Crockpot Chicken and Rice
This Chicken and Rice Crockpot recipe is an astonishingly easy, creamy, cheesy comforting dream laced with aromatic Italian herbs and cheeses. The juicy chicken, textural brown rice, broccoli and carrots are cooked until tender then swaddled in a luxurious, creamy, cheesy sauce that is downright swoon worthy – you will be licking your plate! This recipe requires less than 20 minutes of hands-on prep, reheats like a dream and is wonderfully versatile. It also avoids the pitfalls of many other recipes such as dry chicken, mushy rice and/or bland delivery. Instead, this stunner is a low maintenance high reward win you will have on repeat. Your family will love this Crockpot Chicken and Rice with a side of Caesar Salad and breadsticks for an easy chicken dinner win!
Servings 6 servings
RICE AND VEGGIES
- 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice, uncooked (Do NOT use any other rice or it will be mushy)
- 3 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon see notes
- 1/4 tsp EACH salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (1/4-inch cubes)
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 4 (7-8 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp EACH salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried basil
- 1/2 tsp EACH paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, pepper
- 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided, at room temperature
Lightly coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Add the rice, chicken broth, bouillon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Add the broccoli and carrots, then line the chicken breasts on top. Drizzle the top of the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with half of the seasoning and rub in a bit (I find it easiest to combine the seasonings first). Flip the chicken over and repeat.
Cover, and cook on HIGH for approximately 2-2 ½ hours, just until the chicken is cooked through to 160-165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer (don’t overcook!). Remove the chicken to a cutting board then chop when cool enough to handle.
Give the rice and veggies a stir, cover, and continue to cook on high until the rice is tender, about 60 to 90 minutes (will depend on slow cooker).
Meanwhile, add the cream cheese, cornstarch and evaporated milk to a blender and liquefy until smooth.
When the rice is tender, stir in the cream cheese mixture and the chopped chicken. Cover and cook on low until warmed through and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. If you would like it saucier, stir in additional milk, evaporated milk, half and half or even sour cream a little at a time until it reaches desired consistency.
Add the cheese in batches, stirring to combine in between. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste (I add ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper).
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Cooking tips for success
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT chicken and rice
- Mix up the recipe! See the recipe post for fun recipe variations.
- Use ONLY short grain brown rice! Brown rice is heartier, hard to overcook, very forgiving and doesn’t become mushy in the crockpot. Please do not use another rice or you’ll likely end up with a goopy mess.
- Cook on HIGH. This recipe must be cooked on high or the rice will end up mushy. This is because rice needs to be cooked at a simmer.
- Check the chicken early and don’t overcook! You must remove the chicken as soon as it’s cooked. Don’t be tempted to leave it in with the rice the entire cooking time or it will taste incredibly dry, chalky and inedible.
- Be patient with the rice. There are many factors effecting cooking time such as exact rice used and type and age of crockpot so I’m sorry I can’t give you a more specific cooking window (for me it took 60 minutes). Once you make this recipe once, you’ll know for the future closer to how long the rice cooks in your crockpot.
- How to store: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days How to freeze: let the chicken and rice cool completely. Transfer leftovers to a large freezer size bag/container or divide into smaller size bags/containers. Press air out of the freezer bag, seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator.
- How to reheat on the stove: heat chicken and rice in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of milk to make it saucier.
- How to reheat in microwave: transfer chicken and rice to a microwave safe bowl or plate. Heated on high for 90 seconds, stir then continue to cook at 30 second intervals as needed until heated through.
- How to reheat in the crockpot: heat on low for 1-2 hours until warmed through. The time will depend on how much leftovers you have.