This one pot chicken and rice bake combines chicken thighs with parmesan rice and butternut squash for a complete healthy meal.
I’m always looking for easy dinner recipes that don’t dirty up every pan in the house, and this chicken and rice bake is a family favorite!
When my youngest was a baby I made her a lot of mushroom risotto because it seemed like the perfect “real” baby food – it was soft enough that she could chew it despite her lack of teeth. It was easy to vary the flavors so she wouldn’t get bored. It also seemed like a pretty decently balanced meal – I always added some kind of veggie (or puree!) to the rice as well as cheese for protein and calcium. So grains, protein, veggies, dairy – not too shabby.
But really, who has time to stand around and stir risotto? Now that she’s older (and more prone to mischief), I do not have the luxury of standing at the stove cultivating a perfect dish. In fact, I swear my kids have this internal radar that goes off when they sense I am trying to cook something that requires my constant attention. This chicken and rice bake is very similar to risotto but without the stirring. Best of all, it’s a complete meal in a single pot! If you’re looking for more easy dinners, be sure to check out my one pot chicken with tomato basil risotto.
How do you make chicken and rice bake?
You’re going to want to use chicken thighs in this dish, breasts will be too dry. I used to buy the authentic arborio risotto rice, but it can be a bit pricey and do the kids know or care? Of course not. I discovered short grain calrose rice and have been using it ever since. It’s in with all the regular rice varieties at your grocery store and makes a great substitute for the expensive stuff.
You do have to brown the chicken and saute the veggies and rice, but after that you get to pop it in the oven and go play with the kids. The whole family will love this chicken and rice bake, it’s a great meal to put on your regular rotation!
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More easy dinner recipes
- Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- Beef Noodle Casserole
- Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
One Pot Chicken and Rice Bake
- 6 chicken thighs can be bone-in or boneless
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 white onion finely diced
- 4 cups of peeled seeded butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups of short grain rice such as Calrose or Arborio
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large deep pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Season both sides of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken on high heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and squash, season with salt and pepper. Cook the onion and squash until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the rice, saute for 2-3 minutes or until opaque. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until completely evaporated.
- Return chicken to the pot along with any juices that have accumulated and the thyme sprigs. Add the broth, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil and cover the pot with a lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese before serving.
I’m trying this out tonight! One question… do you add the rice to the pot uncooked?
The rice goes in uncooked!
It sounds so good! Can I use jazmine rice?
I want to make it tonight and I don’t have the short grain rice.
Yes that’s fine!
Chicken and rice baked together are always great. The addition of squash is phenomenal.
Has anyone tried this using frozen precut butternut squash?
I think that would work, but if the squash is pre-cooked I might add it in halfway through the oven time so that it doesn’t get overcooked and mushy.
I tried this as written, and i didn’t care for it. I didn’t find the rice creamy and the flavors didn’t meld very well. It smelled good in the oven, but was disappointing.
Would I be able to cook it the same way on the stove? I have a dutch oven but it seems that the handle on the lid is plastic? Not sure I want to find out the hard way 🙂
You could cook it covered on the stove on low heat – the other option would be to tightly cover the pan with foil and put it in the oven. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂
Thanks! I ended up cooking it on the stove with the lid on. It came out amazing!
So glad you liked it!
Hi Sara, I’m hoping to make this for dinner next week but I’m wondering about the size of the pot you used. Should I be using my 8-qt covered stockpot, or a smaller covered saute pan more along the lines of 3-5 quarts? Also, my cookware is only oven-safe to 350, so do you think I’ll be ok cooking at this temperature and just extending the cook time?
The chicken needs to be able to fit into the pot in a single layer and the pot should be at least 4-6 inches deep. I’ve done it in both a large covered saute pan and a big dutch oven and it’s worked both ways. 350 is totally fine, just add another 10 minutes to the bake time. I hope that helps!
It’s in the oven now 🙂 smells good!!
I hope you enjoyed it!!
What if I don’t have white wine? And do I put the rice in the pot already cooked? I’m excited to try this tonight 🙂 thanks!!
You can leave the white wine out and it will still be great. The rice goes in uncooked, it cooks along with the chicken and squash :). Enjoy!
Love this! It looks delicious and one pot makes it so much easier!
This is my kind of meal!
I love the flavor combinations in this dish, and I bet the butternut squash adds a nice bit of creaminess. I’ll definitely have to try this out one day. One pot dishes are simple and satisfying 😀
this sounds like a delicious way to get grains and veggies along with meat into the kids – and I am ALL over a good one pot dish 🙂
Oh I love a one pot meal! And butternut squash – well we became friends a long time ago. I’m still pretty obsessed too! Great recipe, thanks for sharing!