Instant Pot cheesy chicken and rice with broccoli is a great one pot meal that kids and adults love. The ultimate comfort food for dinner.
This Instant Pot cheesy chicken and rice pressure cooker dinner idea is always a hit at our house. Add raw or canned veggies inside too for a complete meal in just 10 minutes time! A quick Instant Pot recipe you’ve got to try. (affiliate links present)
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Instant Pot
If you have tried out pressure cooker chicken and rice, you know it reminds you of your childhood. That Campbells cream of chicken recipe was served in almost every home back in the day. This one adds vegetables but omits the soup all together!
Many wanted to know how to make this popular dish without condensed soup so here it is y’all. A bit lighter but with the same great flavors and protein too. You can make this as an easy Ninja Foodi recipe or in your Crockpot Express too.
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For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
This is a great leftover chicken breast recipe if you don’t have fresh. Whether you have breasts or chicken thighs it really doesn’t matter. Just cut them into bite size pieces and saute a bit at the beginning. If you’re using precooked then you can skip that step all together.
You totally can if you follow this simple tip. I usually saute the meat first with olive oil just until the outsides are no longer pink.
Then add your liquids and sprinkle white rice on top. Do NOT stir, just gently submerge it into the broth or water below.
Set your time. It’s best to decrease time by 2 min. and allow to naturally release for that time instead.
How do I make chicken and rice less boring?
Add cheese of course! That is the first suggestion. A mixture of white and cheddar is best. Better yet use the Mexican blend with taco seasoning in it.
Adding finely diced broccoli or green beans is a great idea too. Of course your choice of seasonings can really amp it up, you could add some heat with chili powder or Sriracha too. Use what you love.
Using chicken thighs vs. breasts will add more flavor as well. Hard to believe since these are actually way cheaper than their counterpart. If you buy bone in and just remove that they are REALLY cheap, like giving them away at the butcher counter kinda’ inexpensive.
Can you cook raw chicken with rice?
You can skip the saute step at the beginning if you wanted. It just adds texture to the outsides and keeps the meat a bit more moist. 8 minutes cook time is plenty of time to get it to a safe internal meat temperature though.
This is what was used this time. You could change up the seasonings, type of chicken pieces and/or vegetables. You will need to use something that can get soft quickly though, or use something like a can of green beans that has been drained.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Chicken broth is best, or use half and half with cup of water
- Long grain white rice, brown rice is not recommended as it takes much longer and may cause meat to overcook
- Diced onion goes it all things around here
- Olive oil to use when sauteeing meat
- Garlic is something I always add
- Salt and pepper is a given
Shredded cheese and broccoli makes this one different than the other version. If you want to omit the meat you can follow our Instant Pot cream of mushroom rice recipe instead.
As for the veggies the smaller you chop the pieces the more tender they will get. Corn cut off the kernels or in the can are a great idea too. When it is done you just pop those in, fluff together and sit the top back on. 5 minutes usually will make them warm enough and allow the cheese to melt too.
Time needed: 10 minutes.
Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice
Set pot to saute and add olive oil. Season the chicken pieces with a bit of slat and pepper, add chicken into pot with minced onion and garlic. Cook until the outside of the meat is no longer pink. Then turn pot off and add a bit of broth to scrape stuck on meat off bottom of the pot (deglazing).
- Add ingredients
Sprinkle in seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. Then pour in rest of the broth. Sprinkle in uncooked long grain rice and gently submerge into liquid below.
Then cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, naturally release steam for 1 minutes at the end. This will allow rice to cook until tender.
Release rest of pressure after that, lift lid and place small diced broccoli florets with shredded cheese on top. Gently fluff and fold all ingredients together.
Set lid on top and let it sit for 5 minutes so cheddar cheese will melt and broccoli warms enough to your liking.
Should rice be cooked before adding to a casserole?
If oven baked, I say yes. It is hard for it to absorb the liquid cooking low and slow. BUT using a Ninja Foodi or other brand it is not necessary at all. Brown rice will take a lot longer to cook so don’t think you can just easily swap this in as a substitute.
You can keep an extra 1/2 cup cheese aside to sprinkle on the top when serving each dish up. Pressure cooking meat is a real game changer. If you love really tender protein there is no other method that works as well in such a short amount of time.
Yes we have made slow cooker cheesy chicken and rice but that takes all day and honestly, this turns out better still. Rice for sure is best when made this way and not sitting in a pot for hours and hours. You don’t want it to become too soft, and still have a bit of “bite” to it when served.
I would not use frozen chicken in Instant Pot for this particular dish. That is more reserved for shredded chicken and served on buns. Whole breasts will take too long to cook with the other ingredients and won’t be safe to eat. Dicing is the way to go for success.
Sunday Chicken and Rice Casserole
I honestly don’t feel like I need to serve this with anything else. The only thing missing might be some garlic rolls or a side salad. With a starch, veg and meat together it’s pretty much complete though. Complete with the time to come to pressure I would set aside 20 minutes from start to finish.
Is it safe to reheat rice in a microwave?
I mean it isn’t going to blow up or anything so safe I would say yes. How to do it well is the question really. You kinda’ need to add some sauce to add moisture.
Reheating rice is a bit tricky because it dries out in the fridge with your leftovers. If you add a bit of soy sauce or a sprinkle of broth though it will revive it a bit, then heat and stir often.
- Reheating chicken works a bit the same way as you want to add a sauce or liquid to the bottom of the bowl and steam it a bit until it is warm.
- This dish has the starch and meat together so just drop a few Tbsp. on top of it all and heat in 30 second intervals stirring in between times.
If you want to make a similar dish using noodles instead, try Instant Pot chicken and pasta recipe. That is a really good one too. Using small shells or penne it is one more recipe for kids that is easy for them to eat for sure.
Can you freeze chicken and rice casserole?
It actually saves better if you freeze it than saving it in the fridge. If you aren’t sure you’ll eat it the very next day then do this. Allow it to come to room temperature and spoon into a plastic container with a sealed lid or freezer bag. Freeze safely for up to a few months.
- When reheating transfer to microwave safe dish and heat in 30 second increments adding a bit of broth before the last heating.
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Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice
- Set pot to saute and add olive oil. Add diced chicken, garlic and onions, cook until the outside of the meat is no longer pink. Then turn pot off and add a bit of broth to scrape stuck on meat off bottom of the pot (deglazing).
- Sprinkle in salt and pepper, then pour in rest of the broth.
- Sprinkle in uncooked long grain rice and gently submerge into liquid below. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, then naturally release steam for 1 minutes.
- Release rest of pressure after that, lift lid and place small diced broccoli florets with shredded cheese on top. Gently fluff and fold all ingredients together.
- Set lid on top and let it sit for 5 minutes so cheese will melt and broccoli warms enough to your liking.