This One-Pot Chicken and Rice Bake is the very best easy, comforting, and delicious home-cooked dinner. Made with juicy marinated chicken thighs cooked atop fluffy long-grain white rice with green and black olives, artichoke hearts, lemon, and fresh herbs. Dinner doesn’t get much better than this!
Easy Chicken and Rice Bake
This one-pan chicken and rice is an easy and comforting family dinner made entirely in one pan. Packed full of incredible lemon and herb flavors, it may just be the least boring chicken and rice casserole ever! Perfect for busy weeknights (leftovers are fantastic!) and weekend entertaining.
Inspired by my recent grove tour with California Ripe Olives and my ever-growing distaste toward dishes, this amazing recipe turned out even better than I could have imagined.
There are several reasons why this dish is fantastic: from the olives to the artichokes, crispy baked chicken, and perfectly tender cooked rice. The secret, however, is that everything is cooked together in one pan.
Can you cook raw chicken and rice together?
Yes! You can absolutely cook raw chicken and uncooked together to make a delicious family dinner. For the best flavor, sear any skin-on chicken before cooking.
- Chicken thighs
- Olive oil
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Dried oregano, Basil, Italian seasoning, Salt, and Black pepper
- Long-grain rice
- Green Ripe Olives
- Black Ripe Olives
- Artichoke hearts
- Low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
- Feta cheese
- Fresh parsley and fresh oregano
How to Make Baked Chicken and Rice
1. Marinate the chicken: Time allowing, marinate the chicken for at least 4-12 hours, or, at the very least, 10-15 minutes. The marinade is a simple mix of lemon juice, lemon zest (don’t skip the zest!), dried herbs, and olive oil.
2. Sear the chicken: In a large pan or skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken skin-side down. This sears the chicken skin and makes it nice and crispy. Once the chicken has been seared on each side (we’re not fully cooking), remove it from the skillet to a clean plate.
- Note: If you are using skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, skip searing the chicken. The primary purpose of this step is to get your chicken skin nice and crispy.
3. Clean or deglaze the skillet: Depending on the type of skillet you are using, you may remove any stuck-on chicken bits by scraping off the gunk using a metal spatula (I couldn’t do this with a cast iron skillet), deglaze with a splash of wine to boil off the stuck bits, or use a wad of bunched up damp paper towel to wipe it off, or wash the pan.
4. Prepare the rice: Before adding the rice to the skillet, sauté the onion with garlic and herbs over medium heat until soft and fragrant. This is another super important step, as it helps to add a really nice flavor base. Add the rice and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes before adding one can of sliced Green Ripe Olives, drained and chopped artichokes, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Bring the rice to a low simmer, then transfer the chicken thighs directly on top of the rice, skin-side-up. Remove from heat.
- Note: If you’re not a fan of super briny-tasting food, rinse the olives and artichokes with cold water and drain thoroughly before adding them to your pan. This will help eliminate some of the saltiness.
5. Bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and cover the chicken and rice with a lid, baking sheet, or piece of aluminum foil. Bake the chicken and rice for 30 minutes covered, plus an additional 10-15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and oregano, and sliced lemon wedges.
- Note: For crispier chicken skin, broil for 1-3 minutes at the very end of cooking. Remove immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe, use long-grain white rice. This includes standard long-grain rice, white basmati rice, or jasmine rice. For reference, I used white jasmine rice. I do not recommend using short-grain rice, medium-grain rice, risotto, paella, or minute rice.
I have not tried making this recipe using brown rice, so I can’t speak for the final result. That said, expect to increase the total cook time by approximately 10-15 minutes. This can get tricky when cooking chicken as we don’t want one to be undercooked and the other to be overcooked. I’d keep an eye on the internal temperature of your chicken using a digital meat thermometer. Once the chicken registers 160 degrees F, remove the chicken pieces from your pan to a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Return the rice to the oven to continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed.
Yes. Should you choose to use chicken breasts, marinate your chicken as instructed. However, rather than cook the chicken with the rice for the entire baking time, add the chicken to the pan or skillet 15-20 minutes into cooking. This means that, rather than cooking for 45 minutes in the oven, the chicken would cook for approximately 25-30 minutes. Chicken breasts do not need as long to cook as bone-in chicken thighs, and searing is only necessary if the skin is left on.
