Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

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. 

A large bowl of chicken and rice with two slices of lemon on top sitting on a white table.

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

ingredients for instant pot chicken and rice
  • 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.
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
steps to make chicken and rice in a pressure cookier

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. 

  1. For this Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe, first sear the chicken on the Sauté setting.
  2. Then, saute the onion, carrots and garlic.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Place the chicken on top and seal the lid.
  5. Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes, allowing a 10 minute Natural Release. Then, release the remaining pressure before removing the lid.
  6. Shred the cooked chicken, mix everything together and serve with fresh parsley or lemon wedges, if desired.
shredding chicken and chicken and rice

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.
Cooked chicken and rice is sitting in the instant pot. A wooden spoon is scooping the rice.

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. 

Chicken and rice is sitting in a while bowl on a white table. The bowl has a fork in it.

Other Instant Pot Recipes

A large bowl of chicken and rice with two slices of lemon on top sitting on a white table.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
This healthy instant pot recipe made with hearty veggies, chicken and fresh lemon flavor. 
5 from 24 votes

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 494kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 88mg, Sodium: 122mg, Potassium: 562mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 4705IU, Vitamin C: 29.7mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 2.1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

This post was originally published in April 2019. It was updated in September 2020 with process photos and tips.

51 comments on “Instant Pot Chicken and Rice”

  1. Can I make this with frozen chicken breast? How would I change the cook time?

    • I have not tested this recipe with frozen chicken, however you should be able to use frozen chicken breast. For small chicken breasts, increase the cook time to 8-10 minutes, or 12-15 minutes for large chicken breasts. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

  2. I made this recipe and followed it to a “T” and I got the “burn” notice on the Instant Pot over and over after adding water several times.

    The taste is good. But I’ve never had an issue with a “burn” error.

    • There is enough liquid in this recipe so you should not get the burn notice. Adding water won’t help if there are bits stuck to the bottom. For IP cooking, it is very important to deglaze the pan and scrape up all of the brown bits. You should also stir everything together when you add the rice to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Hopefully it was a fluke and you have better success in the future. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I just made a fairly close version of this recipe tonight, and everyone said how delicious it was.
    I substituted long grain brown rice for white rice and added 5 minutes to the cook time. It wasn’t a good swap. The rice still had a little crunch to it while the chicken was over cooked. (Everyone else said it was delicious, but everyone else would rather not cook on a week night. Hmmm…)
    I’ definitely make this dish again, but I’ll make sure I have all the correct ingredients.
    Thanks for the recipe! You’re teaching this old dog some new tricks!!

  4. We love this recipe but we just thin sliced chicken breast in our grocery order by mistake . Should we change cooking time? .
    Thanks!

    • Hi Steph! I would cut down on the sear time, maybe just one minute on each side. But it should work okay if you follow the same pressure cook time. Enjoy!

  5. I love making this recipe, however my rice always turns out mushy! What am I doing wrong?

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