One Pot Chicken and Rice

$5.82 recipe / $1.46 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 40 votes
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You guys know how much I love my one pot meals. They’re easy, cozy, and always satisfying. This Chicken and Rice one pot meal is kind of a mash-up of two of my other favorite recipes, Cajun Sausage and Rice and Mushroom Rice, and it’s definitely moving to the top of my list of favorites. The rice is rich and flavorful, the chicken is super tender, and the whole dish comes together almost effortlessly.

chicken and rice being scooped out of the skillet.

What’s in Chicken and Rice?

This super simple dish includes juicy chicken thighs coated in herbs and spices (not spicy!), sautéed onions, and long grain white rice cooked in vegetable broth. Because you cook everything in one pot from start to finish, no flavors are lost. Every bite is packed with rich and delicious flavor.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts?

I highly suggest sticking to chicken thighs for this recipe because chicken breasts can tend to dry out a bit with the double cook (sear first, steam with rice second), and the fattier chicken thighs make the dish nice and rich. It can be done, but it definitely won’t be as juicy or tender as chicken thighs. And whichever you use, make sure it’s boneless because bone-in chicken needs more time to cook and may not cook through by the time the rice is finished.

What Else Can I Add to Chicken and Rice?

If you want to add some vegetables to the pot, I would try adding a ½ cup frozen peas when you add the broth, or sautéing some mushrooms after the chicken and before the onions.

What to Serve with Chicken and Rice?

Since I didn’t add any vegetables in the pot with my chicken and rice, I added some roasted broccoli on the side. I think roasted broccoli is the perfect side because the roasted flavor matches the coziness of the chicken and rice, plus the simple flavor doesn’t compete, leaving the chicken and rice to shine. You could also do some steamed green beans, sautéed zucchini, or a simple side salad.

Chicken and rice on a plate with roasted broccoli.
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One Pot Chicken and Rice

4.91 from 40 votes
This hearty and delicious chicken and rice combines rich and flavorful rice with well seasoned chicken or an easy one pot meal.
Close up of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.
Servings 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp paprika ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper ($0.02)
  • 1.25 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4-5 thighs) ($4.23)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided ($0.08)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced ($0.32)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (uncooked) ($0.32)
  • 1.75 cups vegetable broth ($0.23)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional garnish) ($0.10)

Instructions 

  • Combine the paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Coat both sides of the chicken thighs in the seasoning mix.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a deep skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface of the skillet, then add the chicken thighs. Cook the thighs for a few minutes on each side, or until well browned. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point.
  • Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add an additional 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet, then add the diced onion. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Allow the moisture from the onion to dissolve the browned bits from the skillet as you stir.
  • Add the uncooked rice to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more to toast the rice.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the skillet and briefly stir to dissolve any remaining brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, setting it on top of the rice. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the chicken and rice continue to simmer over low, without lifting the lid or stirring, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest, without lifting the lid, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Finally, remove the lid and fluff the rice around the chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, then serve and enjoy!

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Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 31gFat: 13gSodium: 688mgFiber: 2g
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Side view of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

How to Make Chicken and Rice – Step by Step Photos

seasoned chicken thighs on a cutting board.

Combine 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl. Coat both sides of four or five boneless, skinless chicken thighs with the seasoning mix.

Browned chicken thighs in the skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a deep skillet over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the surface, then add the seasoned chicken thighs. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until well browned. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point, just well browned on the surface. While the chicken cooks, dice a yellow onion.

Sautéed onions in the skillet.

Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add another 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced onion to the skillet. Sauté the onion until soft, allowing the moisture from the onion to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Rice added to the skillet with the onion.

Add one cup of uncooked long-grain white rice to the skillet. Continue to sauté with the onion for 1-2 minutes to slightly toast the rice. You should hear it crackling and popping.

Broth being poured into the skillet.

Add 1.75 cups vegetable broth to the skillet with the rice and onions. Briefly stir to dissolve any browned bits that might remain stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

Chicken thighs back in the skillet, the lid being placed on top.

Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, placing them on top of the rice. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. When it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer on low, without lifting the lid or stirring, for 20 minutes.

Cooked chicken and rice in the skillet.

After simmering on low for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest for five minutes without lifting the lid. After resting, it should look like the above photo.

fluffed rice in the skillet with chicken thighs, garnished with parsley.

Fluff the rice with a fork and stir the onions back into the rice (it tends to float to the top while simmering). Garnish with chopped parsley and serve!

Close up of chicken being scooped out of the skillet.

