Instant pot chicken and rice is a healthy instant pot recipe made with hearty veggies, chicken and fresh lemon flavor. Make this easy pressure cooker recipe for dinner tonight or any day of the week.
This is one of our go-to recipes that always stays on rotation for family dinner. We love simple meals that require less than 30 minutes of our time so we don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen. Meals using minimal ingredients or ingredients already stocked in our pantry and fridge are even better.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken: Boneless chicken breasts are preferred but boneless chicken thighs work great too.
- Chicken broth: You can substitute with vegetable broth, if needed.
- Onion: Yellow or white onion is preferred.
- Carrot: Chop them into small pieces to cook evenly.
- Lemon: The lemon adds a subtle flavor and really makes this dish extra special. It’s not recommended to skip the lemon, but you can omit if needed.
- Frozen peas: Add them to the pot frozen.
- White Rice: Using brown rice or another type of rice will alter the cook time, so white rice is recommended with this recipe.
- Olive Oil
The Instant pot is one of our favorite kitchen tools because it makes dinner and clean up quick and easy. You can both saute and pressure cook in one. The pressure cook method ensures the ingredients cook evenly with the best flavor.
- For this Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe, first sear the chicken on the Sauté setting.
- Then, saute the onion, carrots and garlic.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Place the chicken on top and seal the lid.
- Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes, allowing a 10 minute Natural Release. Then, release the remaining pressure before removing the lid.
- Shred the cooked chicken, mix everything together and serve with fresh parsley or lemon wedges, if desired.
Tips for Cooking in the Instant Pot
- Use rinsed and drained white rice to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the Instant pot.
- Make sure to scrap the bits off the bottom of the pan during the deglazing process.
- You can add more veggies and even include things like mushrooms or diced bell peppers.
- Serve this dish on it’s own or with a side of garlic green beans or roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
Other Methods to Cook Chicken and Rice
On the Stove
If you do not have an Instant Pot, don’t worry. You can buy one to try it yourself (promise, you will love it!) or you can cook it on the stove. Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet on the stove, and cook the chicken until it’s browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet. Add chicken stock, seasonings and rice to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the vegetables and and mix until cooked through. Add chicken and voila!
In the Slow Cooker
You can definitely make this recipe in a slow cooker. Spray the crockpot or slow cooker with non-stick spray, Add rice, carrots, onions, peas, garlic and seasonings to the slow cooker and stir together. Arrange chicken on top, and pour the broth or chicken stock over it. Stir to combine and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is done. Shred cooked chicken and mix with other ingredients before serving.
Other Instant Pot Recipes
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Spaghetti Squash
- Beef Stew
- Turkey Sweet Potato Chili
- Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs
- Mashed Potatoes
- Chicken Stew
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Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
- Generously season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides; set aside.
- Preheat Instant Pot by pressing the Sauté button. Heat olive oil, then sear chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides. Remove and set aside on a plate.
- Deglaze pot with ¼ cup of chicken broth, scraping the brown bits from the bottom. Add onion, and carrot and sauté 2-3 minutes until softened, stirring often. Add garlic and cook an additional 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Press Cancel.
- Add remaining chicken stock, lemon juice and zest, peas, rice, and parsley, stirring well to combine. Place chicken thighs on top, but do not stir.
- Close and seal the lid. Cook on Manual High for 7 minutes, allowing a 10 minute Natural Release, then releasing the remaining pressure by flipping the valve.
- Remove the lid and shred the chicken with two forks. Mix everything together, then serve topped with additional parsley, a crack of black pepper, and lemon wedges.
- Use white rice that is rinsed and drain to prevent burning or sticking to the bottom.
- You can omit the lemon, if desired or add even more lemon flavor.
- You can substitute or add more vegetables, if desired. Mushrooms and diced bell pepper work great too.
- Store the leftovers in your fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat prior to serving.
This post was originally published in April 2019. It was updated in September 2020 with process photos and tips.