Chicken and rice in the Crockpot is the perfect easy dinner recipe. It’s creamy and cheesy and loaded with tender chicken. Kids and adults all love this delicious meal!
Crock Pot Chicken And Rice
Crock Pot Chicken and Rice is an easy, cheesy, and deliciously creamy comfort food. It’s a family favorite that’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners. And unlike many other chicken and rice recipes out there, this one doesn’t involve any canned soup.
The homemade cream sauce takes only a few minutes to make, but it elevates the flavor to a whole other level. The dish is finished off with a generous sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, which melts into the hot chicken and rice and creates a deliciously cheesy coating.
One of the things that I absolutely love about this recipe is its simplicity. With just a few common ingredients and a Crock Pot, you can create a wholesome and delicious meal that the whole family will enjoy. It’s a classic comfort food that never fails to satisfy. Plus, the delicious smell that fills the house while it cooks is just amazing. It’s definitely a recipe that I keep coming back to time and time again.
It’s also a fantastic meal prep option. The dish keeps well in the fridge, so you can make a big batch and have delicious, homemade lunches or dinners ready to go for the whole week. And if you’re cooking for a small family or just for yourself, the leftovers freeze beautifully for a future easy meal.
So, if you’re in need of a new Crockpot chicken recipe to add to your rotation, or if you’re just looking for a comforting and satisfying meal that your whole family will love, this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice is perfect for you!
Butter: Butter is key in this recipe as it forms the base for our creamy sauce. It brings a depth of flavor that’s much more flavorful than a sauce made with oil would be.
Onion and Garlic: Onion adds a subtle sweetness to the dish. Garlic adds a delicious, aromatic note to the dish.
Flour: All-purpose flour is mixed with the butter to create a roux, which is used to thicken the sauce.
Chicken Broth: Chicken broth is used as one of the liquid components of the sauce. Using chicken broth instead of water adds so much flavor and seasons the chicken and rice from the inside out.
Whole Milk: Whole milk adds a creamy, rich texture to the sauce. It also helps balance the flavors.
Dried Parsley: Adds a lovely herby note to the sauce. You can always use fresh parsley, but you’ll need about 3x more since dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs.
Salt & Pepper: These are essential for seasoning. They enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
Chicken Breast: Chicken breast is lean and becomes wonderfully tender when cooked in the slow cooker. I recommend using air chilled chicken because it’s more tender after cooking (because it releases less moisture during the cooking process).
Brown Rice: Brown rice adds a nutty flavor and texture to the dish. It’s hearty and holds up well during the slow-cooking process.
Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese adds a delicious, cheesy element to the dish. Always grate your own cheese as it melts better and has a better flavor.
- If you prefer dark meat, you can swap the chicken breast for boneless thighs.
- If you’re not a fan of cheddar, try using Monterey Jack or mozzarella instead.
- Want to add some heat? Toss in some chopped jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
- Want to amp up the flavor? Try adding in some leeks. The flavors of the leeks and onions creates an aroma like no other.
How To Make Crock Pot Chicken And Rice
Start the sauce: Melt your butter in a pan and sauté your onions and garlic. Sprinkle in your flour and mix to form a roux. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Add liquids: Gradually whisk in your chicken broth and milk. Continue whisking until your sauce is smooth.
Season the sauce: Add your parsley, salt, and pepper to the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens.
Prepare the slow cooker: Transfer your sauce to your Crock Pot.
Combine ingredients: Add your diced chicken, additional chicken broth, and rice to the pot. Stir everything together to combine the ingredients well.
Cook the mix: Cover your Crockpot and let everything cook. You’ll know it’s done when the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
Finish the dish: Stir in your shredded cheese. If you like, garnish with fresh parsley before serving. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.
- Grate your own cheese for a smoother, creamier texture. Pre-shredded cheese often has anti-caking agents which can make your sauce grainy.
- Don’t skip the broth! It might seem like just liquid, but it adds a depth of flavor to the dish that water just can’t match.
- Garnish with fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness. It might seem like a small thing, but that little bit of green really makes the dish look more appealing. And it adds a fresh, herby note that balances out the richness of the dish.
Can I Use White Rice Instead of Brown Rice?
