The Creamiest Crockpot Chicken and Rice is so easy to make in your slow cooker – and no soup can is required! Just add frozen veggies, sour cream and cheese.
Ingredients in crock pot chicken and rice
You only need a pound of chicken breast for this meal because you will be dicing it. As you can see, it’s a budget-friendly recipe. Besides your diced chicken breast and long grain rice, you will need the following ingredients:
- Yellow onion
- Dijon mustard
- Frozen veggies
- Chicken broth
- Sour cream
- Cheddar cheese
How to make crock pot chicken and rice
Because this recipe is made in the crock pot, you just put everything together and let it work. There is very little prep work for chicken and rice, especially if you are using frozen veggies.
If using fresh veggies, dice any vegetables you end up using to about equal size so they cook evenly. And while it is certainly not required, if you want to increase the flavor of your chicken, brown it in a skillet first. This locks in all the moisture and flavor.
Otherwise, follow these steps for cheesy chicken and rice:
- Spray the pot with cooking spray
- Add all the ingredients that will be cooked in the crock pot. Make sure all the rice is submerged. If it’s not in the liquid it may not cook completely.
- Cook on high for four hours or low for eight.
- Stir in sour cream and cheese just before serving
Using frozen chicken
It is not recommended to put frozen chicken in a crock pot. It takes too long for the chicken to reach a safe temperature and increases the risk of harmful bacteria in the food.
You can make this same recipe in the oven and could use frozen chicken. However, if you cook the chicken breasts whole you will have to remove them from the pan and shred them before serving.
It is also safe to put frozen chicken breast in an Instant Pot. The chicken heats and cooks so quickly, it does not have time for bacteria to develop.
Making this recipe in the Instant Pot
You can easily make this recipe in the Instant Pot! Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Add 1-2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil to the bottom of the Instant Pot, then add all ingredients except for sour cream, cheese and parsley in the order in which they are listed below (onions and frozen veggies first, followed by chicken, rice and broth).
- Make sure to push the rice down underneath the liquid as much as possible.
- Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure.
- Stir in sour cream and cheese, then garnish with parsley. Serve and enjoy!
What type of cheese to use
I like cheddar cheese in this chicken and rice crock pot recipe. It has a full flavor and melts smoothly. It doesn’t become a liquid because of its semi-hard texture, but will be creamy in this dish. Other cheeses that will melt into the chicken and rice and create that smooth creamy flavor are:
- Monterey Jack
Make sure you grate your cheese so that it melts evenly and gets fully distributed among the rice.
What type of rice to use
Long grain white rice is fluffy and dry when cooked because of its low starch content. It will keep its shape in the crock pot and not turn your meal into a mushy mess like some other rices.
When you dish it out, it will separate easily and not clump together. Types of long grain white rice include American long grain, Basmati and Jasmine.
There are also long grain brown rice options. These take a little longer to cook, but you can use them as well – up the cook time to 6 hours on high if using brown rice.
Keep in mind that crockpot rice requires a two to one ratio. There must be at least twice as much liquid as rice.
Ingredient substitutions and notes
There are several ingredients you can swap to make this recipe different each time you make it.
- Choose a different cheese based on the guide above.
- Use Basmati or Jasmine rice
- Choose different blends of frozen vegetables, or use fresh vegetables
- Add cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup to the rice instead of or in addition to the broth
- Give it some kick with paprika and chili powder
- Try some fresh herbs/seasonings at the end such as parsley, cilantro or lemon zest
- Add a dash of lemon juice
- Use boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts. Or try this recipe with turkey.
Adding more vegetables
An easy way to change up this crock pot chicken and rice recipe so you can use it in your regular rotation is to choose different veggies. Try some of these ideas:
- Choose a different frozen veggie blend – stir fry blends are great for this!
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
Storing and reheating
You can keep this chicken and rice in the refrigerator for five days. It makes great leftovers for lunches. Reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, sprinkling some water overtop before reheating to help your rice avoid drying out.
Freezing crock pot chicken and rice
You can freeze this whole meal together. It will keep for about a month. Combined with the other ingredients, the rice will lose some of its texture but it's a good option to reduce food waste and save any leftovers that you can't eat after five days. Freeze in individual portions in glass bowls with lids, then sprinkle some water overtop before reheating in the microwave for 6-7 minutes, stirring halfway through the cook time.
Another way to turn this into a freezer meal is to cook the chicken and vegetables and freeze them separately from the rice. Rice freezes well independently and reheats to the right consistency.
You could also make a fresh pot of rice in your Instant Pot the day you want to make this meal and combine it all just before eating.
More easy crockpot recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on storing individual portions of the leftovers
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Meal prep challenge
If you'd like some more help with meal planning, then you'll love my free 5-day meal prep challenge! It's basically a free course that will teach you how to meal prep and cook healthy meals at home with some PDF bonus materials. Sign up for free below:
Creamiest Crockpot Chicken and Rice
- cooking spray
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups frozen vegetables
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Parsley, for garnish
- Spray crockpot with cooking spray, then add all ingredients except for sour cream, cheese and parsley in the order in which they are listed. Make sure to push rice down underneath liquid as much as possible.
- Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours, stirring 1-2 times midway through cooking time.
- Stir in sour cream and cheese at the end of cook time, stirring well to combine.
- Serve garnished with fresh parsley, and enjoy!