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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Rice

$8.90 Recipe/$2.23 Serving

Instant pot chicken thighs 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 will 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 rice cook in the instant pot 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 – boneless, skinless chicken thighs are perfect for this instant pot recipe. They are packed with flavor and budget friendly. You can also us chicken breast but it can have a tendency to get dry, so chicken thighs are best.
  • Brown jasmine or basmati rice – Jasmine rice or basmati rice are the best for recipes where you may have leftovers the next day. Unlike other types of rice, they typically do not get rock hard when refrigerated. You can also use white jasmine rice or white basmati rice, but you will need less water.
  • Water – water is needed to cook the rice and bring the instant pot to pressure. You could also use chicken broth, chicken stock or bone broth in place of the water for even more flavor.
  • Olive oil (optional) – olive oil helps keep the rice from sticking to itself but may not be needed if your chicken thighs have some fat on them.
  • Coconut aminos – this is a soy free, gluten free alternative to soy sauce. It helps to add a depth of flavor to the dish. You can also use tamari (gluten free soy sauce) or soy sauce if you can tolerate it.
  • Spices: Garlic powder, dried thyme, salt – these all help to elevate the flavors of the dish. Garlic powder provides umami and a deep flavor. The dried thyme pairs well with the chicken and rice and gives a subtle flavor to the entire dish. Salt helps to brighten all the flavors.

How to make instant pot chicken thighs and rice

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. Rinsing the rice will help make sure you don’t get a burn error when cooking in your instant pot.

Add the rice to the pressure cooker.

Cut up the chicken thighs using sharp kitchen shears (or a sharp knife). You want to cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces. I like to cut the chicken right over the instant pot and just add it in as I go.

Add the seasoning (coconut aminos, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, thyme) and the water to the rice and chicken in the pressure cooker insert and stir well.

Add the lid to the instant pot. Make sure the vent is moved to sealing and cook for 7 minutes at high pressure.

Allow the instant pot to naturally release pressure at least 10 minutes. You can either manually release pressure or allow it to continue to naturally release at this point. Once the valve drops, remove the lid and stir well. Serve hot!

Steps on making instant pot chicken thighs and brown rice.

Top tips

  • Be sure to cut the chicken into bite size pieces. This allows the chicken to cook quickly, and also helps make this recipe super simple to serve (no shredding needed).
  • If you want to use white jasmine rice or white basmati rice, you will need to reduce the water from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Reduce the cooking time from 7 minutes to 3 minutes high pressure.
  • Always add the rice first, then put the chicken on top. This ensures that the rice will be submerged in water as it cooks. This helps you get fluffy, perfectly cooked rice every 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.
  • Change up the flavors based on the spices you add. You can make this instant pot chicken thighs and rice have a Cajun, Mexican, Italian or Greek flavor by adding a few spices.
  • If you are using an 8 quart Instant Pot you need to add at least 2 cups of water to ensure that it gets up to pressure correctly. You should not have any issues with this recipe since it uses 2 cups of water but may have trouble if you cut this recipe in half.
Large spoon filled with instant pot chicken and rice.
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What other spices can you use

This instant pot rice and chicken thighs 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 Cajun seasoning)
  • Italian (omit the thyme and about 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning)
  • Greek (omit the thyme and add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning + ½ tsp of dried oregano)
  • Mexican (omit the thyme and add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning + 1 tbsp. tomato paste)

How to add veggies to the instant pot

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

Common questions

What is the best rice to use in the instant pot?

You can cook just about any kind of rice in the instant pot, but my favorite is jasmine rice and basmati rice. This is because they always turn out perfectly and are great as leftovers as well. Brown jasmine rice cooks in about 7 minutes on high pressure. White jasmine rice (or white basmati rice) cooks in 3 minutes of high pressure. White jasmine rice (or white basmati rice) requires less water than brown (1.25 cups for white and 1.5 cups for brown per cup of rice).

For this recipe, you can use brown or white jasmine or basmati rice. I used brown rice because I like the nutty flavor but both will work wonderfully. Just be sure to reduce the water if you use a white rice.

Tips on making rice in the Instant Pot

  • 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.

Can you use chicken breast?

This recipe was written for boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they are very forgiving (they stay moist and flavorful even if overcooked a bit). Chicken breast can dry out a bit if overcooked. With that being said, the instant pot is a very moist environment, so the chicken is less likely to dry out when cooking.

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.

Can you 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.

Can you freeze instant pot chicken and rice?

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

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast in place of the chicken thighs in this recipe without changing anything else. The chicken thighs are always going to be a bit more juicy but both will work well. You can also use chicken sausage, cut into small coins in place of the chicken thighs.

Brown Jasmine Rice: You can easily substitute brown basmati rice for the brown jasmine rice without changing anything. If you want to use white jasmine rice or white basmati rice, you will need to reduce the water from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Reduce the cooking time from 7 minutes to 3 minutes high pressure.

Olive oil: the olive oil helps to coat the rice and helps to give the overall meal more body. You can omit the olive oil or use avocado oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee.

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.

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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 a simple, easy weeknight meal. Everything cooks together in your Instant Pot in about 35 minutes, making this perfect for busy weeknights. Leftovers are great too, perfect for meal prep!
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot chicken and rice, instant pot chicken thighs and rice, instant pot rice and chicken thighs
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 7 mins
25 mins
Total Time: 37 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. Do not stir.
  • Add water, coconut aminos, olive oil, garlic powder, dried thyme and salt to the rice and chicken thighs.
  • Add the lid to the Instant Pot and move the valve to sealing.
  • Turn the instant pot on, high pressure for 7 minutes.
  • Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you can manually release pressure or allow it to continue to naturally release.

Notes

Top tips:
  • Be sure to cut the chicken into bite size pieces. This allows the chicken to cook quickly, and also helps make this recipe super simple to serve (no shredding needed).
  • Always add the rice first, then put the chicken on top. This ensures that the rice will be submerged in water as it cooks. This helps you get fluffy, perfectly cooked rice every 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.
  • Change up the flavors based on the spices you add. You can make this instant pot chicken thighs and rice have a Cajun, Mexican, Italian or Greek flavor by adding a few spices.
  • To use white jasmine rice or white basmati rice, reduce the water from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons. Reduce the cooking time from 7 minutes, to 3 minutes. 
  • If you are using an 8 quart Instant Pot you need to add at least 2 cups of water to ensure that it gets up to pressure correctly. You should not have any issues with this recipe since it uses 2 cups of water but may have problems if you choose to cut this recipe in half.
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
Other seasonings:
  • 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 Cajun seasoning)
  • Italian (omit the thyme and about 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning)
  • Greek (omit the thyme and add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning + ½ tsp of dried oregano)
  • Mexican (omit the thyme and add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning + 1 tbsp. tomato paste)
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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Recipe Rating




Lena

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

Hello, I love your recipes. Can you please let me know how to modify it without using instant pot.

Thank You

Samantha Rowland

Thursday 5th of March 2020

Hey Lena! I have yet to make this without the Instant Pot but I'm guessing you could follow the exact same instructions on the stove. Typically I allow the rice to come up to a boil then add a lid and turn the head down to a simmer for 15 minutes. However you will want to watch the pot because it can boil over quickly. Hope this helps!