One Pan Chicken and Rice


This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Jump to RecipeJump to Video

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)

4.93 from 209 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 50 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!

You May Also Like

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.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you Lisa for your wonderful recipes. This one pan chicken dish was outstanding. Leftovers had even more flavor! So easy to make. Will definitely be putting this one on the meal rotation!5 stars

  2. I made this two days ago for our nephew and his wife, who has celiac disease. Wow, it was a hit! Everyone loved it. They had never seen your site before, so were thrilled to browse through all your recipes.
    I followed the recipe, except for adding more spinach. It was perfect. We liked it so much, my wife has requested it again for later this week. Of course, whether you need to be gluten-free or not, this is a winner. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.5 stars

    1. Aw, I’m so glad everyone enjoyed this chicken and rice dish, Karen! I hope you find more recipes they can all enjoy.

  3. We made your Mediterranean chicken. Very lemony. Enjoyed the meal very much. We will make this again. Easy peasy.5 stars

  4. So tasty and one of my favorite flavor combinations. I actually used a brown rice mixture with wild rice and the rice still cooks through. Perfect for chilly nights.5 stars

  5. I absolutely love this recipe! My husband requests it all the time. I even bought the Staub pan to cook it in! No regrets!5 stars

  6. This recipe is a consistent family favorite, even with my one picky kid. I’ve made it over and over again, and it’s always so good! Thank you, Lisa!5 stars

  7. My father is diabetic and had a heart attack last year requiring 3 stints. His heart Dr. advised him to eat healthier and I introduced him to your website (He does the cooking). We LOVE your recipes!! This is one of our absolute favorite. We eat it regularly. Your recipes are easy to make, with step-by-step instructions (and you have videos also!), and very flavorful! Thank you so much for keeping flavor in healthy cooking. I appreciate the love and hard work you put into these recipes.5 stars

    1. Oh no! I hope your father is doing well, and that your family continues to enjoy Downshiftology recipes to come.

  8. I love this recipe so much, I made it two days ago and can’t stop thinking about it ! Making it again today! Thank you !5 stars

  9. I’m pretty new to cooking so I really appreciate all the tips as you’re going through the recipe and not assuming we know what you’re doing. I made this recipe for my husband and I tonight. It turned out really delicious! Thanks!5 stars

  10. This looks amazing. I’d like to make it tonight if chicken breasts can be substituted.
    Pls let me know.

    Thank you!!

  11. This is one of my husbands favorite recipes! It’s easy to make, flavorful and makes delicious leftovers!5 stars

  12. The chicken melts in your mouth and the flavors are perfect for a cozy night in. A great dish for a small dinner party! Has a beautiful presentation, aroma and flavor!5 stars

  13. This sounds amazing! Any thoughts on using brown rice instead of white? I believe the cooking time will take longer, but I don’t want to overcook the chicken.

      1. This is actually the best one pan chicken and rice recipe. My only regret is that I waited so long to make it! So easy and delicious.5 stars

  14. This recipe was that rarest of unicorns – one that the whole family enjoyed. It was really delish. Did the whole thing in my dutch oven.5 stars

  15. Amazing rice!! I didn’t have spinach but I had some carrots I needed to use so I diced those up and threw them into the pan with the onions, which I think I will do moving forward. My chicken wasn’t as flavorful as I wanted BUT i realized after that I forgot the mustard and I didn’t have time to let it sit so I just tossed the chicken in the marinade and put it on the stove. Next time when I am in less of a rush I will make this properly! I know it will be good when I actually follow directions haha5 stars

    1. Hopefully, the next time around you can add all the missing components! But, glad you still enjoyed it Carole.

  16. Made this today! It was delicious! I used a slice of my preserved lemons and cut back on the salt. I made due with store bought lemon juice. Glad to have another recipe for my salt preserved lemons. Thank you for such wonderful recipes. I meal prepped cabbage soup and lentil soup today too. I just bought your book. Keep the recipe ideas coming.5 stars

    1. So happy you loved this chicken and rice recipe, Joy! Plus the other recipes on my website and in my cookbook. Yay! :)

  17. This was sooooooo amazingly delicious! I almost always have chicken thighs on hand. I needed a new way to cook them up and I am so happy that I found this site. I went heavier on the garlic (Lisa, you’re my soul sister with the garlic!) and followed this recipe as written. And it was SO flavorful. The rice came out perfectly, the chicken was juicy, and I’m I even got to sneak in some spinach, too! This will be a regular on my recipe list for sure!5 stars

      1. This takes a minimum of an hour to get into the oven. Normal people don’t live in a professional kitchen with prepped ingredients, and if we’re reading your site – we’re not trained chefs. Stop pretending this is a “quick easy meal.” Start to finish – it’s over 2 hours.

        And I dare you to post a critical review. To moderate doesn’t mean to hide everything critical.2 stars

      2. Hi Aaron – If you scan my website, you’ll see that I don’t hide critical reviews. After reviewing this recipe and instructions I do think you’re right that the cook time should be increased, as well as the resting time for marinating, to better reflect the recipe. So I’ve just made that change. I do think it’s an easy recipe, but to your point, it may take a bit longer. I hope that even though it may have taken longer than you anticipated, you still enjoyed the final result! Thanks for your comment.

  18. This recipe was delicious. Everything was finished after 30 minutes so I just popped it under the broiler for a few minutes to get the skin crispy. The family loved it—even my 1-year-old devoured it. Big win in our household. 5 stars

  19. delicious! this recipe is really customizable as well. for example I used beef broth, apple cider vinegar instead of lemon, kale instead of spinach and added mushrooms. cook time/temp is perfect! thanks:)5 stars

  20. One of the best recibes you have! It is healthy, filling and delicious!

    I have prepared many times in more than one pan as my largest cast iron pan is not huge.

