One Pan Chicken and Rice


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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!

Best Chicken and Rice (One Pan)

4.95 from 205 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
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 below to see how I make it in my kitchen!




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



  • 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


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!


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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This looks so good.. I’m going to make this week.  Can you tell me the brand oven proof pot you used.  Thank you 😊

  2. This is my new favorite chicken recipe! It’s on my family’s weekly dinner rotation now. I like to add mushrooms at the same time as the onions. I have only used brown rice in this recipe- I use the same ratio of chicken stock to rice but it takes nearly twice as long to cook with brown rice. I use my dutch oven and it turns out delicious every time! Reheats great for lunch the next day. Thanks for sharing this recipe!5 stars

    1. Adding mushrooms is a great addition to this recipe! And glad you were able to cook this with brown rice as it does take longer to cook.

  3. Oh my goodness this recipe is perfection—easy,  delicious, and kid approved. We loved the flavors, especially all of the lemony goodness that added just enough tang to brighten the chicken and rice. This recipe has quickly become a family favorite in my house and in the monthly (some times weekly) rotation.5 stars

  4. Absolutely delicious! I made it in my ninja foodie. I hope that’s helpful for those of you who might want to try it! My whole family loved it !!! 5 stars

  5. I found you on YouTube. I made this today for Sunday dinner. When I say it not only came out as the photo (lol) it was delicious! It’s the third recipe I’ve made from Downshiftology and they have all been easy and delicious. Thank you!! You’ve got me excited about cooking again!!5 stars

  6. This was super easy to make and full of flavor! I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs, but they were so juicy and perfectly cooked, I ate the whole thing! I let the chicken marinade overnight and it was delicious! I will definitely be making this one again!5 stars

  7. I made this tonight and wow! It’s delicious. As always, another great recipe from you, thank you and greetings from Mexico.5 stars

  8. This recipe is fantastic.  I’ll be doing it again frequently.  The zesty tang of lemon is beautiful.  Next time, I plan to add in some mushrooms which, let’s be frank, were made to go with chicken.  The spinach is surprisingly tasty.  I didn’t think I’d like the spinach and considered leaving it out.  I’m so glad I didn’t.  The whole package was superfragilisticespialidotiou (or spelling to that effect!).5 stars

    1. Hi Eileen -So glad you ended up loving this recipe even though you don’t like spinach! It’s quite subtle in here and a great way to add in more greens :)

  9. I made this as toddler included family meal (no salt version with chopped broccoli instead of spinach) and it was huge success! My little one even asked for another round, WOW. Who doesn’t love super easy delicious one pan meal :)5 stars

    1. Amazing! Happy to hear the whole family got to enjoy this recipe. Stay tuned for more one pan recipes coming soon!

  10. Made this for dinner tonight- it is delicious! Loved the one pan recipe Lisa, thank you so much for the amazing recipes. 5 stars

  11. This was super yummy! I tweaked it to make it AIP friendly, with cauliflower rice. Oh so good! Every member of my family commented on how flavorful this dish was. Thanks Lisa!5 stars

    1. Hi Jennifer – Happy to hear everyone enjoyed this one pan recipe! This is definitely a family favorite :)

  12. This dish is FABULOUSLY AMAZING!!! It’s an easy, one-pot meal that has all the flavor and decadence that you would want. I added a yogurt dressing drizzled on top using greek yogurt, white vinegar, a dash of sugar and this dish went from amazing to FABULOUSLY amazing!5 stars

    1. Loved that you added a yogurt dressing to this! Great way to add more of a Mediterranean vibe to contrast the lemon flavor :)

  13. I made this delicious meal for dinner tonight. A question I always ask my husband while eating is, “Is this meal a repeater?” I didn’t even have time to ask him the question before he looked up at me and said “WOW, this meal is definitely a repeater!”  It put such a smile on my face because of how easy the meal was to make. 

    You never disappoint Lisa, which is why I come back again and again! I’m never shy to cook your new recipes as we are always impressed. Excited for the new recipes you have planned for Fall and Winter and for more ‘repeater’ meals!  

    1. Thrilled to hear this one pan recipe has made it to your “repeater” rotation! You know I’m all for easy and delicious recipes – so I’ll be sure to include more one pan meals coming soon!

