Instant Pot Chicken and Homemade Yellow Rice (Pressure Cooker Recipe)

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For many of us, an electric pressure cooker has changed our lives for the better. **Raises hand**

Dry beans now cook in less than an hour. <–I’m writing this while chickpeas cook in the Instant Pot for dinner. Chicken stock is ready in just a couple of hours. This means I can make stock and soup on the same day, using the same pot. And I have more time to enjoy the evening with my family thanks to the hands-off, one-pot nature of Instant Pot dinners.

I’m an electric pressure cooker convert. Maybe more of an enthusiast at this point. That’s something I never thought I would say….

This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal.

There was a time when I feared this appliance. The thought of a pressure cooker exploding on my counter was enough to keep me from even opening the Instant Pot box for over a year. Just think of how many bowls of soup and quarts of chicken stock I could have made during that time. Travesty, I know. Fear held me back.

(This sounds like a life lesson that applies to more than just the Instant Pot. Says the gal who is anxious and afraid to fly, yet boarding a plane for Iceland in four days. Fear is not going to hold me back this time.)

This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal.This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal.

Back to the Instant Pot, and today’s recipe which you’ve probably guessed is made in the Instant Pot or your electric pressure cooker of choice.

This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal.

This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal. That’s the kind of meal that I need in my life around this time of year (#endofschool). Okay, let me be honest. That’s the kind of meal I need in my life all year. 

This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal.

This meal has been my go-to on Wednesday nights, our busiest day of the week. With this meal, I don’t have to worry about adding anything to the slow-cooker in the morning, or mixing together any ingredients before heading out for the day. When we get home from work/school/life/karate, the simple ingredients are added to the Instant Pot and within 30 minutes a nourishing dinner is ready to be enjoyed. A dinner that’s enjoyed by the whole family. 

This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal.

One more thing…

Remember when we talked about simplifying real food with a capsule pantry? This meal is a perfect example of a capsule pantry meal. With just a few simple, multi-purpose, nourishing ingredients, a quick and easy meal can be made at home. The same ingredients can also be used to create so many other meals.  That’s the beauty and simplicity of a capsule pantry.

Instant Pot Chicken and Homemade Yellow Rice
5 from 2 votes
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Instant Pot Chicken and Homemade Yellow Rice (Pressure Cooker Recipe)

This Instant Pot chicken and rice recipe is as easy as a dinner recipe can get. It’s truly a one-pot, dump the ingredients and forget about it kind of meal.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 584 kcal
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs sprinkled with salt and pepper*
  • 3 TB extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced (about 1 cup once diced)
  • 1 large carrot diced (about ½ cup once diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth or veggie broth/stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice uncooked and rinsed**
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas

Special Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Set aside. 

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, turmeric, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. If you’re not using fresh garlic, also add garlic powder to this mixture.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the Instant Pot. Make sure the oil evenly coats the base of the pot. Turn on the Instant Pot to Saute, Normal

  4. Once hot, add the onion and carrots. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute, until fragrant. Add the seasonings and stir to evenly coat the veggies. 

  5. Press Cancel to turn off the heat. 

  6. Add the broth or water, 1 tablespoon of oil, and rice. Stir to combine the ingredients. Place the chicken thighs on top (do not stir). 

  7. Secure the lid and set to Sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure, for 8 minutes.

  8. Once the rice is done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure (use a hot pad holder or towel) and opening the lid.
  9. Shred the chicken with two forks. Fluff the rice with a fork. Add the frozen green peas and stir to combine the chicken, peas, and rice. Serve once the peas are warm/room temperature.

Recipe Notes

*The photos feature chicken breasts. You can make this meal with about 1 lb of chicken breasts instead of the thighs; however, the breasts will be dry. The chicken thighs are a much better option, in my opinion. 

**I wash/rinse (uncooked) rice in a fine mesh strainer before cooking it.  To do this, simply pour the rice into a fine mesh strainer and run water over the rice until the water runs clear (from the strainer). 

This meal would make a great make-ahead lunch. Portion the mixture into meal prep containers and serve with apple slices and nut butter (just a suggestion) for a complete meal. 

For reference: According to Instant Pot, these are the time frames for cooking rice in an Instant Pot : White rice: 3-8 minutes, Basmati (white) rice: 4-8 minutes, Brown rice (long/short): 22-28 minutes, and Wild rice mix: 25-30 minutes.

