This one pan chicken and rice with Middle Eastern flavors is easy and delicious. The chicken is seasoned with warm spices and the rice is fluffy and tender.
There are various ways to make chicken and rice at home. From classics such as halal-cart chicken and rice to a Greek version and even instant pot chicken and rice, all these recipes are absolutely tasty and easy to make. This Middle Eastern one pan chicken and rice recipe is one of our family favorites that I'm sharing today.
Table Of Contents:
This recipe is sponsored by Farmer Focus. All opinions are mine, as always.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
- Easy and simple: This recipe for chicken and rice is very simple and perfect for a new cook. There are only a few steps and anyone can make it at home.
- Wholesome ingredients: There are no processed ingredients in this recipe, just a combination of chicken, rice and vegetables. I use Farmer Focus chicken that' has no antibiotics and is non-GMO. 's 100% organic and certified humane.
- Flavors: The warm Middle Eastern spices add so much flavor to this dish. We use the spices to season both the chicken and the rice.
- One pan: Everything is made in one pan which makes cleaning-up a breeze!
Ingredients And Substitutions
- Chicken: I used Farmer Focus boneless skinless chicken breasts. Their products are 100% traceable back to the farm, you can use the farm ID on each package that represents the farmer who raised the chicken. Check out Farmer Focus's FAQ page to learn more about their halal certification and what they represent
- Onion and garlic: You can use white or yellow onion. I recommend mincing the garlic yourself for the best flavor.
- Spices: You need a combination of turmeric, cumin, Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and sumac.
- Tomato paste: For some flavor and color. Tomato paste is dense so make sure not to overuse it.
- Rice: I recommend using long grain rice such as basmati for this recipe. Once cooked, it's going to be fluffy and very delicious.
- Vegetables: I used a combination of carrots and green peas.
How To Make Middle Eastern Chicken And Rice
- Mix all the spices in a bowl and season the chicken breasts on both sides using half of the spice mix.
- Sear the chicken in a hot pan over medium high heat with some olive oil. At this point, we don't want the chicken to cook completely but for it to just get a nice golden color on both sides. Place the seared chicken breasts on a plate and set aside.
- Add more olive oil to the same pan and sauté the onion until golden and translucent. Then add the garlic followed by the tomato paste and the rice.
- After a few minutes, add the remaining spice mix, carrots and peas. Add in the water and bring to a low simmer.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked and the rice is tender, turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then slice or shred the chicken and serve with the rice.
There are many ways to jazz up this Middle eastern chicken and rice. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use other vegetables such as bell peppers or zucchini.
- Make it spicy by adding some cayenne pepper.
- Use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water.
- Top it with dried fruit such as apricot or raisins, or toasted pine nuts and slivered almonds.
Storage And Reheating
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can reheat this dish on the stove in a pan over medium heat or using the microwave.
It's best to serve this dish right away or refrigerate the leftovers, however, it's also possible to freeze it. Once the chicken and rice is completely cool, transfer it to a freezer safe dish and freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, you can either thaw it in the fridge overnight or reheat it directly from frozen, which could take up to 40 minutes over medium heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use either boneless skinless thighs or bone-in skinless chicken thighs. I don't recommend using chicken pieces with skin because the skin could get soggy. Keep in mind that cooking time may vary if you use chicken thighs.
Yes, you can make this dish up to a day in advance and reheat right before serving.
You can use an instant read thermometer to check the doneness. The internal temperature of the chicken should register at 165 degrees F.
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Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Chicken and Rice
- 1 lb Chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ cup basmati rice
- 1 carrot diced
- ½ cup frozen green peas
- 3 cups water or chicken/vegetable stock
- 1 lemon juice of
- In a bowl mix the turmeric, cumin, Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, sumac and salt.
- Season the chicken breasts on both sides with half of the spice mix
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sear the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side so they form a nice golden crust. Place the seared chicken breasts on a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan and sauté the onion until golden. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- Add the rice followed by the remaining spice mix. Stir to combine, then add the carrots and peas. Pour in the water and bring it to a low simmer.
- Place the seared chicken back into the pan and bring to a low simmer. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan with a lid and cook until the chicken is fully cooked and the rice is tender and fluffy. This would take about 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to see if the dish needs more water. If so, add ⅓ cup water and continue cooking.
- Once the chicken and rice is fully cooked, turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then shred or slice the chicken and serve.
- Serve with tabouli, fattoush, hummus and Persian yogurt and cucumber dip.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in a pan over medium heat or using a microwave.
- You can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts long as they are skinless. Cooking time may vary.