Slow cooker chicken and rice is a convenient and delicious meal that requires minimal effort. This easy recipe is an excellent option for busy weeknights when you want a comforting and wholesome dinner without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Slow cooker chicken and rice is a classic dish that will please both your taste buds and your appetite. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and results in flavorful, tender chicken and fluffy rice.
The flavors of crock pot chicken and rice are warm and comforting, making it a favorite dish for the entire family.
Check out more family-friendly meals combining these two basic ingredients: Cheesy Chicken and Pumpkin Risotto, Boiled Chicken and Rice, Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice, or Chicken and Rice in White Sauce.
Comfort food at its best, easy dinner recipes for the whole family.
- Rice: Basmati is a long-grain rice that cooks up fluffy and absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients. It serves as a neutral base for the dish.
- You can substitute Jasmine for Basmati.
- Don’t substitute it with another type (short grain, brown rice, wild rice, instant rice, etc), as the cooking time and liquid ratio will not be the same.
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken thighs are my favorite cut for making chicken and rice. They are tender and flavorful and remain juicy during the cooking process.
- You can substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into large chunks for the boneless thighs, but I feel they are never quite as juicy as the thighs.
- Chicken stock or broth: It’s preferable to use low-sodium to avoid a dish that’s too salty. You can always add more salt at the end if needed, but fixing the dish is difficult if it’s too salty.
- Vegetables: Chopped carrots, onions, celery, and garlic.
- Seasoning: Bay leaves, thyme, parsley, fine sea salt or kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- Other ingredients: Olive oil, butter, and a little bit of lemon juice for lifting up the flavors.
- Optional: Stir about ½ cup Parmesan cheese or grated Cheddar cheese or Gouda into the finished dish and let the cheese melt before serving. My kids love this cheesy version of crock pot chicken and rice.
How to cook chicken and rice in the slow cooker?
This slow-cooked chicken and rice recipe is made in only four easy steps!
- Step 1: Cut and season the thighs.
- Step 2: Combine the ingredients (except butter and lemon juice) in the pot (1).
- Step 3: Cook on HIGH for 3 hours (See Expert Tips). Check: the meat pieces should be cooked through, and the Basmati should be tender but not mushy (2).
- Step 4: Add butter and lemon juice (3). Stir, and adjust the taste with salt and pepper (4). If desired, sprinkle the crockpot chicken and rice with fresh parsley or fresh thyme.
- You will achieve the best results when cooking the dish on HIGH, I’ve tested this recipe on low, and we all found the rice mushy.
- Meal prep: Chop all the ingredients, mix them with the spices, and keep them refrigerated in an airtight container until the next day. Dump them in the crockpot and add oil and chicken broth.
- Additions: You could also add peas or corn. As they are so-called delicate ingredients, you should only add them during the last hour of cooking. This ensures they retain their color, texture, and freshness.
- Overcooking can result in mushy rice and dry chicken.
- Let the chicken and rice rest in the slow cooker with the lid on for about 10 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together and the basmati to absorb excess moisture. Add some cheese now, stir it in, and let it melt while the dish rests.
The terms are often used interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two: Crock-Pot is a trademarked brand name for a type of slow cooker that was popularized in the 1970s. The slow cooker is a general term describing any cooking appliance that allows for slow, low-temperature cooking.
They typically have similar designs consisting of a removable cooking pot (often made of ceramic or metal) surrounded by a heating element.
You can use a crock pot or a slow cooker to cook this recipe for chicken and rice.
I don’t recommend it for this recipe; we’ve tried it and found the rice to be too soft.
It's essential to use the correct rice-to-liquid ratio and avoid overcooking. Follow the recipe instructions regarding the amount of liquid and cooking time.
Don't lift the lid unnecessarily during the cooking process, as it can affect the temperature and result in unevenly cooked grains.
How to store and reheat?
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Reheat on the stovetop or microwave. The grains will absorb most of the liquid as it cools, so you should add a little extra stock when reheating it.
- Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months, defrost in the fridge, and reheat before serving. However, I am not keen on frozen and defrosted rice dishes.
What to serve with it?
- More salad ideas: Broccoli Pea Salad, Roast Pumpkin Salad, Easy Coleslaw, or green salad with Yogurt Dressing.
- Vegetable side dishes: French Green Beans, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes, Broccoli, Mushrooms and Blue Cheese, or Creamed Leeks.
More comforting, easy slow cooker recipes
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice (Crock Pot)
- Slow cooker or crock pot
- 1.7 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs 800 g, Note 1
- 1 ½ cups basmati rice 300 g, Note 2
- 1 cup carrots chopped, 5 oz/ 150 g
- ¾ cup onions chopped, 3.5 oz/ 100 g
- ½ cup celery chopped, 2.5 oz/ 75 g
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 ½ cups chicken broth 900 ml, Note 3
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup cheese Parmesan, Cheddar or Gouda shredded optional
- Chicken: Cut the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces. Place them in the slow cooker, sprinkle them with some salt and pepper, and toss lightly. 1.7 lbs/ 800 g boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Combine: Add rice, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, olive oil, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. 1 ½ cup basmati + 1 cup/ 150 g carrots + ¾ cup/ 100 g onions + ½ cup/ 75 g celery + 3 garlic cloves + 1 teaspoon thyme + 1 teaspoon parsley + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 3 ½ / 900 ml chicken broth
- Slow cook on HIGH for 3 hours until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender but not mushy (Note 4).
- Add: Remove the lid; some cooking liquid will be set at the bottom of the pot. Add butter and lemon juice, and give everything a good stir. 2 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Adjust the taste with more salt and pepper.
- Let the dish rest in the slow cooker with the lid on for 10 minutes. (Note 5 – Optional cheese).
- Rice: You can substitute Jasmine for Basmati rice. Don’t substitute it with another sort of rice, as the cooking time and liquid ratio will differ.
- Chicken: You can substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into large chunks for the boneless thighs, but I feel they are never quite as juicy as the thighs.
- Chicken broth or stock: It’s preferable to use low-sodium to avoid a dish that’s too salty. You can always add more salt at the end if needed, but fixing the dish is difficult if it’s too salty.
- I recommend cooking the dish on HIGH, I’ve tested this recipe on low, and we all found the rice to be mushy.
- Cheese: You can stir about ½ cup Parmesan or grated Cheddar or Gouda into the finished dish and let the cheese melt before serving.