Get ready for a classic chicken dinner packed with more flavor than ever before! This healthy Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice will have everybody reaching for a second helping.
Cozy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe
Have you ever wished that dinner would just cook itself? As a mom of two, I’m always trying to save time in the kitchen while still providing my family with nutritious home-cooked meals. This flavorful chicken and rice is a healthy, comforting dinner that’s almost completely hands-off!
Even though this slow-cooked family favorite is ideal for a busy weeknight, you’ll catch me making it on lazy Sundays all the time. I like to take it a step further by sautéing the onions with the canned tomatoes and seasonings to make the sauce. This is optional, but it’s a simple way to add tons of flavor to the dish, so I highly recommend it.
Let’s go over each ingredient that goes into this classic meal. All of them are affordable and easy to find at your local grocery store.
- Olive Oil: Some will be used to make the sauce and some to brown the chicken.
- Yellow Onions: Thinly sliced.
- Garlic: Freshly minced.
- Canned Tomatoes: Be sure to grab a can of diced tomatoes – not tomato puree. I suggest using canned tomatoes with the liquid, but you could dice up some fresh ones instead if you’d like.
- Ground Cumin: Added to taste.
- Garlic Powder: This supplements the fresh garlic.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
- Long-Grain Brown Rice: White rice is a no-go when it comes to slow-cooked dishes. Brown rice is a healthier option anyway!
- Chicken Broth: I like to use fat-free, low-sodium broth.
- Chicken: Feel free to use the cut of your choice.
- Smoked Paprika: For some nice smokiness and a hint of heat.
- Dried Parsley: To garnish the dish.
What Kind of Chicken is Best?
Thighs, legs and breasts can all be used for this recipe. My personal preference is to use chicken legs. I can usually fit up to six of them, but this will depend on the size of your Crock Pot and chicken pieces.
For fewer calories and less fat, I recommend using skinless chicken. Bone-in and boneless cuts will both work well, so you can pick whichever one you fancy.
How to Make Chicken and Rice in the Slow Cooker
With this hearty Crock Pot recipe, getting dinner on the table is a breeze. Just follow the instructions below!
Heat Oil: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Sauté Onions: Add the sliced onions to the skillet and cook them for 3 minutes.
Add Garlic: Stir in the garlic, continuing to cook and stir for 30 seconds.
Add Tomatoes & Seasonings: Add the diced tomatoes and the liquid from the can, followed by the ground cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and heated through.
Add Rice to Slow Cooker: Transfer the rice to the bottom of your slow cooker.
Stir in Sauce & Broth: Stir the prepared tomato sauce into the rice, then add the chicken broth and set the mixture aside.
Heat Oil: Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
Season Chicken: Season the chicken with paprika, salt and pepper.
Brown Chicken: Add the chicken pieces to the pan and brown them on both sides. This should take about 2-3 minutes per side but will depend on the cut of your chicken.
Add to Slow Cooker: Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker and arrange it over the rice and tomatoes.
Cook: Cover your Crock Pot and cook the rice and chicken on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-3.5 hours.
Garnish & Serve: Fluff the rice before serving and garnish the dish with dried parsley.
Tips & Tricks
I have a few pieces of advice that will help you knock this rice and chicken out of the park. Here they are!
- Don’t Substitute the Rice: The type of rice you use is very important – be sure to stick with long-grain brown rice. White rice will turn to mush in your slow cooker and short-grain brown rice will come out a bit too soft.
- Check the Chicken’s Internal Temperature: I like to check the internal temperature of my chicken about 30 minutes before the dish is done, as it can sometimes cook faster than the rice. It’s best to do this with an instant read meat thermometer. Fully cooked chicken should register at 165°F.
- In a Hurry? If you’re rushing to get your rice and chicken into the Crock Pot, you can skip the browning of the chicken and the sautéing of the veggies and tomatoes. Dinner will still be delicious! But if you have the time, I highly recommend going through with these steps – they’ll provide tons of added flavor.
This recipe features both a main course and a side dish, but there’s still room for more! Consider adding one of the following dishes to your dinner.
