This instant pot chicken and rice is ready in less than 30 minutes! Packed with veggies and so much flavor, this dish is perfect for a quick dinner.
If you're interested in cooking with the instant pot, start with the basics. From instant pot brown rice and poached chicken to the best hard boiled eggs ever, your instant pot can help you make almost anything in no time! Check out today’s recipe, a complete chicken and rice dinner, made in one pot. No fuss, no mess, and no prep needed. Bonus point: lots of veggies are packed into this dish. And, kids love it! Isn't this starting to sound like the perfect weeknight dinner?
Table Of Contents:
Chicken and rice in a pressure cooker
I bet you’ve tried at least a dozen variations of this combination in your life and you might even have a favorite. We sure have a few chicken and rice recipes here, some of our favorites being Greek one pan chicken and rice, lemon chicken and rice and of course, the classic Persian zereshk polo morgh (saffron chicken and barberry rice).
But when it comes to time saving and efficiency, this recipe takes the cake. Basically, veggies are sauteed and then rice and spices are added alongside the liquids. Spiced chicken is nestled on top of the rice and everything is cooked together until the rice is fluffy and the chicken is juicy. You can either serve the chicken breast whole or shred it and mix it with the rice.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Spices: You need a combination of salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, allspice, cinnamon and paprika to season both the rice and chicken. Half of the spice mix is used with the rice and veggies and the other half is rubbed on the chicken.
- Vegetables: For this recipe we're going to use onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrot, bell peppers and peas. These vegetables combine well with rice and don’t get mushy while cooking in the pressure cooker.
- Rice: I recommend using jasmine or basmati rice for this recipe as the cooking time is closer to chicken and veggies. Therefore, everything will be cooked at the same time. I don’t recommend using brown rice as it takes longer to cook and the chicken might get dry.
- Chicken: For this recipe you can use either boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs depending on what you have on hand. The chicken is going to be flavored with an aromatic homemade spice combination and then cooked with rice and vegetables.
How to make chicken and rice in an instant pot
- Season the chicken: In a small bowl, mix the spices and divide the mix in half. Season the chicken breasts on both sides and let them sit as you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook the vegetables: Press the “saute” button on the pressure cooker and pour in some olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic until golden, add in the mushrooms and cook it for a minute. Add carrots and peas to the pot and stir well.
- Add the rice: Add the rice and the remainder of the spice mix to the onions and mushrooms. Stir well and add the water. Scrape the bottom of the cooker to make sure nothing is sticking.
- Add the chicken and cook: Place the chicken on top of the rice and veggies, do not stir, and lock the lid. Make sure the valve is on “sealing”. Press “cancel” and then press “pressure cook” and make sure it’s set on high. Set the timer for 8 minutes.
- Natural press release: Once the cooking time is done, let the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release and serve.
This recipe is very versatile and you can change it to your liking. Add a can of chickpeas (drained) instead of peas. You can also make this dish spicy by adding ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the spice mix. You can also use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water to cook the rice and chicken.
To turn this into a complete meal, perfect for a cozy fall dinner, I usually serve it with some sort of light and green salad such as Mediterranean salad, cucumber tomato feta salad or Persian Salad Shirazi. I also like serving this dish with some homemade yogurt and spicy zhoug.
Storage and reheating
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the chicken and rice in a pan over medium low heat and add 2 tablespoons water. Cover and heat for 10 to 15 minutes until warm.
To freeze chicken and rice, place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a pan over medium low heat.
Frequently asked questions
I don’t recommend using frozen chicken since it won’t absorb the spices as well. Also, the cooking time for frozen chicken is higher which might make the rice mushy.
Brown rice takes longer to cook therefore it's not suitable for this recipe. The chicken cooks before the rice and it might get dry as the rice cooks.
Bone-in chicken takes longer than rice to cook in the instant pot, therefore it wouldn't work for this recipe.
More chicken recipe
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Easy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instant pot chicken and rice
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cup white button mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 ½ cup Basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- In a small bowl, mix the spices and divide it in half.
- Season the chicken breasts on both sides and let them sit as you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Press the “saute” button on the pressure cooker and pour in the olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until golden, add in the mushrooms and cook it for a minute. Add carrots and peas to the pot and stir well.
- To the onion and mushrooms, add the rice and the remaining of the spice mix. Stir well and add the water. Scrape the bottom to make sure nothing is sticking.
- Place the chicken on top of the rice and veggie, do not stir, and lock the lid. Make sure the valve is on “sealing”.
- Press “cancel” and then press “pressure cook” and make sure it’s set on high. Set the timer for 8 minutes.
- Once the cooking time is done, let the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release and serve.
- To turn this into a complete meal, you can serve this dish with Mediterranean salad, Cucumber tomato feta salad or Persian Salad Shirazi.
- If the chicken breasts are too thick, cut them in half to make sure they cook completely.
- You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. The cooking time will stay the same.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Looking for more flavor? Add a can of chickpeas (drained) instead of peas. You can also make this dish spicy by adding ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the spice mix.
- Instead of water, you can use chicken or vegetable stock to cook the rice and chicken.
This is amazing and it can get easier than this. Delicious and so flavorful! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!
This is perfect for dinner. My entire family loves it! Thanks so much for the great recipe.
Easy and flavorful! Thanks for a great recipe.
I MADE THIS TODAY BECAUSE IT SOUNDED SOGOOD. I DIDN'KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THE RED BELL PEPPER . MY VEGETABLES AND CHICKEN WERE UNDERCOOKED. I PUT THE CHICKEN BACK IN THE POT AND COOKED FOR ANOTHER 10 MINUTES.
I just bought an Instant Pot (after wondering what all the fuss was about), and this was my very first attempt. Oh my gosh - it was absolutely divine!!!!! (And SO easy!) I used brussels sprouts instead of broccoli and chickpeas instead of green peas (because it's what we had on hand); three carrots instead of one; and Better Than Bouillon instead of water, with brown Basmati rice. Thank you SO much for your detailed instructions and ah-mazing recipe, which made my first Instant Pot experience a total success!! Looking forward to my next IP adventure! 🙂
So good!! I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, jalapeño instead of bell peppers and a shawarma spice mix for the chicken. It came out great and was easy and quick to make.
I have loved so many of your wonderful recipes, but this one gave me trouble.
There didn’t seem to be enough liquid—the Instant Pot never actually sealed. We ended up adding 3/4 cup additional water, and it still didn’t seal.
We ended up taking chicken out and cooking the rest of the way in pan. The rice was soggy/waterlogged but it was cooked.
Perhaps it is an issue with our Instant Pot?
Hi Rachel, I'm sorry this didn't work for you. Can you tell me what size Instant pot you use?
I bet the spices are the perfect flavor over the chicken! We love making chicken in the instant pot!
What a time saver to make this in the pressure cooker. My whole family loved it!