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All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

If you’re looking for a great first recipe for your new Instant Pot, this is the one. All-in-one instant pot chicken and brown rice is an easy, balanced one-pot meal the whole family will love. We love how care-free cooking in the Instant Pot is!

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

I have had my eye on an Instant Pot for a while now. They are kind of magical. You can use one appliance for pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, yogurt making, steaming, and a few other things I haven’t even tried yet. Pressure cooking is my new favorite way to cook!

One thing I’m figuring out is that there is a learning curve for pressure cooking in the Instant Pot. Recipes will say a meal is “30 minutes” but neglect to mention the time it takes for the pot to build pressure or release pressure. So I am including all that for my fellow newbies.

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink
Why we love the Instant Pot and this particular meal

I’ve spent hours pouring over Instant Pot recipes and my user manual. It’s such a new set of techniques to master! But I love this recipe because it uses basic techniques that I’ve successfully replicated more than once!

We love how low-effort the Instant Pot makes this meal! Chop a couple things, saute the onions (in the pot!), then throw everything in and start it. It’s easy like a crockpot, only you never have to stir it like some slow cooker recipes, and it’s much faster! I the ease of slow cooker style cooking without the worry of leaving a pot on while you’re out during the day.

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

This particular recipe is also great because it’s one-pot. To me, that is a huge win! Since I am probably getting rid of my rice cooker to make room for this appliance, I want to be able to cook everything together when I can. You cook your veggies, brown rice, and chicken all at once!

Speaking of ingredients, we love this recipe because it uses such wholesome ingredients. With brown rice, veggies, and chicken you’re getting in three food groups and filling up on fiber, protein, and vitamins.

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink
Step by step Instant Pot chicken and brown rice

Begin by plugging in your Instant Pot and pushing the “Sauté” button. It will then say “30” (meaning it will turn off automatically after 30 minutes), then about 10 seconds later say “ON” which means that it’s heating up. Leave it to heat up while you prep your veggies.

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Now’s your chance to dice your onion and mince your garlic. If you choose to use full carrots instead of baby carrots or have whole mushrooms, chop them now. Rinse and drain your rice.

You’ll know the pot is ready to sauté when it says “HOT” and gives a little beep. Now splash in a tablespoon of oil and dump in your onion. Sauté about 3 minutes, then pus the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the sauté feature.

Dump in your veggies, garlic, rice, and broth. Stir it up a bit. Now layer your chicken on top. I used chicken thighs because they’re tender and provide more iron than white meat, but chicken breasts should work well too. If you do use chicken breasts, just cut them in half if they’re really large so they cook more evenly.

UPDATE: I have used chicken breasts and they work great! I recommend cutting them in half so they’re not as thick and cook more quickly.

Salt and pepper the chicken, pour your homemade cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup. Here’s the recipe I used and love. We definitely recommend homemade over store bought any day!

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Pour on Worcestershire sauce and top with 8 to 10 sprigs of fresh thyme. If you don’t have fresh thyme, I recommend mixing in about a tablespoon of dried thyme to the rice mixture in the previous step.

Now close and seal the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to closed. Push the “manual” button, then use the “pressure” button to toggle until the “high pressure” light goes on (located just under the display). Now adjust the time to 31 using the +/- buttons.

UPDATE: After making this again, I found that the time can be reduced to around 26 minutes. This saves some time and helps the veggies stay a little firmer. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

Now you can walk away. But know that your pot will take longer than 31 minutes to cook your meal! Mine took between 15-20 minutes to build up pressure, and then it started counting down. So plan on a little under an hour for your meal to cook.

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Once the timer goes off, you can either let your pot release pressure naturally or do it manually. Natural release means you don’t do anything and wait to open it for about 15-20 minutes when the pressure has naturally decreased. Manual or quick pressure release is done by switching the vent on the top to open. BE CAREFUL when you do this that your hand is not in the way. The steam will be high powered and hot! It takes about 2 minutes with the quick release.

When your pot is open, remove the thyme stems and stir everything up. You may have what looks like excess liquid at the top, but it will mix in nicely. The mixing also helps to shred your chicken. It will be nice and tender, so stirring is all it takes to shred it! The ultimate all-in-one meal!

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

Let us know how you like using your Instant Pot to make Instant Pot chicken and brown rice. We think you’re going to love it!

