This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe has tender, juicy chicken and the most amazingly soft and flavorful rice. You can even add carrots to make it a complete meal!
This lemon chicken and rice recipe came about because I keep seeing Crockpot recipes for chicken and rice that are cooked in there at the same time. Naturally, since I'm slightly obsessed with my Instant Pot (hello instant gratification), I wondered if it was possible to cook rice and chicken in an electric pressure cooker at the same time without anything going wrong. We'll figure out a Crockpot version later. 😛
There's just something tempting about throwing it all in there and it turning into a delicious dish with no extra work. I'm notorious for messing up stove-top rice, and I wanted to get this right!
Turns out it is possible to make rice and chicken in the Instant Pot at the same time, and the results are great. It's also really hands-off once you close that lid, which to me is a bonus. 🙂
It saves time, dishes, and it's just really tasty. And that rice turns out sooo creamy without using cream or any type of condensed soup. There isn't a "sauce" per se, but the rice soaks up most of the liquid and becomes perfectly seasoned and almost has a risotto quality to it.
And, this is actually a fairly healthy meal. I like the rice so much that I have posted a separate recipe for just the rice sans the chicken.
If you want a veggie in there, add some carrots... so good.
How to make chicken and rice in the Instant Pot
It's easy to make chicken and rice in the Instant Pot, but I do recommend following the tips below to ensure your recipe is successful. I have done a lot of research (and experimentation... this is probably my most tested recipe to date on the blog) to make sure it works. I'm going to put it out there that there's a pretty good chance this recipe can go wrong if you don't follow the cooking instructions exactly.
- Don't guess on liquid measurements.
- Rinse the rice (I just measure it out, put it in a sieve, and then rinse and quickly let the water drain out).
- Stick to using white rice (I've tested jasmine and basmati). Brown rice is a different beast.
- Don't make substitutions unless you've made the recipe first and you're confident they will work... or you don't mind if it goes wrong in the name of experimentation. 😉
- I usually make this recipe with larger chicken breasts. I don't look for a particular weight, but you know sometimes the ones at the grocery store are just tinier than you're used to. If you do end up with smaller ones, I'd reduce cooking time by a minute or so. You could definitely also try chicken thighs - they're typically more forgiving when it comes to overcooking them.
I really think this is the best chicken and rice. It's crazy easy and just so comforting.
Try my chicken and rice soup if you love these flavors!
Love Instant Pot chicken recipes? Try my Instant Pot teriyaki chicken, this Instant Pot chicken noodle soup, or my Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup recipe.
I hope you love this easy chicken and rice recipe!
Want to make just the rice? Check out the best Instant Pot rice recipe.
Questions? Don't hesitate to ask. Leave me a comment below. 🙂
Update (5/7/2019): After reading the comments and doing further testing, I've slightly altered the recipe. Originally, the recipe called for 18 minutes on high pressure with a quick release. I've changed it to 12 minutes on high pressure with a 5 minute natural release, followed by a quick release for the remaining pressure. My logic behind this is two-fold: the 12 minutes leads to more tender chicken (as does a partial natural release). I also am learning that newer Instant Pots get the burn warning much easier than my older Instant Pot, and hopefully these changes will address that issue.
Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2.5 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup white jasmine rice (or basmati) rinsed
- 4 dashes Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 medium carrots peeled & sliced (optional)
- Season both sides of each piece of chicken with salt & pepper.
- Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot. Add the oil and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, then add the chicken broth, lemon juice, rice (rinse it first), Italian seasoning, and butter. If you want to add carrots, add those in at this point too. Leave the sauté button pressed so it heats up as you're adding the ingredients.
- Give the ingedients in the Instant Pot a good stir (make sure nothing is sticking), and then immediately add the chicken pieces on top. Close the lid, set the valve to "sealing", and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
- Once the countdown has completed, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure. Give the rice a stir prior to serving (it will absorb a little more liquid as it rests for a few minutes). The rice will have a consistency that's soft, creamy, and a little sticky. If needed, season with salt & pepper to taste.
- I have tested this recipe multiple times in my 6-quart Instant Pot, and it has worked every time without a burn warning (I've heard this can happen in some of the larger and newer Instant Pots when cooking certain recipes - such as ones with rice). I suggest following my instructions exactly as written for best results.
- If desired, use low-sodium chicken broth. I found this recipe to be perfectly seasoned with regular chicken broth, though.
- Makes 4 generous servings. If I was eating this by myself, it would be more like 6+ servings.
- Inactive time indicates the time it takes the Instant Pot to get up to pressure and the time for natural pressure release.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Sounds great! Could this be adapted to a crock pot?
Hi Cherie! As slow cooking is pretty much the opposite of pressure cooking, it becomes a very different recipe with timing and liquid measurements, so I can't guess without testing unfortunately.
I love this recipe! It is so easy to throw it all together & cook that I have made it several times as a last minute running in the door after work. Right now I only have bone in chicken thighs. Has anyone tried it with bone in chicken?
Thank you so much! I think chicken thighs should work just fine. 🙂
Julia B.G. says
I’ve cooked this several times, and we really like it. I will say that I add more herbs in, and instead of Italian seasoning I use about a Tbsp of Herbes de Provence, which gives it more flavor. Sometimes I also add in a pinch of Tarragon and I usually use a whole onion. This recipe is perfect for days that my IBD has me feeling less than great (though I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who’s in an active flare). Thanks for sharing!
I'm glad you like it!! Yup, it's definitely easily adaptable. Thanks for your review!
Judi Hamedl says
Try this with Arborio rice - it makes a quick, low-maintenance risotto! (Note: I have an 8qt Instant Pot & reduced liquid to 2 cups, used chicken tenders & reduced cooking time to 10 minutes. Also added fresh chopped herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.)
Sounds good to me!
Stephanie Post says
When do you add the rice??
This has been a go-to in our house for a couple of years! So easy and so tasty! There’s only two of us so this is a great way to have a fairly quick meal and some tasty leftovers too!
Fantastic!! 🙂 That's great to hear, Vanessa. Thanks for letting me know!
Marcie S says
This was so delicious! Even my kinda picky husband loved it. I followed the recipe exactly except for I added a few extra shakes of Italian seasoning. The only problem was I couldn’t stop eating it.
That's great to hear! 😀 Thanks for letting me know!