by Olena

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice (Video)

by Olena

4.9 from 29 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, thighs or cut up whole chicken
  • 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

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

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

Print

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

4.9 from 29 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. You can also use cut up whole chicken with this amount of water.

 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.

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

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  1. Hi Olena,

    I just made this & the rice was still a bit chewy/al dente. I stirred & put it back on for 2 more minutes &, of course, it burned on the bottom. Duh! That’s my bad. However, the rest of the rice was still chewy, but also kinda mushy overall. Again, my bad for stirring.
    I have also never cooked with this rice before so it may be they way it comes out. Will have to cook some on the stove & see. I’ve been cooking with Trader Joe’s 15 min brown basmati rice & Success 10 min boil-in-bag brown rice (this one comes out softer than regular brown rice) for years & may not remember how the “real” brown rice tastes, but this texture is just too chewy for me & my husband could not eat it.
    So I’m thinking of maybe cooking it for 25 min next time. What do you think? Would I need more water & will it overcook the chicken? I used 2 bone in medium size thighs, from which I removed the skin & fat & halved the rice & water.

    1. Hi Luda. Oh no! Yes, try 25 mins next time. Regular brown rice, not 15 minute or parboiled. Same amount of water and use thighs not breasts to avoid dry meat. Hope it turns out better next time. Let me know. 🙂

  2. Hi Olena;

    I made this meal last night. When my daughter walked into the house, she asked “what smells so good”! It was very delicious (and I did add dill 🙂 )

    Can the amount of rice be adjusted for the dish and if so, how do you determine how much less water to use? If I wanted to use half the amount of rice, is it as simple as using half of 3 2/3 cups of liquid?

  3. Love this recipe! Great flavor. I’d like to have higher ratio of veggies to rice, and add bell peppers. Any guidelines on adjusting time and water based on this? Also, do you have thoughts on taste without sautéing?

    Thank you !

    1. I have tried without sauteing and chicken and rice was more bland. I prefer sauteed way more. 22 mins is way too long time for any veggies plus they will add more water so making rice more mushy. You can add them at the end. If you add finely chopped bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli or frozen peas and corn at the end, cover the lid and let it stand for 5-10 mins.

  4. i just finished making – and eating – this lovely comfort-food dish on our first jacket-weather day! Thank you! Frozen peas were added at the end. I used half thigh and half breast meat, with a tiny bit less than 2 3/4 cups of water, but more than 2 2/3. Next time I’ll stick with thighs since the breast meat was a little too dry for my taste – unless you have any suggestions. Maybe by combining the two types I messed up? Thyme, oregano and bay leaves aren’t my favorite herbs in general and I cut back about 1/3 tsp on the oregano. I still enjoyed this dish, just wonder what other herbs might be tasty. Maybe to get a little punch of a different, ramped up flavor some feta crumbles on the top would do the trick.

    As an IP newbie, I’ve learned so much from you already, and am most grateful.

  5. I think I have solved the problem. My pot was too big. I had a 6 qt but I only cook for 3. Today I cooked green beans and this time they are perfect!! I am making my mother’d Dixie Pork chops. It is so good. Wish I could work your magic on the recipe and put it on the site. It has apple slices, raisins craisins, pork seasoned with sage, salt, & pepper. The sauce had flour, water, apple cider vineger and brown sugar as the gravy. Serve w/ green beans and boiled baby potatoes or mashed potatoes

  6. Super easy to follow. My dinner comes out perfect every single time. Thanks so much for helping us with super easy, healthy instant pot dishes. Even the kids love it, so you know it HAS to be good! Thanks again……..

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