Let’s add a bright burst of sunshine to our lives with golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice! Creamy brown rice cooked with juicy chicken, fresh vegetables, and warm, golden spices, this is a healthy one-pan meal that is sure to be awarded the highest levels of praise in your household.

Healthy Instant Pot chicken and rice with vegetables on a white plate

The ingredients in this chicken and rice are simple. The prep is shockingly easy. And the result? Rich, complex flavors that have Ben and myself squabbling over the leftovers!

This chicken and rice is one of the recipes I cook most. It reheats like a champ, the warm spices give the rice a captivating and comforting aroma and taste, and the pressure cooker leaves me with just one pot to clean in the end.

With its healthy servings of lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains, this recipe is also one I feel excellent adding to my diet anytime I’m craving it (which is often).

I suspect you will too.

Easy Instant Pot chicken and rice in a pressure cooker

What Makes This Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Special?

What sets this chicken and rice apart from similar recipes you may have tried is its special blend of spices.

Often called “golden” spices, the blend of cumin, turmeric, and coriander, along with fresh ginger, in this recipe is a popular combination found in cuisines around the world.

These spices are known for their healing properties. They also taste phenomenal together.

  • Rather than a “hot” spicy, what you’ll taste here are spices that are aromatic, deep, nourishing, and slightly earthy.
  • They are considered by many to offer anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties (especially turmeric).
  • These spices are also lookers! They give the rice a unique and beautiful sunny yellow color.  

Sunshine, an immunity boost, AND an easy, all-in-one recipe that’s so tasty, you’ll be fighting your family for the leftovers (if there are any). SOLD!

A clear mixing bowl with spices for golden Instant Pot chicken and rice

How to Cook Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

This Instant Pot chicken and rice is wonderful, vibrant, filling, and incredibly good for you all at the same time.

It’s a case study for the weeknight meal magic that occurs when fresh ingredients—garlic, ginger, and whatever veggies are lurking in your drawer—meet kitchen staples, which for me include dry whole grains like brown rice and a well-stocked spice cabinet.

Having spices on hand makes almost any recipe attainable! They are a worthy investment.

The Ingredients

  • Chicken. In addition to being high in protein and low in calories, boneless, skinless chicken breasts also take on all the wonderful flavors in this recipe and become perfectly tender.
  • Brown Rice. I made this an Instant Pot chicken and brown rice recipe for the added nutrition boost. Brown rice has more fiber than white rice, so it helps make it more filling.
  • Carrots + Bell Peppers. Colorful and healthy additions that also add delicious flavor.
  • Frozen Peas. For an easy extra dose of veggies, I tossed in a bag of frozen peas. They’re tasty and packed with protein and fiber.
  • Ginger + Garlic. Flavor boosters for our chicken and rice dish.
  • Spices. As mentioned above, cumin, turmeric, and coriander are the stars of this dish and help give it deep, rich, and memorable flavor.
  • Almond Milk. My secret to making this recipe taste richer and more satisfying. If you prefer not to use almond milk, I suggest using unsalted chicken broth, which is still flavorful. I do not recommend regular dairy milk, as it may curdle. Blends of coconut milk and almond milk that are sold in the refrigerated section will work fine (I’ve made the recipe this way many times), as will cashew milk.

The Directions

  1. Sauté the onion with the oil in the Instant Pot.
    Rice, red bell peppers, and carrots in an Instant Pot
  2. Add the rice, vegetables, garlic, ginger, and spices. Stir until the spices are incorporated. Splash in some of the almond milk, and remove any food stuck to the bottom of the pot.Two chicken breasts in an Instant Pot with vegetables
  3. Add the remaining liquid and lay the chicken on top.
  4. Cook on HIGH pressure for 20 minutes. Let naturally release for 15 minutes, then vent any remaining pressure.
  5. Dice or shred the chicken, then return to the pot with the peas. Top with cilantro, and DIG IN!

A cutting board with chopped red bell pepper and carrots

Tips for the Best Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Whether you’re an Instant Pot pro or novice, these tips will ensure you make the best Instant Pot chicken and rice (and any other Instant Pot recipe) every single time.

