Crock Pot Chicken and Rice is the minivan of healthy slow cooker recipes. It’s not flashy. It’s not exotic. Strangers will not stop to take photos standing in front of it. On a Monday night (actually on just about any night), however, you can forget the Ferrari. Give me the reliable. Give me the practical. Give me the Crock Pot Chicken and Rice!

plate of crock pot chicken and rice casserole

If you are looking for more easy, healthy crock pot chicken recipes to navigate you through a busy week, this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice will be your ride.

A creamy, cheesy blend of  juicy chicken, whole grains, and fresh veggies, this healthy chicken and rice crock pot recipe has a seat for everyone.

  • It’s mild enough for picky eaters but flavorful enough for more adventurous palates.
  • It yields a large batch and is rich in fiber and protein, so it’s hearty enough for hungry households.
  • It’s freezer friendly and tastes great left over, so if you like easy meal prep recipes or are part of a smaller household that only needs slow cooker chicken and rice for two, it’s easy to save and reheat later on.
dinner plate of healthy chicken and brown rice casserole with peas and carrots

The Making of Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

This inspiration for this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice recipe came from my Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole. It’s become a reader favorite, and I’ve heard from many of you that everyone in your family, from your discerning toddlers to your even more discerning significant others enjoys it.

As much as I love to be adventurous with ingredients and flavors, including in my collection of crock pot meals (this Slow Cooker Chicken Curry and this Slow Cooker Yogurt Chicken Shawarma are two absolute favorites), I also appreciate the all-American, family-friendly meals that were a part of my Midwestern upbringing: the Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup; the Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff; the Crock Pot Mexican Casserole (<—yes, Mexican-inspired recipes feel very All-American to me!); the classic Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie.

Sometimes I want to ride in the convertible, but most nights, I need the minivan.

crock pot chicken and rice with vegetables being stirred with a wooden spoon

Developing this healthy chicken and rice crockpot recipe took a few attempts. Rice has a frustrating tendency to become mushy in the slow cooker.

I also wanted it to be a cheesy chicken and rice crock pot recipe that was still reasonably healthy and made from minimally processed ingredients, which meant that all of the recipes for crock pot chicken and rice with cream of celery (or cream of mushroom or cream of any other canned soup) that I found needed to go.

Here’s what I learned.

slow cooker of chicken and brown rice casserole

How to Make the Best Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole

  • Use Long Grain Brown Rice. Because I wanted this to be a healthy chicken and rice crock pot recipe, I opted for brown rice over white rice, as it is higher in fiber and protein. Brown rice is also a bit heartier, so it can better handle the longer cooking time that comes along with any slow cooker meal.
  • Slow Cook on HIGH. Despite all of my attempts, the rice just did not turn out well when I made this recipe on low heat. It was watery and mushy. Every. Single. Time. Save yourself a serious headache and wasted ingredients. Make this recipe according to the cook times and temps in the recipe below.
  • Don’t Over Do The Onion. I wanted this crock pot recipe to be as easy as possible, so I cut out as many of the prep steps as I could, including sauting the veggies before adding them to the slow cooker. Unless you are a super raw onion fan, be sure to chop the onion very finely and don’t add too much. You can also use a shallot as I suggest, since shallots have a more mild flavor. If you are using an onion and concerned about it being too strong, you can go ahead and sauté it on the stove before adding it to the crock pot.
uncooked chicken breasts and other ingredients in a slow cooker to make a chicken and rice dinner
  • DO NOT Over Cook the Chicken. Obvious, yet essential. The chicken breasts will finish cooking before the rice. Be sure to remove them as soon as the internal temp reaches 160 – 165 degrees, then recover the crock pot and continue cooking the rice and vegetables until the rice is tender.
  • Season to Taste. This recipe suggests salt, pepper, thyme, and Dijon mustard (my favorite ingredient trick to take chicken and rice casserole recipes beyond the basic). Feel free to adjust each of these to suit your and your family’s tastes.
dinner serving of kid-friendly casserole with chicken, rice, and vegetables

For a meal that’s guaranteed to pick you up, has room for everyone, and even leaves you wiggle room to make a pitstop for dessert: Healthy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice!

Speaking of dessert, what’s more all-American, minivan-reliable than apple pie? My blogging friend Leigh Anne has an apple pie recipe with NO pastry crust that looks incredible.

Thanks for putting up with my assorted car analogies. You are the best. I promise this cheesy slow cooker chicken and rice recipe will be worth your everlasting patience. Feel free to toot your own horn after you make it.

OK, now I’m done with the analogies. Promise!

