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. This is the first time I have ever tried to do rice in my pot and it turned out wonderful! I think reading all the Q & A’s helped the most as I was never sure what type of rice to use and was always worried about the burn issue. Rice was perfect, chicken perfect. I thought I had all the spices when I started but was out of bay leaves and thyme. I subbed some poultry seasoning which I shouldn’t have! But over all it was a success. I will do it again!

  2. This is a great weeknight meal. I love how simple it is and if I end up with picky eaters for kids it will be a great way to get them to eat their carrots. 😃

    1. Yay! So true about carrots. I have a child that eats anything but cooked carrots and he doesn’t notice them in this Instant pot chicken and rice. Glad everyone enjoyed!

  3. Perfect recipe, delicious, easy and a little life changing! I was dumping salsa (jar, not even homemade) into my IP with chicken and brown rice. NO MORE! Olena, this recipe is my new go-to chicken and brown rice. You’re right, it’s delicious as it is. Thanks and I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  4. This came out delicious! It is also the first Instant Pot meal with rice that didn’t register “Burn”! My only comment is about 7 minute prep time. That seems awfully optimistic, unless you used a food processor. However, still very pleased with the dinner and look forward to exploring more of your recipes. Thanks!

    1. OK, agree. Changed prep time to 10.:) Is that enough? You know I cut chicken with scissors right in its tray, ha! No 2nd cutting board to wash. So happy to hear this was such a success!:) Please let me know what else you try. Love hearing from you, guys!

  5. Thanks for this reliably delicious and satisfying recipe. It’s officially “on rotation” every few weeks in my household. I use whole chicken breasts and rather than cube in advance, I shred them with two forks after the dish is cooked. Also I add frozen peas and corn, and stir in after the dish is cooked per the instructions. For us, the quantity means we have easy leftovers for another meal (or two) later. Yay!

    1. Yay! I love leftovers too. means there is lunch otherwise there is never enough food to feed my 3 men. You can also cube chicken breasts with kitchen scissors to save a board from washing (I hate doing it). So happy my pressure cooker chicken and rice took a spot in your dinner rotation.:) Honoured!

  6. I saw in previous comments that you were using the 8qt Instant Pot. Would this same recipe fit in the 3qt? Wanna give the recipe a go, but want to make sure I’ll have enough room.

  7. We loved this recipe. Easy and delicious. Next time I may buy shredded carrots just to make it even easier.

  8. Great tasting and easy weeknight dinner. THANK YOU! Also I loved your comment to the guy who wanted to taste the pepper on the raw chicken, you’re my kind of lady.

  9. Followed recipe and it cooked perfectly. Added a bunch of frozen peas at the end which was a great addition! My only minor issue is that the flavour was a bit lacking. It certainly wasn’t completely lacking in flavour but I had hoped for a bit more. I added a bit of hot sauce and it came to life.

  10. Easy to make, common ingredients found in the kitchen, great instructions, what’s not to love about this easy and hearty meal. Comments regarding what ingredients to add in sequence were helpful.

  11. Ooh, it’s overspiced, but my biggest issue is you tell people to add pepper to taste at the point where the raw chicken is in the mix. That means to taste, then add pepper to your liking till it tastes right. Figure out an amount of pepper and tell people to add that amount, absolutely not by taste while the chicken is raw. Salmonella is a very serious issue. Overall, the rice cooked well, but after trying a couple times, it is much better with only 1 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, 1 1/4 teaspoons of cumin and 1.5 teaspoons of thyme. Salt needs to be increased to 2 full teaspoons for balanced flavor. As for pepper, I think 1/2 teaspoon works well

    1. Yes, I’m Ukrainian queen of salmonella and want everyone in North America to die from it!

      But seriously… I think it’s common sense not to taste raw chicken. If you cook, you know how much pepper you like. Please don’t be like that. You are getting a free recipe already that is good and are complaining about nothing. Enjoy and be happy!

  12. I would recommend two changes in this recipe. One, remove breast as an option for the chicken. Breast only require 10 minutes. I used them in this recipe, and they were overcooked, thus dry, I know thighs hold up much better in a crock pot, due to their fat content, then breast, so probably same issue here. Second, remove using brown basmati rice as an option. I tried it, just to see, and had to remove the chicken and cook the rice for an additional 23 minutes, as I usually cook brown basmati rice for 45 minutes.

    1. I will tell you why your recommendations wouldn’t work for this recipe. Great ideas but not for Instant Pot.
      This is pressure cooker that cooks food faster under pressure. Otherwise there is the stove. Brown rice in Instant Pot needs 20ish minutes. Otherwise it will burn. You can’t open, reclose and cook again with Instant Pot and add both times together and say it’s the cooking time. You would have to test recipe from scratch. And that’s what I do with all my recipes.
      Your specific rice could be an issue. Rice can be tricky – old or a just different rice. If it happens to you again, close the lid and let it sit for 15 minutes. It will get there.
      Also made it with chicken breasts over 20 times and no dry chicken. I think it’s a personal taste preference. Yes, thighs are juicier but there is no way you can compare these 2 completely different cuts even cooked on the stove.
      Instant Pot is a trial and error method figuring out what works personally for you. Good luck!

  13. This recipe was excellent. I am not a cook, but I followed the recipe and produced a delicious meal. Very popular with family & friends too. I made it a second time and added some andouille sausage for a little more spice and that worked great too. Thanks, Olena! Please keep the Ukrainian recipes coming!

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