The easiest way to prevent this baked chicken and rice from tasting too salty (or briny) is to rinse the olives, artichoke hearts, and feta (assuming you’ve purchased feta that’s come soaked in brine) in cold water. Drain thoroughly or pat dry with a paper towel and continue the recipe as instructed.
Keep leftovers stored in a sealed, airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave before serving.
How to Serve
This chicken and rice bake is easily enjoyed as a meal on its own, although I think it’s worth the extra effort to include a small “salad” of olives, feta, and fresh herbs. Whether you choose to add the salad or not is entirely up to you.
Other fabulous sides to serve with this one pan meal include,
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Balsamic Tomato Basil Salad
- Roasted Beets
- Roasted Asparagus
- Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan
More Delicious Chicken Recipes,
- Creamy Chicken Florentine Recipe
- Easy Sheet Pan Thai Chicken
- 20-Minute Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki
- Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
Chicken and Rice Bake
For the Chicken and Marinade
For the Rice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil - divided
- 1 yellow onion - finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups long-grain white rice - washed and drained
- 1 (6 ounce) can Green Ripe Olives - drained and roughly chopped
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts - drained and quartered
- 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice - (from approx. 2 lemons)
- Fresh chopped oregano - to garnish
- Fresh chopped parsley - to garnish
For the Olive and Feta Topping
- 1 (6 ounce) can Green Ripe Olives - drained and halved
- 1 (6 ounce) can Black Ripe Olives - drained and halved
- 8 ounces feta cheese - cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon fresh parsley - diced
For the Chicken and Marinade
- Combine the chicken with the marinade ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Mix well to coat the chicken in the lemon and herbs. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or transfer to the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
For the Rice
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, discarding the zip-lock bag and any leftover marinade. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer it to a clean plate. The chicken will not be fully cooked, but that's ok.
- Pour off any excess fat left behind in the pan and carefully scrape off any burnt bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet with a scrunched-up, slightly damp, paper towel. You may clean the skillet if the burnt bits do not come off (see note 2).
- Return the skillet to the stove. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, dried Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, and rice to the skillet and mix well to combine with the onion. Cook, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the green olives, artichoke hearts, low-sodium chicken broth, and lemon juice to the rice and stir to combine. Bring rice to a simmer and place the chicken on top. Preheat oven to 350 Degree F.
- Remove from heat and cover the skillet with a lid, baking sheet, or piece of foil. Transfer to the oven to cook for 30 minutes covered, plus an additional 15 minutes uncovered, or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and the chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow your chicken and rice to cool for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and oregano and serve with the herbed olives and feta (see below). Enjoy!
For the Olive and Feta Topping
- In a medium bowl combine the black olives, green olives, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh parsley. Mix well to combine. Keep stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- This recipe calls for an oven-safe skillet that is at least 12.5 inches.
- You may also de-glaze the pan with a splash of dry white wine.
- You may also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. However, to prevent over-cooking, skip browning them in your skillet before cooking. Instead, marinate the chicken, as instructed, and place them atop the uncooked rice just before transferring to the oven.
- For skinless chicken breasts, marinate your chicken as instructed. However, rather than cook the chicken with the rice for the entire baking time, add the chicken to the pan or skillet 15-20 minutes into cooking. This means that, rather than cooking for 45 minutes in the oven, the chicken would cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.
- To reduce the total fat in this recipe, while ensuring that your chicken is juicy and delicious, use bone-in skinless chicken thighs. Skip searing the chicken before adding it to the uncooked rice.
- Please wash your rice. Washing your rice will remove any surface starch which contributes to soggy, mushy rice after it’s finished cooking.
- The best rice for this recipe is any long-grain white rice – standard, jasmine, basmati, etc. Minute Rice, risotto, and arborio rice (paella rice) will not work to make this recipe).
- If using brown rice – add an additional 1/4 cup of cooking liquid and increase the cooking time to 45 minutes covered, and 15 minutes uncovered. Keep an eye on the internal temperature of your chicken. If your chicken registers an internal temperature above 160 degrees F. before your rice has finished cooking, remove the chicken to a clean plate and cover it with foil to keep it warm as the rice finishes cooking in the oven.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)