This easy, one pan, Lemon Chicken and Rice has just the right amount of fresh lemon flavor, Italian seasoning and garlic. It’s the perfect family-friendly weeknight dinner!
Looking for another great chicken and rice recipe to try? You’ll love this Cajun chicken and rice!
Why you’ll love it
One pan meal – The chicken is seared in the same pan that the rice will cook in making cleanup quick and easy.
Family friendly and healthy – The flavors in this chicken and rice are ones that both adults and kids will enjoy. Serve it with your favorite vegetable side dish or salad or one of the suggestions I’ve listed below for a balanced and healthy dinner.
Minimal ingredients – This is a great recipe because it only uses 7 ingredients (8 if you choose to use parsley) and mostly pantry ingredients that you likely already have on hand.
Leftovers – If you have any leftover chicken and rice it tastes amazing the next day for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – Meaty and hearty. You can also use chicken breasts or skin on chicken thighs if you prefer. If using chicken breasts, be sure to pound them out to and even thickness.
- Rice – Jasmine rice or long grain white rice are what you’ll want to use. No need to rinse the rice before cooking it.
- Italian seasoning and garlic powder
- Low sodium chicken broth – vegetable broth can also be used.
- Parmesan cheese – Salty, nutty and pairs well with the lemon and Italian seasoning. Use high quality parmigiano reggiano if possible for the best flavor.
- Flat leaf parsley – optional, but adds a nice fresh herb flavor at the end.
How to make lemon chicken and rice
Sear the chicken – Season the chicken with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper and then place it into a hot skillet with olive oil. Be sure your skillet has a lid.
You aren’t cooking the chicken through, just searing it to give it some color on the outside. It should only take 2 minutes per side. Remove it onto a plate after searing it.
Cook the rice – Add the rice, lemon zest, and remaining Italian seasoning, garlic powder salt and pepper to the skillet. Pour in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Cover with the lid and turn the heat down to low.
Let the rice cook for 10 minutes then remove the lid and nestle the chicken in with the rice. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. If the rice is sticking to the bottom of the skillet pour in a little more chicken broth.
Add in the lemon and parmesan cheese – Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it back onto the (clean) plate. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add in the parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir everything together and then put the chicken back in. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and parsley on top if you’d like.
Storage and Leftovers
The chicken and rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The leftovers hold up well and taste great making it a good option if you meal prep.
Substitutions and Variations
- Use chicken breasts instead of thighs. If you choose to do this you’ll want to either pound them out so they aren’t quite as thick or cut them in half lengthwise.
- Instead of parmesan cheese try pecorino romano, asiago, or an Italian cheese blend.
- Instead of Italian seasoning use lemon pepper seasoning.
- Add fresh thyme or basil instead of parsley.
What to serve with it
More one pan chicken dinners
Did you make this Lemon Chicken and Rice? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- Combine the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season the chicken thighs with half of the mixture and reserve the rest for the rice.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs in the pan and sear them for 1-2 minutes. Flip them over and sear another 1-2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and onto a plate. It should not be fully cooked at this point.
- Add the rice to the pan along with the renaming spice blend, lemon zest, and chicken broth. Stir everything together and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low. Let the rice cook for 10 minutes and then place the chicken back into the pan. Cover with the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.
- Remove the chicken from the pan back onto the (clean) plate. Add in the parmesan cheese and parsley and squeeze in the lemon juice. Stir everything together and then nestle the chicken back into the rice. Top with additional parsley and parmesan cheese if desired and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 537Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 428mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 49g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.