One Pan Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice is an easy, one pan recipe and this version shines with bright Mediterranean flavors. Juicy chicken thighs are soaked in a citrusy, lemon dijon marinade then baked with fluffy rice.

Chicken and rice in one pan garnished with lemon slices and parsley.

Nothing beats one pan dinners. They make dinner a breeze, yet they’re satisfying enough to eat as leftovers. Though count yourself lucky if you happen to have any leftovers of this delicious meal, it’s a rare feat.

Similar to my greek chicken kabobs, the zesty Mediterranean-inspired marinade bathes the chicken in lemon dijon goodness. But it also does double-duty in brightening up the rice. It’s the perfect cozy family meal that I’m confident you’ll make again and again.

Chicken and Rice Ingredients

Want to know what makes this recipe amazing, with such simple ingredients? It’s the layers of flavors!

Mediterranean Chicken Marinade

  • Chicken: Bone in, skin on chicken thighs are the best choice for juicy, tender meat.
  • Lemon: The citrus flavor makes you feel like you’re on a sunny vacation.
  • Dijon Mustard: My secret ingredient for adding a sharp zip to the marinade.
  • Garlic: You know my motto, the more garlic the better!
  • Dried Oregano & Thyme: Mediterranean aromatics add that depth of flavor.
  • Olive oil: Any good quality olive oil will work great.

Rice Ingredients

  • Long Grain White Rice: Make sure to use long grain rice (check this rice post for tips).
  • Chicken Stock: Choose a low or no-sodium stock to keep the salt level down.
  • Baby Spinach: I always love to sneak in some extra greens, wherever possible.
  • Onion: Yellow onion is preferred, but white onions work too.
  • Dried Oregano: A sprinkle more to flavor the rice.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below

Ingredients for chicken and rice on a table

How to Make Mediterranean Chicken and Rice

By cooking everything in one skillet, the rice soaks up the juiciness from the chicken and the citrusy punch from the marinade. Here’s how to make it.

  • Marinate the chicken: Whisk the marinade, pour over the chicken, and marinate in the fridge.
  • Sear the chicken: In a large skillet, cook the chicken thighs on both sides until golden. Then remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Cook the vegetables and herbs: Saute the onions, spinach, and garlic with oregano, salt, pepper, and the reserved marinade. Give everything a stir until the spinach is slightly wilted.
  • Bake in the oven: Add the rice and broth to the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Place the chicken thighs on top, cover the skillet, and bake for about 35 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Garnish and serve: Let the chicken rest, then garnish with parsley and lemon zest!

Searing the chicken thighs in a cast iron pan.

Showing how to make chicken and rice with four steps in a pan.

Tips For The Best Chicken And Rice Recipe

Use an oven-proof skillet. Make sure to use a cast iron or stainless steel skillet that can transfer from the stove to the oven.

Chicken thighs are best. While bone-in thighs are personally my favorite, you can also use boneless thighs. I don’t recommend chicken breasts in this recipe, as they’ll likely overcook and dry out by the time the rice is done. Chicken thighs stay juicy, and moist.

Keep on marinating. While you can get away with marinating the chicken for 30 minutes, longer is better! I always aim for at least a couple of hours.

Cooked chicken sitting on top of fluffy rice in a pan.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

This really makes for some of the best leftovers, and bonus, it freezes well.

  • To store: You can store any leftover chicken and rice in the refrigerator in a covered container for 3-4 days.
  • To freeze: Place leftovers in a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer up to 2 months.
  • For reheating: Microwave the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes. If you want to crisp up the skin, run the chicken under a broiler for a couple of minutes. Just watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.

A plate with chicken and rice, next to the pan.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Healthy, flavorful, and easy are what I aim for in a chicken recipe. If you love that too, check out these recipes.

Want more of those Mediterranean flavors? Check out this list of the Best Mediterranean Recipes!

