Chicken With Basmati Rice


Chicken with basmati rice is a popular meal served in Persian cuisine. Basmati refers to rice which is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, where the climate is damp and cool. The insalubrious weather conditions at these altitudes affect the entire plant and contribute to an extremely long grain of rice.

Easy One-Pot Chicken and Rice

Juicy, perfectly-seasoned chicken, nestled in fragrant rice makes the best one-pot chicken and rice recipe in just over 30 minutes! Add your favorite salad and call it good!

Be sure to watch the video and read through for some important tips for how to make chicken and rice.

chicken and rice in a pan with serving spoon

Chicken and rice have long been the comfort food of choice at my house. Family favorites include, this Spanish chicken and rice with chorizo, and these Lebanese chicken fatteh bowls. It is something my kids enjoy a ton, so why stop there!

About this chicken and rice recipe

Today’s chicken and rice recipe is a riff of something my mother in law makes. She’s an expert of the Levant kitchen, and anything she makes is always pure deliciousness. Last time we were visiting in Michigan, she made a simple rice with peas and carrots with a spiced roast chicken on the side. I decided to combine them both into this easy one-pot dinner, infused with warm Middle Eastern flavors like allspice, cardamom, and turmeric

Many think of chicken and rice bake as a rich casserole that incorporates lots of butter and some sort of creamy soup from a can. This is not that, but I promise you it is comforting and more flavorful than your average chicken and rice casserole.

What you need for this chicken and rice

Let me give you an idea of what’s in this one-pan dinner, and you’ll know why it’s different from other chicken and rice recipes you’ve seen:

  • Chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are my go-to here because they cook quickly and will remain nice and juicy. I used 6 chicken thighs, rubbed in the tasty spice mixture and quickly seared for some color.
  • Rice. 2 cups of basmati rice. It is so important to rinse your rice very well until the water runs clear and soak it in water for 15 to 20 minutes (drain before using). This will help the rice cook quickly and evenly and will prevent it from sticking.
  • Vegetables. In this healthy chicken and rice recipe is a number of chopped veggies and legumes like onions, carrots, frozen peas, and chickpeas (about 1 cup each), which add nutrition and flavor.
  • Spices and aromatics. This recipe starts with a bold spice mixture of ground allspice, black pepper, ground green cardamom, and ground turmeric, which coats the chicken for maximum flavor. There is also cinnamon sticks and a bay leaf nestled in the rice for more flavor.
  • Broth. The main cooking liquid here is low-sodium chicken broth (like I said, no heavy creamy soups from a can)
  • Extra virgin olive oil. As my cooking fat of choice, EVOO here is used to sear the chicken, giving it great color and flavor, and to cook the vegetables as well before adding the rice and broth to the pan.
Chicken dinner served in a bowl with some salad

How to make chicken and rice from scratch?

This is a simple stovetop recipe that takes one large braising pan like this one and about 30 minutes to cook. Here is the gist, but you can check out the full recipe and video below:

  • Brown the chicken First, pat the boneless chicken pieces dry, salt on both sides and coat them well with the spice mixture (2 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp black pepper, ¾ tsp ground green cardamom, ¼ tsp ground turmeric). Heat up a bit of good extra virgin olive oil in a large deep pan with a lid (something like this). Brown the chicken on both sides, then set the chicken aside so you can use the same pan.
  • Sautee the vegetables. Toss the chopped onions, carrots, and frozen peas in the pan and sautee in olive oil until softened.
  • Add the rice, chickpeas. Now, this is why the pan needs to be nice and big. Add well-rinsed basmati rice that’s been soaked in water and drained, and chickpeas and season with salt, ½ teaspoon allspice and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom. Stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken back, add broth etc. Nestle the chicken pieces in the rice and add the broth, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf
  • Cook. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and tender (not hard or chewy) and the chicken is fully cooked (its juices should run clear). Garnish with parsley.

What to serve with it

I love the idea of serving a big bright salad next to this chicken and rice dinner. There are so many options to choose from, but here are a few: pomegranate tomato salad, Shirazi salad, fattoush, or Greek salad.

Chicken Rice Casserole Recipe & Video

This simple and easy Chicken Rice Casserole makes an elegant and tasty dinner. Made with onions, carrots, basmati rice, and chicken, you won’t believe how delicious this meal is!

If you are looking for a simple, yet delicious and filling chicken dinner, this Chicken Rice Casserole is just what you need. It is made with simple ingredients and no fuss. While the casserole is in the oven, you can make a quick salad and set the table.

This Baked Cod recipe is truly the best you can find! Perfectly-seasoned cod, covered with a layer of roasted pepper sauce and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

I am so eager for you to try this recipe, friend! Let’s just take a moment and discuss the main ingredients.

Chicken Rice Casserole Video Tutorial

Chicken Rice Casserole

This simple and easy Chicken Rice Casserole makes an elegant and tasty dinner. Made with onions, carrots, basmati rice, and chicken, you won’t believe how delicious this meal is!


