One Pan Greek Chicken and Rice
This one pan or one-pot Greek chicken and rice dish is literally one of my favourites. It has all the things in it and flavors I love. Rice, chicken, spinach and lemony goodness. What’s better than a one pan meal for the midweek or any day?!? - easy cleanup and happy tummy’s all around. This dish is a great stand alone meal but even better when served with a side salad - perhaps my Greek Horiatiki Salad or my Classic Greek Lettuce Salad (Maroulosalata). Finish off the dish with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and serve garnished with lemon slices, chopped fresh herbs and crumbled feta and enjoy!
One Pan Chicken and Rice Recipe Ingredients
- CHICKEN: I used bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on for this recipe for extra flavor since the chicken cooks with the rice creating so much delicious flavor but you can use chicken breasts just use the same weighted amount and you may need to sear and brown the pieces a little longer. They might be a little overcooked by the time the dish is ready. Just something to keep in mind. In general other cuts like breasts will dry out too much while they’re in the oven, whereas the bone-in pieces will help retain moisture. If you are worried about too much fat in he dish due to the skin - just be sure to drain off any excess leaving back at least 2 tablespoons of fat in skillet after you have seared the chicken.
- RICE: I like to use long grain white rice either regular or par boiled works with this recipe. If you use any other rice I cannot guarantee that it won’t be over cooked or undercooked. If you use a rice like basmati it will be overcooked - if you use brown rice or wild rice it will be under cooked - so there is a balance of cooking the rice and the chicken at the same time and long grain white rice is what works for this particular recipe and how I tested it
- ONION & GARLIC: I like to use yellow or white onion but red onion or shallots will work well too and feel free to adjust garlic amounts to taste
- LEMONS: You will need 1-2 lemons for the actual recipe - marinade and dish along with more if you would like to garnish with more lemon slices
- SPINACH: I love to add some greens to just about everything - but in this dish it not only is a great way to add more veggies and nutrition but it gives the rice a very spanakorizo (Greek spinach rice). It’s optional to add the spinach but if you were looking for other veggie add ins feel free to toss in some green peas or when sautéing the onions you could do more of a mirepoix by sautéing some finely minced carrots and celery or sweet peppers or even saute in some mushrooms for a vegetable alternative
- SPICES & SEASONINGS: I used dried oregano, dried thyme, paprika, and powdered garlic for the marinade and dish along with salt and black pepper of course. Feel free to adjust amounts to taste and you are welcome to switch up the flavors with different spice blends and flavours like lemon pepper or Italian seasoning or Cajun etc and feel free to add more flavour to the marinade with a dash of soy sauce or even some powdered mustard, prepared mustard or dijon mustard
- CHICKEN BROTH/CHICKEN STOCK: This is for cooking the rice - Veggie broth works too.
- FOR SERVING: I like to serve this dish with extra lemon wedges or slices, freshly chopped parsley and crumbled feta cheese but grated Parmesan cheese is great too - of course all garnishes are optional and to taste. Feel free to use other fresh herbs for garnishing to taste like fresh dill or fresh thyme
One Pan Greek Chicken Recipe Instructions
This tasty dish comes together pretty quickly so it is best to have all your ingredients chopped and ready to go. Here is a basic breakdown of the directions (Full detailed recipe instructions are all in recipe card below):
- Season and marinate chicken thighs and set aside.
- Preheat oven
- Heat large oven-safe skillet or dutch oven and sear/brown chicken on both sides, remove to plate and set aside after
- Stir in veggies, herbs and reserved marinade
- Stir in rice then broth and bring to a simmer
- Place prepared chicken pieces over rice
- Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer to the preheated oven and bake
- Once done fluff up the rice with a fork removing chicken from pan if desired
- Garnish with parsley, lemon slices and feat cheese and serve.
One Pan Chicken and Rice Storage, Make Ahead & Freezing
- STORAGE: Refrigerate any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3- 5 days. To reheat, add a few teaspoons of water or drizzle some olive oil over the rice and stir gently. This is to prevent it from drying out. Microwave the chicken for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm. If you’re reheating a large portion, do it in the oven at 350˚F for 10 to 15 minutes watching that it doesn’t burn
- MAKE AHEAD: Chicken can be tossed in the marinade and chilled in an airtight container in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 1 day ahead.
- FREEZING: Cooked and cooled chicken and rice can be frozen in an airtight freezer friendly container for up to 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat same as stated above.
More One Pan / One Pot Dishes You Will Love:
- One Pan Creamy Gnocchi With Shrimp and Spinach
- One Pot Hamburger Helper
- One Pot Baked Greek Chicken Orzo (Giouvetsi/Youvetsi)
- Skillet Lasagna
- Greek Style Skillet Roast Chicken With Crispy Potatoes
- Puttanesca - One Pot Baked Orzo
- Chicken Chorizo & Shrimp Paella
- Creamy One Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken And Orzo Risotto
For the Chicken Marinade
- 6 chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in (approx 1½-2 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For Chicken & Rice
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 cups baby spinach, lightly packed and roughly chopped
- 1½ cups long grain white rice or long grain par boiled
- 3 cups chicken stock/chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
For Serving (optional)
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Lemon zest or slices, for garnish
- Crumbled feta
- Place chicken in a large bowl or in a large plastic resealable bag. Add all the marinade ingredients to the chicken and toss chicken to coat well. Cover bowl or seal bag and marinate chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day ahead.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove chicken from fridge while preheating the oven.
- In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chicken thighs (reserving the leftover marinade in bowl or bag -you will be adding the liquid into the skillet later) skin-side down and brown/cook chicken about 5 minutes each side. Remove chicken thighs from skillet and set aside.
- Add the onions and garlic to skillet and stir cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until they are translucent and soften. Adjust the heat a little if needed - you do not want to burn them.
- Add the chopped spinach,oregano, salt, pepper, and reserved marinade. Cook stirring for another 30 seconds or until the spinach starts to wilt.
- Add the rice to the skillet, and stir well to coat the rice with the pan juices.
- Pour the chicken stock into the skillet and stir well. Bring this to a simmer or light boil.
- Arrange chicken thighs on top of the rice, then cover the skillet with lid or a layer of aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid or foil covering, return the skillet to the oven, and bake until chicken and rice is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes more. Feel free to broil for the last couple of minutes for extra colour on the chicken
- Let the chicken and rice rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Then fluff rice so that the spinach and onions that has settled on the top get evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with parsley and crumbled feta cheese and extra lemon juice and lemon slices then serve straight from the pan or dish out onto plates with extra garnishes
- If you are worried about too much fat in the dish due to the chicken skin - just be sure to drain off any excess fat leaving back at least 2 tablespoons of fat in skillet after you have seared the chicken.
- Refrigerate any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- To reheat it, add a few teaspoons of water over the rice and stir gently. This is to prevent it from drying out. Microwave the chicken for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm. If you’re reheating a large portion, do it in the oven at 350˚F for 10 to 15 minutes
- Do I need to marinate the chicken? if you are pressed for time you can skip the olive oil and the lemon juice and simply season your chicken with the spices in the marinade or any other spice mix you like, skip the marinating part and start searing the chicken. Simply add the lemon juice and zest in when you are suppose to add the reserved marinade with the spinach in the recipe and continue cooking as stated in recipe.