Tender, juicy chicken thighs, fluffy white rice, and a thick, creamy gravy come together in this simple Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice recipe. The easy dinner is perfect for busy weeknights! Add a side of broccoli and some warm biscuits to complete the cozy, comforting meal.
Chicken and Rice Slow Cooker Meal
Keep these basic ingredients stocked in your kitchen and you can easily throw together a chicken and rice slow cooker meal in minutes. Your family will love the juicy meat, the fluffy rice and the creamy sauce! Add a green veggie on the side and supper is ready.
This particular slow cooker chicken and rice recipe reminds me of a shortcut Chicken Bog. We're using chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken, but the basic idea is the same: a one-pot meal in which the tender pieces of meat are "bogged down" in a rich broth with rice. Add sliced smoked sausage for an even more authentic dish.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice with Cream of Mushroom Soup
Since Crock Pot dinners need to be easy and fast, this recipe takes advantage of two cans of condensed soup to add flavor and to create a thick, creamy texture. Feel free to get creative or use whatever you have on hand. I like one can of cream of mushroom soup and one can of cream of chicken soup, but you can stick with just two cans of cream of mushroom or two cans of cream of chicken. A can of condensed cream of celery soup, cream of bacon soup, or cream of onion soup would also be a nice twist. If you're watching your sodium or fat, look for the 98% fat-free varieties or the Healthy Request versions.
What type of rice works best in the slow cooker?
This recipe requires instant white rice (sometimes called "Minute Rice"), which is just regular rice that is precooked so that it needs less time in the Crock Pot. Do not substitute with regular long-grain white rice or other varieties of rice -- the recipe will not work. By adding the instant rice at the very end on HIGH heat for about 20 minutes, you get perfectly cooked, fluffy rice. Other types of rice that require a longer cooking time tend to get mushy and gummy in the slow cooker -- obviously not ideal.
What type of chicken works best in the slow cooker?
This recipe calls for bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed. Chicken thighs stay much juicier and more tender in the slow cooker than chicken breasts, and leaving the bone in adds extra flavor and moisture to the dish. You can substitute with 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs. If you prefer white meat, feel free to use 2-3 bone-in or boneless, skinless chicken breasts -- just make sure that you don't overcook the breasts or they will become tough and dry.
Ingredients for Crockpot Chicken and Rice with Canned Soup
This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you'll need for a batch of slow cooker chicken thighs and rice. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Condensed cream of mushroom soup and cream of chicken soup: form the base of the creamy gravy.
- Chicken broth: to thin the sauce and give the rice some liquid to absorb as it cooks.
- Onion, celery, and garlic: classic aromatics that flavor the slow cooker chicken thighs and rice as they cook.
- Oregano, thyme, and paprika: for even more earthy, savory flavor.
- Chicken thighs: stay moist and juicy in the Crock Pot -- even over a longer cooking time. You can substitute with bone in skinless chicken breast, but the white meat tends to dry out easier in the slow cooker. The bones add flavor and keep the chicken moist, but you can use 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs if that's your preference.
- Instant white rice: do not substitute with other types of rice, or the cooking time and the amount of liquid in your pot will need to change.
- Chopped fresh parsley: for a bright, colorful finishing touch.
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs and Rice
This meal tastes like a cross between chicken and gravy and a slow cooker chicken and rice stew. It's thick and creamy, but made with just a few simple ingredients. A perfect set-it-and-forget-it weeknight meal! Place the chicken in the pot, pour the other ingredients over top, and cook the rice at the end...
- Cook the Chicken. Cook the chicken thighs with the soups, broth, onion, garlic, and seasoning in a Crock Pot on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH for about 2 hours.
- Shred the Chicken. Remove the meat from the bone and chop or shred the chicken.
- Cook the Rice. Stir the rice into the slow cooker, add the shredded chicken back on top, and cook on HIGH for about 20-25 minutes (until the rice is tender). Use a fork to fluff the rice, give everything a good stir, and then spoon the mixture onto individual plates. Garnish with fresh parsley, other herbs, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or even crushed red pepper flakes if you like!