Chicken and Rice Recipe Video

Want to see how I make this one pan recipe (it’s easy, promise). Watch the video below! 

BEST Chicken and Rice (One Pan)

4.94 from 78 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Chicken and rice is an easy, one pan recipe that shines with bright Mediterranean flavors and juicy chicken thighs. Watch the video above!

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 5 chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Marinade

  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested (approx 1/4 cup of juice)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Rice

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, lightly packed and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
  • lemon zest or slices, for garnish

Instructions 

Marinate the Chicken

  • Add all of the marinade ingredients to a bowl and stir together.
    Making the chicken marinade.
  • Place chicken thighs in a glass dish, pour marinade over the chicken, and turn each piece to coat. Cover dish and marinate chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
    Pouring the marinade on top of chicken thighs.

Cook the Chicken and Rice

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook until skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reserve the leftover marinade as you'll add that back in later.
    Searing the chicken skin side down in a pan.
  • Flip the chicken and cook another 5 minutes. Remove chicken thighs from skillet and set aside.
  • Use your tongs to scrape and remove any browned bits, and bunch up a couple of paper towels to soak up some fat from the pan, but not all. Reserve a little bit of grease to cook the onions.
  • Add the diced onions and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until they start to become translucent.
    Adding the diced onions to the pan.
  • Add the chopped spinach, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and reserved marinade. Stir for another 30 seconds or until the spinach starts to wilt.
  • Add the rice to the skillet, and stir well to coat the rice with the oil.
  • Pour the chicken stock into the skillet and stir well. Bring this to a simmer on the stove.
    Adding the chicken stock to the rice and other ingredients.
  • Arrange chicken thighs on top of the rice, then cover the skillet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid, return the skillet to the oven, and bake until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, about 10 minutes more.
    Adding the chicken thighs on top of the rice, then placing the lid on top.
  • Let the chicken and rice rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The rice will look really dark as the spinach and onions rise to the surface. Just fluff the rice up with a fork to mix everything back together before serving.
    Fluffing the rice in the pan with a fork.
  • Top with chopped parsley and grilled lemon slices or fresh lemon zest.
    The finished chicken and rice recipe in one pan with garnishes.

Lisa's Tips

  • To store: You can store any leftover chicken in the refrigerator in a covered container for 3-4 days.
  • To freeze: Place leftovers in a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer up to 2 months.
  • For reheating: Microwave the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes. If you want to crisp up the skin, run the chicken under a broiler for a couple of minutes. Just watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • One of my favorite oven-safe pans is this Staub braiser pan. It's so versatile and worth the investment!

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 114mg, Sodium: 725mg, Potassium: 509mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1213IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: chicken and rice, easy chicken and rice, one pan chicken and rice
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192 comments on “One Pan Chicken and Rice”

  1. We love this recipe. Its a family favorite now. Its a speical occasion dish. We love your recipes Lisa. Thanks a lot!!5 stars

  2. Thank you so much for this perfect recipe! My tummy was so happy after dinner last night and my 17 year old son said this was my best chicken yet. It’s a winner!5 stars

  3. We had this about five weeks ago and it was extremely tasty… and now I am back to check on the ingredients for my shopping list again :)
    I added more lemon juice than you suggested and I loved it but my boyfried thought it was a little bit on the sour side so your suggestion seems to be just right for the average taste.
    This time I’ll stick to the recipe. I can always add a little lemon juice to my plate if I want…5 stars

    • You can always add more lemon depending on preference. But, happy to hear you both enjoyed this one pan dish!

  4. Loved how the chicken and rice turned out! Presentation looked just like the photo. Would definitely make it again, several friends already asked me for the recipe ;)

    One slight adjustment for next time is to not bake the chicken for as long in the stove. I think 35 min is overcooking the chicken a little. I think if the bake time was shorter or grilled separately, the chicken woulda been juicer. 4 stars

    • Glad you enjoyed this recipe Joyeen! You can always reduce the time as each stove will heat up differently as well.