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice | Super Healthy Kids | Food and Drink

All-in-one Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

Ingredients
  • 1 medium – onion
  • 3 clove – garlic
  • 2 cup – carrots, baby
  • 2 cup – mushrooms, brown, Italian, or Crimini
  • 2 cup – brown rice, raw
  • 1 tablespoon – olive oil
  • 2 1/4 cup – chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 2 pound – chicken thigh, boneless, skinless
  • 1/8 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
  • 10 ounce – soup, cream of chicken, canned, condensed
  • 2 tablespoon – Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon – thyme, fresh
Directions
  1. Push "saute" button on Instant Pot. While it heats, dice onion, mince garlic, and chop veggies. Rinse and drain rice.
  2. When pot says "HOT," add oil to pot and saute onions for 3 minutes. Then press "cancel" to turn the saute setting off.
  3. Mix veggies, garlic, rice, and broth into the pot. Place chicken on top, salt and pepper, then cover with cream of chicken soup (homemade is preferable) and Worchestershire sauce. Place 8-10 small sprigs of thyme on top. NOTE: chicken breasts also work well, just make sure to cut them in half so they're not too thick.
  4. Seal the Instant Pot, close the vent, and press "manual." Use the "pressure" button to toggle to high pressure, then set the time for 31 minutes. After 10 seconds the pot should register that it has begun the pressurizing process. UPDATE: 26 minutes works better to keep veggies a little firmer (and it's quicker!).
  5. Once the pot is done cooking, either let it sit for 15-20 minutes to naturally release pressure, or carefully open the vent (keep your hand out of the path of the steam) for about 2 minutes. Once pressure has released completely (the pin drops) the pot is safe to open.
  6. Remove thyme sprigs (keeping leaves when possible). Stir pot to shred chicken and mix in any extra liquid. Serve warm.

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43 Comments

Nicole

First paragraph – described me perfectly! Thanks so much for such detailed directions & pictures. Still getting the hang of this thing! Looking forward to making this recipe soon! 😀

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Marie

This recipe looks amazing! The problem is I don’t have am instant pot… Do you think there is another I could make it?

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Hi Marie! I haven’t tried it outside of the Instant Pot. I imagine you could make it on the stove in a regular pot, but it would require more liquid and longer cooking time. If you try it, I would use 4 cups of chicken broth (and check along the way to add more if needed) and cook it covered on the stove for around 50 minutes or so. But that’s just a best guess – let us know if you try it and what works for you!

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Sarah

I’ve been afraid of brown rice and chicken because they have such different cook times in the instant pot. This seems like a long time! Does the chicken come out dry and over cooked?

I would love to see more IP recipes!

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Hi Sarah, I totally understand your concern! Each time I’ve made it this way the chicken has been really tender – it just falls apart. Using chicken thighs and having the right amount of moisture seems to do the trick!
We’re working on more IP recipes too! Stay tuned 🙂

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Ruth

Would this work in the slowcooker too? (I recently bought one, and yet another device is no option… besides: I don’t mind having it on all day, but don’t have a full hour to make dinner at night)

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Hi Ruth, I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker and I am unfamiliar with cooking rice that way. I am a little worried about the rice getting too mushy, but I have seen recipes where it is done on high for 3 hours, so perhaps that would work. If you do try it, just make sure to increase the broth so that you have at least a 2:1 liquid to rice ratio – maybe more. Let us know if you try it and how it works!

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Beverly

make this last night. it was perfect! just a great comfort meal on a cold winter night. thank you!

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Lindsay

Has anyone made this with chicken breast? Hoping my chicken doesn’t come out too dry. Sounds like a great recipe?

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Hi Lindsay – I haven’t tried this recipe with chicken breasts yet, so I can’t say for sure (maybe someone else can chime in?). But every time I have cooked chicken breasts in the instant pot in any recipe so far they have come out moist – so I think they should work here too. Will you let us know if you try it and how it goes? Hope you enjoy it!

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Lindsay and Cynthia – I just made this again and tried chicken breasts. They worked great! I also found that the recipe works with less time (regardless of breast or thigh) – I used 26 minutes instead of 31. I’ll make a note and update the post. Thanks for the questions!

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Jessica

If I wanted to make this more of a soup, I could just add more broth, right? Would that make anything else in the recipe wonky? Like the cream of chicken?