I recommend using boneless chicken thighs in this Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe. Dark chicken meat is much more tender and succulent, and that is why it works the best here. That said, you can use chicken breast meat, if that’s what you have on hand. 


Basmati rice is definitely THE RICE to use for Chicken Rice Casserole. It cooks fast and is not starchy, so you’ll end up with perfectly flaky rice. I don’t suggest using any other kind of rice in this recipe. The good news is that Basmati rice is sold in almost every grocery store, so it’s not hard to find. Of course, you can buy Basmati Rice from Amazon, and have it delivered right to your door (it’s only $9.59 for a 4 lb. bag!!!).


  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Basmati rice
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Chicken broth
  • Favorite Chicken Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper


1.Preheat the oven to 450 °F.

2. In a large skillet, sauté the chopped onion with olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite chicken seasoning (Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning, etc.). Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes.

4. Transfer the chicken to a medium casserole dish and add the rice and chicken broth. Stir well.

5. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

This simple and easy Chicken Rice Casserole makes an elegant and tasty dinner. Made with onions, carrots, basmati rice, and chicken you won't believe how delicious this meal is!


Serve it with:

Salad. Garden and Greek salads are my favorites!

Steamed vegetables. I love adding some steamed asparagus or broccoli on the side.

Cole slaw. Store-bought or homemade. You can’t go wrong with cole slaw!


How long will it stay in the fridge? Up to 4 days.

Can I freeze it? Yes. Just place the tightly-covered casserole dish (lid or foil) in the freezer once it cools down. When ready to reheat, warm it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350°F.

Can I use different rice? I strongly suggest using Basmati Rice in this recipe. However, you may try substituting for a different long grain rice.


This greek chicken and rice dinner is an absolute favorite weeknight meal at my house. Greek seasoned chicken, fluffy rice, hints of lemon, feta and basil. Everyone loves when I make it and there are never any leftovers! It only takes 30 minutes to make and the entire dinner is made in one pot which makes cleanup a breeze.

greek chicken and rice with lemon slices and feta in a pan.

I don’t know about you but when I’m brainstorming meals for the week and I want something really easy (like really easy) I always go for chicken and rice. Everyone loves lemon chicken and rice, it’s such a crowd pleaser.

For this greek chicken and rice you only need a few extra ingredients to build on to a basic chicken and rice recipe.

You’ll need some greek seasoning, fresh lemon, feta cheese and basil leaves.

It’s only a 30 minute meal but that doesn’t mean we can’t have something special to eat and be quick to prepare. Just like this pizza pasta bake and this one pot skinny chicken parmesan. All great 30 minute dinner options my family loves.

greek chicken and rice with lemon slices and feta in a pan.


  • olive oil
  • chicken thighs – can substitute chicken breast, see the FAQ section below with more info on this substitution
  • greek seasoning
  • dried oregano
  • diced onion
  • minced garlic
  • basmati rice
  • lemon – both zest and juice
  • chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • feta cheese
  • fresh basil


Step 1 – Season and sear the chicken in some olive oil in the pan. It doesn’t need to be fully cooked, just the outside.

Step 2 – Add butter to the pan and saute some onion and garlic then add in the basmati rice, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cooking the lemon zest in this step makes it more fragrant.

Step 3 – Pour in the chicken broth, oregano, salt and pepper. Add back in the chicken and some lemon slices. Cook until the chicken is cooked and the rice is fluffy.

Step 4 – Top it with feta cheese and chopped basil leaves.

collage of making greek chicken.


I may be a bit biased, but I think there are so many things to love about this recipe!

Quick and easy. I mean, 30 minutes, that’s one fast dinner! You just made an entire dinner in the same amount of time it takes to watch an episode of Friends. Just saying.

One pot. Anyone else love a good one pot meal? Less pots and pans is always a good thing!

Simple ingredients. It doesn’t get much easier than chicken and rice, but because we add lemon zest, fresh basil and feta cheese it’s just fancy now (without any effort).

Kids love it. Even the pickiest of eaters will like this greek chicken and rice.

greek chicken and rice with lemon slices and feta in a pan.


Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?

Yes. I would use a mallet to pound the chicken breast since chicken breast does take a lot longer to cook than chicken thighs. You’ll want the chicken breast to be thinner so it doesn’t take so long and you still get a 30 minute meal.

Is there a substitute for the feta cheese?

Feta cheese is a greek cheese, I strongly would recommend sticking to the recipe. For the purpose of this recipe there really isn’t a substitute because it is sprinkled on top (vs being used in some kind of sauce where you could sub it out).

My rice came out mushy – what went wrong?

When rice comes out mushy it usually means there was too much water added or from using the wrong kind of rice. It’s best to use the rice a recipe calls for, for best results. This recipe calls for basmati, if you substitute that out for jasmine rice you’ll have very different results. Jasmine rice is really sticky so you could have sticky gooey rice. Bottom line, use basmati.

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