Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is a delicious Spanish rice recipe made with bone in chicken thighs, rice, and spices, all cooked together for a complete meal! It’s my new favorite instant pot dinner recipe!

It’s a beautiful thing when you find the perfect instant pot recipe that also makes an all-in-one dinner.  This recipe ranks right up there with my old favorites, Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowls and Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta.

Spanish rice and chicken (arroz con pollo) with peas and red bell peppers on a white plate with a fork.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

I am REALLY excited to share this instant pot chicken thighs recipe with you. It’s truly a keeper; the kind of instant pot recipe that you are going to want to save forever.

Technically I should call this dish Arroz con pollo, which is Spanish for “chicken and rice” because we’re making a Spanish flavored rice, that pressure cooks with chicken thighs in the instant pot at the same time. This not only saves you time and energy, but cooking the ingredients together in the pot allows the flavors to blend, resulting in a flavorful and delicious instant pot recipe.

Below I have answered all of your instant pot questions including how to substitute chicken breasts and brown rice as well as alternative methods for making this instant pot chicken thighs recipe. Learn all of my instant pot tips and tricks!

Can I make this in a 3 quart and/or 8 quart model instant pot?

Yes! Just use the minimum fill requirements for the liquid.

Can I use frozen chicken?

Yes. Check out my tutorial for Instant Pot frozen chicken thighs. You wont brown the chicken at the beginning and the skin will not get crispy, so you can remove the skin after cooking, or brown the skin in a hot skillet after cooking. Or see my tutorial for Instant Pot frozen chicken breasts.

Can I substitute brown rice?

Yes. To substitute brown rice in this recipe, add ¼ cup extra chicken broth and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes, with a 10 minute natural pressure release. I suggest using chicken thighs when cooking with brown rice, as chicken breasts are more likely to overcook and be dry when cooking for so long.

Can I make this Chicken and Rice on the stovetop?

Yes! Follow the same directions, using a large skillet, over medium heat, instead. When everything is assembled, cover the skillet with a lid and transfer to the oven. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked through.

Can I make this Chicken and Rice in the Slow Cooker?

I haven’t tested this recipe in the slow cooker, but yes, I think it could work. I recommend browning the chicken thighs and sautéing the veggies and spices before adding to the slow cooker, then adding your rice and chicken. This will take 3-4 hours on high or 4-6 on low for white rice and 5-6 on high or 6-8 on low for brown.

Close up photo of cooked chicken thighs on top of Spanish rice in an instant pot.

Ingredients in Instant Pot Chicken and Rice:

  • Chicken thighs: I highly recommend chicken thighs, over chicken breasts, because I think they cook much better in the instant pot and are more tender and flavorful. If you want to substitute chicken breasts, cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with a 5 minute natural release.
  • Rice: I use regular long-grain white rice. (If you want to use brown rice, see my cooking note above). Be sure to rinse the rice before adding it to the instant pot to remove the starch, and help keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • White wine: I’ve used white wine in this recipe to deglaze the pan and add great flavor to the dish. The alcohol gets cooked out. If you don’t want to use wine, just leave this step out and deglaze the pan when you add the chicken broth.
  • Diced Veggies
  • Spices
  • Chicken broth
Four overhead process photos of an instant pot with browned chicken thighs, spices, veggies rice and chicken broth added to the pot to make instant pot chicken and rice.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken and Rice:

  1. Sauté.  Add oil to your instant pot and sauté the chicken thighs for a few minutes on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and tomato paste to the pot and sauté for 2 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Add white wine to the pot to deglaze the pan, and cook for about 1 minute until most of the wine has evaporated. Add rice, chicken broth, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Place chicken thighs on top of the rice mixture and turn your instant pot off.

3. Cook. Set the Instant Pot to cook on manual, high pressure, for 15 minutes. When the timer beeps allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before removing the lid.

4. Add Peas. Remove the instant pot lid and pour the frozen peas on top of the mixture. Return lid and allow to rest for a few minutes.

5. Serve. Remove the chicken to a plate. Gently fluff rice with a fork, and serve garnished with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Arroz con pollo in an instant pot.

I doubt you’ll have leftovers of this tasty dinner, but if you do, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.

My family loves this meal served with warm cooked tortilla on the side, and I always add a drizzle of hot sauce over my rice. Yum!

