The EASIEST set it and forget it Chicken and Rice recipe. Chicken thighs and rice cook up perfectly with garlic, lemon and thyme for an easy, wholesome family meal. This Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice is a family winning meal.
Nothing makes me happier than an easy family meal that my entire family loves.
And according to my latest reader survey, nothing makes YOU happier than an easy dinner recipe.
I took your desire for more healthy slow cooker meals and chicken and rice recipes and created a simple Crock-Pot Chicken with Rice Meal.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice
This recipe for Crockpot chicken and rice is easy. It is wholesome. It is cheap. It is gluten-free. And most importantly Lemon Chicken and Rice is delicious!
The rice is cooked to perfection and is richly flavored from the chicken thighs and garlic. The chicken thighs are cooked to perfection, and remain perfectly juicy and tender.
How to Make Crock Pot Chicken and Rice
Step One: Sear Chicken
- Liberally season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add in 2 teaspoons oil and heat.
- Cook chicken on each side, for 2-3 minutes or until browned.
Step Two: Add Rice and Chicken to Slow Cooker
- Add rice, chicken stock, garlic, thyme, lemon juice to slow cooker.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Nestle chicken on top of rice.
Step Three: Slow Cook Chicken and Rice
- Cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.
- I have found that I have mushy and under-cooked rice at the same time if I try to cook this on low heat–so high heat is best for Slow Cooker Rice.
- Use an instant thermometer to check to ensure chicken thighs reach 165 degrees.
Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
I get asked if other chicken can be used in this recipe. Yes and No.
Chicken breasts can be used in this recipe for Crockpot Chicken and Rice, but I recommend chicken thighs.
- Chicken Thighs retain more moisture and flavor than chicken breasts when cooked in the slow cooker.
- By removing the skins of on the chicken thighs, I cut down on total fat in recipe and there is no rubbery skin (Chicken skin does not crisp up in the slow cooker)
- I leave the bone in on the chicken thighs to impart more flavor in the whole dish AND it increases the cooking time, allowing the chicken thighs to not dry out when cooked low and slow.
- Chicken thighs are inexpensive and loved by my family.
If you do choose to use chicken breasts or chicken legs, I recommend using bone in and skinless chicken breasts or chicken legs.
Which Rice is Best?
When cooking rice in a slow cooker, it is best to use long-grain rice. Short or instant rice becomes very mushy.
For this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice I prefer either:
- Long-grain brown rice
- Long-grain jasmine rice
A Few Notes on Crock Pot Chicken Thighs and Rice:
- You can easily remove the skin yourself to save a few pennies. Just pull off the raw skin gently before cooking–it should slip right off.
- Homemade chicken stock is best in this recipe, but a good quality store bought stock is acceptable. You can even use vegetable stock, but I would not recommend water.
- If you don’t have fresh thyme, use 2 teaspoons dried thyme.
- If you don’t have fresh garlic bulbs, use 1 tablespoon minced jarred garlic.
- I prefer to use long brown rice in this recipe for whole grains, but jasmine white rice will work as well. Do not use Instant Rice or Short Grain Rice.
- You can skip searing the chicken thighs to save time if desired.
More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken from Dinner then Dessert
- Chicken Chili
Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Rice Recipe
Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken and Rice
Rice and chicken thighs cook up in a rich broth flavored with lemon, garlic, and fresh thyme. This is an easy set it and forget it crock-pot recipe.
- 1 cup Jasmine rice or long grain brown rice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock low sodium
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 4 chicken thighs skinless
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Sear Chicken Thighs (optional)
Season chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat skillet over medium high heat. Add in 2 teaspoons olive oil and sear chicken on both sides, 2 minutes per side.
Prepare Chicken and Rice
Stir together rice, lemon juice, garlic, stock and fresh thyme in slow cooker. Place chicken thighs on top of mixture.
Cook on high for 2 hours.
Remove thyme stalk before serving with additional fresh lemon juice if desired.
- Be sure to use low sodium chicken stock or omit added salt.
- If you would like your chicken thighs to have a bit more color, either sear in 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat on stove before adding to slow cooker, or after cooking, brush with oil and broil for 1 minute.