Crock Pot Chicken and Rice combines delicious chicken thighs, brown rice, cheese, and vegetables.

This healthy family favorite dinner comes together with 20 minutes of prep and easy clean up. Let your slow cooker do the hard work!

Crockpot chicken and rice with peas and carrots in black slow cooker with a spoon.

Crock pot chicken and rice is a tasty comfort meal entire family approved. It is one of our favorite crock pot recipes because everyone just loves chicken and rice combo.

Whether it’s creamy healthy chicken and rice casserole or dump-and-go Instant Pot chicken and rice with less cooking time, I know I will hear only “wow’s” at the dinner table.

My family also adores this one pan Mexican chicken and rice.

This slow cooker chicken and rice is no exception. The juicy, tender chicken and cheesy rice make a delicious meal, you’ll want seconds!

Ingredients for Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

Crock Pot chicken and rice recipe uses a handful of simple ingredients you likely have in your kitchen right now. It is healthy, gluten free and budget friendly simple recipe.

Chicken thighs, brown rice, chicken broth, peas, parsley, cream cheese, cheddar, carrots, onion, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Boneless skinless chicken: I used chicken thighs, they are less expensive and have more flavor. You can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts.
  • Long grain brown rice: Uncooked rice is used in this slow cooker meal. Brown long grain rice is higher in fiber and protein and also takes longer to cook, making it the best option for slow cooker recipes.
  • Vegetables: Onion, carrots, and frozen peas.
  • Liquid: Low sodium chicken broth cooks the rice and adds flavor to this great recipe… You can also use bone broth.
  • Cheese: Cubed cream cheese and shredded cheddar blend together to make delicious, cheesy chicken.
  • Seasoning: Salt, ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Garnish: Finely chopped fresh parsley.

Keep scrolling for more variations of slow cooker chicken and rice, add-ins and seasoning options!

How to Cook Chicken and Rice in Crockpot

Many slow cooking recipes start before work and are ready at dinner time, taking 4-8 hours to cook. This chicken and rice crockpot recipe doesn’t need a lot of time, rather plan ahead and don’t overcook it! Follow these easy step-by-step instructions.

I used a 7 quart crock pot which is a great size for large, family-friendly meals and leftovers. If you own a smaller crock pot you can halve the recipe.

Person showing how to add rice, veggies, chicken and broth to a large slow cooker.

You can coat the inside of the crock pot with a non-stick cooking spray. This recipe includes plenty of liquid, so it’s OK to skip.

  • Add vegetables, rice, and cream cheese mixture: Add onion, carrots, brown rice, and cream cheese to the crock pot. Then add Italian seasoning, salt, ground pepper, and stir.
  • Add chicken and broth: Place the chicken thighs or chicken breasts on top and pour in the chicken broth. No need to stir again.
  • Slow cook: Cover with lid and set on High for 2 hours if using chicken breasts or 2.5 hours for chicken thighs.
  • Check liquid: I recommend checking after 2 hours. All liquid should be absorbed and rice cooked but firm. If not, cook for another 30 minutes.
Step by step how to cook chicken and rice in Crock-Pot.
  • Shred chicken: Set the chicken aside on a plate or cutting board and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Add remaining ingredients: Add frozen peas and parsley, then stir gently. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top and cover with lid.
  • Let it rest: Turn off heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until cheese has fully melted.
  • Garnish and serve: Serve hot and garnish with more fresh parsley.

Tips for Best Results

Here are some key tips on how to make this crock pot chicken and rice that perfect recipe you’ll get asked to make again and again.

  • Don’t use white rice: Unfortunately white rice or any other rice will not make good substitutions for this recipe. Any other rice will turn out over cooked and mushy.
  • Long grain brown rice: Is the best one to use and will come out perfectly cooked. Short brown rice does not make a good substitution as it requires soaking time and has a different texture. You can substitute with brown instant rice but will require less cook time.
  • Cook only on High setting: Cook on the high setting for better results. Cooking on low will result in mushy rice.
  • Chicken breasts vs. chicken thighs cook time: I found chicken thighs release more juices and need longer cook time, about 2.5 hours. Versus chicken breasts that will be ready in 2 hours.
  • Do not overcook: As I mentioned, this is not one of those meals where you can set it and forget it, don’t cook longer than the indicated time. See recipe card below.
  • Do not open the lid: During cooking because cook time will increase. Instead, I shake the top of the slow cooker to let steam drip down so I can peek inside.
  • Adjust thickness with chicken broth: At any point after cooking. If you like more creamy casserole, add more chicken broth until desired consistency.
Close up showing texture of chicken and rice in Crock-Pot.

