Chimichurri Chicken and Rice

$5.35 recipe / $1.34 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 25 votes
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I’m declaring chimichurri the sauce of the summer. It’s so bright and vibrant, and as I’ve mentioned before it’s good on pretty much everything! This week I made this scrumptious one-pot Chimichurri Chicken and Rice, which was based loosely on Trader Joe’s frozen chimichurri rice and vegetables (a product that many of you suggested I try). I added chicken just to make it more of a full, one-pot style meal, but making this vegan would be super easy, too. Just swap out the diced chicken for a can of chickpeas and you’re good to go! 

Goes great with: Super Fresh Cucumber Salad, Vinaigrette Slaw with Feta, Lemon Butter Green Beans

Chimichurri Chicken and Rice

Chimichurri Chicken and Rice in the skillet with a wooden spoon

Hand Chop Your Chimichurri

I made a smaller batch of chimichurri this time and because of that I decided to just chop everything by hand instead of using my food processor. Surprise, surprise, I liked it a lot better than my super processed chimichurri!! So, I’ll be making it by hand from now on. And honestly, it was easier to finely chop all that stuff than it is to clean the food processor. :P

Tips for Cooking One Pot Recipes

As will all one-pot rice dishes, it’s absolutely critical to use a good quality pot with a thick bottom. If you use a thin pot or skillet you’ll get hot spots and cold spots leaving the rice uncooked in some areas and dry or burned in others. Even heat is critical. If you have a rice cooker, you could totally do this in the rice cooker, too. Just do all the sauté steps in a skillet, then transfer everything (chicken, vegetables, rice, water) to the rice cooker, cook per the machine’s instructions, then fold in the chimichurri at the end. 👍

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Chimichurri Chicken and Rice

4.80 from 25 votes
This Chimichurri Chicken and Rice is a bright and vibrant summer meal that cooks in just one pot to make dinner fast and easy. 
This Chimichurri Chicken and Rice is a bright and vibrant summer meal that cooks in just one pot to make dinner fast and easy. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 55 mins

Ingredients

CHIMICHURRI

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil ($0.52)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.20)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin ($0.03)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped ($0.30)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped ($0.25)

CHICKEN AND RICE

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (3/4 lb.) ($1.42)
  • Pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.41)
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas ($0.21)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice* ($0.66)
  • 1.5 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Instructions 

  • Prepare the chimichurri first to allow time for the flavors to blend. Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl.
  • Pull the parsley and cilantro leaves from the stem and finely chop them. Mince the garlic. Stir the parsley, cilantro, and garlic into the bowl with the oil, vinegar, and spices. Set the chimichurri aside.
  • Cut the chicken breast into very small pieces, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and sauté until golden brown.
  • While the chicken is browning, dice the onion. Remove the chicken pieces from the skillet once golden brown, and add the diced onion in their place. Sauté the onion until soft (about 5 minutes). 
  • While the onion is sautéing, dice the tomatoes. Once the onions are soft, add the diced tomatoes and sauté for about two minutes more, or until they begin to break down.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet along with the frozen peas, uncooked rice, water, and 1/4 tsp salt. Briefly stir to combine all the ingredients.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low or medium-low, and let it simmer gently for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • After letting the rice rest for 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Pour the prepared chimichurri over the rice and fold it in to combine. Be careful not to vigorously stir the chimichurri into the rice because this will cause it to become sticky and mushy. 
  • Taste the chimichurri chicken and rice and season with extra salt if needed. Top with an extra pinch of fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish, then serve. 

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Notes

*I used jasmine rice because it's my rice of choice, but regular long grain white rice will work just as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 454.18kcalCarbohydrates: 44.93gProtein: 24.18gFat: 19.38gSodium: 552.8mgFiber: 2.45g
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Chimichurri Chicken and Rice in the skillet viewed from the side

Chimichurri Chicken and Rice in a bowl with a fork

Step by Step Photos

Chimichurri Oil Vinegar and Herbs

Make the chimichurri first so the flavors have a little time to blend. In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp cumin, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Fresh Parsley Cilantro and Garlic

You’ll want about 1/2 cup loosely packed each chopped parsley and cilantro, so I just grabbed about 1/4 of each of my bunches. This recipe is super flexible so you don’t have to stress over getting the amount of parsley and cilantro right. But, if in doubt, more is better. Oh, you’ll also need a large clove of garlic.

