We affectionately call One Pot Chicken and Rice “gruel” at my house.
“KIDS!” I’ll yell at dinnertime, “Come get yer gruel!” and they come running. What can I say, it makes me laugh and it’s the little things.
Part risotto (without all the stirring) and part soup, this creamy chicken and rice recipe is simple, comforting, and made entirely in one pot with fridge and pantry staples. And lucky for you and me — it tastes nothing like gruel!
Watch How to Make It!
Why You’ll Love This One-Pot Meal
- It’s easy. Toss everything into a soup pot and let it simmer while you stir here and there. Minimal work, maximum reward.
- It’s cozy. This creamy chicken and rice lands somewhere between brothy soup and creamy risotto — minus the tedious stirring — aka it’s cozy and soul satisfying comfort food.
- It’s wallet-friendly. This is a greal meal to stretch a package of chicken breasts and feed a large family. If you’re looking for more budget-friendly chicken recipes, check out my Gluten Free on a Budget ebook!
- It reheats well. This recipe makes a ton, but leftovers heat up very well for lunch or dinner the next day.
- It’s family-friendly. I have three little kids so we’re still a little ways out from our adventurous-eating era. That said, this easy chicken recipe is full of comforting, familiar flavors that everyone young and old will enjoy!
What’s in Chicken and Rice?
Raid the fridge and pantry for the everyday ingredients you’ll need to make this easy, one pot recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Butter. To saute the carrots and add a bit of luxuriousness to the dish at the end. Feel free to use vegan butter as a dairy-free alternative.
- Carrots. Slice up baby carrots, peel then chop a couple large carrots, or go the easy route and use shredded carrots.
- Homemade seasoned salt. My four ingredient, homemade seasoned salt is responsible for adding a ton of flavor to this recipe. It’s a simple yet effective combo of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
- Long grain white rice. This recipe is flexible but I do ask that you use high quality, long grain white rice like jasmine or basmati rice vs instant rice or a lower quality rice which can become mushy. I love Lundberg Farms Jasmine White Rice.
- Dried minced onion and garlic. We’re going with the dried versions to keep this dish easy!
- Parsley flakes. Anyone else remember the boxed chicken noodle soup mix with the golden egg flavor ball? I always loved the dried parsley flakes in that soup which is why I add it here. A simple way to add color and flavor.
- Chicken stock. Since this recipe calls for such few ingredients, I recommend you use chicken stock vs chicken broth — homemade, if you can swing it! Here’s my Instant Pot recipe for Homemade Chicken Stock.
- Chicken. Diced boneless skinless chicken breasts are dropped into the hot broth about halfway through the cooking process. No extra sauting step needed.
Variations on Chicken and Rice
As you can see from the robust comment section on this post, this easy chicken dinner has been a reader favorite for years and years. That said, here are a few reader favorite variations on my base recipe:
- Swap in rotisserie chicken. If you have shredded rotisserie chicken on hand, stir in 1-1/2 cups pre-cooked, shredded chicken at the end to warm through.
- Use fresh garlic and onion. Use freshly chopped onion and garlic instead of the dried versions. I recommend 1/2 chopped yellow onion or 1 chopped shallot, and 3 pressed or minced fresh garlic cloves (or 4 if you’re a garlic lover like me!)
- Make it vegetarian. Use vegetable stock or broth instead of chicken stock, and omit the chicken to make this dish vegetarian. Use these swaps PLUS use dairy-free butter to make it vegan.
- Add more veggies. Pump up the veggies by sauting sliced celery, sliced mushrooms, and/or frozen corn in with the carrots, and/or stir in frozen peas at the end.
- Add a parmesan cheese rind. This is one of my favorite hacks for adding slow-cooked flavor to quick-cooking soups, especially — drop a parmesan cheese rind into the pot with the chicken stock then let it simmer with the dish. Remove before serving. You will be SHOCKED by how much flavor it adds!
What to Serve with Chicken and Rice
Not only do I love this meal because it’s made in just one pot, but also because it’s a complete meal in one with veggies, a starch, and protein — aka the Midwestern dinner trifecta. No extra side dishes necessary. That said, if you want to fill up your dinner table a bit more, here are some side dish ideas:
- Gluten Free Focaccia Bread
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Everyday Kale Salad
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Marinated Vegetable Salad
- Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
Chicken and Rice Recipe FAQ
Like I said, many, MANY people have made and loved this recipe over the years, which I am so grateful for!! Here are a few questions that have popped up more than once:
- Can I use brown rice? You can, but you will need to add more broth to the recipe, and simmer the rice longer. The chicken will still only need 7-10 minutes to cook through so plan accordingly.