  • Cut Vegetables Larger Than You Think. The Instant Pot has a way of obliterating fresh vegetables. To combat this, leave your vegetables in fairly large pieces so that they don’t overcook as easily. The vegetables will still be pretty soft, but they shouldn’t completely turn. to mush.
  • Don’t Use Frozen Chicken Unless The Recipe Says It’s OK. While you can put frozen chicken in the Instant Pot, I don’t recommend it for this recipe. Since you cook the rice and meat in the Instant Pot at the same time, it’s important for the chicken to be thawed first so the cook time is the same.
  • Add Liquid of Some Kind. You do not need to add water to the Instant Pot when cooking chicken BUT you do need to add some type of liquid to avoid the dreaded “BURN” warning. For this recipe, I used almond milk. Low sodium chicken broth is another good option.
  • Scrape Before Sealing. Before you seal your Instant Pot, make sure you scrape the bottom to remove any pieces of stuck-on food leftover after sauteing. These pieces of food can trigger a “BURN” warning during cooking.
  • Rinse the Rice. Make sure you rinse your rice before starting the recipe to remove excess starch and keep it from becoming sticky (and again, to avoid the “BURN”). Do NOT use instant rice for this recipe, as it will turn to mush.
  • Don’t Overcook the Chicken. How long you cook chicken breast in the Instant Pot will differ slightly based on the recipe, but it’s very important that you don’t overcook it. Overcooked chicken breast can become tough and dry. I found 20 minutes on HIGH pressure to be the perfect amount of time for the chicken breast to cook through and the rice to become tender.

If you’d like more tips on cooking chicken in the Instant Pot, check out my complete guide to Instant Pot Chicken.

Healthy Instant Pot chicken and rice on a white plate with vegetables

Recipe Variations

  • To Make on the Stovetop. See directions in the recipe notes below (I have not tested this method, but I am sharing my best guess).
  • To Make in the Slow Cooker. Check out this top-rated Crock Pot Chicken and Rice recipe.
  • Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice. Try this equally simple and delicious Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place chicken and rice in an airtight freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Golden Instant Pot chicken and rice in a pressure cooker

What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Other Flavorful Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot chicken and rice with golden spices on a white plate

Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Golden Chicken and Rice

 

Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice. An easy, healthy dinner with moist chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy golden rice. Flavorful, filling, and great leftover too! The pressure cooker makes this simple recipe fast to make and completely hands-free! {gluten free}

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

4.98 from 78 votes
This easy, healthy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe features moist chicken, brown rice, fresh veggies, and warm, golden spices cooked to perfection. A simple, one-pot meal the whole family will love!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 6 servings, about 10 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain brown rice RINSED*
  • 3 large carrots peeled and cut into diagonal, 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 large red bell peppers cut into wide strips (about 3/4 inch), halved if long
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for serving

Instructions
 

  • Set a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot to SAUTE mode. Add the coconut oil. Once hot and shimmering, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the rinsed brown rice, carrot, red pepper, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt, turmeric, and coriander. Stir to coat the rice in the oil and spices and cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in a splash of the almond milk. Scrape a spoon along the bottom to make sure there are no stuck-on bits of food. Stir in the remaining almond milk. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer on top.
  • Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure (manual) for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, and then vent to release remaining pressure.
  • Uncover and remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Dice or shred with two forks and return to the pot. Add the peas and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot, topped with cilantro.

