Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

This 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!

Easy Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole. Simple and SO yummy! One of our favorite healthy crockpot meals. Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and brown rice cooked together in a simple creamy sauce. This easy slow cooker meal is made with real ingredients (no cream of mushroom or cream of anything soup!), gluten free, and freezer friendly. Even kids love it!

If you are looking for more easy crock pot meals 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 leftover, so if you are into meal prepping or part of a smaller household that only needs slow cooker chicken and rice for two, it’s easy to save and reheat later on.

The Making of Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

The BEST Crockpot Chicken and Rice Casserole with vegetables. Family favorite recipe!

This inspiration for this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice 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!).

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

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 Chicken and Rice. A healthy, cheesy, easy crockpot recipe!

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 crockpot 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 Crock Pot Chicken and Rice 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 not to 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.

Easy, cheesy chicken and rice crockpot recipe with chicken, rice, and veggies.

  • DO NOT Overcook the Chicken. Obvious, yet essential. The chicken breast will finish cooking before the rice. Be sure to remove it as soon as it 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.

Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole. A family favorite healthy chicken and rice crockpot recipe. Made with simple ingredients, easy, and cheesy!

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!

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!

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Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

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!

Yield: 4 servings, about 6 1/2 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

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 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 4), about 1 2/3 cups

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 492 Calories
  • Total Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 121mg
  • Sodium: 578mg
  • Carbohydrates: 57g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 57g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Easy Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole. Simple and SO yummy! One of our favorite healthy crockpot meals. Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and brown rice cooked together in a simple creamy sauce. This easy slow cooker meal is made with real ingredients (no cream of mushroom or cream of anything soup!), gluten free, and freezer friendly. Even kids love it! #crockpot #slowcooker #chickenandrice #healthy

Easy Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole. Simple and SO yummy! One of our favorite healthy crockpot meals. Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and brown rice cooked together in a simple creamy sauce. This easy slow cooker meal is made with real ingredients (no cream of mushroom or cream of anything soup!), gluten free, and freezer friendly. Even kids love it! #crockpot #slowcooker #chickenandrice #healthy

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

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

37 comments

  1. hey girl- this looks so good! Hope you have a great week!

  2. Looks so good! Great work Erin! (:

  3. Can you used tricolor quinoa instead of rice ? But I have it already made . I was think about how to used it with this dish .
    Please advise. Thanks.

    • Hi Anna! Since the quinoa is already cooked and the liquid ratios and cooking times of quinoa vs. rice are different, I can’t recommend that swap. You can always saute the chicken and veggies on the stove with olive oil and spices, then stir in the quinoa, Greek yogurt, and cheese separately.

  4. Whenever I need a quick and easy dinner that I know my family will love, your blog is the first place I go. Once again you didn’t disappoint! Made this last night for dinner and everyone asked for seconds, even my picky 4 year old. Thank you for another winner! 

    Rating: 5
    • Sandi, your comment just MADE MY DAY! Thank you!!!! This means so much to me to know how much you all enjoyed it. Thanks for taking time to let me know how it came out!

  5. This is such a dinnertime staple! It might not be flashy, but it IS tasty.

  6. My 6 yo has a sudden aversion to cooked carrots (insert eye-roll!) would broccoli be a possible substitute… maybe don’t add right away…?

    • Hi Laurel, yes, I think you could substitute broccoli! You’re right that it shouldn’t be added right away—my best guess would be to wait at least an extra half hour to add it. Use your best judgment! (Also, since broccoli has a higher water content, be prepared that the final texture of the dish could be slightly different.)

  7. Any suggestions for a dairy free version of this?

    • Hi Jayme, if you’ve used a nondairy yogurt or cheese in place of Greek yogurt/cheese in other recipes, that could potentially work here too. (The yogurt should be something that has a neutral flavor or is similar to plain Greek yogurt.) Otherwise I would omit them to make this recipe dairy free.

  8. This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it! Just to make sure I understand, after you cook for the first 1.5-2.5 hours and take the chicken out, you LEAVE it out for that additional hour of cooking time? Then add it back in when you add the peas etc.?

