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Lemon Chicken and Rice Recipe


Bright and comforting, this lemon chicken and rice one-pot recipe is an easy and absolutely delicious dinner that comes together in a pinch.

Chicken and rice is such a classic pairing you can never go wrong with in any recipe, and this dish features the taste of super tender chicken and a fluffy long-grain rice mixture with tangy lemon juice all found and cooked in one skillet. This main course cuisine is packed with flavor and has all of the protein, carbs, and healthy fats you want for a well-rounded yet easy meal. 

Learn how to make this lemon chicken and rice one-pan recipe.

How Do You Make Lemon Chicken and Rice?

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients for Lemon Chicken and Rice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cooked rice, preferably basmati or jasmine rice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, optional
  • 1 lemon, sliced, optional
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional

Directions for Lemon Chicken and Rice

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat one large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
  2. On a stovetop, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, and cook chicken, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove chicken, transfer to a plate, and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onions to the frying pan and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until soft and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in garlic, turmeric, paprika, and saffron. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate and set aside.
  4. Put the pan over medium heat and add cabbage. Cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice, chicken broth, lemon juice, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, black pepper, and half of the reserved onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the rice is well coated and heated for 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice in the skillet. Bake the chicken rice skillet, covered, for 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover and continue baking until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees F and the onions are starting to brown around the edges, 5 to 10 minutes more. Garnish the chicken rice dish with parsley, lemon slices, zest, and pepper flakes if desired.

Cooking Tips for this Lemon Chicken and Rice Recipe

  • Brown rice or white rice like jasmine and basmati rice are the best options for this lemon chicken and rice meal, but you can also opt for wild rice or arborio rice depending on the consistency and texture you want to have for your rice. 
  • Note that as you cook, there will seem to be some extra liquid in the pan. Do not drain this as the rice will soak it up and become fluffy and delicious.
  • Leftovers of this chicken rice one-pan meal can simply be put into a refrigerator-safe container for up to one week. Reheat by putting it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.

Final Note on this Lemon Chicken and Rice Recipe

One-pot dishes like this lemon chicken and rice skillet are so delicious and surprisingly easy to make for dinner, and we love hearing about recipes we can make with ingredients we already own in the kitchen. This lemon chicken and rice skillet recipe is an amazing dish we’re sure will turn into a family favorite.

Want to learn more rice recipes like this one? Discover more on our blog.


Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.

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