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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Rice

$8.90 Recipe/$2.23 Serving

Instant pot chicken and rice is such a simple, healthy, delicious dinner recipe that is perfect for weeknight meals with family!

This easy recipe is just 6 ingredients and it cooks in the pressure cooker in 45 minutes start to finish! You are going to love how hands off this recipe is!

Instant Pot Brown rice and chicken thighs on a plate with green beans.

Why you are going to love this recipe

  • This entire recipe cooks in the instant pot. Simply add all the ingredients to the pressure cooker, turn it on and you can walk away! Easy peasy!
  • Chicken thighs and brown jasmine rice cook in about 45 minutes from start to finish, no need to babysit the pot! And these healthy ingredients are budget friendly, making it the perfect weeknight meal!
  • Reheats well! Make extra and enjoy for lunch the next day! Unlike traditional rice, this brown jasmine rice reheat really well and is just as good the next day!
  • This recipe tastes like your mom’s comfort food cooking, but it’s got updated ingredients! No cream of whatever soup here! Same flavors but much better ingredients!
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Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs
  • Brown jasmine or basmati rice
  • Water
  • Garlic olive oil (or olive oil + garlic powder)
  • Coconut aminos
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt

How to make instant pot chicken thighs and rice

  1. Start by rinsing the rice under hot water in a mesh strainer. You do not need to soak the rice in water, just simply rinse off some of the excess starch. You will want some starch (it helps create that comfort food feeling) but rinsing the rice will help make sure you don’t get a burn error.
  2. Add the rice to the pressure cooker.
  3. Cut up the chicken thighs using sharp kitchen shears (or a sharp knife). You want to cut the chicken into bite size pieces. I like to cut the chicken right over the instant pot and just add it in as I go.
  4. Add the seasoning (coconut aminos, garlic olive oil, salt, thyme) and the water to the rice and chicken in the pressure cooker insert and stir well.
  5. Add the lid to the pressure cooker. Make sure the vent is moved to sealing and put on low pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. Allow the instant pot to naturally release pressure. Once the valve drops, remove the lid and stir well. Serve hot!
Steps on making instant pot chicken thighs and brown rice.

Cooking with your Instant Pot

Pressure cookers can be quite the time saver! Cooking a meal like this chicken thighs and rice in the instant pot is a great way to make most of your meal all at once! Add some frozen green peas or cut up green beans at the end to make it a full one pot meal!

Tips when working with your pressure cooker

  • Pressure cookers take time to come up to pressure before the actual cooking happens. This is why a 15 minute cook time can take up to 30 minutes to complete.
  • Recipes that are written to allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure are likely not going to be fully cooked if you manually release pressure early. If you need to manual release pressure, you will want to add additional cooking time.
  • Always make sure the rubber seal is clean and there is nothing in the rim that could get in the way of the pressure cooker sealing all the way. If you notice steam coming from anything other than the release valve area, the pressure cooker is not fully sealed.
  • The pressure cooker I use has a low pressure and high pressure function. If your pressure cooker does not have the ability to switch from low pressure to high pressure, use the built in “rice” function to get the proper pressure.
  • Be sure to turn off the “Keep Warm” function before starting the pressure cooker, as this can cause the rice to overcook if you leave it in the pot too long.
  • I have read reviews that the 8 quart Instant Pot may be a tad tougher to work with and many people experience a “burn” error when making rice. The best thing you can do for this is stir the rice and chicken together well before cooking. This helps to ensure the rice is not just stuck on the bottom.
Large spoon filled with instant pot chicken and rice.

The best rice to use in the Instant Pot

The best rice to use in this recipe is brown jasmine or brown basmati rice. Both of these types of rice cook in about 15 minutes in the instant pot and are great reheated the next day!

Tips on making rice in the Instant Pot

  • Make sure that you add some oil to the rice before cooking. This helps coat the rice and keeps it from sticking together. If you don’t have garlic olive oil, use olive oil and garlic powder or fresh garlic.
  • Be sure to rinse the excess starch from the rice. One of the main reasons you will get a burn notice when cooking rice is that it either gets stuck to the bottom of the insert or it is too starchy and starts to burn.
  • If you find your rice is undercooked, place the lid back on your pressure cooker, seal the valve and set the pressure cooker to cook for 0 minutes. This will give the rice more time to absorb the water. Allow to naturally release pressure.
White plate filled with instant pot chicken and rice and green beans.

What kind of chicken can you use

To guarantee the best flavor and texture, using boneless, skinless chicken thighs is the best chicken to use in this recipe.

If you don’t have boneless, skinless chicken thighs, you might want to use a chicken sausage instead. Chicken breast can be used, but they may dry out a bit due to such long cooking time.

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What other spices can you use with this meal

This recipe is the ultimate comfort food recipe. You can modify it based on whatever you are craving!

Some other great seasonings include:

  • Rosemary and Sage (add ½ tsp. dried chopped rosemary and ¼ tsp sage)
  • Rosemary and Lemon Juice (add ½ tsp dried chopped rosemary and the juice of 1 lemon)
  • Cajun (omit the thyme and add about 1 tablespoon)
  • Ranch (omit the thyme and about 1 tablespoon)
  • Italian (omit the thyme and about 1 tablespoon)
  • Greek (omit the thyme and add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning + ½ tsp of dried oregano)

How to add veggies to this meal

You can add the following veggies to the Instant Pot after the chicken and rice is done cooking and the pressure has naturally released. You will likely want to add ¼ – ½ tsp of salt in addition to the veggies.