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I think that is a great idea, Jessica! I haven’t tried it myself, but aside from adding more broth I might add more seasonings so it doesn’t get watered down. Maybe just add some to taste after it’s done cooking? I think the cream of chicken would just make it a creamy soup – yum! I’d love to hear how it goes.

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Sarah

If I don’t have the condensed soup can I just omit? need more broth? how can I make this happen without going to the store 😉

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Larry

Have made twice wife said the most terrible thing she has ever put in her mouth. I have to agree not fit to eat

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Hi Larry, Why did you make it a second time than? We’ve had so many people love this recipe, but if the flavors aren’t you thing, you probably shouldn’t make it twice!

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Larry

Thought I might have messed up the first time so made the second time. Followed the recipe to the letter the first time cut way back on the thyme the second time but that didn’t help . Sorry

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Hi Larry – sorry this didn’t work out for you! I’ll look at the fresh thyme measurement again to make sure it’s correct – I used sprigs, but the ingredients list it as a tablespoon which might not equate perfectly. I’ll take the leaves off the sprigs next time I make it and verify the amount. Thanks for your feedback!

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31 minutes is waaay too long. Unless, you’re cooking for people with no teeth. I even used bone-in thighs, but all the vegetables turned to mush. I opted to skip the cream of chicken (was going to stir in some cream at the end) and added a tiny bit more broth to make up for it. Concept was good, recipe was bad.

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Hi Susan – sorry to hear it didn’t turn out for you! I was actually planning to experiment with a shorter cook time the next time I make it to see how it works. Each time I’ve made it my family and guests have enjoyed it, and the veggies haven’t been total mush (I don’t like that either!). Maybe it has something to do with leaving out the cream of chicken, the bone-in thighs and/or the extra broth you added? The size of my carrots and mushrooms were pretty large too, so that might impact cook time. I’ll update if I find a shorter cook time works better!

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I just made this for dinner again and tried using less time – this time 26 minutes. It worked, and the veggies were a little firmer. Next time I may even dare to shave off a couple more minutes 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!

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Have you ever doubled the recipe? If so do I double all the ingredients and leave the cooking time the same?

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Hi Kim, I haven’t tried doubling it, but I don’t think it should be a problem. Just make sure you don’t pass the max fill line of your Instant Pot. Yep – just double ingredients and the cooking time will be the same – amount doesn’t affect cooking time, just how dense the ingredients are. It may take a little longer to reach pressure, but cooking time will be the same. Hope this helps!

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Aimee

Have you ever used frozen bone in chicken thighs? Should I increase the cook time and if so would it impact the veggies and rice? Thanks! 😊

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Hi Aimee – I haven’t tried bone in frozen chicken thighs before so I can’t be certain, but I my guess would be that they will work with the recipe as is. According to the Instant Pot website, they recommend 15 minutes for thighs, so I think even frozen they’ll be done in 30 because you typically only need 5 or 10 more minutes. Just make sure they’re broken up and not in a large chunk.

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alesha hoover

could you use white rice instead of brown rice? ( hubby isn’t a big fan of brown rice)

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Hi Alesha – as the recipe stands, white rice wouldn’t work. White rice has a shorter cooking time and requires a different ratio of liquid to rice. You might be able to get away with it by cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces and adjusting the time down, but this would be out of my experience so far. The Instant Pot cooking time cheat sheet (http://instantpot.com/cooking-time/rice-and-grains/) says white rice needs about 8 minutes, for reference. Let us know if you find success!

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Kari

This recipe tastes great and I loved how everything just goes together in the pot. I’ve been looking for dinner recipes with brown rice and was excited to finally find one. I used frozen chicken thighs so I upped the cooking time a bit, but it worked out. And I would add more carrots, but just because I really love cooked carrots and I wanted to eat more of them. Great recipe, great pictures, thank you!

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Lola

This recipe really looked good, unfortunately, no one in my family liked it. (A rarity, especially for my teenage son.) He’s a polite kid and would never say that he didn’t like what I cook, but the tell tale sign is when he refuses seconds, or thirds. I can’t understand why because we like each ingredient on its own. I appreciate how you give detailed instructions and I look forward to trying some of your other recipes.

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Hi Lola – thanks for your kind words despite it not working for your family. This recipe seems to really work for some people and really not for others – I can’t quite figure it out either! I hope some of the other recipes on the site work better for you. We just posted an Instant Pot Indian dish and a lasagna soup if either sounds interesting to you. Happy cooking!

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