    Please do more recipes like this!5 stars

  21. This has become a household favorite. Pretty sure we’re having it about 3 times a month now. Easy to make and super delicious. Also, if you don’t have fresh lemons works fine with lemon juice. Also works fine with frozen spinach – add it just before you add the liquid.5 stars

  22. Fabulous recipe. The only comment other than it being YUMMY is to mention to RESERVE the zest to be added later. I added  it to the marinade. 5 stars

  23. We make this recipe all the time. It’s fairly quick to make and as delicious at the same time. Sometimes we change up the spices if we don’t have everything and it’s always worked out wonderfully.5 stars

  24. I love how this came together in one pan! The flavor was amazing, I love how Lisa uses lemon in her recipes. My family ate this up, bone in chicken thighs and rice also make for a budget friendly family meal. This one is in our regular rotation now. 5 stars

  25. My family and I LOVE this recipe!! So nutritious and easy to clean up! It takes adaptations super well, you can throw in any veggie you’d like, just grate it if it’s a root veggie, or dice it if it’s a green.
    We use chicken breasts rather than thighs. To keep them from becoming to dry, I sear them, set them under foil, bake the rice, then add them in for the last 20-25min (depending on how thick the breast is). It makes perfectly cooked chicken EVERY TIME. Excellent lunch for my husband to take to work as well. Thanks for the winner!5 stars

    1. Thank you for the chicken breast tip! I was looking to make this tonight with chicken breasts. Will try your recommendation!

  26. YUM! I made a meal for a family in crisis. I’m from Louisiana and live in Texas. I like well seasoned food, which sometime mean spicy. The family I was cooking for doesn’t do spicy at all. I saw your recipe of a comfort food – chicken and rice, that had delicious seasoning. 
    I had 2 skillets going on the stove and transferred both into aluminum pans for the oven. I made your recipe for the family, but added tomatoes (the Creole part in me loves tomatoes) to our pan. I loved bringing a healthy, great smelling food to the family. I absolutely loved eating this dish. It made me want to sing Bruno Mars- I could kiss myself for cooking this (I’m so pretty!)
    Seriously, I don’t usually like dark meat chicken. I pulled the chicken off the bone after cooking and mixed it in with the rice. I might attempt to do this with chicken breasts, will have to work on the timing….5 stars

  27. I made this tonight and I’m utterly obsessed. It’s packed with flavour and the rice is to die for. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited over something I’ve cooked. 5 stars

  28. I am OBSESSED with this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!! The whole dish has so much flavour and I love the creamy texture of the rice. I would like to double it and am wondering what size dish you would use to do so? Thank you!5 stars

    1. I’m happy you love the recipe, Rebecca! I’ve never tried doubling this recipe, so not sure what the instructions would be. But if you try it, let us know how it turns out!

    2. Hi Rebecca! Sorry to jump in here but I was scrolling through comments and saw yours. I thought I would let you know that I doubled the rice potion and added an extra chicken thigh and it turned out so good! Everything cooked well and fit in my skillet but I do have a deep skillet I used for this. I hope it works out for you!5 stars

  29. This recipe is easy and SO flavorful!  My whole family loved it and I e made it several times now. This recipe is in our every few weeks rotation now.5 stars

  30. Delicious with nice flavor throughout.  I added more spinach than suggested and I liked the proportion to rice.  I’ll make again for sure. 5 stars

  31. Wow! Absolutely delicious! Everyone in the family loved it (including my two toddlers). Will definitely make again. 5 stars

    1. It is rare for me to review recipes, but this one is well worth it. I have to admit that this is the best chicken marinade that I have ever tasted. Even family members who never eat chicken loved it. The rice is packed with flavor. 
      I added diced courgettes, and topped the chicken with cashew nuts, cranberries and raisins, which were a great addition. 
      Thank you for this wonderful recipe that will become one of our staples. 5 stars

  32. Follow the instruction. Cooked the chicken 10 minutes on the stove follow by a total of 45 minutes in the oven (a total of 55 minutes for the chicken thigh). The result is a dry chicken that taste like rubber. The rice was so mush. 2 stars

  33. I don’t often review recipes, however since my husband nearly shed tears of joy and gratitude for it, I figured I’d better give my five-stars worth! I made it almost exactly, substituting only Greek yogurt for hateful mustard. The rice was exceptionally flavored. This was amazing and worthy of company. Thank you, Lisa! It’s in the menu again tomorrow!5 stars

  34. This recipe is my favorite one from Lisa. The chicken is so juicy and the rice is packed with flavor. It takes a little bit of time but is otherwise extremely simple to whip up. My partner is a picky eater and even he loves it!5 stars

    1. Unfortunately, cauli rice will cook very fast and turn mushy by the time the chicken is done. I’d recommend cooking the chicken and cauli rice separately if you’d like to do that.

  35. This turned out great! But I’m glad I only used one lemon with the rind for the marinade – very lemon forward just with the one, but good! I will add this to our regular rotation for sure – thank you!4 stars

  36. Can I just cover and  cook on the stove instead of putting it in the oven? Will the chicken be cooked through by the time the rice is done? This looks so yummy and simple

    1. Hi Jenna – Unfortunately, that tends to burn the rice in the bottom of the pan. I do think the oven is best for this recipe. :)