If you love a one pot recipe that allows you to just dump in all the ingredients and cook it, this Italian style chicken with rice is calling your name! I’ve cut out as much faff as possible so there’s no frying involved, you’ll just leave it to bake in the oven. It’s also budget friendly, costing just £1.50 per serving*.
I add in chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic and onion powder, plus two of my favourite herbs which are often used in Italian cookery; dried oregano and very generous amount of fresh thyme which gives it the best flavour. Just add everything (minus the chicken) into a large baking dish, stir it all together then nestle in the chicken thighs. You’ll bake it covered with foil for half an hour, then uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes and you’re ready to serve.
If you have a toddler, weaning baby or fussy eater and are wondering how to adapt this recipe for your family, see here >
*when ingredients are purchased from Sainsbury’s
The Stars of my One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice
You’ll need to use thighs as chicken breasts will cook quicker than the rice and they’ll end up dry. Make sure you get boneless thighs or they will not be cooked through fully in the cooking time I’ve stated.
This meal is best made with a tin of chopped tomatoes (diced US), which will give you a lovely tomato layer under the chicken and on top of the rice. If you have a tomato-hater in the family, then you could use passata (tomato purée in the US) instead or even a tin of crushed or finely chopped tomatoes to eliminate big chunks.
Use basmati long grain rice, soaked for as long as possible (I try and do it for 1-2 hours) and then rinsing it until the water runs clear.
You’ll need to use onion powder instead of onion because we don’t want to skip the initial frying step to speed up the cook of this one pot. If you use onion without frying it, it won’t soften fully and will still be crunchy.
Even though I use dried oregano in this recipe, don’t be tempted to use dried thyme instead of fresh because trust me, there is a real difference in flavour. Dried thyme has a very harsh, intense flavour that fresh thyme does not. It may add a bit to the prep time, but trust me it’s definitely worth it.
Making my One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice
Watch me make my One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice step-by-step here, before or as you cook.
FAQ’s For My One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice
Can I prepare this One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice in advance?
Yes! You can soak the rice anytime that day and add the tinned tomatoes, garlic, tomato puree and fresh thyme to a prep bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The brown sugar, dried oregano, onion granules, salt and pepper can be added to a small prep bowl, covered with clingfilm and left at room temperature. Then all you need to do when you come to cook is make your stock and rinse your rice, then add everything to your oven proof dish, stir it all together and top with your chicken thighs.
Can I feed more people with this recipe?
You can, but not in the same oven dish - you will need an additional one to double the recipe.
How can younger children help make it?
This a great meal to get kids cooking. They can help add everything to the oven dish and stir it all together. They can also top it with chicken thighs as long as they wash their hands very well afterwards.
Can I Store One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice leftovers?
You can store any One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice leftovers in an air-tight container or resealable food bag in the fridge for up to 3 days (cook day + 2). You can also freeze them, just defrost for 24 hours in the fridge and reheat in the microwave, stirring halfway, until steaming hot all the way through.
For more on safe food storage and reheating read here >
What diets is this recipe suitable for?
My One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice is gluten, diary, nut and egg-free.
Adapting My One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice For Your Family
Eating together is beneficial for families of all ages and stages, for a multitude of reasons; nutritional, behavioural, psychological and for healthy family functioning. This section will show you how to tweak this One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice recipe for sharing with a weaning baby, toddler or a fussy eater, which will help make it easier to eat together as a family.
Keeping Picky Eaters Happy
If you have someone in the family who hates the sight of tomato chunks, you can use either passata (tomato purée US) for no lumps, or a tin of crushed tomatoes for smaller pieces of tomato.
See more from me on fussy eaters here >
Making My One Pot Italian Chicken & Rice Suitable for Baby Weaning
Use low-salt chicken stock and omit the salt from the cook.
Remove a large chicken thigh and slice the thickest part into finger size strips. Top the tomatoes and rice with it. Smash down larger chunks of chopped tomato.
After roughly chopping the chicken, put it into your mini food chopper along with some of the tomato layer and pulse until finely chopped. Mix through some rice after.
Roughly chop baby’s chicken and transfer to mini food chopper along with some of the tomato layer. Gradually pulse until you reach a lumpy, chopped consistency. You can mix through their rice after.
Chop the chicken pieces into the right size pieces for your toddler using a sharp knife and serve alongside the tomatoes, or mix it in if you like.
I’ve also added these notes to the bottom of the recipe so you have them to hand when you come to cook. For more info on how I keep my family meals suitable for baby weaning, read here >
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One Pot Italian Chicken and Rice
- Chopping board and knife or mezzaluna (for the thyme)
- Garlic press
- Large oven dish
- Large spoon
- Bowl and sieve for soaking and washing the rice
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes (diced US)
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 teaspoon onion granules
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree (double concentrate tomato paste US)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 heaped tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
- 450 ml chicken stock / bouillon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 300 g rice soaked and rinsed
- 600-640 g chicken thighs boneless & skinless
- Preheat oven to 200°c/fan 180°c/400ºf/gas 6.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, garlic, onion granules, stock, tomato puree, brown sugar, herbs, rice, salt and pepper to a large oven-proof dish and stir until well combined. Level out.
- Nestle in the chicken thighs, pushing them mostly into the liquid. Spoon a little of the liquid over the chicken thighs.
- Cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, uncovering it for the last 15 minutes.