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Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Sarah Pyle



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Make dinnertime easier with this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe. It’s a frugal one-pot meal made in less than 30 minutes.

white bowl filled with chicken and rice with title text "instant pot chicken and rice"

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The Instant Pot saves dinner again! On a busy night, you don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing dinner. With just a few ingredients, this dish is in the Instant Pot cooking away with less than 5 minutes of prep.


Boneless, Skinless Chicken: I call for chicken breast, but you can easily use chicken thighs with no change to the cooking time. You can also use bone-in chicken, but you’ll need to remove the skin and bones before stirring into the cooked rice mixture.

Buy your chicken when it’s on sale to help make this meal even more budget-friendly.

White Rice: Rice is one of my favorite frugal pantry ingredients. It is not only extremely affordable, it goes a long way. One cup of dried rice yields 3 cups of cooked rice. Cooked rice also freezes really well, so it is perfect for freezer meals.

overhead of instant pot chicken and rice in pot

Chicken Broth: You can use one (32 ounce) carton of chicken broth or make your own broth by dissolving 4 chicken bouillon cubes into 32 ounces of water. You can also make chicken stock from chicken bones really easily in your Instant Pot or slow cooker. Check out Budget Bytes’ recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Stock.

Spices: We’ll use dried thyme and garlic powder in this recipe. If you don’t have thyme, feel free to use rosemary, herbs de Provence or even lemon pepper seasoning. It’ll be a little different flavor, but definitely delicious. Garlic powder is also called granulated garlic.

Feel free to use 1 teaspoon onion powder in place of the diced onion if you prefer to not have to chop anything at all.

Frozen Mixed Vegetables: Frozen vegetables are another secret weapon in any frugal kitchen. You can get 12-16 ounce bags of frozen vegetables for $1.00 or less. I use mixed vegetables in this recipe, but feel free to use any vegetable that you and your family like.


Freezer Meal Prep

This recipe is super easy on its own, but it also makes for a perfect freezer meal. Start by labeling a gallon-size freezer bag. This may sound silly, but you’ll appreciate knowing what it is when it is a frozen block.

Now, place the chicken, diced onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and chicken broth in the freezer bag. I like to use these hands-free baggy holders to hold the freezer bag for easy filling.

two forks shredding chicken breast in instant pot with rice and vegetables

Seal the bag, squeezing out any extra air. I like to double bag freezer meals that have liquid in them just to make sure that there isn’t any spilling in the freezer.

Freeze your prepped meal laying flat so that it takes up less space in your freezer. Once it is frozen, you can even store it standing up depending on how you organize your freezer.

When you’re ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight. Pour the contents of the freezer bag in your Instant Pot and add 2 cups of rice. Cover, seal the pressure valve, and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.

More Instant Pot Recipes

instant pot chicken and rice in white bowl with instant pot in background
Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

chicken and rice in white bowl with fork

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is an easy, one-pot dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes total. Gluten-free and dairy-free, it's a dish the whole family can enjoy.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 32 ounces chicken broth (or 32 ounces water with chicken bouillon cubes)
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 lb bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Press the "saute" button on your Instant Pot. Once the Instant Pot reads "hot," add olive oil to the inner pot.
  2. Add the diced onion and saute 1-2 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Move the onions to one side of the inner pot.
  3. Add the chicken breast and saute on both sides, 2-3 minutes on each side.
  4. Add the chicken broth and scrape any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining ingredients: white rice, mixed vegetables, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Cover with lid and set the valve to sealing. Press "cancel" to turn off "saute" setting. Press "manual" or "pressure cook" to cook on high pressure. Set time for 10 minutes.
  6. Allow pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then open valve to release pressure.
  7. Shred the chicken breast with two forks. Using a rubber scraper, gently fold the shredded chicken into the rice mixture.


For freezer meal prep: Place all ingredients, except the rice, in a gallon-size freezer bag. Label and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to cook, thaw in fridge overnight. Pour the ingredients in the Instant Pot and add 2 cups white rice. Cover, seal the pressure valve, and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Natural pressure release for 5 minutes, the release remaining pressure. Shred the chicken and fold back into rice mixture.

This dish can easily be made into chicken and rice soup by adding additional chicken broth to leftovers. Add the liquid and heat on the stove or using the "saute" function of the Instant Pot until just simmering.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1078mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 23g

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By on November 14th, 2020

About Sarah Pyle

Hi, I'm Sarah. The voice behind Feast for a Fraction. I've been a penny-pincher all my life, but still have a taste for nice things. I'm here to show you that you can eat (and live) well on a budget. From recipes and DIY tips to ways to make extra money, we'll be in control of our budgets together!

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13 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken and Rice”

  1. This is a delicious and full of flavour meal for the whole family to enjoy – we recently got and IP and love how quick it is to prepare the evening meal!

    • Hi, Theresa. This recipe uses regular long-grain white rice. You definitely don’t want to use instant as it will be overcooked. If using brown rice, you’ll need to increase your pressure cook time to 15 minutes. I would recommend not sauteing the chicken if you’re going to do the longer cook time. This way, you won’t wind up with overcooked chicken.

  2. Would you recommend sautéing for less time if I’m using the smaller chicken breast tenderloins? Also do you think I could safely add extra frozen veggies without needing extra cook time or more liquid? I’m so excited to try this recipe out!


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