- Pair with Roasted Broccoli: Introduce some green to your meal by whipping up this Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli. Tossed with fresh lemon juice and garnished with parmesan cheese, it’s satisfyingly crispy and downright addicting.
- Serve with Fruit Salad: The chicken and rice will satisfy your craving for something savory, so why not round out the meal with a sweet component? This simple Melon Pineapple Fruit Salad is a fail-proof choice.
- Pair with Homemade Biscuits: I can’t put the amazingness of these Skillet Biscuits into words. They’re loaded with bacon and garlic-basil olives, and not to mention, they’re ultra-soft and fluffy!
Storage and Reheating
Once they’ve cooled completely, leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container. They’ll stay good for 3-4 days. Reheat the rice and chicken in a single pot over low heat, covered. Add a little extra broth to make up for lost moisture and stir every couple of minutes until the rice and chicken are warmed through.
Can I Freeze Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice?
Yes! Feel free to store your cooled chicken and rice in the freezer rather than the fridge, making sure to keep them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw them out in the fridge before reheating.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 small yellow onions thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups long grain brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
- 6 (about 1.5 to 2 pounds) chicken pieces you can use chicken legs, thighs, and/or breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- dried parsley for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add sliced onions to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and continue to cook and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add diced tomatoes with the liquid, ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; continue to cook for 3 minutes, or until tender and heated through.
- Layer rice on the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Stir prepared tomatoes mixture into the rice; add chicken broth and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
- Season chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add chicken pieces to the pan and brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the cut of chicken.
- Transfer chicken pieces to the slow cooker and arrange over the rice and tomatoes.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 3.5 hours.
- Fluff the rice before serving and garnish with dried parsley.
- WW FREESTYLE SMART POINTS – 5 (or 4 if you use boneless, skinless breasts)
- To Store & Reheat: Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat in a covered pot over low heat, adding a splash of broth and stirring every couple of minutes until warmed through.
- To Freeze: Freeze cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
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.
More Healthy Crock Pot Meals
Looking for more lunches and dinners to make in your slow cooker? Leave it to me!
15 comments on “Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice”
Tried this today. The rice was cooked way before the chicken. Added more broth and still, the chicken was uncooked. I believe there is a mistake in the proportions. It should be 1 cup of rice, not 2. There is not enough liquid for 2 cups… This recipe was appealing as I like one-pot cooking when we’re camping. Unfortunately, I now have a frying pan going to finish cooking the chicken and a potful of rice due to the added liquid.
I have this recipe in the crockpot as we speak. Kind of. I only had instant white rice so I knew I couldn’t cook it that long. I followed the recipe, minus the onions, bf won’t eat them, added onion powder and poured it over the instant rice. It cooked instantly of course. The flavor is great! Browned the chicken and put it in the crock to cook. I will put the rice in for the last 1/2 hr for flavor.
That’s great! I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂
This recipe is awful. The suggested cooking times turn the rice into pudding and dry out the chicken. The results shown in the pictures are certainly not the result of following this recipe.
My rice came out mushy. Neither of my kids would touch it. My husband said he thinks it’s missing something flavore-wise. I gave it 4 stars because the chicken leg quarters were moist.
Not enough liquid. The rice was still hard after all the liquid was absorbed and the chicken was done. I added a can of cream of chicken soup and more chicken broth and cooked longer.
I love a dish which includes chicken and rice, so this recipe is a perfect lunch idea, Katerina! Keep up the awesome work!
I will be breaking out the slow cooker for this one!
I have to make this slow cooker dish! It looks amazing!
Wow I love this healthy meal for dinner!
I love set it and forget it meals
I love Slow Cooker meals! I need to try this recipe!
What a wonderful meal this makes! I love how rich the flavors look – mmm!
I made this for dinner last night in the instant pot and it was SO GOOD. Even my 4 year old asked for more of the rice and told me how delicious it was. And it was so easy. Thanks for the new recipe!
This looks so flavorful! Thanks for sharing!