Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice is a classic dinner idea for the whole family made right in your crockpot. Creamy rice mixed with tender chicken and veggies makes an easy meal that is sure to be a hit.
We like to keep it simple around here though so don’t worry, this is so easy you could make it while blindfolded.
Slow cooker dinners are the best for throwing together before work so at the end of a crazy busy day, dinner will be ready & waiting.
Why you’ll love this easy Crockpot Chicken & Rice recipe
Easy slow cooker recipe – Only 5 minutes of prep time and your entire meal cooks in the slow cooker.
Cheesy comfort food – This creamy chicken & rice dish is comfort is a bowl.
Crowd pleaser – Even your picky eaters should like this one!
Equipment you’ll need
- Slow cooker – this one has been our favorite for years as it is a true set-it-and-forget-it model. It even switches to warm on its own when it’s done cooking!
- Veggie Chopper – use this for the onion to make it tearless!
- Cheese Grater – I always recommend shredding your own cheese for the best outcome. This grater makes grating from the block a breeze.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into approximately 1″ pieces. I almost always opt for chicken breasts but if you prefer dark meat, boneless skinless thighs can also be used.
- Veggies – Either frozen peas and carrots that have been thawed or a can of peas and carrots can be used.
- “Cream of” Soups – You’ll need a can of cream of chicken and a can of cream of celery to add to the creaminess of this dish. Homemade condensed soup is always an option if you have a few extra minutes!
- Onion – I used a sweet onion here because it’s what I had on hand but a white or yellow onion can be used.
- Garlic – Minced garlic, either fresh or if you have minced packed in oil, that will also work.
- Dry Mustard – Dry mustard (mustard powder) is made from ground mustard seeds and adds a sharp, mildly spicy flavor.
- Cheese – I used shredded cheddar but mozzarella or colby jack could also be used. Whichever, I recommend you grating it from a block instead of buying the bag of pre-shredded cheese for the best results.
- Chicken Broth – Either from a carton or homemade chicken stock can be used. If you need low-sodium, or no salt added, that will work.
- Brown Rice – White rice is lacking bran, which means it absorbs water faster and makes it less than ideal for a slow cooker recipe. Stick with brown rice for better texture.
How to make Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- STEP ONE: First, combine the peas & carrots, soups, onion, garlic, seasonings, chicken broth, and rice to the basin of a 6 quart slow cooker and stir until well combined.
- STEP TWO: Next, add in the chicken pieces and stir to distribute evenly.
- STEP THREE: Then, cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the rice is thoroughly cooked, but not mushy. It’s important to remember that each slow cooker runs differently so keep an eye on yours and adjust as needed.
- STEP FOUR: Finally, once the rice is cooked, turn the slow cooker off, sprinkle in the shredded cheese, cover and allow the cheese to melt. Once melted, give it a stir and serve!
What to serve with chicken & rice
The beauty of this dish, and many slow cooker dishes, is that you get the protein, starch, and veggies all cooked at once so you don’t really need anything else with it.
To add some freshness, I might add a side salad, but it really is a one pot meal!
Tips & Suggestions
Make sure you are cooking on HIGH for 4 hours. The rice does not begin to soften much until 3 hours and at 4 hours was cooked completely without being mushy. As always, each slow cooker runs differently so monitor yours.
You can substitute the frozen peas and carrots with canned peas and carrots, just drain them first. You can also use fresh but will need to pre-cook them before adding them to the crockpot.
You can substitute cream of celery soup with cream of mushroom or cream of onion soup.
You can substitute the mustard powder with 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard.
You can substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
How to reheat and store slow cooker chicken and rice
How to store leftovers
This crockpot chicken and rice can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How long will chicken and rice last in the fridge?
Up to 4 days when stored covered in the fridge.
Can I freeze crockpot chicken & rice?
Yes, it can be stored in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 4 months.
To thaw, place it in your refrigerator for 24-48 hours or until completely thawed.
How to reheat chicken & rice
If you have a large portion to reheat, you can put it back in the crockpot on LOW for 30 minutes to an hour, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
To reheat individual servings, microwave in a microwave-safe dish in 1-minute increments until it is heated through.
Can I put rice in a slow cooker?
YES! Make sure you have 2 cups of liquid for every cup of rice and that you are using long rice (instant will not work).
Do I have to use brown rice?
Yes, you should use brown rice in this recipe for the best results.
Due to the long cooking time, using minute rice or white rice will create a very mushy texture.
If you only have minute rice or white rice you can cook the rice separately and add it to the chicken mixture after it cooks, make sure to withhold the chicken broth if you are going to add cooked rice separately.
Can I cook it on LOW instead of HIGH?
No, I do not recommend cooking this crockpot chicken and rice on low. The rice becomes very soggy, and the chicken tends to shred apart when cooked low and slow.
Normally low & slow is the way to go in the slow cooker (especially for things like roasts), but not in this recipe.
Can I put frozen chicken in the crock pot?
When possible, try to use thawed meat.
A slow cooker is…slow. It doesn’t bring frozen meat up to a safe temperature quick enough so there is a risk of bacteria. That said, people put frozen meat in crockpots all the time, but I don’t anymore.
Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice
Need more slow cooker chicken recipes? Try these:
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Originally published September 8, 2020. Revised recipe May 9, 2023.