by Olena

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice (Video)

by Olena

4.7 from 26 reviews

Healthy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe with boneless chicken breast or thighs and brown rice cooked in one pot of electric pressure cooker.

Delicious one pot family meal for busy weeknights! Check out more of our healthy Instant Pot one pot meals we make over and over again.Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice

OMG this ah-mazing Instant Pot chicken and rice is in our regular dinner rotation. And everyone who tried it has requested the recipe. Even non-brown rice eaters like my new neighbours – we ate it on the beach in September.

With boneless chicken breast/thighs and rice, all ingredients cook in one pot without hovering over them on the stove.

Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice served on a plate

If you are from former USSR you know how time consuming “plov” is. So this Instant Pot chicken and rice is my version of it. The only difference is – everything cooks in one pot, Instant Pot.

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

What Are the Ingredients?

My Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is simple.

  • Boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Brown rice
  • Onion, garlic and carrots
  • Spices: cumin, dried thyme and oregano, salt and pepper.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures. Also check out our Youtube channel for tips and recipes.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.

  1. On Instant Pot, press Sauté and let appliance preheat a few minutes until display says Hot.
  2. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Press Cancel and add thyme, oregano, cumin and cook another 30 seconds.
  4. Add remaining ingredients in the following order: chicken, carrot, rice, water, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Do not stir to prevent Burn.
  5. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and Press Manual or Pressure Cook on High for 22 minutes.
  6. When display says OFF, release pressure using Quick Release method.
  7. Stir gently discarding the bay leaves.

sauteed onions and herbs inside pressure cookersauteed onion, spices, carrots, bay leaves, brown rice, chicken and water inside Instant Pot

Instant Pot is heating up chicken and rice ingredientscooked chicken and rice in Instant Pot

Variations

  • Add frozen vegetables – I know some like peas and corn in chicken and rice. Add them frozen and stir gently one more time.
  • Add herbs – Some readers said they prefer more flavor and have added chopped cilantro and green onion. I guess it all comes down to individual taste buds. I tried and am not a huge fan of fresh sweet cilantro with coriander-ish taste in my mouth with each bite. Just not my thing.:)

Can I Use White Rice?

Unfortunately the answer is “No”. White rice requires different cooking time and different amount of liquid than brown rice.

Can I Use Instant Rice?

No. Instant rice I assume is pre-cooked white rice. First of all, this recipe has not been tested with white rice. Secondly, pressure cooker defeats the purpose of instant rice.

Despite the similarity in names, instant rice will cook much faster than chicken resulting in mushy rice. Save instant rice for the stove or just switch to much healthier brown rice.:)

Can I Use Cauliflower Rice?

Unfortunately you can’t. Cauliflower rice is a veggie that will be ready in 30 secs and chicken won’t.

What Kinds of Brown Rice Are Good for This Recipe?

Any brown rice. Like my Instant Pot brown rice experiment shows, all brown rice cooks similarly in the Instant Pot. You can use long grain, short grain, basmati, jasmine brown rice and even brown and wild rice medley mix.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

The answer is “Yes”. However, there are a few notes to take.

  • Frozen cubed chicken – Pieces have to be separated otherwise “the blob” of frozen chunks of meat will not cook inside. I would say this scenario is good when your chicken is half frozen and you are able to cut it into pieces (I even use kitchen scissors to save on washing the board).
  • Frozen chicken thighs or breasts – If using whole breasts or thighs, make sure they are separated. After Instant Pot chicken and rice is cooked, shred chicken right in the pot or remove and cube on a cutting board.

Tip: Instant Pot will take 5-10 minutes longer to come to pressure with frozen chicken.

Can I Use Broth Instead of Water?

Yes, you can.

What if I Stirred by Accident?

If you stirred by accident, let it be. More likely it will not cause Burn. I used to stir as you can see in the video. Until I learnt it is better to layer ingredients in Instant Pot.

Can I Make It in a Slow Cooker?

No. My experience shows that rice cooked in a slow cooker becomes a complete mush. Plus this recipe has been developed for Instant Pot which requires different amount of liquid.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

What If Rice Came Out Mushy or Crunchy?

When it comes to rice cooked in a pressure cooker, it can be a little bit of a trial and error.

  • Sometimes different varieties of brown rice cook differently.
  • Also rice could be old.
  • I always use long grain brown rice and buy one brand. Last time my husband bought different brand and it needed maybe 1 more minute cooking.
  • Once you find “your rice” you will know how long it cooks and you can add extra minutes.

If your rice comes out crunchy: Stir, close the lid and let it sit for 20 minutes. It will get there. Also try to add a few more minutes to cooking time next time. Unfortunately, you can’t re-close the lid, cook for extra 2 minutes and say that’ your new cooking time. You have to try recipe from scratch again to find your rice cooking time.

If your rice comes out mushy: Cook a few minutes less next time. Easy-peasy.

Can I Freeze Leftovers?

