Chicken Main Dishes Recipes Slow Cooker

Last updated on April 29th, 2024 at 04:45 pm

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Crockpot Chicken and Rice [Video]

Crockpot Chicken and Rice is such an easy-to-make dinner, healthy, creamy, and with the perfect lemon flavor. A family favorite during busy weeknights. Made with real ingredients like brown rice, chicken breast, and lemon, this home-cooked meal is delicious and gluten-free, even small picky eaters love itThis is my go-to easy recipe when I want something budget-friendly, low-effort, but perfectly satisfying meal.

Slow cooker Chicken and Rice

I have posted here my fair share of tried and true easy recipes! But this Crockpot Chicken and Rice, I can tell you, is probably the one I make the most. There is something about the simplicity, yet the great flavors that it has. Always a hit with my family, and I enjoy packing the leftovers for lunch.

Slow cooking is the best way to get tender chicken, and the rice soaks up the flavor of the chicken soup, seasonings, and herbs. The result is a creamy, slightly lemony dish that cooks itself while you do other things. It is the perfect comfort meal for busy weeknights.

This is the recipe I make most of the time when I am in a hurry, and don’t go grocery shopping. Because if I try to name two ingredients that I have in my kitchen all the time, these would be frozen chicken breast and a huge bag of rice. These two always save the night!

Chicken and rice are two of the most inexpensive foods you can buy. And this simple dish will win you over by being friendly, yet so flavorful, like a healthy Mediterranean-inspired meal. Do not expect the rice to be fluffy, it is creamy and filled with all the moisture from the broth and the seasoning that was added.

Easy Crockpot recipes are a family favorite around here, they are such a time saver during busy weeknights. I highly recommend you try some of my most popular ones: the soul-warming Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup that is perfect for cold weather. While these Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches are always a crowd-pleaser. Another delicious rice crockpot recipe that you may enjoy is the Slow Cooker Rice and Beans with a nice Mexican twist to it.

What you’ll need to make crockpot chicken and rice:

Special items and gadgets:

  • A crockpot or slow cooker – I prefer my Hamilton Beach programmable crockpot for this recipe, but you can use what you like to slow cook in.
  • Frying pan – To sear the chicken.
  • Silicone tongs – For moving and flipping the chicken.

The ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts – I prefer boneless skinless chicken breast for this dish, but chicken thighs work well too.
  • Olive oil – For searing the chicken. 
  • Rice – I like long-grain brown rice because it is healthier has more flavor, and maintains great texture.
  • Onion – Diced yellow or red onion adds a bite and some sweetness.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic adds the most incredible flavor. I also like to add browned garlic cloves to the pot when cooking for an intense garlicky taste.
  • Lemon juice and zest – Adds freshness and tanginess.
  • Chicken broth – I always use low-sodium organic broth for less salt. I love using my homemade chicken stock here. It adds plenty of flavors and is just delicious. 
  • Unsalted butter – If you use salted butter, do not add as much salt to your rice.
  • Dried parsley flakes – Gives your chicken and rice an herbal taste with a wonderful scent.
  • Dried basil – Add a sweet, spicy, and savory taste to your dish.
  • Dried oregano – Dried oregano has an amazing aroma to get your mouth watering and adds earthy flavor.
  • Salt – As much as you like, any kind of salt will work for this dish. 
  • Ground black pepper – Although I find freshly ground pepper the most flavorful, you can use store-bought.

How to make crockpot chicken and rice recipe:

  1. Prepare the chicken: First, season the chicken breasts with black pepper and kosher salt on both sides. 
  2. Brown the chicken breasts: Then, pour oil into a large skillet on high heat and add the chicken once it is sizzling. Cook for five minutes on each side until it is golden brown. 
  3. Slow cook: Meanwhile, add the rice, diced onion, garlic cloves, low-sodium chicken broth, butter, and lemon juice to the slow cooker. Then add the oregano, fresh parsley flakes, and dried basil to the cooker and stir well. 
  4. Add the chicken: Next, put the browned chicken breasts on top of the rest of the ingredients and cook on high for two to three hours. Check the rice after two and a half hours and continue to cook if it is still too hard. 
  5. Meat temperature: The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 160 – 165 degrees. Also, you can remove it to a plate and cover it with foil. Taste the rice, and if it’s still too chewy, stir and continue to cook a bit longer.
  6. Serve: Once the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees F, serve warm chicken pieces on top of the rice mixture. 

Expert tip:

Choosing the best rice for crockpot chicken and rice?

I chose brown rice for this recipe because it takes longer to cook so it does not get mushy even if you cook it for three or more hours. Parboiled rice is another good choice because it is treated by steaming it under pressure and takes longer to cook.

What you should NOT use is instant rice. Just check the directions on the package. If it calls for you to cook it longer than 15 minutes, it will hold up in the crockpot.

Recipe variations:

  • Other meat: Feel free to use other meat instead of chicken such as turkey, pork, or beef chunks. 
  • Creamy chicken soup: Substitute one cup of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup for one cup of chicken broth for a creamy slow cooker chicken and rice dinner.
  • More seasoning: Add more flavor by sprinkling in some bay leaves, dry ranch dressing, chili powder, onion powder, or garlic powder. 
  • Spicy: Add chopped chiles or jalapeno peppers for a spicy flavor.
  • Add veggies: Make it a full robust meal by adding veggies like fresh or frozen peas, carrots, celery, or green beans. 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: If you love cheesy food, add 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese (or your favorite) about 10 to 15 minutes before it is done cooking. The cheese will melt on top of the chicken, making it the best cheesy chicken and rice you ever had. 

