Ready in less than an hour, this one-pot garlic butter chicken and rice recipe is just waiting to meet your spice cabinet. Cooked on the stove and in the oven, it’s the easiest juicy chicken dinner ever.
Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Recipe
First cooked on the stove and then in the oven, this garlic butter chicken is juicy, tender, and loaded with spices. Bursting with buttery garlic flavor and ready in less than an hour, you won’t believe it’s a one-pot dinner.
With the fluffy rice cooked in buttery chicken broth, every bite is absolutely blissful for such an effortless meal. Thankfully, this chicken is also a 2-in-1 recipe — a side and a main. That means less time in the kitchen, which is a real win for days when you barely have time to breathe.
Served fresh out of the oven or made ahead, it’s bound to be a new weeknight favorite for even the pickiest eaters. Who doesn’t love chicken, rice, and lots of garlic? It’s a match made in heaven that starts in your spice cabinet.
What You’ll Need
Time to reach into your spice cabinet! That’s where this garlic butter chicken will be getting its flavor from. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
- Skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
- Paprika – Regular or smoked is okay.
- Dried thyme – Other dried herbs like rosemary work too.
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Butter – Salted or unsalted is fine.
- Yellow onion – White onion is a good alternative.
- Fresh garlic – Feel free to substitute it for 2 extra teaspoons of garlic powder.
- Long-grain white rice – Basmati and Jasmine rice are perfect for this.
- Low-sodium chicken broth – If you use regular broth, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe. Veggie broth works too.
- Italian seasoning
- Dried oregano
- Fresh parsley
Can I Make This With Other Cuts of Chicken?
My only other recommendations would be chicken drumsticks or leg-quarters for this garlic butter chicken. Other cuts like breasts will dry out too much while they’re in the oven, whereas the bone-in pieces will help retain moisture.
How to Make Garlic Butter Chicken and Rice
Partially cooked on the stove and finished in the oven, this garlic butter chicken is easier than it looks.
- Prepare the skillet. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. A Dutch oven works too.
- Mix the spices. Whisk the paprika, dried thyme, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Use the mixture to season the chicken thighs. Add salt and pepper to taste on all sides. Set it aside.
- Cook the onions. Add the garlic and onions to the skillet. Stir frequently and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion has softened. If the garlic browns too quickly, reduce the heat.
- Add the rice. Place the rice in the skillet. Stir constantly for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken. Place the seasoned chicken over the rice. Pour in the chicken broth and water.
- Season it. Sprinkle the chicken with Italian seasoning and oregano. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Bake it. Cover the skillet with a lid or use foil. Pop it into the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid (or foil) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Serve. Remove the skillet from the oven. Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the rice. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.
Tips for Success
Use these tips for an extra yummy garlic butter chicken while navigating some substitutes.
- Avoid skin-on. Stay away from skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. It makes the rice super greasy, which isn’t what we’re after.
- Use boneless chicken. If it’s what you’ve got on hand, it’s okay to use boneless chicken thighs. However, they might be a little overcooked by the time the dish is ready. Just something to keep in mind.
- Use brown rice. For a healthier meal, you can use brown rice instead. You’ll need to cook it for longer, though. Bake it covered for 45 minutes and then uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Prep ahead. You can prep this recipe two days in advance. Work up to the sixth step in the recipe but don’t add the liquid. Add it on the day you’re going to serve it. If you pour it in before this, the rice will absorb the liquid.
What to Serve with One Pot Chicken Thighs and Rice
Part of why I love this garlic butter chicken is because it’s a main and a side all in one. However, sometimes it still needs a little extra something. For days like those, I love to pair it with veggie sides and soups.
Try my Grilled Vegetables with Halloumi, Garlic Butter Roasted Parsnips, and Cheesy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon for yummy veggie sides. As far as soups go, this chicken doesn’t get much better than with my Cream of Zucchini Soup and Creamy Tortellini Soup.
How to Store Leftovers
- Refrigerate any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- To reheat it, add a few teaspoons of water over the rice and stir gently. This is to prevent it from drying out. Microwave the chicken for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm. If you’re reheating a large portion, do it in the oven at 350˚F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Can I Freeze This?
- Yes! Once fully cooled, transfer it to a freezer-friendly container. Before securing the lid, wrap the container in foil twice. Add the lid and seal it.
- Place it in the coldest part of the freezer and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Move it to the fridge a day before you’re ready to use it so that it has enough time to thaw. Don’t unwrap it yet. The next day, set it on the counter for 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 350˚F. Pop it into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until warm.
- If the casserole looks dry, add a few tablespoons of liquid (water or broth) at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
More One-Pot Chicken Recipes
- Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
- Chicken Rice and Vegetable Skillet
- Wild Rice and Kale Chicken Casserole
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Recipe
Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs and Rice Recipe
- 6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or any other dried herbs of your choice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups long grain white rice
- 1½ cups low-sodium, fat free chicken broth
- 1½ cups hot water
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Season chicken thighs with paprika, dried thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper; set aside.
- Add butter to a large oven-safe skillet and melt over medium heat.
- Stir in diced onions and garlic; cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until garlic is lightly browned, stirring VERY frequently. DO NOT burn the garlic.
- Stir in rice; stir constantly for 30 seconds.
- Place prepared chicken pieces over rice, and add the chicken broth and water.
- Season with Italian Seasoning and oregano, and bring to a boil. (You can also add more salt and pepper at this point, if desired.)
- Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer to the preheated oven; bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid or foil and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from oven and let stand 5 to 8 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the pan and fluff up the rice with a fork.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
- To reduce the WW Points, cook the garlic and onions in extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. This will amount to 8 points. You can reduce the points to 5 if you use bone-in, skinless chicken breasts.
- Chicken: This recipe is prepared with bone-in, skinless chicken thighs. Using anything other than what is suggested will have different results. Boneless chicken thighs will cook up faster, while boneless chicken breasts will cook through much quicker and will dry out. I also recommend removing the skin from the chicken thighs because the casserole will be greasy with the skin on.
- Rice: This recipe uses long-grain white rice. If you want to use brown rice, increase the cooking time. Bake it covered for 45 minutes, and then uncover and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.