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs and Rice
Serve this easy dinner with your favorite sides, such as:
- House Salad with Candied Pecans, Green Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette, a Classic Caesar Salad, or a Wedge Salad
- Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits, 3-Ingredient Biscuits, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Cheese Biscuits or Drop Biscuits
- Fluffy Bakery-Style Corn Muffins, Sweet Cornbread Muffins with Brown Sugar, Skillet Cornbread, Corn Sticks, or Honey Cornbread
- Pumpkin Bread or Pumpkin Muffins
- 3-Ingredient Sour Cream Muffins
- Cranberry Orange Bread or Cranberry Muffins
- Cheddar Chive Beer Bread (No Yeast, No Knead) or Honey Beer Bread
- Homemade Crescent Rolls or Soft Dinner Rolls
- A loaf of crusty Dutch Oven Bread or French Baguette
- Sauteed Zucchini
- Fried Corn
- Amish Green Beans with Brown Butter or Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon
- Roasted Broccoli
- Sauteed Spinach with Garlic
- Southern Collard Greens
- Roasted Cabbage
- 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes or Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Root Vegetables with Balsamic
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can freeze any extra slow cooker chicken thighs and rice for a later meal, too! Allow the dish to cool completely, store in airtight containers, and freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
Thaw frozen chicken and rice in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, transfer the chicken and rice mixture to a pot on the stovetop. Warm over low heat, covered, until it reaches the desired consistency, stirring frequently. The mixture thickens significantly as it sits, so you will need to stir in additional broth to thin the rice as it warms.
Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature. Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the chicken thighs are best when cooked on HIGH for about 2 hours or on LOW for about 4 hours. You may need to adjust your cooking time depending on your particular appliance. The instant rice may also be done in very hot slow cookers within about 15 minutes, or may require closer to 30 minutes in other slow cookers. Just keep an eye on the pot and turn it off when the rice is tender.
- Adjust the Seasoning. The canned soups and broth tend to have quite a bit of salt, so you probably won't need to add any extra salt to the dish (other than seasoning the meat). If you find that your meal could use some extra salt and pepper, I recommend adding it to the sauce at the same time that you add the rice.
- Add vegetables to the pot (such as sliced mushrooms, onions or carrots). Vegetables will release extra liquid as they cook, so the sauce may be slightly thinner. For a thick sauce, I recommend reducing the broth to ¾ cup or ½ cup when adding a lot of vegetables. You can also stir in frozen peas at the very end of cooking.
- If the gravy still isn't thick enough, you can always stir in a cornstarch slurry at the end, and then continue cooking until the mixture thickens up a bit.
More Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Recipes to Try
- Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing
- Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushrooms
- Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice
- 1 (10.5 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, NOT diluted
- 1 (10.5 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup, NOT diluted
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup finely-diced onion
- ½ cup finely-diced celery
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed (about 3 ½ lbs. total)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ cups instant white rice (such as Minute Rice)
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Place condensed soups, chicken broth, onion, celery, garlic, oregano, thyme and paprika in a slow cooker; whisk to combine. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 2 hours on HIGH or 4 hours on LOW.
- Transfer chicken to a plate and use two forks to shred the meat, discarding the bones. Stir rice into slow cooker, season with a touch of salt and pepper to taste (if necessary), and add the chicken back on top of the rice, along with any accumulated juices from the plate. Cover and cook on HIGH until rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Use a fork to fluff the rice and combine with the chicken. Transfer to individual serving plates and garnish with fresh parsley.
- Every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature. Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the chicken thighs are best when cooked on HIGH for about 2 hours or on LOW for about 4 hours. You may need to adjust your cooking time depending on your appliance. The instant rice may also be done in very hot slow cookers within about 15 minutes, or may require closer to 30 minutes in other slow cookers. Just keep an eye on the pot and turn it off when the rice is tender.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste. The canned soups and broth tend to have quite a bit of salt, so you probably won't need to add any extra salt to the dish (other than seasoning the chicken). If you find that your meal could use some extra salt and pepper, I recommend adding it to the sauce when you add the rice.
- Add vegetables to the pot (such as sliced mushrooms, onions or carrots). Vegetables will release extra liquid in the pot, so you the sauce may be slightly thinner. For a thick sauce, I recommend reducing the broth to ¾ cup or ½ cup when adding a lot of vegetables. You can also stir in frozen peas at the very end of cooking.