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Recipe

Spanish rice and chicken (arroz con pollo) served on a white plate with a fork.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Extra wait time 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • *UPDATE 5/17/2020: I removed this recipe after many comments of readers struggling with the burn notice–then received a ton of backlash because so many of you love this recipe and– it works perfectly for me as well) so I am reposting it. Before cooking, PLEASE CONSULT your instant pot manual for the proper rice to liquid cooking ratio for your instant pot. I use a 1:1 ratio, but some require a 1:2 ratio, so you may want to add an additional cup of broth.       
  •  *Prepare all of your ingredients and have them ready. This will help prevent too much liquid from evaporating during sautéing and help you avoid a burn notice.
  • Turn Instant pot on sauté setting. Add oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. 
  • Add chicken to the hot pot and cook for a few minutes on both sides, until the skin on the chicken thighs is golden brown and crispy. Remove chicken to a plate.
  • Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and tomato paste to the pot. Stir well and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove everything to a plate.
  • Add white wine to the pot to deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 1 minute until most of the wine has evaporated. Turn the pot OFF!        
  • Add chicken broth and bay leaf to the pot and stir. Add the veggie/spice mixture and stir to combine. Pour rice over everything and place chicken thighs on top, skin side up.
  • Secure instant pot lid, with valve turned to the sealed position. Cook on manual, high pressure, for 15 minutes. When the timer beeps allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before removing the lid.
  • Remove the instant pot lid and pour the frozen peas on top of the mixture. Return lid and allow to rest for a few minutes.
  •  Remove the chicken to a plate. Gently fluff rice with a fork.
  • Garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Notes

Chicken thighs: If using boneless, skinless thighs, cook time is 8 minutes on high pressure. Directions for frozen chicken or chicken breasts are above in the post.
Tomato Paste: you can substitute 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
Wine: I use Chardonnay. Any dry white wine would work. The alcohol gets cooked out. If you don’t want to use wine, just leave this step out and deglaze the pan when you add the chicken broth.
You will find many answers to FAQ about the Instant pot, above in the post!

Nutrition

Calories: 705kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 28gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 385mgPotassium: 636mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1305IUVitamin C: 45.5mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 2.9mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    Glad you brought it back!! I used 1 part rice and 2 parts bone broth. SO flavorful!!! Also, I used butter because of the lower heat point of olive oil. It’s smelled incredible while cooking and tasted like a really fancy dish. I had a frozen chopped white onion, garlic granules and frozen tomato paste in 1 Tbsp portions, so it came together very quickly.

  2. 2 stars
    Four hours and a bunch of wasted food I’ll never get back.
    “Food Burn” … in 2 different pots! I even added 2 cups of water — in addition to the broth — and stirred the rice. The cooker never came up to pressure, the rice never cooked, and the whole meal was ruined.
    I tried it in a third pot, but by then the rice was charred and mushy, and this pot reported a “loss of pressure” error code, even after mixing in an additional cup of water. I ended up with charred rice at the bottom, and almost a full inch of standing water at the top. The chicken was cooked, but by this time it wasn’t even thighs anymore: it was falling apart. Good for a shredded chicken recipe, but I was hoping to serve actual thigh pieces.
    I’m sorry. Most of your recipes are good, but this one was a complete disaster. I should have heeded the warning when you said that you had removed it from the site, and why.
    I followed it exactly, even measuring out the ingredients in advance just to make sure everything was ready in a timely manner.
    I’m no beginner to Instant Pot: I have four of them, and use them frequently.
    The problem was also not the rice: I’ve cooked the same rice in these cookers before, and know the rice/water ratio.
    Again, most of your recipes are pretty good; but this one: never again.

  3. 5 stars
    I also got the food burn warning but it’s a skill issue on my part, the instant pot sat there for 20 minutes and never actually pressurized because I’m not familiar with how it works. I get this like every time I try to pressure cook.

    Still absolutely delicious I’m 100% gonna do this again.

    1. If it’s not sealing and there is liquid in the pot, check the seal on the inside of the lid. If it’s raised at all, that can cause sealing issues. Running your finger all the way around will usually seat it properly. Also make sure the valve is set to closed, either pushed backwards if it’s a loose knob or sitting straight up and down if you’ve got a newer model.

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I used boneless thighs and shredded the meat and mixed with rice before serving ( I still cooked for 15 minutes , came out fine). I also added about 5 chopped carrots and substituted baby spinach for frozen peas. I made sure to deglaze properly with wine and I did not get a burn notice. Great recipe thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    I own a 3 Quart Instant Pot Duo. Had a hard time getting measurements which typically are for 6 quarts. I own this one because I am only 1 person in the household. Chihuahuas don’t eat much. It turned out good but had to throw some stuff away. Any idea’s.

  6. 3 stars
    So this was my first instapot recipe and I imagine it gets easier if you have the desire to keep trying.
    The chicken was super tasty and tender. I used my own curry powder from 27 spices. The rice was tasty but over cooked. It did not burn and the crispy rice bits were delicious. I would not cook it all for 15 minutes. Probably 12. And then I would allow only 10 minutes to rest. Step # 8 needs additional steps. In all probably should not use this as your first attempt but it was the most tender and tasty chicken I’ve had. Issue as I see it all instapot are not created equal so you need to learn your own. For someone who needs to follow a recipe exactly, use an enameled pot and finish in oven and skip the instapot.

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