Chopped Parsley Cilantro and Garlic

Chop the parsley and cilantro very finely. Mince the garlic.

Finished Chimichurri in a bowl

Stir the parsley, cilantro, and garlic into the oil and vinegar mixture. Set the chimichurri aside.

Chopped Chicken on a red cutting board

Cut one boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.) into small pieces. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Browned Chicken in the skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and cook them until they’re golden brown, then remove them from the skillet.

Sautéed Onion in the skillet

While the chicken is cooking, dice an onion. After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the onion and sauté until they’re soft.

Sautéed Tomatoes in the skillet

While the onions are sautéing, dice two Roma tomatoes. Add the diced tomatoes to the skillet and sauté for just a couple minutes more, or until they start to lose their shape.

Add Rice Chicken and Peas to the skillet

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with 1/2 cup frozen peas and 1 cup long grain white rice (I used jasmine).

Add Water and Salt to the skillet

Add 1.5 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt. Give everything a brief stir, then place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low or medium-low and let it simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Simmered Rice and Chicken

After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes, undisturbed (lid in place). Finally, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork.

Finished Chimichurri Chicken and Rice

Finally, pour the chimichurri over the skillet and gently fold it to incorporate it into the chicken, rice, and vegetables. Make sure not to stir vigorously, or your rice will get sticky and mushy. Taste the dish and add more salt, if needed.

A full skillet of Chimichurri Chicken and Rice from above

You can garnish the Chimichurri Chicken and Rice with a little extra parsley or cilantro, if you’d like

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  1. This was good, but in the end I felt like it needed something extra to vary the texture of the dish a bit. Crumpled feta added at the end did the trick. 

  2. Excellent! I was nervous at first because it smelled pretty bland while the rice was cooking. But the chimichurri is so flavorful it ended up exactly right.

  3. I made this with a can of chickpeas instead of chicken and added 1.5 cups chicken broth instead of water. I also used a can of petite diced tomatoes and it worked fine.

  4. Amazing recipe, this one will be going in our rotation for sure. I have never had chimichurri sauce before, but it tastes great! We are thinking of adding a can of artichoke hearts next time. Also I am wondering how well this will stand up to meal prep if I make a big batch for lunches. Yum!

  5. This is one of our favorite easy meals to make. My husband talks about how he used to be obsessed with the Trader Joe’s chimichurri rice from the frozen section so I went looking for a way to duplicate it. I replaced chicken with chickpeas, and added just a smidge of chicken broth concentrate for more flavor. I think it would be great with some chopped carrots too!

  6. This was SO good! I made 2 batches, one with chicken and the other vegan. I had the rice precooked so I didn’t make it exactly as recipe calls, but everyone was happy with the dish. Chimichurri sauce was perfect! I didn’t have any chickpeas and used kidney beans that I had in the pantry. Very delicious!

    1. Yes, you could probably get away without the tomatoes in this one because the chimichurri provides so much flavor already. :)

  7. I love this recipe, I made it twice now already. I added a bit more chicken than the recipe states since I really enjoy having more meat. I also put some lime juice over all of it in the end to add some extra flavor, and I sprinkled feta over my own serving. The feta really added a nice flavor to it. So delicious. Though prepping takes me quite a while since I like to chop everything before I start cooking so that I don’t over cook anything. But it’s worth it.

  8. is there another vegetable i can use instead of peas. don’t have any.

    1. You could omit them and use what you have on hand. I’ve used bell peppers in the past with great success!

  9. Hi! Made this before and loved it, about to make it again. Do you have any tips about what to use the rest of the cilantro and parsley from my bunches for? Or can I freeze extra sauce?
    Thanks!

  10. I made this recently, sticking with the exact recipe, and it came out beautifully! So much flavour, so easy to make! I wasn’t sure how to reheat it the next day, so I just put it in a pan with some water (to stop it drying out), and it was just as beautiful.