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

plate of crock pot chicken and rice

Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

4.25 from 78 votes
Easy Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole with veggies. Simple and SO yummy! A family favorite healthy crockpot meal. This easy crock pot recipe is made with real ingredients, gluten free, and freezer friendly. Even kids love it!*Update 4/11/19: Updated the amount of chicken broth because a few people reported having issues with the rice coming out crunchy. I have never had this problem and have made it successfully several times with the original 2 1/2 cups chicken broth.*

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins

Servings: 4 servings, about 6 1/2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup  long-grain brown rice  do not substitute any other kind of rice, including short grain, instant, or white, as the cooking time and liquid ratios will not be the same
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots about 4 medium
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped, about 1/4 cup (you can also use 1/2 of a small regular onion, though I prefer the more mild flavor of the shallot since it isn’t precooked)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2–3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese divided (I love white cheddar for this)
  • Chopped fresh parsley optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Lightly coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add the rice, carrots, shallot, and Dijon mustard, and stir to combine. Arrange the chicken breasts on top, then sprinkle with the garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour in the chicken broth. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken into a plate and cover to keep warm. Stir the rice, vegetables, and broth, then re-cover and continue cooking on high until the rice is tender, about 1 additional hour.*
  • Uncover and stir in the peas and Greek yogurt. Dice the chicken and stir it in with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, then re-cover and cook for a few additional minutes on high until the cheese is melted. Serve warm, sprinkled with fresh parsley as desired.

Notes

  • I do not recommend using any other kind of rice or grain for this recipe other than long-grain brown rice, as the cooking times and liquid ratios will vary.
  • I also cannot recommend cooking this on low, as my attempts to cook the rice on low resulted in wet, mushy rice. If you do have success making it on low heat, I’d love to hear about it!
  • *Please note, the cook time (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours for the chicken + 1 additional hour for the rice and vegetables) listed can vary depending upon your slow cooker. Mine consistently finishes in this time, but others have reported needing longer for the rice. Use your best judgement depending upon your slow cooker model. If it is your first time making the recipe, you may want to build in extra “buffer time” just in case your slow cooker doesn’t get as hot as mine and others who see similar cook times.
  • As written, the rice does come out a little more mushy than it would if cooked on the stove or in a rice cooker. It’s a necessary evil with the ease of a slow cooker, so just be prepared (we still loved it!).
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat gently in the microwave with a splash of chicken broth, milk, or water to keep it from drying out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4), about 1 2/3 cupsCalories: 567kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 53gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 125mgPotassium: 1249mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 8489IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 198mgIron: 3mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin0

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




304 Comments

Leave a comment

    1. Hi Kate, I’m sorry to hear that this dish didn’t work out for you. It’s so hard to say what might’ve happened without being in the kitchen with you. Did you make any substitutions to the ingredients? I hope you were still able to enjoy it!

  1. I followed the directions exactly but this just didn’t turn out for me, not sure what I did wrong. I split the difference and used 3 cups of broth but after 4 hours, the rice was still not cooked. Had to throw it in a pot with the carrots and broth to get it fully cooked. My crockpot is new and works fine for everything else I make in it so I’m not sure what went happened.

    1. Hi Lauren, it’s so hard to know exactly what may have happened without being in the kitchen with you. The cook times given are ranges that worked with my particular slow cooker on high (and other readers have had success with that timing too), but everyone’s slow cooker seems to cook a little differently.
      I hope you were still able to enjoy the dish!

    2. Didn’t have much taste….took about 4 hours for the rice to cook . I think I would leave out the yogurt if I ever try recipe again. The yogurt gave it a very strange flavor . The dish needed some flavor2 stars

      1. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Diane. Many other readers have tried it and loved it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I truly wish you would have loved it!

  2. So I used a crockpot; with chicken thigh diced up beforehand. Left the chicken in for the whole cooking time of 3.5 hours on high (slow cooker setting) with 2.5 cups of stock. It probably only needed 2 cups. Then stirred in the last bits and cooked it for an extra ten. Chicken came out tender.

    It was pretty good, the yoghurt I used was quite strong, so would add a little less next time.

    Thanks for the recipe. ?4 stars

  3. Can I skip the carrots in this recipe without additional changes? My husband is a veggie-hater so I serve my veggies on the side. TYIA!

      1. I already had the chicken cooked and cubed, so I mixed everything besides the chicken and cooked it for 2 hours. Then I added the chicken and cooked for a bit and then added the peas, yogurt, and cheese. Delicious!

  4. I used frozen veggies and white rice with just a tad more chicken broth. Came out great! Will definitely have this again!5 stars

  5. Disappointed in this recipe. The time listed to make this was way off. One time was given as 1 1/2 -2 1/2 hrs. Then an additional 1 hr to finish cooking rice. that adds up to 3 hrs plus prep time, I had a hungry family waiting for the extra time for this to finish.Also no specific amount of chicken stock. Taste was ok, but not makin g again unless it is in crock pot lot longer.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry the cook time went longer than expected, Sharon. The times listed in the recipe worked well for my crockpot, but I know each one is different. I’m happy you still enjoyed the flavors, and I hope it goes better next time if you decide to try it again!

