This simple, humble comfort food will have the whole family cheering, “Hooray”! Creamy Jasmine rice, plenty of vegetables and chicken breast are cooked to tender perfection in the Instant Pot. The head of garlic and lemon zest gives an extra wow factor of flavor and this one pot dinner is finished with grated cheese and fresh parsley. A perfect weeknight meal!
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I’ve been shying away with from a lot of carbs so far this January! But my kids are kind of getting sick of me trying to impersonate cauliflower as rice and sweet potatoes as enchiladas so I knew I was due for a more traditional kid friendly dinner this week!
I decided to break out my trusty side kick, the Instant Pot, out on this one… although this could definitely be made on the stove top as well! And even though the base of this dinner is Jasmine rice, I still managed to throw in a ton of vegetables (I’m sure you’re not surprised) and the lean protein, Chicken Breast!
Is this meal fancy, no- definitely not! It’s simple, humble, one pot, comfort food that was actually really hard to get a pretty picture of! No judgment, some food is just prettier than others, I’m talking to you.. Baba Ganaoush! But regardless of of its undeservingly unimpressive appearance, its creamy, cheesy and OH.SO.FLAVORFUL attributes, make up for any visual misgivings.
Garlicky Chicken and Rice is one pot dinner that is ready in less than an hour, has a starch, vegetable and protein all in one, its just a perfect way to feed the family in a pinch!
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What you will need to make Cheesy Garlic Chicken and Rice
Well you will definitely need an Instant Pot to start..
Rice: I used Jasmine rice, which is a long grain rice which has a subtly floral aroma when cooked with a slightly sticky texture. You could also substitute for plain white rice, but if you went with a short grain rice, I fear the outcome may be too sticky.
Vegetables: I used onion, shredded carrots, red bell pepper and garlic. Other suggestions would be peas, small broccoli florets, cauliflower, leeks or celery.
Meat : Chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper before searing.
Cooking Liquid: White wine and chicken stock. You could also use water, but some of the flavor would be lost. You may notice that this recipe does not follow the recommended 2:1 ratio you probably see on the bag of rice. That’s okay, when cooking rice in the Instant Pot, you want to use less liquid so it doesn’t overcook. There is a lot more trapped moisture present in the pressure cooker vs. the traditional stovetop method. Hence, the need for less water (or stock).
Cheese: Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese is perfect! Cream cheese would also be an option.
Oil, Spices and Herbs: Olive Oil, Salt, pepper, parsley and lemon zest
How to Make Instant Pot Cheesy Garlic Chicken and Rice
To begin, heat olive olive in Instant Pot. Then sear cubed and seasoned chicken breast in stages. You don’t want to overcrowd the pot, which is why you will likely need to have the chicken “take turns”
When all the chicken has been seared, set aside and add shredded carrots, onion, and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add white wine to deglaze. Try to scrape brown bits from the bottom of pan. Press “Cancel” to turn the saute’ function off.
Return chicken to pot, add chicken stock, lemon zest, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper. Give a little stir. Then place halved garlic on top, cut side up.
Attach and seal lid to instant pot, set timer to 10 minutes and high pressure. Cook. When timer goes off, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before opening the quick release valve.
Remove cover, remove garlic. If you want to add cloves back to rice, do so to suit your own taste. I would recommend at least 2! The garlic will be so mild, since it’s been steamed. It will have a much more mellow flavor than you might be used to, so go for it!
Stir in chopped parsley and grated Romano or Parmesan cheese. That’s it! Dinner is served!
Instant Pot Cheesy Garlic Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot, 6qt or larger
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1½ cup carrots grated
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 cups Jasmine Rice rinsed
- 1½ lbs chicken breast or boneless skinless thighs, cubed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 whole garlic slice crosswise
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1½ tsp kosher salt divided
- ¾ tsp black pepper divided
- ¼ cup parsley
- ½ cup Romano or Parmesan cheese grated
- Turn Instant Pot to "saute" and let pot heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Season the cubed chicken with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper.
- Once hot enough that you hear a sizzle when chicken hits pan, begin searing in batches. Likely 2 batches. Let chicken lightly brown on all sides and remove from pot. Repeat.
- Add shredded carrots, onion, and pepper to the Instant Pot. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add white wine to deglaze. Try to scrape brown bits from the bottom of pan. Press "Cancel" to turn the saute function off.
- Return chicken to pot. Add rice, chicken stock, lemon zest, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper. Give a little stir. Then place halved garlic on top, cut side up.
- Attach and seal lid to instant pot, set timer to 10 minutes and high pressure. Cook. When timer goes off, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before opening the quick release valve.
- Remove cover, remove garlic. If you want to add cloves back to rice, do so to suit your own taste. I would recommend at least 2!
- Stir in chopped parsley and grated Romano or Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.