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One pot chicken and rice with lemon and parmesan

One pot chicken and rice has everything you need in a classic dinner recipe. Easy to assemble and clean up; it’s absolutely delicious with a hint of bright lemon, tangy parmesan and a dash of cream for richness.

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Is chicken and rice healthy?

Chicken and rice can absolutely be made in a healthy way, but it can also go in the opposite direction.

Many recipes call for condensed soups and/or powdered soup mixes (onion, cream of mushroom, etc.). The MSG and additives in these ingredients make recipes that include them a no-go if you are looking out for your health.

Find a recipe (like mine!) that utilizes whole food ingredients you can read and pronounce. Choose sprouted brown or white basmati rice, non homogenized milk, and real parmesan to help boost nutrition without the inflammatory side effects that often come along with more processed ingredients.

Remember we aren’t afraid of fat as long as it’s good fat.

What rice is best for southern creamy chicken and rice? 

When making southern creamy chicken and rice, reach for a long grain rice such as basmati.

Short grain rices like arborio won’t do as well as they are starchier and can produce a gummier casserole.

If your chosen rice has not been presoaked (check out the packaging), make sure to soak it before cooking. Why soak? Pre-soaking rice reduces the phytic acid it contains, a substance that blocks your body from absorbing certain minerals found in this common grain.

Sprouted rice is always presoaked. Look for it in stores or check out this product from Amazon. 

Can I add wild rice? 

Wild rice is pretty, but it might not be the most efficient choice here.

The visually appealing black flecks found in wild rice are actually not even rice, they are seeds! AND they take about three times as long to cook as rice itself.

If you really want the aesthetic of wild rice, cook it separately and toss it in with the cream and the cheese at the end.

What you’ll need

  • Chicken breasts or thighs
  • Basmati rice
  • Chicken stock
  • Garlic, onion, Italian seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lemon juice

How to spice up chicken and rice (make it not bland)

This casserole is pretty versatile and can be dressed up easily. Try:

  • fresh herbs like parsley or thyme
  • sauces such as hot sauce, sriracha, soy sauce, or sesame oil
  • roasted vegetables are also an awesome addition
  • stronger cheeses like blue, Swiss, or goat cheese
  • use acids like white wine vinegar or a dash of sour cream

**When it comes to salt, keep in mind that any parmesan you use will naturally provide a salty flavor, and chicken stocks can vary a lot with sodium, so taste for saltiness as you go.

It’s ok to go light on salt and adjust once everything is out of the oven.

Handy tip: Good Stock Matters

The flavor of the stock will run through the whole recipe, so pick a good one. If you have time, make a big batch of my chicken stock recipe and store any you don’t use in the freezer for use in other recipes.

Bouillon cubes and powders/paste concentrates are If you are short on time and/or unable to make your own, check out some of the higher quality pre-made stocks on the market. I am a fan of Bonafide and Kettle and Fire

What to serve with creamy chicken and rice

This creamy chicken and rice has got you covered when it comes to proteins, carbs, and fats. So all you have to do is look out for some veggies.

I love serving this dish with my charred caesar salad. I also enjoy it with this pear and gorgonzola salad.

Not feeling drawn to salad? Any non-starchy veggie will do (there is plenty of starch in the rice). Try roasted brussels sprouts, asparagus, or beets.

Here‘s a great list of non starchy veggies from the American Diabetes Association. 

Can one pot chicken and rice be made ahead?

You can absolutely make southern creamy chicken and rice ahead of time. Go ahead and follow the recipe to completion, allow it to cool to room temperature, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When it comes time to reheat, you can use the stove top or pop it in the oven (covered) at 350 degrees F.

If you choose to use the stove, make sure to add a little bit of water or cream to get it to the proper consistency.

If you’ve frozen yours, make sure to thaw your one pot chicken and rice overnight in the fridge before baking.

More Pasta and Rice Recipes to Try

Craving more rice and pasta dishes? Try one of these family favorites on for size!

One Pot Chicken and Rice with Lemon

One pot chicken and rice has everything you need in a classic dinner recipe. Easy to assemble and clean up; it's absolutely delicious with a hint of bright lemon, tangy parmesan and a dash of cream for richness.
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts thighs will work too
  • 4 tablespoons butter grass fed is best; see note 1
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt see note 2
  • 3 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1.5 cups Basmati rice rinsed in a colander and set aside
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth see note 3
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese from a block, see note 4
  • 1/3 cup cream raw or non homogenized is best, see note 5


  • Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  • In a 12-inch or larger skillet with high sides, melt the butter over medium heat and add the diced onion.
  • Cook, stirring often until the onions begin to soften; about 4 minutes. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer and allow the chicken to brown on one side without moving it; 3 to 4 minutes
  • Flip the chicken and cook 1-2 minutes more. It won't be totally done in the center but that's fine.
  • Add the garlic, Italian seasoning and salt and stir to combine.
  • Add the rice, chicken broth, and lemon juice and stir. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is soft.
  • Add the cream and parmesan, stir and taste for seasoning. Add extra salt or lemon if needed.


Note 1: Grass fed butter offers health benefits and better flavor compared to tub butters or margarine. Avocado oil or olive oil could be substituted. 
Note 2: Sea salt is less salty than table salt and offers minerals essential for bodily functions. Try to choose a gray sea salt. If you are using table salt, reduce the amount  used by half and adjust from there. 
Note 3: Chicken broth is a key ingredient. Please don’t use bouillon cubes, pastes or powders as the salt level is uncontrollable. If you can’t make it homemade, please see my suggestions for boxed stocks in the post. 
Note 4: Canned, powdered parmesan cheese contains fillers to prevent caking that can clump when melted. Use a block of real parmesan and grate it yourself for the best flavor and melt. 
Note 5: Raw or non homogenized cream is the least inflammatory type of dairy. If you can’t find it make sure the cream you buy is free from fillers and thickeners like carageenan. Plain full fat cultured yogurt or cultured sour cream could substitute here. 


Serving: 1cupCalories: 578kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 40gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 1380mgPotassium: 697mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 689IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 242mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken and rice, lemon chicken and rice, one pan chicken and rice

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.