healthy chicken and rice recipes
Here is my version of this classic dish – not that I have any claim to being an authority on what is “authentic” Chinese food. I am an authority, however, on what is super incredibly yummy. This rice gets my stamp of approval, with honors. It is better than takeout, and you can enjoy skipping all the mysterious, unhealthy parts of fast food.
BY POPULAR DEMAND! You can also check out my recipe for better-than-takeout easy pad thai. And don’t freak out too much, but we love this breakfast fried rice.
BETTER-THAN-TAKEOUT CHICKEN FRIED RICE
1 cup rice
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I recommend slow cooker chicken teriyaki)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 carrots, diced
3 tablespoons sesame oil (or you can substitute butter!)
1/4 cup soy sauce
Optional: sesame seeds
Prepare 1 cup rice with two cups water in a rice cooker or on the stovetop. Meanwhile, heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing with vegetables.
Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
- 1 cup rice
- 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I recommend slow cooker chicken teriyaki)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil (or you can substitute butter!)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- Optional: sesame seeds
- Prepare 1 cup rice with two cups water in a rice cooker or on the stovetop.
- Meanwhile, heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing with vegetables.
- Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
This is one of our go-to recipes that always stays on rotation for family dinner. We love simple meals that require less than 30 minutes of our time so we don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen. Meals using minimal ingredients or ingredients already stocked in our pantry and fridge are even better.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
- Chicken: Boneless chicken breasts are preferred but boneless chicken thighs work great too.
- Chicken broth: You can substitute with vegetable broth, if needed.
- Onion: Yellow or white onion is preferred.
- Carrot: Chop them into small pieces to cook evenly.
- Lemon: The lemon adds a subtle flavor and really makes this dish extra special. It’s not recommended to skip the lemon, but you can omit if needed.
- Frozen peas: Add them to the pot frozen.
- White Rice: Using brown rice or another type of rice will alter the cook time, so white rice is recommended with this recipe.
- Olive Oil
The Instant pot is one of our favorite kitchen tools because it makes dinner and clean up quick and easy. You can both saute and pressure cook in one. The pressure cook method ensures the ingredients cook evenly with the best flavor.
- For this Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe, first sear the chicken on the Sauté setting.
- Then, saute the onion, carrots and garlic.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Place the chicken on top and seal the lid.
- Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes, allowing a 10 minute Natural Release. Then, release the remaining pressure before removing the lid.
- Shred the cooked chicken, mix everything together and serve with fresh parsley or lemon wedges, if desired.
TIPS FOR COOKING IN THE INSTANT POT
- Use rinsed and drained white rice to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the Instant pot.
- Make sure to scrap the bits off the bottom of the pan during the deglazing process.
- You can add more veggies and even include things like mushrooms or diced bell peppers.
- Serve this dish on it’s own or with a side of garlic green beans or roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
OTHER METHODS TO COOK CHICKEN AND RICE
ON THE STOVE
If you do not have an Instant Pot, don’t worry. You can buy one to try it yourself (promise, you will love it!) or you can cook it on the stove. Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet on the stove, and cook the chicken until it’s browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet. Add chicken stock, seasonings and rice to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the vegetables and and mix until cooked through. Add chicken and voila!
IN THE SLOW COOKER
You can definitely make this recipe in a slow cooker. Spray the crockpot or slow cooker with non-stick spray, Add rice, carrots, onions, peas, garlic and seasonings to the slow cooker and stir together. Arrange chicken on top, and pour the broth or chicken stock over it. Stir to combine and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is done. Shred cooked chicken and mix with other ingredients before serving.