Ready in 30 minutes, this one-pan chicken and rice is full of vibrant flavors and so easy to put together. It’s made with basic pantry ingredients like chicken broth, rice, tomato paste, a simple set of Mexican-inspired spices, plus a kick of lime juice, all adding up to a well-balanced, protein-packed meal in one!

An overhead shot of an enameled cast iron pot with chicken and rice topped with cilantro and a silver serving spoon. The pot is surrounded by a kitchen towel, half an avocado, and small bowls with sliced jalapenos, salsa, and lime wedges.

5 star review

“Coming off a long stretch of not making rice and happy to add this one to our rotating dinner options. I loved it! Kids approved! I served it with cheese quesadillas and it was perfect. Next time I’ll try the TexMex slaw! Thanks Robyn! You’ve been helping me with dinners for almost ten years now :)”

– Leslie

Visual Guide: How to Make Chicken and Rice

Jump to Recipe Instructions

Testing Notes from Robyn

It’s no secret that I am a fan of easy, healthy one-pan meals, especially the ones that come together in 30 minutes or less.

This one-pot chicken and rice recipe ticks all those boxes, making it a great weeknight last-minute dinner staple that’s also family friendly.

It has easy-to-find ingredients (you probably have most in your pantry and fridge already), minimal hands-on time, and provides a well-balanced meal that’s packed with protein.

You don’t even need a side dish, but if you want additional veggies on the side, this meal pairs really well with crunchy and refreshing Mexican slaw.

What I love about this recipe is that you can adjust it to your preferences! I keep the ingredients simple (without sacrificing on flavor), but feel free to add additional Mexican-inspired spices, throw in a can of drained beans to bulk up fiber, or add some more heat.

Once this quick and easy meal is done cooking, it just begs for toppings! Customize your plate with your favorite taco toppings like avocado, 4-ingredient guacamole, fresh salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, or whatever you like!

P.S. If you’re looking for a vegetarian version of this dish, I highly recommend trying my pinto beans and rice which is very similar, just without the meat.

Add More Heat

This family-friendly recipe is not too spicy, so if you want to add more spice, add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (like Rotel) or a can of diced green chilis when you add the broth.

An overhead shot of bowls of chicken and rice topped with avocado, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, jalapeños and lime wedges. Smaller bowls with the toppings surround them.

Turn It into A Burrito Bowl

This recipe is a great base for an easy burrito bowl!

To a serving of Mexican chicken and rice, add shredded lettuce, easy guacamole, fresh tomato salsa, shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, or any of your favorite burrito toppings.

An overhead shot of an enameled cast iron pot with chicken and rice topped with cilantro and a silver serving spoon. The pot is surrounded by a kitchen towel, half an avocado, and small bowls with sliced jalapenos, salsa, and lime wedges.

Tips & Modifications

Make Ahead Notes

This recipe is an excellent meal prep recipe! It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container. Just gently reheat when ready to eat.

It also freezes well stored in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months. You could freeze in single-serving containers for an easy grab-and-go lunch or simple dinner.

Best Type of Rice to Use

This recipe works best with long-grain or jasmine rice. I do not recommend using quick-cooking or instant rice. 

Which Chicken to Use

I’ve tested this recipe with both chicken thighs and chicken breasts and prefer chicken thighs as they stay more moist. However, you can use chicken breasts if you prefer. You could also use ground turkey or ground beef instead of chicken.

For Onion Haters

Hate onions? Feel free to leave the onion out in this recipe or use red or white onion if you don’t have yellow onion.

Instant Pot Adaptation

I have not tested this recipe in the instant pot, however if you’re looking for a similar recipe made in the instant pot, try my instant pot chicken burrito bowl

An overhead shot of an enameled cast iron pot with chicken and rice topped with cilantro. The pot is surrounded by a kitchen towel, half an avocado, and small bowls with sliced jalapenos, salsa, and lime wedges.

This Recipe Is…

An overhead shot of an enameled cast iron pot with chicken and rice topped with cilantro and a silver serving spoon. The pot is surrounded by a kitchen towel, half an avocado, and small bowls with sliced jalapenos, salsa, and lime wedges.
5 stars (5 ratings)

30-Minute Chicken & Rice (One-Pan!)

Ready in 30 minutes, this one-pan chicken and rice is full of vibrant flavors and is so easy to put together.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, or other neutral flavored oil such as canola
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or boneless skinless chicken breasts), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup white long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

To Add at the End

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Optional Toppings

Equipment

Instructions 

  • In a large (5- or 6-quart) pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high, then add the chicken and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon salt, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin, stirring to combine. Cook until the chicken is browned and just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the tomato paste and the rice. Cook until fragrant, about 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the stock and bring to a rapid boil. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is just tender. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to sit for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover, add the lime juice, and fluff with a fork.
  • Serve with optional toppings, if desired.

Notes

Note: Make sure to use a large, heavy-bottomed pot with tight-fitting lid for best results. Do not use instant or quick cooking rice. For more modifications and serving suggestions see the full blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 4), Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 608mg, Potassium: 520mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 338IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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