  14. We’ve just finished the dish and it was very delish! Although I made few changes, I used chicken thigh fillet as we prefer it that way, left out the thyme and I only had Arborio rice at home so I used that. We ended up with a quite risotto-y finish but it was really nice. We loved the flavor as it is quite different from our usual seasoning.
    Thank you for the awesome recipe again!5 stars

    1. Happy to hear this recipe was a success Niki! Definitely one to keep on hand for a bright and fresh chicken dish :)

  15. Made this tonight. Super awesome! I loved the flavor. I did cut back on the oregano about a third because I felt like it was a lot or oregano for me personally. Everything else as written. This recipe is going to go into my rotation. 5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you loved this chicken and rice recipe! Definitely one to keep to on hand for busy weeknights.

  16. I made this because it sounded easy and delicious. It was ok. It tasted very sweet and I don’t know why. I probably wouldn’t make again.3 stars

    1. Hi Carey – Thanks for giving it a try. Not sure why yours was sweet either, unless you caramelized the onions a bit. But you can always play with the spices to make it work for you.

  17. Hi. I tried the recipe yesterday and it was super easy and awesome.  My family loved it. Waiting to make it when I can call friends over. Waiting for more new recipes. 5 stars

  18. The oregano was a bit overpowering for me.  Next time I will not add oregano with the rice.   Otherwise very good recipe.  4 stars

    1. Hi Joann – I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! Everyone has a different palate when it comes to spices, so always feel free to tweak to your preferences. :)

  19. This was so delicious. Every recipe of yours that I’ve tried is flavorful, healthful and approachable. Thank you for the emails with videos. The combination of information, instruction, tips, alternatives, photos, and videos brings everything to life. Very useful and inspiring. Please don’t stop.5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Eva! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe and the many tips provided :)

  20. This dish was AMAZING! I have my friends making it too. I used 6 boneless, skinless thighs since that’s all the store had, and didn’t go too heavy on the lemon zest but the flavor was so beyond delicious! I dream of this dish! I’m going to be doubling the recipe when I make it again in a couple days. My husband and I want a ton of left overs and by the way, the reheated leftovers are still fabulous. I cannot day enough about this meal! I’d give 100 stars if I could! Thank you, Lisa!!!!5 stars

  21. Super easy and very flavorful! I only had boneless skinless chicken thighs on hand so I didn’t sear them because I did not want to over cook them. I marinated the thighs all day and just threw it together really quickly for dinner. I also added mushrooms and a wild rice mix with some basmati rice. It was very flavorful and the thighs were nice and juicy but it was a bit too lemony for me. I think I added a little too much lemon since I only had 4 thighs so I did less other ingredients but did not add less marinade. I was wondering, would there be anything in the future I could add to this dish to make it more savory instead of lemony ? I like the lemon flavor but I grew up eating chicken and rice with cream of mushroom soup and love that creamy savory component. I hope that makes sense? Either way great weeknight dish!4 stars

    1. No worries! This dish is meant to have more of a lemon essence to it. I plan to do another chicken and rice recipe that’s more savory – so stay tuned for that :)

  22. Amazing delicious!  Son called it INSANE !    Already shared over 7 times to friends.   I’m addicted to this rice.     Love this!5 stars

  23. This is awesome! I made it today and with the ingredients I had on hand. (I had everything in stock except for spinach and white rice — I subbed kale and parboiled brown rice!) Thank you so much for this recipe! It was delicious despite the substitutions so I can’t wait to make it again true to the original!5 stars

  24. This was last night’s dinner (with boneless skinless chicken thighs because that’s what I had).  It was so flavorful and yummy!!  Most chicken and rice dishes are boring – this one is not!  I also love that it has 2 cups of spinach in it.  It is a great one pot meal!  Thank you, Lisa, for another great recipe! 5 stars

  25. Love this recipe! It’s comforting and delicious. I’ve never made a downshiftology recipe before despite following Lisa for some time and something about it spoke to me. I have zero regrets :-) I used a Dutch Oven as I do not have an oven-safe skillet and it worked out perfectly (I think)!!!! 5 stars

  26. Lisa, I recently started to follow you and quickly realized your flavor palette and style of cooking is exactly what I love so in a very short time I have tried many of your recipes….roasted vegetable soups, hummus, baked cod, various chicken dishes, tuna, chicken salad, roasted sides, etc….

