Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
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Let’s add a bright burst of sunshine to our lives with Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice! Brown rice cooked in creamy coconut milk along with juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and healing “golden” spices such as turmeric and ginger, this healthy one-pan dish has earned the highest level of praise awarded in our household: Ben voluntarily brought it to work for lunch.
Ben spent the first three years of our marriage in law school, and for all of them, I insisted he pack a lunch. Bringing lunch from home fit our budget, and I knew it was more healthy than his on-campus options.
Every Sunday afternoon, I cooked a farm family–size batch of chicken and rice or pasta for him to take each day. If we ever have kids, I’m prepared in the brown bagging department.
These days, Ben rarely brings lunch to work. It’s partly access to better quality cafeteria fare but mostly because breaking to buy lunch when you work in an office is a small joy. If you’ve worked a desk job, I’m betting you can relate.
Lunch and free donuts: highlights of a long office day.
This Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice, however? BEN STOLE IT.
Well, as much as you can steal from your refrigerator.
I made this for dinner, we both loved it, and I was very much looking forward to having the leftovers to myself for lunch the next day.
I opened my refrigerator for my own moment of small joy and discovered Ben hadn’t only taken a single serving to the office—he’d usurped the entire container!
I realize this is a compliment (I don’t think he’s willingly brought his own lunch since 2016) but seriously? The whole thing?
Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice — Too Delicious to Resist
I can’t say I blame Ben. This Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is wonderful, vibrant, filling, and incredibly good for you all at the same time.
This recipe is 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 (this makes almost any recipe attainable!).
My secret to making this Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice taste ultra rich and creamy without adding a spec of excess fat (or even dairy!) is Almond Breeze almondmilk Almond Coconut Unsweetened Original. It’s a blend of both almondmilk and coconutmilk and is DELISH.
I’m in my third year of working with Almond Breeze, a company whose products I love and use regularly. Almondmilk is my go-to for my smoothies and cereal (I love its creamy texture and delicately nutty flavor, and the low calorie count is nice when you are looking to lighten things up), and I use it in my sweet and savory cooking and baking too.
I’m not usually one for recipe “hacks,” but cooking this recipe in the almondmilk coconutmilk blend instead of plain old water or even chicken stock made an incredible difference.
The rice was unbelievably creamy, and the subtle coconut flavor was a beautiful pairing with the ginger, cumin, turmeric, and coriander.
Although this recipe contains a good number of spices, they aren’t of the fiery-hot variety that will leave you panting and reaching for a napkin to mop your brow.
While I love a spicy dish that bites me back every now and then, this Instant Pot chicken and rice is different.
The spices you’ll find here are warm, deep, and nourishing. They contain anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, and they give the dish its beautiful sunny yellow color too. (Looking for another one-dish winner with a different flavor profile? Check out Instant Pot Mexican Casserole!)
Sunshine, an immunity boost, AND an easy, all-in-one recipe that’s so tasty, family members (literally) race each other to the refrigerator for leftovers: Golden Chicken and Rice is everything I need to eat in January and everything I want to eat year-round!
Pro tip: You can find more delicious Instant Pot recipes in my roundup post, 15 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes!
Tools to Make Instant Pot Golden Chicken and Rice:
- Instant Pot (6 quart or larger)
- The recipe also includes tips for making this on the stovetop too!
Golden Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- 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 Almond Breeze almondmilk Almond Coconut Unsweetened Original
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup frozen peas — thawed
- Freshly chopped cilantro — for serving
- Toasted coconut or coconut flakes — optional for serving
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 the almondmilk coconutmilk. Scrape a spoon along the bottom to make sure there are no stuck-on bits of food. Stir in the remaining almondmilk coconut 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 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. (TIP: Hide the leftovers from your husband if you want to enjoy this a second time).
- *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.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6), about 1 1/2 cups) — Calories: 356, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 489mg, Carbohydrates: 47g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 28g
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