This easy one pot chicken and rice recipe is a healthy dinner made with simple and real ingredients. Perfect for any night of the week!
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Easy One Pot Meal
As a busy mom of four, I love meals that come together quickly in one pot and this chicken and rice recipe is one of my absolute favorites. It’s easy to prepare and is fairly inexpensive to make. The best part about it is that everything is cooked together in just one pan, cutting down on cleanup time later.
Not only is it healthy, but it also has amazing flavor too. It tastes like a better-for-you version of the classic chicken and rice casserole that many of us grew up on. It’s hearty and packed with delicious ingredients like jasmine rice, chicken thighs, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
This easy chicken and rice recipe will become a go-to one pot meal that your family begs for over and over again. Even my kids love this dish and go back for seconds whenever I make it!
- Chicken: I love to use chicken thighs for this recipe because they are less expensive than breast meat and have more flavor since they are dark meat. The richness from the thigh meat gives the dish tons of flavor.
- Olive oil: Used when cooking the meat and vegetables to keep from sticking to the pan and add additional flavor.
- Vegetables: An aromatic mix of diced onion, celery and shredded carrots, also known as “mirepoix” in French cuisine.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic will add the best flavor to this dish. Learn how to mince garlic a few different ways.
- Rice: I prefer to use jasmine rice, which is a long grain white rice that has a super fluffy texture once cooked.
- Chicken broth: The liquid needed to cook the rice in the pan. It also adds additional flavor to the dish.
- Cheese: Freshly shredded or grated Parmesan cheese adds a creamy element to this dish, as well as a rich, tangy flavor.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper and fresh chopped parsley finish off the flavor in this meal.
How to Make Chicken and Rice
Just follow the simple steps below to get started. Scroll down for the printable recipe.
- Sauté the meat. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Place chicken thigh pieces into heated oil and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, until cooked through.
- Add in garlic and veggies. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan with the chicken and sauté for another 3 minutes. Next add the carrots and celery.
- Cook rice. Increase heat to high and add broth, then stir in the rinsed rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Stir again and then cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked (stirring occasionally).
- Add cheese and parsley. Stir in Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Add more salt, pepper or seasonings if desired.
Instant Pot Method
Instead of cooking on the stove top, you can achieve the same delicious flavors by making this easy Instant Pot chicken and rice. Learning how to use the Instant Pot to make all your favorite recipes is a huge game changer in the kitchen!
- Use chicken breasts instead of thighs for a leaner alternative (thighs will result in more flavor).
- You may also use cooked chicken in this recipe (such as rotisserie). Simply mix in the cooked meat after the vegetables have been sautéed.
- If you are a garlic lover, add a few additional garlic cloves in with the broth to help infuse more garlic flavor. Then remove the cloves before serving.
- Feel free to include extra vegetables like bell peppers, peas or mushrooms. Simply add them in when sautéing the onions, carrots and celery.
- You may substitute fresh parsley with basil or oregano if preferred.
5 star review
“This has become a “go to” dinner in our house. I’ve made it at least a dozen times and it never disappoints! Even the kids love it!”– Emily
What to Serve with Chicken and Rice
Any of the below side dishes would taste great with this easy chicken and rice recipe.
- A crusty loaf of homemade French bread or garlic bread.
- A small chopped salad topped with a zesty vinaigrette.
- Make parmesan roasted broccoli in the oven while the rice and chicken cook on the stove.
- Whip up more steamed vegetables and either serve on the side or mixed into your meal.
Brown rice takes longer to cook than long grain white rice and typically requires a bit more liquid. For best results, I don’t recommend using brown rice in this recipe as it might not cook as well.
If you’d like to give it a shot, try using 1 cup brown rice instead of 1.5 cups and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes or so to get tender.
Sure! Omit the meat and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth when cooking the rice. You could always add in extra veggies to bulk it up more or serve with cooked tofu for protein.
Yes! Rice is a gluten-free grain, which makes this dish perfect for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities.
Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warm or in a pot on the stove over low heat (add a splash of broth and cover with a lid to help steam).
Love one pot dinner recipes? Try this easy goulash next!
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One Pot Chicken and Rice
- 3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts , cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt , to taste
- Ground black pepper , to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion , diced
- 2 carrots , peeled and shredded
- 2 celery stalks , chopped
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups jasmine rice , rinsed
- ½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a 3-quart stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper (I start with about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until no longer pick and cooked through.
- Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery and garlic and sauté 1 minute.
- Increase the heat to high and add the broth and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Stir again, cover, and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the broth is absorbed. Stir occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the pot.
- Stir in the parmesan and parsley. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or any other desired seasonings.
- Can used cooked chicken, if desired. Simply skip step #1 and add in after sautéing veggies.
- For extra garlic flavor, add in 3 cloves of garlic (not minced) to help infuse the garlic flavor. Remove before serving.
- You may also add in extra vegetables while sautéing the onions, like bell pepper or mushrooms.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Can white or basmati rice be used instead? Will it change the consistency?
I’ve used basmati and it’s worked great :)
Would it work to substitute riced cauliflower instead of regular rice?
Unfortunately not for this recipe, it would get too mushy.
The entire family loved it. The second time I made it I double the recipe and added a bag of broccoli slaw mix instead of shredded carrots. It was so good.
Mmm that sounds delicious! Great idea to double for leftovers :)
I’ve never left a review before but this was so delicious!! Followed the recipe exactly as written and it was so easy. My 13 year old son and husband also loved it! This will be a regular in our home.
I’m so happy to hear it was a success and a hit with your family, Lori! Thanks for your comment and review :)
Simple, fast, delicious and versatile. Exactly what I need on weeknights to feed the family!
I’m so happy to hear the recipe was a success with your family, Mel :)
Love this 😀 so does my toddler. On regular rotation at our house!
Love to hear that! Thanks for your comment and review, Jess :)
This was delicious and easy. All 4 of my kids devoured it!
Love to hear that!! Thanks for your comment and review, Stephanie :)