An easy one pan chicken and rice recipe made Greek style! Juicy chicken and flavorful rice make the perfect weeknight dinner that's easy yet super delicious. Follow along to see how I make foolproof fluffy chicken and rice in one pan.
I have quite a few easy rice recipes that are quick and easy to make. From one-pot tomato rice and Persian barberry rice with chicken to Lebanese rice and vermicelli and mujadara, rice can be made in different ways. This Greek lemon chicken and rice is so simple and flavorful that it will become a staple in your house!
This post has been sponsored by Mahatma® Rice. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Why this recipe works
Everyone loves a good baked chicken and rice recipe. Marinated chicken and fluffy, flavorful rice make the best combo that's hard to beat.
This is the ideal weeknight dinner that makes the evening so much better. Yes, the chicken is tasty, but the hero here is that fluffy rice that's jam packed with flavor thanks to lemon, spices and olives.
The best part? This is a one pan chicken and rice recipe which means all is cooked in one large pan which makes cleaning up a breeze!
Three tips to make the best chicken and rice
- Liquid to rice ratio: Make sure to add just enough water to barely cover the chicken and rice. Too much water will result in mushy rice.
- Seasoning: We want every layer and element to be fully flavored and seasoned. The chicken is marinated prior to cooking. Saute the onion and garlic in the same pan as the chicken since those little brown bits at the bottom of the pan are pure flavor.
- Finishing touches: A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley and some freshly squeezed lemon juice bring the whole dish together and brightens it up.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chicken: You can use boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs. Depending on the size of the chicken breast, you might need to slice it in half lengthwise. If using chicken thighs, make sure it's skinless since the skin renders more fat and will make the dish too greasy. Remember that bone in chicken thighs take longer to cook.
- Lemon: Adds some nice flavor and brightness to the marinade.
- Spices: You need kosher salt, pepper, oregano, paprika and cumin. You can use regular or smoked paprika.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works best because of its deep flavor.
- Onion and garlic: The base of this chicken and rice dish, they add a lot of flavor. You can use white or yellow onion.
- Rice: You need long grain rice such as basmati to make this recipe.
- Olives: Pitted kalamata olives work best here. If kalamata olives aren't available, use pitted green olives. It's always best to use jarred olives instead of canned ones.
How to make one pan chicken and rice
- Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, mix olive oil with lemon juice, garlic, salt and oregano. Set aside and marinate for at least 30 minutes. You can also cover the bowl and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
- Sear the chicken: Heat an oven-safe pan over medium heat. Sear the chicken breasts on both sides until golden brown. At this stage, we don't need the chicken to cook completely. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Prepare the rice: Heat some more olive oil in the same pan and sauté garlic and onion until golden brown. Add the rice and spices, stir well, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add in water and bring it to simmer. Place the seared chicken breasts on the rice and pour in the juice released from the chicken.
- Bake in the oven: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
You can use other parts of chicken such as boneless skinless thighs. Also, you can add other vegetables such as mushrooms, leeks, green peas, carrots and zucchini to the onion and garlic if interested. Fore more flavor, use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water.
This Greek chicken and rice skillet goes well with fresh salads such as Greek salad, Mediterranean salad, or cucumber tomato avocado salad. I also love serving it with a side of homemade tzatziki sauce or cacik for extra flavor.
Frequently asked questions
I usually use a 4 quart 10-inch pan for this recipe. It's important to use a pan that's large enough since the rice expands as it cooks.
You can marinate the chicken the night before and keep it in the fridge. It's also possible to make the dish a few hours ahead of time and heat it before serving.
Yes, simply lower the heat and cover the pan. Keep it covered until it's fully cooked and add more water if needed.
Store the leftovers in an airtight glass container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, you can simply heat it in a pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until completely heated through.
Yes, you can freeze it in a container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months. To serve, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight or simply heat it in a pan (covered) over medium low heat, stirring ocassionally.
More Greek recipes
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Greek One Pan Chicken and Rice
- 2 lb chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 1 lemon juice of
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
Greek Chicken and Rice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cup bastmati rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup olives
- 1 lemon sliced
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- If the chicken breasts are too thick and large, cut the in half lengthwise.
- Mix lemon juice, salt, olive oil, garlic and oregano in a large bowl.
- Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and stir to make sure all pieces are coated.
- Marinate the chicken breasts in the lemon and garlic mixture for at least 30 minutes.
Greek chicken and rice:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Heat a non stick and oven safe pan over medium heat.
- Sear the chicken breasts for about 3 minutes on each side until they're golden brown. We don't need them to cook completely.
- Transfer the seared chicken breasts to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute onion and garlic until golden.
- Add in Mahatma rice and the spices. Stir for a couple of minutes to mix well.
- Add in water and bring it to simmer.
- Place the seared chicken breasts on the rice and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the rice is cooked.
- Uncover and bake for another 7-10 minutes.
- Squeeze some lemon on the rice right before serving and top with olives and chopped parsley.
- You can use skinless chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) instead of chicken breasts for this recipe.
- It's possible to marinate the chicken up to 8 hour. Simply cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to cook.
- If you don't have an oven safe pan, use a regular pan to cook everything. Once the water starts simmering, transfer the rice and water mixture to an oven safe dish and top with the chicken pieces. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven.
- This recipe uses chicken breasts which, if cooked properly, can be very juicy and tasty. However, you can also use bone-in skin-on or boneless skinless chicken thighs as well. I personally prefer the breast for this recipe as it tastes better with the rice and spices.
- You can add other ingredients to this Greek chicken and rice dish such as chickpeas or mushrooms.
- For this recipe, please use a 10" pan. I prefer using a 4 quart 10" pan as its size is perfect for this one-pan chicken breast and rice recipe.
- Right before serving, squeeze a fresh lemon on the dish. This will give the dish such bright and fresh flavor.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight glass container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, you can simply heat it in a pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until completely heated through.