TRY THESE OTHER ONE POT CHICKEN RECIPES:

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  1. I haven’t had much luck when it comes to rice…let alone one pot meals with rice. I should’ve just listened to Beth—because she always nails it. Dinner turned out perfectly and the rice didn’t stick and was fluffy. I’ve come to associate Budget Bytes with not having to do test runs. Again, Beth was right! Follow the directions and recipe and you’re guaranteed a 💯 meal. Thank you again!

  2. This is a new favorite in our house! It’s extremely easy to cook and flavorful, but none of the spices were overwhelming in any way. I soaked the rice in cold water for about twenty minutes and then rinsed it before adding it to the pot as instructed in this recipe. I found that this was a great added step to this recipe and the only thing I changed. We served with peas as a side, which also added great flavor as they inevitably worked themselves into the dish. I highly recommend adding hot sauce, such as Tapatio, before eating as that really elevates the flavor.

    This is a 10/10 in our house as of today. My husband was effusive in his compliments for the dish and my seven year old cleaned her entire plate, which can be a rarity. I can’t wait to cook it again!

  3. love this recipe, feeds all 3 of us for less than 20 dollars with leftovers

  4. This is one of my favorite go-to dinners!! Absolutely love it! Great flavors. Add some roasted veggies on the side. Yum!

  5. This is a great dish. I made it tonight. I used the whole package of thighs, and scaled the rub accordingly. Kept the rice at 1cup. Turned out delicious! I will make this again.

  6. Well, after reading all the comments, I tried this out and I don’t know where I went wrong. Followed the recipe precisely (except my batch was double). It turned out okay in flavor, but the rice was total mush except some of it was still hard around the edges of my dutch oven. Not even fluffable. I’m finding out I can’t cook rice to save my life. Anything without rice is always a success, but my dishes with rice only turn out good half of the time. 😭

    1. Hi, Anthony! I totally get this — I have made many, many bad batches of rice along the way! (Everyone does now and then!) First, I would advise looking at the cooking instructions on your package of rice for both a cook time and the suggested ratio of liquid per cup of uncooked rice. Yours could differ slightly from what we suggest. It can also vary between different brands of the same type of rice. Rice needs a certain ratio of liquid in order to cook properly, so if there’s not enough liquid (or if the heat is too high, and it evaporates too fast) the rice touching the edges of the pot will tend to harden/scorch.

      Mushy rice also suggests to me that it was too starchy. A few ways to keep that from happening are…
      1) Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking it.
      2) Resist the urge to over-stir the rice once the broth is added. Like pasta, stirring the rice in liquid activates the starches in it. (In some cases, like risotto, you want the rice to break down in this way…but not in this case!)
      3) Also, as Beth mentions, once you cover the pot, leave it until the cooking time is over. It’s tough because you want to check & make sure it’s cooking properly — but it actually causes the opposite to happen! Each time the lid is removed, it releases all the built-up steam that’s working to soften & cook the rice (as well as over-reduce the liquid in the pot). This essentially stalls the cooking process, meaning it will take longer to cook through, resulting in unevenly-cooked or overcooked rice.

      I hope that helps! ~Marion :)

  7. This was delicious! The seasoning mix was so good on the chicken. We added the peas and had roasted broccoli too. Both yummy. So easy to make, too.

  8. I accidentally did use breasts instead of thighs here (didn’t notice I’d grabbed the wrong cut until it was too late, oops), and it still wound up delicious! It’s quick and easy, it’s well-balanced both flavor-wise and nutrition-wise, and it packs a heck of a flavor punch! The chicken did end up a little dry, though, as Beth warned, so next time double-check to make sure I’ve got the right cut of meat. Although, it should be noted: when I was done searing the chicken, because the breasts were so much thinner, they cooked *really* fast and I was just tempted to eat them right then & there. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because the whole dish comes together so well!

  9. Love your One Pot Chicken and Rice.. I use Brown Rice which requires a little longer to cook than white rice.. great meal!

  10. Thanks for Sharing this Awesome recipe. great and good recipe you have shared.

  11. This is great and simple! I only had brown rice on hand, so I let the rice cook a little bit before adding the chicken thighs so they didn’t overcook. If you don’t have the long grain white rice, I’d recommend looking at how long your rice says it takes to cook and then adjusting. Worked well! It’s a great recipe for when you don’t really feel like cooking. Will likely add to my rotation.

  12. I made this tonight. My husband loves it. I used smoked paprika instead of plain paprika, and chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. It was delicious!

  13. Budget Bytes does it again! Discovered this recipe a week ago and have already made it a few times. I’ve been playing around with it and like to add finely chopped carrots after the chicken and before the onions. I highly suggest the pea add-on suggested in the preface. Timed perfectly and added a little extra burst of flavor. This may have just passed the sheet pan fajita recipe and Cajun sausage skillet for my favorite BB recipe!