To cook the veggies, simply, add the veggies and then put the lid back on the Instant Pot and allow the heat from the chicken and rice cook the veggies (5 minutes) before serving.

  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen green beans
  • Fresh shredded carrots
  • Shredded kale or baby spinach
  • Frozen cauliflower rice or frozen broccoli rice

What to serve on the side

FAQs

How long can you keep chicken leftovers in the fridge?

This recipe is great to make ahead and serve the next day! The rice doesn’t get hard or impossible to chew, so it’s great for meal prep or having as leftovers the next day.

Store in the fridge in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days.

To double this recipe

Yes. I use a 6 quart instant pot and would not recommend adding any more than 3 cups of dry rice at once. So you can double this recipe but would not advise you to triple it.

If you double the recipe, you do not need to add any additional cooking time, but you may find that it takes longer to come up to pressure and naturally release pressure, so make sure you know that if you are under a time limit.

Does this recipe freeze well

Yes, chicken and rice both freeze exceptionally well after cooking. Be sure to allow it to cool completely, then portion out single size servings (for ease of defrosting) into freezer safe bags or containers. Be sure to remove as much air as possible and add the date and serving amount to the container/bag.

Freeze for up to 2 months.

Stainless Steel Spoon Serving Instant Pot brown rice with chicken thighs

Substitutions

Chicken thighs: You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast but I would keep them in bigger pieces and cut them down after cooking. When you cube up the chicken breast, the cooking time is too long and they become a bit dried out.

You can also use chicken sausage, cut into small coins in place of the chicken thighs.

Brown Jasmine Rice: Because of cooking time and texture, I would suggest the only substitution be brown basmati rice.

White jasmine or white basmati rice will require a different cooking time and a different amount of liquid. Also they will need to be washed more because they tend to have more starch on them.

Traditional brown rice will not be cooked fully in the time this recipe indicates. You would need to add more cooking time, which could dry out the chicken.

Garlic olive oil: Substitute with olive oil + 1 tsp. garlic powder.

Coconut Aminos: This is a soy free, gluten free alternative to soy sauce. It’s also lower in sodium. If you cannot use coconut aminos, you could use soy sauce or gluten free tamari.

Thyme: You can use any seasoning you want in this recipe. See the other seasoning ideas above.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Plate filled with Chicken Thighs and Rice with green beans.

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Rice

$8.90 recipe/$2.23 serving
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Rice is the perfect healthy recipe that can be made all in one pot! This simple recipe is perfect for weeknight meals and is naturally gluten free and dairy free! You can add carrots, peas, spinach or your favorite veggies after cooking for a full meal!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken thighs and rice, instant pot chicken and rice, pressure cooker chicken and rice
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Rinse the brown jasmine rice in a mesh strainer under hot water.
  • Add rinsed rice to the insert of the Instant Pot.
  • Cut up the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into bite size pieces with scissors or a sharp knife. Add the chicken thighs directly to the rice.
  • Add water, coconut aminos, garlic olive oil, dried thyme and salt to the rice and chicken thighs. Stir well.
  • Add the lid to the Instant Pot and move the valve to sealing.
  • Turn the instant pot on, set it to low pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure. Stir well and serve hot.

Notes

Substitutions:
Chicken thighs: You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast but I would keep them in bigger pieces and cut them down after cooking. When you cube up the chicken breast, the cooking time is too long and they become a bit dried out.
You can also use chicken sausage, cut into small coins in place of the chicken thighs.
Brown Jasmine Rice: Because of cooking time and texture, I would suggest the only substitution be brown basmati rice.
White jasmine or white basmati rice will require a different cooking time and a different amount of liquid. Also they will need to be washed more because they tend to have more starch on them.
Traditional brown rice will not be cooked fully in the time this recipe indicates. You would need to add more cooking time, which could dry out the chicken.
Garlic Powder: You can also replace the olive oil with garlic olive oil if you are low FODMAP
Thyme: You can use any seasoning you want in this recipe. See the other seasoning ideas above.
How to add veggies:
To cook the veggies, simply, add the veggies and then put the lid back on the Instant Pot and allow the heat from the chicken and rice cook the veggies (5 minutes) before serving.
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen green beans
  • Fresh shredded carrots
  • Shredded kale or baby spinach
  • Frozen cauliflower rice or frozen broccoli rice
Some other great seasonings include:
  • Rosemary and Sage (add ½ tsp. dried chopped rosemary and ¼ tsp sage)
  • Rosemary and Lemon Juice (add ½ tsp dried chopped rosemary and the juice of 1 lemon)
  • Cajun (omit the thyme and add about 1 tablespoon)
  • Ranch (omit the thyme and about 1 tablespoon)
  • Italian (omit the thyme and about 1 tablespoon)
  • Greek (omit the thyme and add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning + ½ tsp of dried oregano)
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
493
Fat
 
11
g
Carbohydrates
 
57
g
Fiber
 
1
g
Sugar
 
1
g
Protein
 
38
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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