4 Easy Chicken and Rice Meals You Can Make in an Instant Pot

Time to put that Instant Pot to good use!

Whether you got an Instant Pot as part of your holiday present haul, or promised yourself you would dust off your old one with the goal of making more hassle-free meals in 2022, we're here to help you get (re)acquainted with the beloved kitchen gadget. And while Instant Pot devotees know that the device can whip up everything from homemade yogurt to mouthwatering mashed potatoes, this article will focus primarily on two staples—chicken and rice.

Chances are you're already very familiar with these two ingredients, and may even have them in your kitchen at this very moment. If not, they're very easy to procure, and typically cost less than similar foods like beef and quinoa. Thanks to the Instant Pot's general awesomeness, all you usually need to do when using it to make chicken and rice dishes is utilize the "sauté" function. The result, for those who don't already know, is tender chicken and perfectly cooked rice every time.

Per this standard chicken and rice Instant Pot recipe, you can have a balanced meal ready in a matter of minutes if you follow the below steps:

  • Start by seasoning the uncooked chicken. Then add some fat (such as cooking oil and/or butter) to the Instant Pot before sautéing the chicken for a few minutes, removing it, and setting it aside.
  • You can then pour in the rice along with some water or broth, and give everything a stir.
  • Last but not least, rest the chicken on top of rice, hit "cancel" and close and lock the lid, and cook everything on high pressure for about 15 minutes.

While the spices, broths, and other ingredients you use will vary depending on the specific recipe, consider this easy method a blueprint for preparing chicken and rice in an Instant Pot. Once you've got the fundamentals down, you can use these staples to make a myriad of easy meals. Curious to know what your Instant Pot can do with little more than some chicken and rice? Keep reading for stress-free dishes you can make with (basically) the touch of a button.

01 of 04

Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice

fried rice
Ray Kachatorian/Getty Images

Fried rice never fails, and it's an easy weeknight meal to make if you add some chicken and toss everything in your Instant Pot. Not only does this dinner cook faster in the IP, but you can use virtually any type of rice, protein, and veggies you like. For this dish, we suggest using boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces. This helps the chicken cook faster, and means you won't even need to remove it before adding the rice.

Start by cooking the chicken using the "sauté" function. Once the chicken starts to brown, toss in some aromatics, like garlic and scallions. Then, go ahead and pour in some broth, along with uncooked rice and whatever veggies you like, such as mushrooms, frozen peas, and broccoli florets. Before you know it, you've got an easy, well-balanced meal on your plate.

RELATED: These Are the 3 Healthiest Types of Rice You Can Eat

02 of 04

Instant Pot Chicken With Rice and Beans

Black Beans and Rice
Antonis Achilleos

If you're looking to add more fiber and protein to your diet without any extra work, use your Instant Pot to make a meal with chicken, rice, and a can of beans. As with the dish above, go ahead and cook the chicken first. However, this time you'll be removing the chicken and setting it aside before you add the broth, rice, beans, and veggies—think corn and diced tomatoes. Now is also the time to add some of your favorite apropos spices, such as chili powder and garlic powder, and toss the cooked chicken back in.

Believe it or not, this flavorful meal is ready in less than 30 minutes. Once you plate it, feel free to add some shredded cheese and chopped cilantro for even more flavor.

03 of 04

Instant Pot Chicken Curry

chicken-curry-instapot
ferozeea/Getty Images

While this dish technically calls for the chicken and rice to be cooked separately (since the curry is meant to be served over rice), we'd be remiss not to mention this tasty meal. Here, pantry staples like onions, garlic, cumin, and coconut milk join forces with chicken thighs—which are easily shreddable thanks to just a few minutes in the Instant Pot—to yield a flavorful curry that's ready to eat in about half an hour. Feel free to cook some rice simultaneously on the stovetop, or wait until you have some extra takeout containers filled with rice to make this meal really easy. Pro tip: Trader Joe's sells frozen rice packets that are ready after three minutes in the microwave.

RELATED: 12 Trader Joe's Shopping Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

04 of 04

Instant Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice

Spanish Chicken and Rice
Chicken, onions, bell peppers, and rice simmer with wine and tomatoes in a saucepan, allowing the rice to become tender and soak up all the luscious flavors. Get the recipe. Marcus Nilsson

This arroz con pollo-esque dish is made with skin-on chicken thighs and long-grain rice, which is especially fluffy when made in an Instant Pot. It gets its flavor from an array of veggies and spices you can toss directly into the appliance, such as bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and ground cumin.

As usual, start by cooking the chicken using the "sauté" function. Once the chicken thighs are browned, remove them and set them aside. Next, sauté some of the heftier vegetables—bell pepper and onion—with garlic before adding the spices. When the veggies have cooked down a bit, add the tomatoes and chicken broth, followed shortly by the uncooked rice. Once the rice is nestled in your Instant Pot, top it with the chicken. By the time you set the table and make a side salad, your dinner will be ready!

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