    I made your Chicken and Rice recipe this evening and it was absolutely wonderful. Chicken was incredibly flavorful and moist with only 2 hours of marination and the rice was bursting with flavor and cooked perfectly. And what a beautiful finished product.

    Absolutely delicious….thrilled to have discovered you. Thank you for the creativity, freshness and true simplicity in your cooking. 

    Cheers. 5 stars

    1. Hi Devika – I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying all my recipes so far! I can’t wait to share more this upcoming season so stay tuned :)

  27. I made this for dinner tonight. In fact, I am currently eating it as I type my review! This is pretty darn good. I marinated the chicken all day because as Lisa suggested, the longer the better. This was so easy and I could see myself making this on a regular basis as it’s a one pan meal ready in about an hour! The flavors are bright and it doesn’t sit heavy on your stomach. Job well done. 5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Kyle! I’m happy you loved the recipe. Hopefully the extra marinating time gave an extra punch of flavor as well!

  28. Loved this recipe! My mom and I said it was restaurant quality. This surprisingly used many pantry staples and things I had around. I used fresh oregano and thyme which made it extra delicious. Thank you Lisa! 5 stars

  29. Hi Lisa, would you please consider do a one pot series? Us quarantined homeschooling moms need help! Lol. Love your recipes, they are so full of flavor. :-) 

    1. You could just double of all the ingredients as is. But hopefully you have a super large pan or baking sheet. ;)

  30. Hi Lisa,
    First of all, I’d like to thank you for all the amazing and delicious recipes you’ve shared on your youtube channel and website! I’m so excited to make this easy, delicious dinner for tonight. I have my chicken marinating right now, but I do not have any fresh spinach. Do you think frozen spinach would work as well? Thank you so much — Shirley

  31. You had me at one pan dinner! I’m always looking for new quick and easy dinners. My family and I love chicken and rice! However, I haven’t tried chicken and rice with Mediterranean flavors so I’m excited to try it tonight!  5 stars

  32. This was such a delicious dinner! SO easy to make and loved all the flavors. Will be making again, thank you!5 stars

  33. Your website and YouTube channel are amazing. You make delicious, healthy food look accessible. I really want to try this recipe. My kitchen supplies are sparse, so I was wondering if I could transfer everything to a 9×13 glass dish for baking, covered by foil? Thanks for your advice.

    1. Hi Jenny – no problem! Just sear the chicken on the stove and transfer everything to a baking dish. Hope you enjoy!

  34. Well this chicken recipe is a cracker.  We have just finished it for dinner and it was soooo delicious.  Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  35. Hi Lisa,

    Would a wild rice blend work well in this recipe? My market is out of white rice and I only have wild on hand.

    1. Yep! You can use cauliflower rice. But it will likely need less broth and less time to cook, probably 1 cup of broth and about 20 minutes in the oven. Let us know how it turns out!

  36. Thank you for sharing this recipe which looks delicious! I can’t wait to make it. I love your blog so much😊. I have a question for this recipe: my oven safe skillet does not have a lid. Can I simmer/put in oven without a lid? If not would a Dutch Oven work for this recipe? Thank you for any information you can provide.

    1. You do need a lid in the oven for this recipe, so that the rice can steam. But a Dutch oven would certainly work! Hope you enjoy it!

  37. Hi Lisa,
    First I want to say that I am so grateful that I found your youtube channel and website. I am not a great cook, but your recipes are easy to follow and super delicious that I am not as intimidated to give the kitchen a go! We have incorporated several of your recipes as our weekly meals. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Now to my question :), my husband is allergic to mustard, for this marinade, do you think it will be ok to just leave out the dijon mustard? Or substitute it with something else non mustardy? Please let me know what you think. Thank you very much! – Brenda

    1. Hi Brenda – thanks so much for your kind words! I’m thrilled that you love my recipes and you’ve been whipping them up. :) For the mustard, you can just leave it off this recipe. There’s plenty of other flavors, even without it. Hope you enjoy!