Notes

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: I have made this recipe successfully dozens of times and have yet to ever see the Instant Pot issue a burn warning while cooking it. MANY (the vast majority) of readers have found the same success. A few readers, however, have reported receiving a burn error. To avoid this, be sure to rinse your rice before adding it to the Instant Pot. Also, ensure that no food is stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot prior to sealing the lid and starting the cook time. Liquid also matters. Some readers have reported using full fat coconut milk in this recipe with delicious success and no burn warning, though as far as liquid options, I think it is the most risky; I personally have not tested the recipe with full fat coconut milk.
  • *Do not use instant rice, as it will not hold up in the pressure cooker. I also cannot recommend white, basmati, or any other type of rice or quinoa, as I have not tested the recipe this way. Cooking times and liquid ratios can vary between types of grains. For best results, long grain brown rice is the way to go (and it is delicious!).
  • To Make on the Stovetop: **Please note that I have not tested this method yet; this is my best guess, but it may not be accurate.** In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the coconut oil over medium high. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and sauté until cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add an additional 2 teaspoons coconut oil to the pot. Once hot and shimmering, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Continue with step 2 as written, but do not add the chicken. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and let cook until the rice is done, about 40 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken and peas, and then serve with cilantro and toasted coconut.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat gently in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6), about 1 1/2 cupsCalories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 30gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 73mgPotassium: 802mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 6556IUVitamin C: 65mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 2mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

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

Register

I originally shared this post in 2018. In 2020, updated photos were added. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!

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

Pin0Print0

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




266 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. Holy cow, somehow I forgot about this recipe because my ex boyfriend kept my Instant Pot. Thankfully, my mom recently bought me a new one! This is seriously one of my favorite easy, healthy, and delicious weeknight dinners. I’m glad you posted the collection of IP recipes, so I was able to find my long lost love :)5 stars

  2. Thank you for a healthy, fast and easy recipe. The spice combination gives a nice mild flavor. Since I am a person that likes intense flavors I am planning to marinate the chicken the next time I make this recipe. I would really appreciate your thoughts about making the flavor a little more intense.

    Thank You5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Don! You could certainly up the spices a little if you prefer. Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  3. Erin, I made sure to rinse rice properly and add some chicken stock, but I kept getting “burn” warning. The bottom of my pot turned quite burned, so I had to scrap the whole thing and clean the pot. My rice got kinda mushy, and chicken is somewhat cooked. Should I just pressure cook rice and chicken, without sauteing?

    1. Sultan, I am so perplexed by this happening! I have made this recipe so many times and have been unable to reproduce the burn warning, and many other readers have made it with success too. After sauting, did you make sure to completely deglaze the pan so that there were absolutely no stuck on bits of food? Sorry this happened!

  4. Easy, delicious, and healthy. I did not have any coriander, but it was still very good. Chicken was juicy and vegetables not overdone. I think I might add some peanuts (at the end) next time for a little crunch.5 stars

  5. We love this dish! It is rich and satisfying! I do have one recurring problem though: sometimes it refuses to cook. Now, as a caveat i often use the un-recommended white rice, so I may be my own undoing. But sometimes, often, we don’t have brown rice, so i use what i have. anyway, i figured out that if i increase the milk to about 1 and a half cups, maybe a smidge more, it works better, and using the pot-in-pot method with extra water underneath the second pot, seems to work better, along with increasing the time to 35 minutes. But even so, some of the rice was just a tiny bit undercooked. We still ate it. It was amazing. Anyway, just wondering if there are any ideas why I have this problem.
    Oh, and as a final note, adding some pineapple chunks to this, after it was cooked, is quite yummy.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed it, Sarajane! Thank you for sharing this kind review! Unfortunately, it’s so hard to say what might be going wrong without being in the kitchen with you.

  6. Hi. I am new to the instapot scene and I’m still learning how to use mine. I am curious about the 20 minutes you give for cooking the above recipe. I just made a recipe using 3.26 lbs (6 pieces) of chicken breast, white jasmine rice, sliced carrot, onion and baby red potatoes. I set the timer for 7 minutes on high and everything came out amazingly good. Amazing, meaning, how can so many different food items get cooked to perfection all in the same amount of time? My only mistake was using too much liquid as there was some left over. So 20 minutes seems like a lot or cooking time to me. Any information you could impart would be helpful. Thank you.

    1. Hi Mary! Timing can definitely vary by recipe. I found that 20 minutes of cook time was the perfect amount for ensuring the rice, chicken, and other ingredients were cooked. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

Load More Comments