One Pot Lemon Chicken & Rice

Sometimes I find it mind-boggling that just a few simple ingredients can make such a dynamite meal.

But then I remember that when you take fresh ingredients, like lemons, spinach, chicken and herbs, and pair them with the flavors of olive oil, dried oregano (one of my very favorite herbs) and stock (which adds immense flavor to dishes), the food just tastes amazing.

Not one of the ingredients I just mentioned overpowers the other, they just work together in perfect Greek-inspired harmony.

And while I like cooking this dish on the stove-top best, because I can get the chicken browned and crispy on the outside, I also enjoy the option of making it in the slow cooker. Some days the slow cooker is just my best friend, you know?

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One Pot Lemon Chicken & Rice

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50-55 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr – 1 hr 5 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top or Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American, Greek

Description

A simple one-pot dish bursting with flavors of lemon and oregano, with instructions to make it on the stove or in a slow cooker.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 34 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 2 ¼ cups unsalted chicken stock
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

To make on the stove top:

  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, bring olive oil to medium heat. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Place them in the hot skillet and cook 2-3 minutes per side or until a golden brown crust forms. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, spinach and garlic to the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes or until the onion is tender and the spinach is wilted. Stir in the rice and oregano and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add the stock and lemon zest and juice and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the lid on the pot. Cook 40-45 minutes or until the liquid is dissolved and the rice is cooked. Garnish with chopped parsley.

To make in the slow cooker:

  1. In the bowl of a slow cooker, stir together the rice, onion, spinach, garlic, stock, lemon zest and juice, salt, black pepper and oregano. Submerge the chicken into the liquid. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes

Cooking Tip: For a crispy browned exterior, even when cooking in the slow cooker, brown the chicken in a hot oiled pan before adding it to the slow cooker.

Variation/Substitution Tips: For a boost of veggies, add chopped red bell pepper and bite-sized pieces of broccoli to the onion and spinach mixture when cooking.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 272
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 556mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg

Keywords: chicken, one pot, dinner, lemon, rice

16 Comments

  1. Lisa Courteau on April 23, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Was looking for something different for dinner tonight and this was it! Made it on the stove top and doubled the recipe but only used 4 garlic gloves (that was plenty) and only used zest and juice of 1 lemon. Feedback from the family was to cut back on the lemon flavor a bit more. But overall its a keeper and it went into the recipe book to make another day.

    Thanks!

    • Julie Andrews on April 24, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      That is fabulous feedback, Lisa! Glad the family enjoyed it and I’ve noted in the recipe that if you’d like less lemon flavor to cut back on the zest and juice. Thank you!!

      • Marley Leach on April 25, 2019 at 10:53 am

        Made this last night and added mushrooms to it and it was great! Served it with a side of broccoli. Will definitely make again.

        • Julie Andrews on April 27, 2019 at 9:08 am

          Yum! What a perfectly balanced and delicious meal. 🙂

  2. Jason Hostens on April 26, 2019 at 11:40 am

    We had this for dinner last night. It was fabulous and so filling!

    • Julie Andrews on April 27, 2019 at 9:06 am

      I’m so glad to hear this! What a great way to end the day, right?!

  3. Shkeela on April 30, 2019 at 7:40 am

    I made this over the weekend and it was a hit, very delicious and healthy, thanks you!

    • Julie Andrews on April 30, 2019 at 8:24 am

      And I love that fact that it’s a one pot dish! Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Larry on May 7, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I made this and enjoyed it. The cooking time for brown rice was too short, 45 minutes was better. I will make this again, easy and tasted good.

    • Julie Andrews on May 7, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it, Larry! Good catch on the cook time – it should be 40-45 minutes, so I updated it. Thank you!

  5. Akansha Mandhyan on May 9, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Liked it and wanted to try soon!

    Thanks.

    • Julie Andrews on May 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      Awesome, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

  6. Mary on July 12, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Any thoughts on doing this in an InstaPot under pressure to shorten the cooking time? And what would the cooking timeline look like? (Hot summer nights and tuning on the oven for 45+ minutes is torture.)

    • Julie Andrews on July 15, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Hi Mary – I have not tested the recipe in the Instant Pot, but I would suggest trying it at high pressure on manual for 15 minutes. It generally takes brown rice 15 minutes to cook, and the chicken should be tender and shreddable with that amount of pressure cook time. I’d keep all of the ingredient amounts the same, and just put everything in the pot. Let me know how it turns out!

  7. Dominic on August 23, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Great chicken dish. Missed the slow cooker alternative, I will have to try that. Slow cooker is great for work night meals. I have made it twice now and it will be in my permanent rotation of chicken dishes!

    • Julie Andrews on August 26, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      This is also one of my favorites, Dominic! Both versions are so simple and tasty, but I agree – the slow cooker is night for those crazy busy weeknights!

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