  6. I had the same rice problem as others. I ended up finishing it in a pot on the stove. I liked the taste and it was easy to put together. Do you think starting the rice with the broth in the crockpot early would help? Maybe start the rice an hour early and then add the other ingredients? That way the crockpot would heat up and the rice could cook a little? I was thinking that then the liquid would get absorbed and the rice would soften. Do you think it would work?3 stars

    1. I’m so sorry you had trouble with the rice, Verna. I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so you’d be experimenting. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  7. It’s cold and raining in MN. I made this in my instapot with chicken bone broth. I used 3.5 cups of broth. Cooked for 18 minutes, pulled out my chicken, added a bad of frozen veggies, cooked for an addition 6 minutes on the rice setting. I then added my chicken, Greek yogurt and a little more salt. Looks like a wild rice soup minus the wild rice. It’s going to be a perfect comfort dish for this yucky rainy night. Super mellow, not spicy, and just right for my Scandinavian family.4 stars

  8. I have not made this recipe yet, but am about to go to the store to get the ingredients to do so. I have two questions, though. Why kosher salt vs. regular everyday salt? Also, why does the chicken have to be removed halfway through the cooking process? When it comes to poultry, I am VERY particular about insuring it is very well-cooked (I’ve had two incidents in my life of biting into chicken prepared by someone else that was all but raw inside and the second incident in which blood actually came out, which put me off chicken for years). In fact, I prefer my poultry more on the very well-cooked and a bit dry side as opposed to juicy. So, would it be okay to leave the chicken in the entire cooking time and maybe, just before adding the cheese and when the rice and veggies are cooked, remove the lid and use two forks to shred the chicken instead of removing and dicing it?

    1. Hi Sharon! I prefer the taste and seasoning qualities of kosher salt which is why you’ll see it listed in all my recipes (letting you know in case you try others), but you can certainly use table (regular) salt in this recipe if that is your preference. You’ll want to use a reduced amount, because the grains of kosher salt are larger than table salt. As for the chicken, I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so you’d be experimenting if you want to make it differently. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. Hi Ruth! I actually am not sure—I think that would definitely affect the cooktime and the rice might not cook all the way through with the slow cooker being so full. If you wanted to experiment, you could start with 1.5 times the recipe, but I’m afraid I can’t give you specifications since I’ve never tried it this way. If you do decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it comes out!

  9. The taste is okay, it definitely needs some help in that department though. Do yourself a favor and just make the rice separately then serve the chicken mixture over it. It takes way too long to cook the rice and by that time all the other ingredients are mush. With the rice issues and all the spice tweaking needed this isn’t really a recipe, more like the beginning outline and you are left to fill it in.2 stars

    1. Hi Yez! I’m sorry to hear the rice took to long for you and the flavor was not to your enjoyment. It seems like every slow cooker is a bit different, as it worked well for me and other commenters too. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out as expected, so I truly wish you would have loved this.

  10. I just made this tonight and it turned out fantastic. I pretty much followed the recipe to a T except I was to lazy to chop the carrots so I bought shredded ones. The rice was not mushy at all, turned out perfect. Only thing was I had to add a bit more seasoning as it was a tad bland, but with a bit more salt it was great. I dont like peas so i used broccoli because that is what I had. Maybe my crockpot is like yours but some of the other comments about the rice worried me, but it was great!5 stars

  11. I made just a couple small changes to this recipe. I used about 3 lbs chicken and I added a can of sweet corn at the same time I added the peas. I used shallots instead of onions. I cooked the chicken and rice on high for 2 hrs, 15 minutes. The chicken was done and so was the rice. I shredded the chicken rather than diced it. The carrots still had a little crunch to them which we like. This recipe was easy to make and very delicious. Sometimes I make a meal and dessert for our neighbors who both work full time and have 2 small children. They’re so appreciative. I’ll be making this recipe for them soon.5 stars

  12. My husband is on a low sodium diet. Do you consider this low sodium. The nutrition label does not mention the sodium content. Thanks.

    1. Hi Karen, I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online (myfitnesspal.com is popular). I hope that helps!

  13. I haven’t even made the recipe yet, but your style of writing is just so clever and fun I had to comment. If we were neighbors we’d be besties!

  14. I tried this recipe and I had my crock pot on high for 4 hrs and my rice never cooked. The liquid was gone but the rice was still crunchy. I’m not sure what went wrong…but everything cooked but the rice. Any advice?

    1. Hi Michael, I’m sorry to hear the rice took to long and never cooked. It seems like every slow cooker is a bit different, as it worked well for me and other commenters too. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out as expected, so I truly wish you would have loved this.

    1. Hi Kendra! I have an instant pot version, here you go: https://www.wellplated.com/golden-instant-pot-chicken-and-rice/

  15. This recipe did not work for me, two different times. Followed the directions exactly and after 4 hours on high – way longer than the recipe states – the rice was still totally uncooked and none of the broth had been absorbed. It’s a new pot. I don’t know what kind of crock pot would cook a cup of rice in less than two hours.1 star

    1. Hi C! I’m sorry to hear the rice took to long and never cooked. It seems like every slow cooker is a bit different, as it worked well for me and other commenters too. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out as expected, so I truly wish you would have loved this.

  16. I made this tonight for the second time. I think it turned out better this time. The rice turned out perfect, not mushy and I cooked it exactly as stated above. the sides of my crockpot did have bits of burned rice so I added drops of extra broth here and there. I do not like peas so I used broccoli the final hour and a cheese blend of mozzarella asiaga and parmesan from Trader Joes. Neeeded a bit more seasoning but all in all very happy with it, will make it again!5 stars

Load More Comments