I understand some of you do not feed a small army like me. Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

More Chicken and Rice Recipes

Other Instant Pot One Pot Recipes

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice served on a plate with a spoon

Print

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

4.7 from 26 reviews

Healthy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe with boneless chicken breast or thighs and brown rice cooked in one pot of electric pressure cooker. One pot dinner for busy weeknights.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 36 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken boneless & skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1” pieces*
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cups long grain brown rice, rinsed & drained
  • 3 3/4 cups water*

Instructions

  1. On Instant Pot, press Sauté and let appliance preheat a few minutes until display says Hot. Add olive oil, onion and garlic; sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press Cancel and add thyme, oregano and cumin; cook another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  2. Add remaining ingredients in the following order: chicken, carrots, brown rice, water, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Do not stir.
  3. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 22 minutes. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 15-20 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  4. When display says OFF, release the pressure using Quick Release method by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 2-3 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid smell and mess in the house. Then open the lid.
  5. Stir. If you like corn and peas with your chicken and rice add frozen now and stir again. Serve hot!

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.

Notes

*If using chicken thighs, add a bit less water ( 3 2/3 cups total) because thighs are fattier and add to the liquid content during cooking.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

81 comments on “Instant Pot Chicken and Rice (Video)

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  1. Hello Olena, I followed the instructions exactly and the rice was still crunchy. I used the “Sunbrown” Calrose brown rice from Costco. It looks like a med-short grain. I rinsed it as per your instructions but I don’t think it needs to be. Anyways…I tried to salvage the recipe by trying to get the pot up to pressure again and setting it for 3 minutes but I got a burn message. I think maybe I should have let it natural release for 5 minutes and then quick release? I ended up closing the lid (in off mode) and let it sit for an hour or so which seemed to fix it. Maybe I should use brown jasmine rice next time? I found the taste to be good and my house smelled yummy. For more flavour, I would use chicken “Better Than Bouillon.” Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. I rinse rice for 2 reasons. To remove extra starch so each grain comes out more separate rather than mushy. And to clean. That rice has been processed by who know who and in bags for who knows how long.
      As for the crunchiness. I think it all comes down to the rice. Sometimes different brown rice cooks differently. I always use long grain brown rice and buy one brand. Last time my husband bought different one and it needed maybe 1 more minute cooking. If that happens, stir, close the lid and let it sit for 20 minutes. It will get there. Once you find “your rice” you will know how long it cooks and you can add extra minutes.
      Yes, turning IP to cook a few mins longer won’t work because there is no liquid anymore and “burn” will come up. Hope this helps.:)

    2. I use the Costco rice as well. I know that it has taken longer to cook from previous experience before I got my new Instant Pot for Christmas.
      Make sure the Instant Pot temperature selector is set to More which is high (Less Normal More indicator), by pressing the Pressure Cook button twice as per instruction book to adjust temperature.
      After the heat cycle and then 22 minute cook time, I let it sit for another 12 to 15 minutes on Keep Warm (didn’t time it exactly) then I pressure released. It still had a little pressure. You could also just let it sit until it pressure released itself; don’t know how long that would take, but you could try it.
      The rice came out perfect!
      What a great recipe.

  2. My brown rice was undercooked. What do you think I can do next time. I had water left over so I restarted the instant pot for another 8 mins. Hope it works.

    1. You can flatten the rice to submerge more in liquid and add 3 minutes to cooking time. Why it happened idk. Sometimes it has to do with altitude. I made a stir fry in there for same 20 minutes recently and didn’t flatten. The middle kind of a bit of done sticking out was a bit crunchy. But it also could be the rice itself I think.

  3. Love this recipe! We have this at least once a week because our whole family loves – even my picky children! We love that it makes so much because…healthy leftovers save my life. So good! 🙂 yum

  4. Turned out delicious! I would suggest using less rice because with 3 cups of dry rice I ended up having enough rice for a crowd ?.

    I froze the left over rice to add to other meals.

    I’d suggest that 1 3/4 cups of rice would be absolutely ample.

    1. So glad you liked it! But did you see my crowd?;) Plus I personally think it’s cheaper to add more rice and makes us eat less animal products. That’s why I added 3 cups of rice. If you add less rice, you will have to add less water too – just remember when you do that.:)

  5. The rice and chicken both turned out PERFECTLY! I used short grain brown rice, chicken breast meat, and chopped (instead of shredded) carrots, and otherwise followed the recipe pretty closely. The end product was cooked well and would definitely be a crowd pleaser, but turned out a little too bland for my and my husband’s tastes. We added crumbled goat cheese, more thyme, and a homemade hot sauce to it after serving and that did the trick 🙂 Next time, I’ll try increasing the herbs and adding more spices, and perhaps add some Better than Bouillon. Overall, really versatile base recipe. Thanks so much!

  6. I made this tonight and it was so flavourful. Enjoyed by the whole family. Thank you and I look forward to trying more.

  7. This was SO easy! Love how much leftovers we had for lunches and a quick dinner later in the week. Love this healthy, complete meal for my family.

  8. This was scrumptious, our whole family loved it! We served it with roasted asparagus, and my husband said this needs to be a regular meal. Thanks so much Olena. 🙂

    1. Oh yay, Lauren! I know, this recipe I make for when I have friends over. Easy for tired me by Saturday and I know that the most picky kids will eat it. You are welcome!

    1. Babushka to babushka had a different version of plov but idea is the same. You try, adjust spices to taste if needed and go with what you like. Main idea is to have the right consistency. Let me know how you like it.:)

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