Swapping the brown rice for white rice won’t work in this recipe. It alters the liquid amounts and cooking times, so it’s not a 1:1 swap. I prefer using brown rice because it’s heartier, so it holds up better to the low and slow cooking in a slow cooker.
Is This Recipe Freezer-Friendly?
Yes, it freezes beautifully. Just make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it in the microwave or on the stove until it’s hot and bubbly.
Can I Add Vegetables To The Recipe?
Definitely! Adding vegetables is a great way to boost the nutrition of this dish. You can throw in up to 1 1/2 cups of bell peppers, peas, or carrots, or any other veggies your family enjoys. Just dice them into small pieces and add them to the Crock Pot along with the chicken and rice.
Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken?
Yes, you can! If you have leftover chicken or a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, you can certainly use it. Just chop or shred it into bite-sized pieces and stir it into the crock pot towards the end of the cooking time, just to heat it up.
Do I Need To Brown The Chicken Before It Goes In The Slow Cooker?
While browning the chicken can add an extra layer of flavor due to the Maillard reaction, it’s not a necessary step for this recipe. The slow cooking process will ensure that your chicken is tender and flavorful.
Is It OK To Put Raw Chicken In A Crock Pot?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to put raw chicken in a Crock Pot. The slow cooker will cook the chicken thoroughly over the cooking period, ensuring it’s safe to eat. Plus, it allows the flavors of the other ingredients to penetrate the chicken, making it extra tasty.
Can You Cook Rice And Meat At The Same Time?
Absolutely! One of the great things about this recipe is that the chicken and rice cook together in the slow cooker. This not only makes the cooking process simpler, but it also allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a delicious, well-integrated dish.
Is It Better To Cook Chicken On High Or Low In Crockpot?
The choice between cooking on high or low in your Crock Pot depends on your schedule and preference. Cooking on high is faster, but cooking on low can result in more tender chicken. Both methods work well, so choose what suits you best!
Why Is Chicken And Rice A Good Combination?
Chicken and rice are a classic combination for a reason. The savory flavor of the chicken pairs wonderfully with the mild, slightly nutty taste of the rice. Plus, both ingredients are quite versatile, absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish.
Why Is My Slow Cooker Chicken Rubbery?
If your slow cooker chicken is coming out rubbery, it’s likely because it’s being overcooked. Chicken, especially chicken breast, can become tough and rubbery if cooked too long. Be sure to follow the recipe’s recommended cooking time to avoid this issue.
Do You Need To Add Liquid To Crock Pot When Cooking Chicken?
Yes, adding liquid to the Crock Pot when cooking chicken is crucial. The liquid helps to prevent the chicken from drying out and it creates a moist environment that allows the chicken to cook evenly and become tender.
Should You Stir Rice As It Cooks In A Slow Cooker?
Generally, you don’t need to stir the rice as it cooks in the slow cooker. Stirring can disrupt the cooking process and result in unevenly cooked or mushy rice. For this recipe, simply adding the rice and letting it cook undisturbed will yield perfect results.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other casseroles. Some reader favorites are:
- No Peek Chicken Recipe
- Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
- Paula Deen Green Bean Casserole
- John Wayne Casserole
- Big Mac Casserole
- Ham and Noodle Casserole
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Chicken and Rice:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
- 2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese*
- Fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and let it melt. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and saute for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute, or until aromatic.
- Sprinkle the flour over the butter. Mix together to create a roux. Slowly pour 1 cup of chicken broth and the milk into the pan while whisking constantly until smooth.
- Once smooth, stir in the parsley, salt, and pepper, then bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Grease a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick spray or butter, and pour the sauce into the Crockpot. Add the chicken, chicken broth, and rice. Stir to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the chicken broth has been absorbed by the rice.
- When the rice is done cooking, mix in the shredded cheese, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve!
*Freshly shredded cheese will melt more smoothly than pre-shredded cheeses (which are coated in an anti-caking agent that makes the texture gritty when it melts).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 548Total Fat: 24.4gCarbohydrates: 47.7gFiber: 4.3gSugar: 4.5gProtein: 33.3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Try making this easy and delicious Crock Pot Chicken and Rice for a delicious dinner that’s perfect for busy weeknights!