This flavorful and easy one pot chicken and rice recipe is seasoned with bold Mediterranean spices of warm cumin, paprika, turmeric and tart sumac. Add chickpeas for additional texture and protein and finish everything with loads of fresh herbs and bright lemon.
One pot lovers, unite! This one pot chicken and rice recipe is everything you want in an easy weeknight dinner!
Bone in chicken thighs are seasoned with a mixture of bold Mediterranean spices including warm cumin and paprika, turmeric and bright sumac. Once the chicken thighs are seared and browned, they finish cooking in the same pot with fragrant basmati rice and nutty chickpeas.
The results are a tender and flavorful Mediterranean spiced chicken with perfectly cooked rice and savory chickpeas. Pair this one pot chicken dish with chopped salad or homemade tzatziki sauce for a true explosion of flavors!
🍋 Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Bold Mediterranean flavors! Cumin, paprika, bright sumac and fresh lemon zest season the chicken thighs and the flavor combination is delicious!
- Bone in and skin on chicken thighs ensure that the chicken stays juicy and tender!
- This one pot chicken and rice is done in nearly 30 minutes!
- Chicken Thighs: Bone in and skin on chicken thighs have more fat and flavor than chicken breast. When baked in the oven with other grains, the chicken stays juicy and tender and won't dry out.
- Spices: A mixture of Mediterranean spices including paprika, turmeric, sumac, cumin and a touch of warm allspice bring big flavors to this simple one pot recipe.
- Fresh Lemon: Both the lemon zest and lemon slices are used in this recipe to offer a bit of brightness to the warmer flavors. Use a microplane to grate the lemon zest.
- Garlic and Shallot: Shallots are a little milder than onion and offer great flavor. If shallots aren't available, substitute with finely chopped red onion.
- Basmati Rice: The grains of basmati rice are long and fragrant. If you are looking for a truly delicious and airy basmati rice, my favorite is India Gate Basmati Rice.
- Chickpeas: A simple can of chickpeas is drained and rinsed and added to the one pot chicken recipe. The chickpeas stay tender and the outside gets ever so crunchy.
- Chicken Stock: I like using a chicken stock base, such as this one or use your favorite chicken or vegetable stock. If stock isn't available, use water. There is so much flavor in this chicken recipe, it will still be delicious!
- Dry the chicken well with paper towels and season with the spices and lemon zest on all sides.
- Bring a wide pan or dutch oven to medium heat and drizzle with olive oil and sear chicken, skin side down until deeply golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then turn over and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and set aside and in the same pan, saute the chopped shallots for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add the basmati rice and saute so all the grains are coated with the seasonings. Add the chickpeas and stir to combine.
- Nestle the chicken on top of the rice and pour chicken stock around the chicken.
- Top the chicken with lemon slices and cover the pan. Place in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the oven and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
🌶️ Substitutions and Variations
- If chickpeas aren't available, substitute with canned white beans.
- Boneless chicken thighs will work great, just reduce the cooking time by 3-5 minutes.
- Add quick cooking spinach or cubed zucchini for extra vegetables.
- For added heat, add a teaspoon of harissa paste or Aleppo pepper.
Rinse the basmati rice before adding it to the recipe. Rinsing the rice cleans up any debris and also removes excess starch, making a lighter and airier result.
Yes you can. Chicken thighs take about 25-30 minutes to cook with an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the same amount of time it will take the rice to cook and become tender as well.
Yes, this can be made up to 3 days in advance. When reheating, add ¼ cup to ½ cup more liquid so the chicken and rice doesn't dry out.
More Flavorful Chicken Recipes to Try
- Chicken Shawarma Skewers
- Chicken Saltimbocca with Speck
- Preserved Lemon and Yogurt Marinated Chicken
- Chicken Puttanesca with Calabrian Chiles
One Pot Chicken and Rice with Lemon and Chickpeas
- 2 pounds chicken thighs skin on and bone in
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 lemon zested and sliced thinly
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 1 small shallot diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
- 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish
- Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, add all of the spices, lemon zest and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Dry the chicken thighs very well with paper towels and season the chicken with the spice and lemon zest mixture, making sure all the chicken is generously and evenly coated all over.
- Bring a wide dutch oven or pan to medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Sear the chicken, skin side down until deeply golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then flip over and sear the other side for another 2 minutes.
- Once done, remove chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate.
- In the same pan, add the chopped shallots and saute until caramelized and softened for about 2-3 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the basmati rice and saute the rice in the residual fat, so all of the grains are lightly coated with the flavored oil. Add the drained chickpeas and toss together for another minute.
- Nestle the chicken thighs into the rice and chickpea mixture, skin side up and pour the chicken stock around the chicken. Scatter the lemon slices on top of the chicken.
- Turn off heat and cover the pot. Then place it into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Then remove the cover and continue cooking for additional 10 minutes. until the liquid has absorbed and chicken is cooked through.
- Once done, remove the chicken from oven and garnish everything with fresh chopped parsley.
sue | theviewfromgreatisland says
I could literally eat this for a week, love the rich colors! Pinning and sharing <3
My favorite flavors too!! Thanks Sue...such a compliment because I LOVE your recipes!
I love the idea of one pan meals in principle, but I do have a hard time not using extra pans. This sounds good! You had me at sumac, but really everything sounds perfect. Thanks for the shout out for my Lemon Chicken and Green Beans Sheet Pan Meal too!
Thank you Kalyn!! LOVE sumac as well..so bright and citrusy!
Tried dish using chicken breasts. Flavor was there but too dry. My husband loved it. Thank you for the scrumptious dish!!
Thanks for the comment! I did use thighs which are much more moist and would probably add another 1/4-1/2 cup of liquid if using chicken beasts.
These look amazing! I've never had a chicken with lemon before. Thanks for your recipe.
Thanks Chau!! Hope you try it...love adding lemon to everything!
Lindsay Myers says
when you say "turn off the heat" in step #8, do you mean turn off the oven? Is the chicken really just cooking in the heat from the oven coming up to temp? Or did you mean turn off the heat on the stove top?
Hi Lindsay...I meant turn off the stove top and then you'll place the dish in the over to finish cooking. I'll change the word heat to "stove top". Thanks for asking!!
I made this tonight for my lovely friend and we both enjoyed it! Adding it to my regular meal rotation.
Thank you so much!
Vicki Stieha says
Looks fabulous! Do you think this would work well if made the day before?
Hi Vicki! Sorry for the late reply. Yes you could certainly make this ahead of time, I may add a bit more stock/liquid so the dish doesn't dry out with reheating.
Amy S. says
Made this last night. It was super delicious. The spice mix was a keeper. And the rice/chickpea combo perfect. Only suggestion is to add some salt to spice rub for chicken and also to add salt to rice mixture (even with store bought broth that has some salt in it). You can salt after but more flavorful when incorporated during cooking process. Salt and pepper are on ingredient list but not noted when to add in instructions.
Thank you Amy! I can be light handed when it comes to salt so I appreciate your comments. Glad you enjoyed!!
I love everything about this recipe...sounds so yummy!! My problem is that my oven is broken 🙁 Do you think that I could prepare it entirely on the Stove-top? Thanks for the recipe!
Samantha Ferraro says
Yes absolutely Elizabeth. Since I have not done it Stovetop, this is just me winging it here.Try this, bring everything to a boil then simmer low and slow for 30-35 Minutes and the rice is tender. Keep a close eye on it and Please let us know how it turns out. Samantha
Hi Samantha! Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I really appreciate it 🙂 I'll be back to let you know how things worked out! Take care!