Variations of Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

Mix it up! Using basic ingredients, try any of these variations for this easy chicken dinner.

  • Cream of chicken soup: Substitute 1 cup broth with a can of cream of chicken soup. Other options for a creamy chicken rice soup are cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup.
  • Add other vegetables: Add in other veggies you have on hand such as corn or cauliflower rice. Place them in the crock pot along with the peas at the end.
  • Use other cheese: The cheesy sauce is the best part. Throw in your favorite cheese such as Mozzarella or smoked gouda. Anything that melts will work.
  • Make it a casserole: Casserole is a favorite comfort food of mine. Add coarsely chopped potatoes, broccoli or green beans. Add more chicken broth at the end, if needed.
  • Other seasonings: Add more flavor by sprinkling in some Cajun spice, taco seasoning in addition or more Italian seasoning.
  • Other meat: Switch up the protein. Cubed turkey breast, pork or beef chunks work wonderfully.

Serving Recommendations

Whole grain brown rice, protein, and vegetables. Crock pot chicken and rice is a healthy dinner on its own. All rolled into one simple recipe making it perfect for busy weeknights and cold weather weekends.

If you would like to serve it with a side dish, I recommend a tomato cucumber lettuce salad, roasted broccoli or sauteed broccoli. Adding your favorite crusty bread is always a great option as well.

How to Store, Freeze and Reheat

Store: Store leftovers in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Crock pot chicken and rice is freezer friendly. Once it’s fully cooked, and completely cooled, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Reheat with a splash of chicken broth or water on low heat and covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

FAQs

Can you cook raw chicken in crockpot?

Yes, as per USDA it is safe to cook raw chicken in your crockpot. As long as the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Can you cook frozen chicken in crockpot?

No. Cooking frozen chicken in the crockpot is not recommended because it slowly thaws in a warm environment. If you have a pressure cooker, you can easily cook frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot.

Can you cook rice together with chicken in slow cooker?

Absolutely. The rice absorbs the chicken juices as it cooks, adding loads of flavor. Adding liquid such as chicken stock or a can of soup also helps cook the rice.

Will rice get mushy in slow cooker?

You can cook rice in the slow cooker. It will have a creamier texture like a casserole. The key is to use the right kind of rice, long grain brown rice for this recipe. And do not over cook.

Can I use leftover rotisserie chicken?

Maybe. Because you will still have to cook rice for 2 hours, I am not sure pre-cooked rotisserie chicken won’t turn rubbery. But you are welcome to try.

More Crockpot Chicken Recipes to Try

Slow cooker chicken and rice served with tomato basil salad in blue bowl.
Crockpot chicken and rice with peas and carrots in black slow cooker with a spoon.

Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe

This Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe is cozy, delicious family favorite meal with 20 minutes of prep. Let your slow cooker do the hard work!
4.86 from 7 votes
Servings 6
Calories 439
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • In a large crock pot, add onion, carrots, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, cream cheese and brown rice. Give it a good stir. Lay chicken and pour chicken broth on top.
  • Cover with the lid and cook on High setting for 2 hours with chicken breasts or 2.5 hours with chicken thighs, or until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is cooked but firm. I recommend to check after 2 hours in any case.
  • Remove chicken onto a plate, shred with two forks and return back to slow cooker along with peas and parsley. Stir gently, sprinkle cheese on top and cover. Turn off heat and let chicken and rice sit for 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  • Serve hot garnished with extra parsley.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat with a splash of water or broth breaking into pieces and stirring in a pot. Use lid to steam it through.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: Reheat in a medium pot with a splash of chicken broth on low heat covered for 10 minutes or so, stirring a few times.
  • Don’t use white rice: It will turn out over cooked and mushy. Long grain brown rice is the best here.
  • Cook only on High setting: Cooking on low will result in mushy rice.
  • Chicken breasts vs. chicken thighs cook time: I found chicken thighs release more juices and need longer cook time, about 2.5 hours. Versus chicken breasts that will be ready in 2 hours.
  • Do not overcook: Rice will be mushy.
  • Do not open the lid: During cooking because cook time will increase.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 cups | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 638mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

    1. Unfortunately not because it is ready way before the chicken is cooked and will be a mushy mess.

  1. Hi Olena! Could frozen broccoli be substituted for the carrots and frozen peas? What adjustments, if any, would need to be made?

  2. 4 stars
    I made this last night. Maybe your slow cooker has a higher temp than mine because I cooked mine an hour longer on high and some of the rice grains were still too firm. It has a good flavor though.

    1. Slow cookers vary, rice varies. An hour here and there is normal with slow cookers and real food. Glad you enjoyed it!

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