  9. Any thoughts on how to make this work with a longer cooking time? My options are to toss in a crock pot in the morning or at lunch. A 3-hour crockpot cooking time is not really practical for someone who isnt home during the day … :(

  10. I did the broccoli variation. I chopped up the stems and added them an hour into the initial cook, then added the florets after I removed the chicken (which was exactly 164 degrees after an hour and a half!). It was soft and lost that bright green color, but I 100% anticipated that, and frankly I find that long-cooked broccoli flavor kinda comforting. :) I set it up in the crockpot right after kids got home from school, and it was ready and waiting after guitar lessons and baseball practice. The perfect “minivan” meal indeed.

    Rating: 4.5
  11.  This is my new favorite meal! Husband loved it, kids loved it, and it took me of all of 10 minutes to throw together.  This recipe is definitely going into the rotation. 

    Rating: 5
  12. I’m looking forward to trying this! Do you know if Jasmine brown rice is the same as long-grain brown rice? Also, do you think doubling this would work with cooking times/liquid levels, etc.? We have a large, hungry family. :)

    Thanks!

    • Hi Rebekah! The two rices are actually different. Rice in the slow cooker is pretty finicky (it loves to get mushy!) so I definitely recommend using long grain brown rice. As far as doubling. this also could be risky, because I haven’t tested the recipe that way. Thus, as much as I’d love to, I can’t give you a positive answer. If you want to experiment, you might try doing 1.5 times the recipe first, just to see how it goes. Also, be mindful that the cooking time could be longer (again, not sure, but I want you to be prepared just in case!)

  13. I made this recipe as given except I used chicken thighs, cooked to 165 degrees, for 2.5 hrs. It cooked for the additional hour, but the long grain rice came out chewy and not tender at all;I felt it needed to cook longer. The flavor was delicious, but the rice just was not done…suggestions??

    • Hi E, 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 (and a few other readers have had success with that timing too), but it sounds like yours may have needed a little longer. Everyone’s slow cooker seems to cook a little differently! I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor, and with some adjustment, I hope it turns out as expected next time!

  14. I made this in my instant pot & it came out great! Did the chicken alone for 10 minutes in broth, quick release & shredded the chicken & dumped out the broth, then did the rice, carrots & shallot for 25 minutes. Quick release, added peas & chicken back in, turned out great! I actually thought the flavor was better the next day when it was reheated.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Jessica, thanks so much for giving the recipe a whirl in the Instant Pot and reporting back! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  15. I ended up making this in the instant pot too. Threw everything but the (frozen) veggies in with 2 cups of broth on high pressure for 23 minutes, took the chicken out and shredded it. Added veggies in and high pressure for 5 minutes. Added the yogurt, chicken in and mixed in the cheese. It was delicious! Even my 4 year old and 9 month old loved it!

    Rating: 5
    • Stephanie, I’m so glad it was a hit! Thanks so much for reporting back with your Instant Pot suggestions!

  16. So yummy! Perfect dinner for the whole family. My little 1yr old son loved it and it helped me get some veggies in him! Very easy to prep too, definitely in our dinner rotation. 

    Rating: 5
    • HOORAY! Sarah, I’m so glad to hear this recipe was a winner for everyone! Thank you so much for giving it a try and taking the time to share this lovely review.

  17. This was so good!  Very easy to make and delicious. Highly recommend.

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Janine, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  18. I used long grain brown rice, and it didn’t cook after the additional hour. Also, it turned out very liquidy and I only used 2 cups broth.  😞

    • Hi Laura, it sounds like it needed more time to cook. Every slow cooker seems to cook a little bit different, so I hope if you give it a try again and allow a little longer for the rice it will turn out better for you!

  19. What could I use to substitute the chicken broth? Would water or milk work? I’m going to make this during nap time today and don’t have a chance to run to the store  

    • Hi Marcie, the chicken broth adds flavor, so I worry that making the recipe with just water may turn out fairly bland. If you do decide to give it a try, you may want to taste it before serving the end and add additional salt and seasoning to taste. I wouldn’t recommend using milk.

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