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This Cheesy Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice recipe is as easy as tossing everything in and pressing start. Dinner is ready in a flash and with so little effort it almost seems to good to be true! You can even use frozen chicken!

Cheesy Instant Pot chicken and rice with sour cream in front of instant pot.
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Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice: When there is no dinner plan…

I am really good at forgetting to thaw chicken for dinner so it looks like the Instant Pot and I are going to get along reeeeeeally well.

My good friend, Liz at Shaw Simple Swaps just wrote an AMAZING book–Instant Pot for Dummies–and when it comes to my pressure cooker, I am still feeling very much like the novice.

Sure I boil eggs and make mac and cheese on the regular, but I have barely branched out beyond these and a few other recipes.

Buuuu-ut, her book includes things like cake and monkey bread and even ricotta cheese!!! So this novice Instant Pot user is so pumped to dive in even more.

Until then, let’s talk about this oh so cheesy chicken and rice dinner!

Like I said, I don’t thaw my chicken at times, so tossing it into my favorite machine was a hit. Brown rice takes a bit more than 20 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker so adding some frozen chicken never hurt either!

I have tried this with thawed chicken as well. The bonus of doing this is that it takes less time for the Instant Pot to reach pressure. This balances everything out because the frozen chicken gets more cook time–which it needs.

What you need to make this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice:

  • I typically use larger chicken breasts for this recipe since I am working with the cook time for brown rice. If the pieces of chicken are on the smaller size, they may end up being overcooked and drier. I try to find 2 lbs. worth of chicken in 3 pieces. That seems to work well.
  • I opt for lower sodium or no sodium chicken broth. Then I salt to taste.
Ingredients to make recipe.

My husband loves this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe EXTRA spicy. I typically will also add a decent amount of hot sauce while cooking. Then I add a few extra shakes to his when I serve it up.

I don’t need mine that spicy!

How to make this recipe:

Process photos with chicken, rice and broth in instant pot.
  • Place uncooked rice, garlic and broth into the Instant Pot pan. Stir to combine. (steps 1 and 2)
  • Place chicken breasts on top of the broth and rice mixture and cover with salt and pepper. Sometimes I like to spread some extra garlic on the chicken as well at this time. (step 3)
  • Add in tomatoes, onion, cumin and chili powder on top of the chicken. If you want to add any diced bell peppers or chiles at this time, go for it! I like the added peppers as well. (step 4)
Instant Pot chicken and rice steps.
  • Gently stir the tomato and onion mixture to fully cover the chicken. Close the Instant Pot so it locks. Set the pressure cooker to manual pressure and set it for 25 minutes. After you set it, it will say “On” until the pressure is reached. Once pressure is reached, the screen will switch to say “25” and then count down until it is finished cooking. (step 5)
  • Once the cooking is complete, carefully do a quick release to allow the pressure to escape and open the pot. Check to make sure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of at least 165°f. Carefully shred the chicken using two forks. You can also remove the chicken and shred it on a cutting board if you prefer. Stir the shredded chicken to combine with the rice and other ingredients. (steps 6, 7 and 8)
Cooked shredded chicken with cheese added in.
  • Time to make this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe CHEESY. Add in the cheese and stir until melted. Add in cilantro and serve. I like to serve ours with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and an extra sprinkle of cheese. (steps 9 and 10)
Instant Pot Chicken and rice in bowl topped with sour cream and green onion.

Notes:

  • The recipe times are specific to brown rice. White rice cooks differently than brown rice so I don’t recommend using it. The brown rice is specifically to balance things out if you use frozen chicken.
  • I have added some diced green pepper and even some jalapeño to the recipe and we enjoyed both quite a bit. Whatever your mood may be, feel free to add them!
  • Make sure you read your pressure cooker instructions and feel comfortable and confident using it. It’s a good idea to do a water test first if this is the first time. The manual will typically have you do a test run by boiling water in your Instant Pot. It is super helpful just to get to know the sounds and how to work it.

Try these other Instant Pot Recipes:

DID YOU MAKE ONE OF MY RECIPES? LEAVE A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW! I ALSO LOVE TO SEE YOUR LEMONS + ZEST RECIPES ON SOCIAL MEDIA–TAG ME @LEMONSANDZEST ON INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK!

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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice

This Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice is as easy as tossing everything in and pressing start. Dinner is ready in a flash and with so little effort it almost seems to good to be true!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 5

Ingredients 

  • 2 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 c brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 T chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash Hot sauce or smoked paprika, (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • c Cilantro, chopped
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Instructions 

  • Add measured rice, chicken broth and garlic to the bottom of Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) and stir to combine. Place chicken breasts in and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Top chicken with tomatoes, onion, chili powder, cumin and hot sauce (or smoked paprika) if desired. Gently mix the spices into the tomatoes.
  • Close and lock Instant pot and turn steam release to sealing.
  • Turn on to pressure cooker and set for 25 minutes. That's it! Walk away, read a book, chase the kids, whatever! It can take around 20 minutes for the pressure to build if using frozen chicken.
  • At the end of 25 minutes, do a quick release by moving the steam release to venting.
  • After steam has released completely, shred chicken (you can remove it with tongs to do this), add in cheese, and stir until melted. Top with lots of chopped cilantro.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Notes

  • The recipe times are specific to brown rice. White rice cooks differently than brown rice so I don’t recommend using it. The brown rice is specifically to balance things out if you use frozen chicken.
  • I have added some diced green pepper and even some jalapeño to the recipe and we enjoyed both quite a bit. Whatever your mood may be, feel free to add them!
  • Make sure you read your pressure cooker instructions and feel comfortable and confident using it. It’s a good idea to do a water test first if this is the first time. The manual will typically have you do a test run by boiling water in your Instant Pot. It is super helpful just to get to know the sounds and how to work it.

Nutrition

Calories: 492kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 51g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 152mg, Sodium: 537mg, Potassium: 908mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 631IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 282mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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8 Comments

  1. Tina says:

    Your ingredients call for onion and your pictures at the top tell you to add it with the tomatoes, but your recipe that goes along with the ingredients doesn’t say when to add it. I started the Instant Pot and realized the onion was still sitting there. Whoops. I’m sure it will still turn out ok. Maybe add the onion step to the bottom recipe too? Excited to try it!

    1. Lorie says:

      Hi! I added it to the post content but not the recipe card–that was totally my bad and it has been added. Hope it was ok in the end without it–my husband actually prefers it without the onion.

  2. Arpita Patel says:

    Excellent. Made as written and the cooking time was perfect. My first Instant Pot® dinner was a hit, thanks to this recipe!!

    1. Lorie says:

      So so glad to hear it Arpita! Enjoy your Instant Pot!

  3. Kelsey says:

    I am so excited to try this! What if I just have a crock pot instead of an instant pot? (Need to get one I know!) what would the conversion on time be?

    1. Lorie says:

      I held off on an Instant Pot for a looooong time. And I still use my slow cooker a ton. So here’s my thinking for slow cooker: put the rice and broth at the bottom and cover with the chicken and seasoning. Cook on low for about 6ish hours and high for 4ish. Then add the cheese in the end when you shred the chicken. Should be ok I think. I plan to test this one in the slow cooker soon!!

  4. Brooke McLeod Burks says:

    I love my IP! I am going to have to try this soon!! It looks so good!

    1. Lorie says:

      I have fallen so in love with it lately!