With simple pantry ingredients and plenty of vegetables, this One Pot Chicken and Rice will easily become a family favorite!
The holidays are quickly approaching. And while I’m planning beautiful and extravagant meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I sometimes lack the energy for our day to day dinners.
That’s where one pan meals come in. It doesn’t get easier than an entire meal that’s cooked in one pot! Less dishes, less mess, less stress! And when the main ingredients are chicken and rice (which I always have on hand) that makes it even better!
You might have seen Chicken and Rice made with cream of chicken soup or maybe even cream of mushroom soup. While those recipes are delicious, I find that they have a higher fat content and increased sodium.
In this one pot chicken and rice recipe, I’m using half and half combined with parmesan cheese to achieve a rich and creamy flavor without canned soup. These are the ingredients you will need:
- Chicken: to get juicy and tender chicken, grab some boneless skinless chicken thighs from your local grocery store. I recommend grabbing meat that is fresh, never frozen, for the best flavor.
- Rice: for the rice in this recipe, I used jasmine rice. If you are unfamiliar with jasmine rice is a bowl of short-grain sticky rice that has a bit of a nutty flavor to it. It pairs perfectly with the other flavors in the dish. However, if you are looking for a substitute, I recommend using white rice or basmati rice. If you’re looking for a more nutritious option, you can also use brown rice or wild rice.
- Herbs & spices: you won’t need your whole spice rack for this one. We’re using paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, minced garlic cloves, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, and fresh chopped parsley to season this yummy rice dish.
- Vegetables: this one dish recipe is chuck full of not just grains and proteins, but also vegetables. For this, you will need baby bella mushrooms, pearl onions, peas, and carrots. It’s an easy way to get a hearty dose of veggies, even for the veggie haters.
- Dairy: to get that perfectly creamy rice, you will need half and half and parmesan cheese. Looking to substitute half and half? You can swap out this ingredient with 1/2 cup of whole milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream or 1 cup of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of butter, or you can also use 2/3 cup of low-fat milk and 1/3 cup of heavy cream.
- Chicken broth: boost those chicken flavors and aid in the cooking of the rice by using chicken broth! You can also use water but I love the way chicken broth adds so much flavor.
- For cooking: olive oil and cooking wine.
How to Make One Pot Chicken and Rice
1. Season the chicken. Generously salt the chicken thighs 30-60 minutes before cooking. This will tenderize the meat, making it even juicier. Allow them to come to room temperature before cooking. Combine paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and season both sides of the chicken.
2. Cook the chicken. Heat a large cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat with olive oil. When oil is shimmering, place the seasoned chicken thighs in the pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
3. Cook the rice. Add the uncooked rice, chicken broth, garlic, cooking wine, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, mushrooms, and pearl onions to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered until rice is cooked and tender. Stir occasionally.
4. Simmer rice and chicken together. Stir In half and half, parmesan cheese, peas, carrots, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the cooked chicken thighs back into the pan. Simmer, uncovered, on low heat for 5-10 minutes, until thick and creamy.
One pot chicken and rice has endless variations! Once you make it, you will want to keep adding more or change things up to make it new and special every time.
Here are some fun ways to change up this dish:
- Spice it up. Add a kick with red pepper flakes, chili peppers, or chipotle peppers!
- Make it vegetarian. Swap the chicken for fresh and seasonal vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, squash, or eggplant. Don’t forget to swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
- Protein. Try this recipe with other proteins like shrimp, flank steak, sausage, bacon, or even cooked salmon or lobster to top off the dish at the end of cooking.
- Chicken breasts. You can use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. Just make sure you adjust the cooking time. Chicken breasts will take a bit longer to cook. I suggest slicing them in half to make them thinner so they cook more quickly.
Reheating and Storage
You can absolutely double and triple this recipe for a crowd, but don’t stress about the leftovers. This meal not only makes the perfect dinner but the perfect lunch and left-over dinner the next day.
This recipe can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. It’s important to remember when you store your leftover one pot chicken and rice it will thicken slightly in the refrigerator. However, this is easily fixed and restorable to its creamy, and dreamy, glory.
- Add chicken and rice along with a splash of chicken broth or water to a skillet.
- Heat over medium heat, covered, until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
- If the rice is still too thick after about 10 minutes, stir in additional chicken broth or water one tablespoon at a time.
You can also reheat in the microwave for 2-4 minutes.
More easy chicken dinners:
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One Pot Chicken and Rice
- 1.5 pounds boneless , skinless chicken thighs, about 4 thighs
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms , quartered
- 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese , finely shredded
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots , or half a cup of each
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- Generously salt the chicken thighs 30-60 minutes before cooking. Allow them to come to room temperature by placing them on the counter for 10-15 minutes before cooking. Combine paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and season both sides of the chicken.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, place the chicken thighs in the pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add the uncooked rice, chicken broth, garlic, cooking wine, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, mushrooms, and pearl onions to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked and tender. Stir occasionally.
- Stir in the half and half, parmesan cheese, peas, carrots, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the cooked chicken thighs back into the pan. Simmer, uncovered, on low heat for 5-10 minutes, until thick and creamy.