- Can I use arborio rice? This recipe will not work as written with arborio rice.
- Can I use fresh onion and garlic? Absolutely! I recommend 1/2 chopped yellow onion or 1 chopped shallot, and 3-4 pressed or minced fresh garlic cloves.
- Can I freeze leftovers? I don’t recommend freezing cooked rice-based dishes as they can become mushy once thawed and reheated.
- Can I make this in the crock pot or my Instant Pot / pressure cooker? My experience with cooking rice in a slow cooker has not been positive, and extensive additional testing would be required to confidently recommend the best timing/method for cooking this recipe in an Instant Pot. If you’ve tried it, let us know in the comments section!
In the meantime, grab your soup pot, turn on the burner, and let’s cook!
How to Make One Pot Chicken and Rice
Step 1: Add sliced or shredded carrots to melted butter in a soup pot over medium heat then season with homemade seasoned salt and pepper. Place a lid on top then cook until the carrots are tender, 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can use a stock pot, a Dutch Oven, or large soup pot – whatever you’ve got on hand.
Step 2: Add long grain white rice, dried minced onion, and dried minced garlic then stir to coat the rice in the butter and saute for one minute.
Again, use the highest quality rice you can afford, or the dish can turn out mushy. I am 100% brand loyal to Lundberg rice!
Step 3: Add dried parsley and chicken stock to the pot then bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Season chicken breasts that have been chopped into bite-sized pieces with seasoned salt and pepper then add to the soup pot and continue to simmer until the rice is al dente and the chicken is cooked through, 7-10 additional minutes.
Step 5: Remove the pot from the heat then place a lid on top and let it sit for 5 minutes. Finally, stir in more butter (follow your heart!) then season with additional seasoned salt and pepper to taste.
The dish will thicken as it cools, and you can taste the flavor much better when the chicken and rice is warm vs piping hot, so I like to let the pot sit uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or so before scooping into bowls and serving.
Storing and Reheating
Scoop leftover Chicken and Rice into an airtight container, or individual sized storage containers then refrigerate. I don’t recommend freezing this dish. Even high quality cooked rice has the potential to become mushy once thawed and reheated from the freezer.
I recommend you reheat in individual sized portions. Simply scoop the cold chicken and rice into a bowl from the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between increments until warmed through.
Whether you make One Pot Chicken and Rice as written, or give it your own spin, I hope you love it as much as we do! Enjoy!
More Easy Family Favorites
- Gnocchi Chicken Pot Pie
- Easy Chicken and Rice Soup
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Skillet
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice
free email bonus
Dinner Made EASY
5 days of simple yet flavorful recipes that take the stress out of dinnertime!
One Pot Chicken and Rice
One-Pot Chicken and Rice is part soup, part risotto, and wholly comforting. Your family will ask for this easy yet irresistable gluten free dinner recipe again and again.
- 4 - 6 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 heaping cup shredded or chopped carrots (from 1 cup baby carrots or 2 large carrots)
- homemade seasoned salt and pepper (see notes)
- 2 scant cups long grain white rice (I like Lundberg White Jasmine Rice)
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 small chicken breasts (14oz), cut into bite-sized pieces
- Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots, season with seasoned salt and pepper, then place a lid on top and cook until carrots are tender, 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add rice, dried onions and dried garlic then stir to coat in butter and saute for 1 minute. Add dried parsley and chicken stock then turn heat up to high to bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot as it comes to a boil.
- Turn heat down to medium-low then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper then add to the pot, turning the heat up slightly to bring it back up to a bubble if necessary. Turn the heat back down to medium-low then continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and rice is al dente, 7-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally and more frequently near the end.
- Place a lid on top of the pot then remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 - 4 Tablespoons butter (however much you like!) then season with additional seasoned salt and pepper if necessary. Scoop into bowls then serve. Note: dish will thicken as it cools and I prefer the flavor better when it's warm vs piping hot.
- Leave a comment and star rating if you loved the recipe! Thank you for considering!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.