The simple combo of juice chicken, arborio rice and tasty peppers creates a delicious and creamy one-pot chicken and rice recipe that your family will love! Risotto rice produces an incredibly creamy and rich texture, while colorful bell peppers and a pinch of paprika brighten the dish. This easy chicken recipe is super quick to make and perfect for busy weeknights.
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Easy chicken and rice recipe
I can’t get enough of this hearty and creamy chicken with rice. It’s such a simple family dinner that’s filled with savory chicken, creamy rice, and a load of healthy veggies. I love making one pot rice meals for meal prep or everyday weeknights – it’s great for any occasion!
This one pan recipe uses both chicken and chicken stock to give it a rich flavor. The risotto rice will create the best creamy consistency and keep the chicken rice recipe from getting soggy. Apart from rice and chicken, there are only 5 ingredients + spices needed to make this chicken and rice one pot meal!
My one pan chicken and rice was first published in 2017 and republished in 2021 to add updated pictures and useful tips.
What is creamy chicken and rice?
This creamy chicken and rice dish combines all the things you love about rice and chicken meals. It’s full of delicious flavors, and it has the soft and creamy texture of a chicken rice casserole.
This quick chicken and rice recipe could also be considered chicken risotto because I used arborio rice. But I like to call it one pot chicken rice as you can prepare this simple one-pot dinner with other types of rice, too.
Ingredients for quick chicken rice
The ingredient lineup for this chicken and rice recipe couldn’t be simpler. Everything you need is probably already stocked in your kitchen!
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- arborio rice
- chicken stock or vegetable stock
- garlic clove or garlic powder
- bell peppers
- olive oil or another cooking oil like avocado
- black pepper
- fresh basil or parsley for serving (optional)
How to make one pot rice chicken
My creamy rice with chicken recipe is super simple. All you need to do is grab a deep, non-stick saucepan or Dutch oven, fry the chicken and veggies, add the rice, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Easy!
Here are the steps for how to make chicken and rice:
- Brown the chicken. Add the olive oil into a heavy-bottom pan and bring to a mild simmer. Once you start smelling the oil, add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides while continually stirring, which takes about 5 minutes.
- Fry garlic and onion. Add the onion and garlic and fry for another 3 minutes, stirring, until fragrant.
- Sauté veggies. Then add the peppers and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes
- Roast the rice. Sprinkle the rice on top, and fry for another minute. Stir frequently as the rice will absorb the liquids in the pan.
- Cook the rice. Pour one-third of the chicken broth into the pan. Then add the paprika and bring to a boil. Pour in another third of broth, bring to a boil again. Add the remaining third of broth and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Serve. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Optionally, sprinkle with fresh basil or parsley before serving.
Tips for making chicken rice
Here are my tips for the best creamy chicken and rice recipe:
- Measure, chop, and set up everything before you start cooking. Good timing is key for making the best one pot rice with chicken.
- Don’t rinse the rice before cooking, which could eliminate some of the starch, making the dish less creamy.
- If you have extra time, warm the chicken broth in a saucepan before adding it to the rice. Warming the stock will make the risotto rice creamier and shortens the cooking time.
- Add the chicken stock gradually and allow the rice to absorb some of the liquid after each addition.
- To know when the rice is done, look at the pan: the rice should be thick and creamy and not roll back after running a spoon through the pan. Take a bite: the rice should be soft.
Easy chicken rice FAQ
Can I make this one pot rice with turkey?
Yes, chicken and turkey can be used interchangeably in this simple one pot meal. Turkey breasts have a distinct flavor and a slightly firmer texture, but the one pot dinner will be delicious either way.
Can I use other vegetables?
If you’d like to substitute the bell peppers with other vegetables, try the following options:
- carrot slices – Carrots are used in the same way as bell peppers.
- broccoli florets – To make creamy broccoli chicken rice, prepare the recipe as described but sauté the broccoli only for 2 minutes.
- peas – Sauté the peas for only 2 minutes.
- zucchini chunks – Zucchini don’t have to be sauteed. Instead, add them after cooking the rice for 10 minutes.
- mushrooms quarters – Add the mushrooms towards the end of the cooking time, after cooking the one pot chicken rice for 10 minutes.
What is arborio rice?
Arborio is a variety of Italian risotto rice, named after the small town of Arborio, Piedmont. Arborio rice is high in starch, which is what gives risotto its creamy texture.
Can I make chicken rice with regular rice?
While using regular rice won’t result in the same creamy texture, readers who made the recipe told me that regular rice works, too.
Instead of arborio rice, you can also try one of the following substitutions:
- carnaroli rice
- valone nano rice
- paella rice (Bahia, Balilla, Bomba, Senia, or Calasparra)
- pearled barley
- pearled farro
- Israeli couscous
Cheesy chicken rice
I wanted to keep my chicken rice dish dairy-free. If you prefer cheesy chicken and rice, simply stir 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese into the rice after cooking. Or top with grated cheddar for an extra-satisfying meal.
Storage and shelf life
One pot rice with chicken tastes even better on the next day, and you can easily reheat this dish. Store leftover healthy rice and chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy your leftovers within 4 days for the best results. You can eat this creamy rice recipe cold or heat it up in the microwave.
Can I freeze one pot rice?
Yes, one pot chicken rice is great for making ahead of time, and you can freeze it for longer storage. If you’d like to store your quick chicken and rice for longer, keep it in the freezer. Store the chicken rice in an airtight container for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
More chicken recipes
If you like this quick chicken and rice recipe, have a look at these other chicken meals:
- baked chicken drumsticks
- chicken stroganoff
- chicken tortillas
- juicy chicken chops
- chicken parm stuffed peppers