30-Minute Chicken & Rice (One-Pan!)
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!
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
Testing Notes from Robyn
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.
Turn It into A Burrito Bowl
This recipe is a great base for an easy burrito bowl!
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.
This Recipe Is…
30-Minute Chicken & Rice (One-Pan!)
- 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
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Sliced avocado, pickled jalapeño, sour cream
- 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.