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


  • 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.


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.

49 comments on “Instant Pot Chicken and Rice”

  1. Are nutritional info per serving, or for the entirety of the dish?

  2. I’m a new Instapot user, can blanched French green beans (haricot verts) also be added?

  3. I made this chicken tonight and it tasted rubbery. I followed the directions and added meat tenderizer as I always do with all meat I cook.

    • Hi, Shelly! Sorry to hear your chicken tastes rubbery. It’s hard for me to say what went wrong. I haven’t had any other complaints with this recipe. You can cut the natural release time back to maybe 5 minutes and see if that prevents overcooked chicken. I have never used a meat tenderizer so I can’t offer guidance for that. It’s possible that it adjusted the texture of the chicken.

  4. My husband and I tried it last night. He grew up on a version of chicken and rice he hated. I love chicken and rice in most all forms. So, we have been on a mission to find something to redeem the dish for him. Bonus points if it can be simple and completed in the Instant Pot. Eureka!
    We both loved this. The rice was cooked, but not over cooked, which I was worried about. The chicken shredded easily. It had great flavor and wasn’t as heavy as some chicken and rice dishes. It’s nice to have such a comforting full meal in one bowl, cooked with one pot/appliance.
    Next time we will probably add more peas, but we REALLY love peas.

  5. A couple of questions – I’m thinking of substituting ground chicken for the chicken breasts because that is what I have on hand. I’m wondering if it would work if I just brown it and place it on top of the rice mixture. Can this recipe be doubled?

    • You can double the recipe as long as your Instant Pot is large enough. Do not overfill the Instant Pot. Make sure it’s filled only to the max fill line. The browned ground chicken should work okay as you suggested but I can’t guarantee anything since I haven’t tested that. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

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