Crockpot chicken and rice is the ultimate cozy recipe. Tender chicken, slow cooked with broccoli, aromatics and finished with lemon and feta!
In the colder months I love going back to warm, nourishing staples like broccoli cheddar soup, chili and crockpot chicken and rice. Nothing fancy, just simple ingredients that warm your whole body.
Everyone seems to have an old crockpot tucked away, whether it's a hand-me-down from grandma or a neglected wedding gift. If you haven't pulled it out in a minute, it's time to give her a whirl with my crockpot lemon garlic chicken and rice!
Let your slow cooker do the work as tender chicken, aromatic garlic, and citrusy lemon infuse into rice. With salty feta and some freshness from parsley, it's got everything you need for a cozy dinner.
Why This Recipe Is Dietitian Approved
- One pot dinner. This is a classic "dump and cook" meal for low effort nights when you're feeling tired, but in need of nourishment.
- Made without canned soup. I've noticed that a ton of crockpot recipes use creamy canned soups to add flavour, but that comes with extra sodium and fat that I don't find adds much to the final taste. My recipe relies on the natural flavours from ingredients to provide a tasty meal with no canned soup required.
- Balanced. Take the guesswork out of dinner: this crockpot chicken and rice has carbs, protein and veggies to fuel your body.
Chicken. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. I have not tested this with any other chicken or meat, however chicken thighs should work.
Chicken broth. To reduce the sodium content, I typically use low sodium chicken broth in my recipes. This gives me the freedom to customize the salt to suit my desired tastes.
Onion. I used a yellow cooking onion, however white or Spanish onions will work as well.
Spices. I used a mix of dried oregano and dried basil, if you do not have one of these on hand you can substitute both of them for 2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
Garlic. For maximum flavour, I use entire cloves of garlic, leaving them whole and simply smashing them using the side of a knife or even the bottom of a cup. If you would rather use pre-minced garlic you may use 2 tablespoon however the flavour may not be quite as strong.
Rice. Choose a long grain rice such as basmati or jasmine. Brown rice will work as well. I do not recommend using any minute or instant rice options, as this will alter the texture of the rice.
Broccoli. Fresh broccoli is best, as frozen will get mushy.
Lemon. For optimal flavour, use one whole fresh lemon as you will need both the juice and the zest.
Feta. I love the salty taste of feta! I always recommend purchasing feta stored in the brine for the most authentic flavour and freshness.
Parsley. This adds both flavour and bring a freshness to the dish. I used one whole bunch of fresh parsley!
The complete ingredient list with measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and set aside.
To your crockpot add rice, chicken broth, diced onion, smashed garlic, oregano and basil and stir.
Place the chicken on top of the rice mixture and drizzle with the juice of ½ of the lemon. Close the lid of the crockpot and cook on HIGH for about 2 hours or LOW for about 4-6 hours.
In the final 30 minutes of cooking (after 1 hour 30 minutes) add broccoli florets to the crockpot, close the lid and cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
Once done, remove the chicken from the crockpot and slice into bite sized pieces.
Add it back into the crock pot along with the remaining lemon juice, lemon zest, feta cheese and parsley. Stir to combine and serve!
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, however I always recommend you checking that your rice is certified gluten-free.
To make dairy-free: Use a dairy-free feta like this one.
To make vegan: For a similar cozy vegan recipe, try my Italian ratatouille!
To make nut-free: This recipe is naturally nut-free.
Missing an ingredient? Try these:
- Broccoli: Swap for cauliflower. If you're not a broccoli fan, use a mix of vegetables such as carrots, green beans, peas, mushroom etc. For carrots, add them in at the beginning along with the rice. For most other vegetables, 30 minutes should be enough time to cook them at the end!
- Feta cheese: Swap for mozzarella, cheddar or parmesan.
- White basmatic rice: Swap for brown basmati rice.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
To freeze, divide chicken and rice mixture into freezer friendly containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost by placing in the fridge overnight or use the “defrost” setting on your microwave.
Use a vegetable chopper to quickly dice the onions and save prep time.
When adding the broccoli, check the rice to make sure it doesn't dry out. If the rice looks like it is beginning to dry, add an additional ½ cup of chicken broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a sign of one of two things: either your crockpot is running on the hotter side or the crockpot didn’t evaporate out enough of the liquid! This is normal and may just depend on your crockpot, however if you notice this happening just reduce the cook time by 30 minutes or decrease the liquid by ¼ cup.
Please note I also do not recommend using minute or instant rice as this may change the texture as well.
You do not! If you would like your broccoli to retain the vibrant green colour i recommend steaming it on the stove and adding it in once the chicken and rice are cooked.
I do not recommend slicing the chicken prior to cooking it as this releases some of the natural juice within the chicken, resulting in a drier texture once cooked.
I used the dream cooker from Our Place which is a 4 in 1 that can slow cook, pressure cook, saute and keep warm. I love it!
More Cozy Recipes
Cold weather is so much better with a cozy meal.
- Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Panera Thai Chicken Soup (Copycat)
- Butternut Squash and Sausage Orzo with Kale
- Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Bowls
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make my crockpot chicken and rice, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Crockpot Lemon Garlic Chicken and Rice
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup long grain basmati rice
- 1.5 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 whole lemon both the juice and zest
- 2 cups broccoli cut into florets
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1 bunch of parsley about 1 cup, chopped
- Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and set aside.
- To your crockpot add rice, chicken broth, diced onion, smashed garlic, oregano and basil and stir.
- Place the chicken on top of the rice mixture and drizzle with the juice of ½ of the lemon. Close the lid of the crockpot and cook on HIGH for about 2 hours or LOW for about 4-6 hours.
- In the final 30 minutes of cooking (after 1 hour 30 minutes) add broccoli florets to the crockpot, close the lid and cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
- Once done, remove the chicken from the crockpot and slice into bite sized pieces. Add it back into the crock pot along with the remaining lemon juice, lemon zest, feta cheese and parsley. Stir to combine and serve!