  5. I made this and it was extremely tasty. It had really good balance. I watch you all the time, but I think I’ve only made 2 things, including this one. I get the impression that you take a lot of care in making sure seasonings and flavor is on point in the recipes. I’ll be making more.5 stars

  6. Turned out great5 stars

  7. Trying this tomorrow for my boyfriend’s mom! If I add 2 more chicken thighs, can I keep the rice proportions the same or will the additional chicken mess with the baking process. Unsure if I need to adjust or not. Thank you!

  8. This recipe is super yummy! I swap the white rice for brown and it is just as delicious! My only complaint is that it does take a little bit of time (including the marinating time) so make sure to plan ahead!5 stars

  9. I am pretty much obsessed with this recipe. This is my 5th time making it in about a month. I add extra lemon juice, onion and oregano. I have not added spinach. My nee favorite meal. Thanks for posting this. I even wrote it down just in case.5 stars

  10. This recipe is perfection! The flavors were so bright, easily my favorite rice dish.  It will be a staple in my house!5 stars

  11. What an absolutely fool proof dish!!! Definitely a recipe to remember because it is so easy to whip up. Perfect for meal prep (which is why I chose it) but am actually going to use as a date night dish as well! I’ve been following Lisa for 3 years now and have not had a recipe go wrong. 5 stars

  12. Made several times. Delicious!  5 stars

  13. How do you grill the lemon slices?

  14. Absolutely delicious! Might keep a separate recipe card for the marinade alone, it was so good. Used my cast iron skillet and even the presentation was beautiful. The thighs were so tender and the rice was so good that my boyfriend raved about it several times. Made “as is” and changed nothing (for once). Paired the dish with steamed broccoli and garlic bread! 5 stars

  15. O.M.G.!! This was sooo good! A sunny day on the Mediterranean indeed. My GF was duly impressed. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  16. Can I cook this on the stovetop (I don’t have a pan that can go into the oven) and how long would I do it for if on the stove?  Thanks!!

  17. So good!!! Loved this one. Didn’t change a thing about the recipe. 5 stars

  18. Do you think it is possible to substitute the rice out for lentils or barley, if my personal gut health is more reliant on those particular grains vs. rice?

    • Hi Ryan – unfortunately, all of those grains/rice have different cook times. So you’d likely need to alter the recipe, to ensure it’s all done at the same time in the pan.

  19. Delicious and easy! I love the rice on its own, too, sprinkled with a bit of feta cheese.5 stars

  20. Amazing!! Delicious and easy! All your recipes are wonderful
    Thwnk you again!5 stars

  21. Lisa i love your chicken and rice ,and your right the thighs are so tasty.5 stars

  22. Omg! So much flavour that I didn’t expect. 

    I did have to adjust it… and I’ll explain.

    We are all plant based, so I used plant based chicken pieces. 

    We had no lemon so I used white and a dash of apple cider vinegar in the marinade. Marinaded the pieces…. I couldnt stop licking the spoon! 😅

    Then I cooked off the onion first until browned in a cast iron pot. Added the pieces. And some butter. Cooked on high for a few mins to get a little colour…

    Then added the rice and the other ingredients, with a dash more white wine. 

    And a handful of frozen beans because I had no spinach! 

    Lid on and in the oven. 

    Holy crap it was good! All 5 of my kids devoured it! 5 stars

  23. This is the second time I’ve made this chicken and rice recipe. My husband and I eat it in disbelief. It’s so simple and so damn good!  The only thing I changed this time was to add lemon zest to the marinade. It’s a perfect recipe. This will undoubtedly be part of my regular rotation. Awesome. Thank you!5 stars

  24. This was absolutely delicious! I allowed the the chicken to marinate for 5 hours and it was incredible! Thank you for sharing! 5 stars

