helping my abuela in the kitchen. As a young girl, I was always curious about cooking and loved spending time with her, watching her chop, stir, and season with such ease and grace.

On this particular day, she had decided to make Asopao de Pollo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish that is a comforting blend of chicken, rice, and vegetables in a flavorful broth. As she worked her magic in the kitchen, I sat at the table, eagerly awaiting the chance to taste her delicious creation.

As the aroma of the simmering chicken filled the air, I couldn't help but ask my abuela how she had learned to make such a delectable dish. With a twinkle in her eye, she told me the story of how she had acquired the recipe many years ago from a dear friend who had learned it from her own grandmother.

According to my abuela, the secret to a truly authentic Asopao de Pollo lies in the bollitas de platano, or plantain dumplings, that are added to the broth. These dumplings not only add a unique flavor and texture to the dish but also serve as a comforting reminder of the rich culinary heritage of Puerto Rico.

As I listened to my abuela's story, I felt a deep connection to my roots and a sense of pride in the culinary traditions that had been passed down through generations. I knew that I wanted to learn how to make this dish myself and carry on the tradition in my own kitchen.

Over the years, I have perfected my abuela's recipe for Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano, adding my own twist and flair to make it truly my own. Each time I prepare this dish, I am transported back to that hot summer day in Puerto Rico, sitting at the table with my abuela, watching her work her magic in the kitchen.

The key to a delicious Asopao de Pollo lies in the quality of the ingredients and the love and care that go into preparing it. I always start by marinating the chicken in a blend of garlic, cilantro, and adobo seasoning, allowing the flavors to meld and infuse the meat with a rich, savory taste.

Next, I sauté a mixture of onions, peppers, and tomatoes in a large pot, creating a fragrant base for the broth. I add the marinated chicken, along with chicken broth, sofrito, and a hint of sazón seasoning, allowing the flavors to simmer and meld together into a rich, flavorful broth.

While the broth simmers, I prepare the bollitas de platano, blending ripe plantains with a bit of flour and seasoning to create a dough that is rolled into small dumplings. These dumplings are then added to the broth, where they cook and absorb the flavors of the chicken and vegetables, creating a delicious and satisfying addition to the dish.

As the aroma of the simmering Asopao de Pollo fills my kitchen, I am filled with a sense of pride and satisfaction, knowing that I am carrying on the culinary traditions of my abuela and honoring the flavors and tastes of my Puerto Rican heritage.

I can't help but smile as I serve up bowls of steaming hot Asopao de Pollo to my family and friends, watching as they savor each bite and ask for seconds. In those moments, I feel a deep connection to my abuela and the generations of women who came before me, passing down their recipes and their love for cooking.

As I sit at the table, surrounded by the laughter and chatter of my loved ones, I am reminded of the power of food to bring people together, to nourish the body and the soul, and to create lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come. And as I take a bite of the rich, flavorful Asopao de Pollo con Bollitas de Platano, I am grateful for the gift of cooking and the legacy of love that my abuela has passed down to me.


| Chicken Recipes | Medium-grain Rice Recipes | Okra Recipes | Plantain Recipes | Potato Recipes | Puerto Rican Meat Dishes | Puerto Rican Recipes | Red Bell Pepper Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(8) Solanka
(7) Comlek