An easy weeknight meal! Serve this delicious one pot chicken and rice recipe with a big green salad or a side of steamed vegetables for a healthy dinner the whole family will love.
One Pot Chicken and Rice is one of those recipes we turn to again and again. It rivals the comfort level of my favorite Chicken and Rice Soup (Instant Pot). And coming from this soup lover, that’s saying a lot!
This one pot meal is made entirely on the stovetop. And since you only use one pot (or skillet), that means clean-up is a breeze.
Stir in some spinach, kale or broccoli florets for a dose of greens. Or serve it with your favorite salad. Chopped Broccoli Salad and Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad are two fun options to veer away from the typical green salad.
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INGREDIENTS FOR THIS ONE POT CHICKEN RICE RECIPE:
These are the main ingredients needed for this recipe…
- CHICKEN: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs stay tender when simmered with rice. Trim any excess fat off of the chicken.
- SPICES: Use dried rosemary (I usually buy the crushed version), smoked paprika and garlic powder.
- ONION: Use yellow onion or substitute with white onion.
- CARROT AND CELERY: Large carrot and large celery stalk.
- BROTH: Use your favorite chicken broth. If sodium is a concern, use a low-sodium broth.
- RICE: I used brown basmati rice, but brown jasmine rice is also a good option.
- HERBS: Flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil finish things off!
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
💙 What’s to love about chicken with rice:
EASY CLEAN-UP! You can’t beat the ease of one-pot recipes. Less pots are on the stove and clean-up is a breeze.
FLAVOR! The flavors are simple, but so comforting. The classic mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery) adds an aromatic base to the spice and herb chicken.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY: Both kids and adults love this dish! From the flavorful rice to the tender chicken, it’s the ultimate people-pleaser.
How to make one pot chicken and rice:
The instructions for this recipe break down to a few basic steps. 1) Spice and sear the chicken, 2) Cook the vegetables, 3) Simmer the rice and 4) Cook the chicken. Let’s talk details…
MAKE THE SPICE MIXTURE: Grab a prep bowl and stir together the rosemary, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
SEASON THE CHICKEN: Place the trimmed chicken thighs in a bowl and toss with the spice mixture. I like to sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the chicken, toss it together, then repeat with the remaining spice mixture. This makes it easier to distribute the spices evenly.
SEAR THE CHICKEN: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. If you have an enameled cast-iron skillet, that’s a great option for a nice sear on the chicken. Otherwise, try a nonstick skillet. If you prefer to use a stainless steel skillet, you’ll need to use more oil to stop the chicken from sticking. Sear the chicken thighs about 2 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside on a plate.
SAUTÉ THE VEGGIES: Turn the heat to medium and add a little more olive oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
SIMMER THE RICE: Stir in the rice and broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
COOK THE CHICKEN: Time to add the chicken back in! Nestle the seared chicken pieces into the rice. Use a rubber spatula to scrap down the sides so that all of the grains of rice are immersed in the broth. Cook until the broth is absorbed, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
ADD THE HERBS: Stir in the fresh parsley and basil. Serve it up!
Can I use white rice?
Yes! I really like the nutty taste (and extra fiber!) of brown rice, but white rice can certainly be used in a pinch.
Since white rice takes less time to cook, you need to make a slight adjustment in the cooking steps. In the original recipe, the chicken is added after the rice simmers for about 25 minutes. However, if white long grain rice is used instead of brown rice, the chicken should be added to the skillet at the same time as the rice and broth.
Can I use chicken breasts?
Yes! To be honest, chicken thighs produce the best results because they don’t dry out as easily as chicken breasts do. That being said, you can make chicken breasts work if you take care not to overcook them.
If the chicken breasts are large, but them in have crosswise (not horizontally). Cook them as directed in the recipe card, but check on them at the 10 minute mark. If they’re done, transfer the chicken to the plate and continue to cook the rice.
What to serve with chicken and rice:
There are three main options:
- Stir in some greens (spinach, kale) at the end of cooking, when the parsley and basil is added.
- Cut some broccoli into small florets or prep some snap peas. Add them to the skillet, on top of the chicken, in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Allow them to steam in the covered skillet while the rice and chicken finish cooking.
- Serve with a salad or another vegetable side dish. Some of my favorites are Apple Pecan Salad, Air Fryer Zucchini and Sautéed Green Beans & Mushrooms.
How to store and reheat the leftovers:
Allow the leftovers to cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Store the container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Reheat the leftovers in the microwave. Or transfer them to a baking dish, cover with foil and reheat at 275 degrees F.
If the rice has been sitting for a couple of days, add a tablespoon or two of water or broth before reheating to rehydrate it.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Sure! Cool the leftovers, then transfer them to a resealable freezer bag or an airtight freezer container.
Defrost the chicken and rice in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the microwave until it reaches the desired temperature.
One Pot Chicken and Rice
- 6 (4 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- ¾ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 large celery stalk diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup dry brown rice (I used basmati)
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 5 basil leaves thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the chicken thighs in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the rosemary, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the chicken and toss to coat.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Turn the heat to medium. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir the brown rice and chicken broth into the vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Nestle the chicken and any accumulated juices into the rice. Cook (covered) until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. The rice should be tender and the chicken cooked through.
- Stir in the parsley and basil. Season to taste. Serve.
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