  25. Delicious!5 stars

  26. Very delicious. It is worth all time I spent. The meat is really tender. Thank you so much Lisa.
    I want to suggest to create a group of recipes that are using plant-based protein (legume). I’ve cooked the lentil soup last weekend. I loved the recipe. I will cook it again.
    Please let me know if you already have the plant-based protein recipes list.5 stars

    • I don’t have a specific list for that yet, but I’ll be sure to keep that in mind! But, I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe :)

  27. This was utterly delicious, and so easy to make. I added some mushrooms and adjusted the stock level slightly. I can wait to see the next chicken thigh recipe they are the best bit of the chicken. 5 stars

    • I’ve got tons more chicken thigh recipes coming for you! And be sure to check out my current ones as well – I’ve got a few on the website :)

  28. I made this recipe last night and it was utterly DELICIOUS!

    Note: I used my cast iron oval Le Creuset dutch oven and it worked really well.

    Hollie xx5 stars

  29. I made this for dinner tonight and it was very well received by my husband and two small children. Thank you, Lisa! The bone in chicken thighs were particularly delicious and this was a great way to use them.5 stars

  30. This has quickly become a family favorite, I’ve it twice already and each time it’s gotten rave reviews!5 stars

  31. This looks so good! Can’t wait to try it. Do you think I could cook this recipe in my Staub 4-quart dutch oven? I know the diameter of the braiser you used is 10in and my dutch oven is 7.5in.5 stars

  32. The flavor of rice this makes is incredible. Lovely dinner with leftovers the next day. I love all the thought put into all your recipes, because it is so apparent in the outcome! 5 stars

  33. Could you make this recipe with cauliflower rice?

  34. This was such a great  recipe 😍5 stars

  35. This was immediately inducted into our family’s meal rotation! After frying the chicken, my pan accumulated too many brown bits, so I wiped it out completely and then used lamb fat (mixed with one spoon of the chicken fat I reserved before rinsing out the pan) to fry the onions, garlic etc. It gave the finished dish an incredible flavor. Thank you so much!!5 stars

  36. My all time favorite Downshiftology recipe! I made this for a group dinner and everyone loved it. So many people asked how much butter was in it so it was an extra treat telling people it was definitely fun telling them after that it was dairy free. This is by far my favorite chicken and rice I’ve made, and I’ve made it many times sense. Super easy to make and super yummy. It will be a crowd pleaser for any family or group dinner. I’m sure it makes great leftovers too… I just never have any. 5 stars

  37. This was so flavorful! I taught my friend how to cook this via Zoom which was really fun! Next time I’ll add mushrooms and double the recipe. 5 stars

  38. Such a good dinner recipe! Will definitely make again. 5 stars

  39. Sooo good: easy and tasty! Love it!
    This recipe is now added to my Go-to recipes! Thank you! :)5 stars

  40. Hi Lisa! I made your recipe and it was amazing. I have a lot of picky eaters in my family but this one everyone loved. In Macedonia we have a similar way of cooking rice and chichken only with boiled chichken and then we use the water as stock, add parsley onions green peppers and carrots and cook the rice and chicken like that. I liked your twist with the marinade and I never thought that lemon can taste good with rice. I plan on making the same dish but with shrimp. Keep up the good work 🥰5 stars

  41. OMG! Lisa has truly outdone herself with this one! The chicken comes out moist and juicy and the rice is so flavourful it truly does make your mouth water…with every single bite!
    Will be making this again…and again…and again!

  42. This recipe has the most amazing flavors! Can’t wait to make it again.5 stars

  43. Just made this for supper and it was a hit!  Loved that everything was in one pan.  Thank you. 5 stars

  44. Hi Lisa, just prepared it! Amazing!!!
    Thank you so much!!!5 stars

  45. The best recipe ever. Best regards from Croatia!5 stars

  46. I love that there is spinach in this! Making this tonight for the second time in a month! It’s so flavorful, healthy and easy to make during the week! Great recipe – thank you!5 stars

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