How to serve:

  • Crock pot chicken and rice go great with breadsticks or garlic bread. 
  • A bowl of creamy tomato soup would be the perfect starter for this dinner.
  • Serve it with veggies on the side for a nice healthy and delicious meal.
  • If someone in the family does not like rice, you can still cook it with the rice. Serve their chicken on top of a bed of pasta, or by itself with fresh veggies. 
  • In addition, serve with some chipotle corn salsa mixed in for a nice Mexican flavor and a Mexican salad on the side.
  • Add shredded cheese to the rice and serve the chicken on the side for a different twist. 
  • You can also serve this with my seven-layer salad made with shredded cheese, bacon, and cranberries. 

Frequently asked questions

Can you cook rice in a slow cooker?

You can cook rice in the slow cooker, but it will not have the fluffy, crumbly texture as when cooked in a pressure cooker or on the stove. While it will be extra delicious, it will have a creamier texture, like in a casserole.

Also, for the best results, I recommend using a 2 to 1 ratio, of about 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. If you already have liquid in the slow cooker, consider it when adding the rice.

Should you cook chicken on high or low in a crockpot?

Although most recipes tell you to cook chicken on low in the crockpot or slow cooker, this recipe has rice in it so cooking it for longer than three hours is not recommended. That is why I cook it at a high temperature and check it after just two and a half hours. You do not want mushy rice for this dinner.

Why is my crockpot rice hard?

If your rice ends up hard and crunchy when cooking it in a crockpot or slow cooker, it is usually not cooked long enough. In this recipe, cooking it for at least two and a half hours on high is recommended. After checking it, you can continue to cook it for another half hour if it needs more time. Another reason may be that you need more liquid. Always follow the instructions well.

Is it okay to add raw chicken to a crockpot?

Yes, you can cook raw chicken in a crockpot. However, I prefer to brown or sear mine first in a skillet, so it holds in the juice and does not absorb too much liquid you add to cook your rice. If that happens, you may have mushy chicken and hard rice. Neither one of these is a good way to serve chicken and rice.

Can I put frozen chicken in the crockpot?

Cooking frozen poultry in a Crock-Pot is considered to be unsafe. Food Safety guidelines state that you should always thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker. However, if you have a pressure cooker, you can easily cook frozen poultry or meat in it.

How to store:

  • Store: After it cools to room temperature, store the leftover crockpot chicken and rice recipe in an airtight container. You can refrigerate it for up to three days.
  • Freeze: It is also safe to freeze your crockpot chicken and rice for up to three months.
  • Thaw: Be sure to put your frozen leftovers in the fridge to defrost overnight before serving.
  • Reheat: To reheat, put the chicken and rice crock pot recipe in the microwave for about 90 seconds depending on how large the serving is. 

More slow cooker recipes:

Cooking Tips:

  • The cooking time is the same no matter what cut of chicken or meat you use for this chicken and rice recipe.
  • Long grain brown rice works best for this recipe due to the length of the cooking time and it is higher in protein and fiber than traditional white rice. 
  • Although you do not have to brown the meat, it adds flavor and makes an extra juicy chicken. 
  • You should always use the high setting on your slow cooker when making rice or any kind of grains or you will end up with mushy rice. 
  • Use a slow cooker insert for easier cleanup. 
  • Add more chicken broth if the mixture is too thick. You want it to be like creamy chicken soup so you can dip bread or chips in it. 
  • Cook time will be shorter if you use instant brown rice or you can add the rice during the last half hour of cooking time. 

Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Rice

Crockpot Chicken and Rice is an easy, budget-friendly, and healthy meal. With a creamy texture and lemon flavor, perfect for busy weeknights.

Crockpot Chicken and Rice
  • Prep Time20 MIN
  • Cook Time3H
  • Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 medium chicken breasts skinless and boneless or bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 6 cloves garlic whole and browned
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted

Instructions

Sear Chicken:

  • Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Place a large skillet over high heat, add oil and once it's hot add the chicken and brown it on both sides for about 5 minutes.

Slow Cook:

  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot, stir to combine, and place the chicken on top.
  • Cook on HIGH for 2.5 to 3 hours. Check on the rice after 2.5 hours, and if it needs more time, stir and continue to cook.

Nutrition Facts

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Comments

(76)
Jimmy

Jimmy

Amazing flavor, I used larger chicken breasts, two was all that would fit and followed the recipe to a t and WOW!!!! AMAZING!!!! The long grain rice takes awhile to cook but it took 3 hours and was worth the wait , the rice opens up and becomes risotto and we love risotto so I make it a lot but this was so much easier. Huge hit and have already made it again but used stock instead of broth. Delicious 😋

Andy

Andy

The taste is fantastic with just the right amount of lemon!! Unfortunately I need to get to know my crockpot better. I followed the instructions but used basmati rice (Uncle Ben's Original). I set this recipe on high and after 2.5 hours I checked the chicken and it was already overdone. The rice had a consistency of potatoes so I think they were overdone too. The onions however seemed to be undercooked. Next time I try this which will be soon, I think I'll cook the onions a bit with the 6 garlic cloves after searing the chicken. It does seem odd to me that I'd be checking to see if the rice and chicken are done after 1.5 - 2 hours on high.

Jill

Jill

Do you use both minced and whole garlic? And do you just add the butter with everything or put it on top of the chicken?

Sam R

Sam R

Turned out so delicious. I was scared the chicken wouldn’t turn out very flavorful since I only had vegetable broth, so I added a scoop of Chicken bouillon and it really made a difference! I added in carrots and celery in the last hour. Definitely making this again.


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

This meal is a keeper :)

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