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21 Comments

  • I love this kind of recipe as it is so easy and flavorful. I added red peppers (because I had some) and forgot to add the peas as the kids were waiting patiently and couldn’t wait to eat because it smelled so good. Always use boneless/skinless chicken thighs as it stayed so moist in the recipe. Thanks for sharing Kristin!

    • Hi Debbie,

      Kristin is currently out of the country, but I’ll make sure to let her know of your comment so she can respond when she returns. But as a preliminary FYI, brown rice usually takes longer to cook than white, so time would definitely need adjusting which could then affect the doneness of the rest of the dish. ~Rachel

  • I’ve just found you thru a search for Instant Pot recipes. Love everything about this one! I have the Mini Instant Pot. What size are your recipes made in?

  • We attempted this recipe tonight, and are now finishing the cooking in the oven as the Instant Pot gave us a Burn notice. There was nothing between the heating element and the pot outside, nothing wrong with the seal or the valve. We followed the instructions exactly, even though the amount of liquid to rice seemed wrong. Rice needs twice as much liquid as the amount of rice, so only 1 3/4 cup of broth to 1 and 1/2 cups of rice (and yes, we washed it thoroughly) is just too little, it seems to us. We’ve successfully used the Instant Pot for a number of other recipes, so we’re wondering what could have gone wrong.

    • Hey Sandy, Here’s the water to rice information mentioned in the post from Instant Pot: https://instantpot.com/how-to-cook-perfect-rice-in-an-electric-pressure-cooker/. I know it seems off to only use this much water to rice, but the amount needed actually differs from traditional stove-top cooking. Here’s what Instant Pot says about this ratio of water to rice: “The foundation for this 1:1 recommendation is due to two things being true:
      1. The Instant Pot allows very little water evaporation due to Instant Pot’s superior sealing ability.
      2. Rice absorbs its volume in water when cooked long enough.” Here’s another helpful chart put out by the company for ratios: https://instantpot.com/instantpot-cooking-time/

      I’m not 100% sure what may have caused the burn warning. One thought is that there may have been browned bits of veggies stuck on the bottom of the liner from the initial saute–this can cause the burn notice to come on since the Instant Pot thinks the food is burning on the bottom. Scraping these up after adding the liquid should take care of this, or only cook the veggies until translucent and not brown (just a couple of minutes). Make sure none of the veggies and spices stick to the bottom of the liner. Another thought is maybe some of the liquid evaporated if the lid wasn’t put on immeadiately? That could possibly cause less water to actually be used to cook the rice and result in a burn notice. Although, the recipe technically calls for more liquid than needed (based on the Instant Pot guidelines), so my thought is the bits could be the issue. Another thought is the broth may have been really thick (some stock/broth can be very thick versus liquid). Maybe that could be an issue.

      What happened once the burn notice came on? What size is your Instant Pot? I’m sorry this happened to your dinner–that’s really frustrating. I’ve made this recipe so many times, and want folks to experience the same successful results. Thanks for reaching out. I hope we can figure out what caused the issue.

  • I’m excited to try this recipe because it looks amazing! However, anytime I attempt to cook a full meal (such as chicken AND rice, or chicken sausage with rice) in the instantpot it never comes to pressure or gets done. I’ve noticed you said to put the chicken on top of the rice and not to mix it in… is this the trick to getting the full meals come to pressure in the instant pot? Thanks!

  • Hi!
    I tried this recipe last week and it was a total success! Easy and quick to assemble but full of flavors, definitely a new staple here. Do you know if I can make it without chicken for those meatless nights ? should I change the amount of liquid ?
    Thanks for all the great IP recipes !

    • Yay, Charlotte, I’m so glad you’re loving the chicken and rice, and that it’s become a new staple for you. I think you could remove the chicken and make a delicious rice dish. Personally, I would keep the water amount the same. Let me know if you try it.

  • So many of your instant pot recipes look delicious, like this one! Are you able to offer slow cooker conversions or ideas for those of us without instant pots?

    • Hey Kera, Thank you. Adding a slow cooker option is a great idea. Many of the recipes are written specifically for the Instant Pot because of how the pressure cooker works. For example, this recipe probably requires more liquid in a slow cooker because the instant pot doesn’t require what most of us are used to when cooking rice on the stove-top. Other recipes, like the meatballs and sauce would probably work in the slow cooker–maybe 3-4 hours on high? or 6 hours on low? I’ll try to note in the future if a slow-cooker option is available.

  • Made this for dinner tonight, delicious and everything was cooked perfectly. My chicken was still a little frozen, so I set the cook time to 12 minutes. Perfect!

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