Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice is a delicious family-friendly meal. With very little prep and less than 10 ingredients, this one-pot recipe makes busy weeknights so much easier.
If you’re looking for more family-friendly chicken and rice recipes, try my Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice!
Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice is a go-to weeknight dinner for my family. It’s incredibly easy, with simple, whole-food ingredients. It’s a delicious “dump and start” recipe to add to your dinner rotation!
Below is an overview of the ingredients and instructions. See the recipe card for all the details!
- Chicken breast – boneless, skinless and 1-inch dice
- Seasoning – garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper
- Chicken broth
- Frozen carrot and pea mix – or sub 1 cup diced fresh carrot + 1 cup frozen peas (see tip below). This is a good option if you prefer your peas to have a firmer texture.
- Long-grain white rice – we like to use jasmine
- Half and half cream – you can adjust the amount to reach your desired creaminess
- Freshly grated cheddar cheese – after stirring it in, we like to add a little more to melt on top, or you can top with a little extra on each person’s serving.
- Salt and pepper – to taste
How to make it
Step one: Season the chicken
Place the diced chicken in the Instant Pot and season with the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss until the pieces are evenly coated in seasoning.
Step two: Add the broth, vegetables and rice
Pour in the broth, then add the frozen carrots and peas in an even layer. Layer the rice on top of the vegetables. Push the rice into the broth until it’s submerged, but do not stir.
Step three: Pressure cook
Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on High pressure for 4 minutes (using the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” buttons, depending on your Instant Pot model). It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.
At the end of cooking time, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (don’t touch the pot, just leave it!), then quick release the remaining pressure.
Step four: Add the cream and cheese
Fluff the rice with a fork, then add the cream and grated cheddar. Stir until well combined, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the lid askew on the pot for the cheese and cream to warm up for 3-5 minutes. We like to add a bit of extra cheese on top, as shown in the picture below.
Tips and variations
Use freshly grated cheddar cheese rather than pre-packaged. Freshly grated cheese will have a more pleasing melted texture.
You can substitute fresh diced carrot. Instead of the frozen pea/carrot mix, you can add a cup of diced carrot before pressure cooking, then stir in a cup of thawed frozen peas along with the cheddar after pressure cooking. The peas will have a firmer texture with this method.
Taste after adding the cheese and add more salt, if necessary. If it tastes like it’s missing something, you probably need more salt! (Or hot sauce, if you’re like my husband haha.)
More easy Instant Pot recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry
Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, 1-inch dice
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- freshly ground black pepper (a few turns)
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots mix (see note 1)
- 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice, rinsed (I used jasmine)
- ¼ cup half and half cream (or more to desired creaminess)
- 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
- Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley
- Add diced chicken to the Instant Pot insert. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss until the chicken is evenly coated.
- Pour in the chicken broth, then layer in the frozen carrots and peas, then the rice. Push the rice down into the broth until it's submerged. Do not stir.
- Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 4 minutes (your Instant Pot may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button, depending on the model). It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Open the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, then add the cream and grated cheese. Mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the lid askew on the pot to allow the cream and cheese to warm up, about 3-5 minutes.
- Serve immediately garnished with more grated cheese and fresh parsley, if desired. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.
- Instead of a frozen carrot/pea mix, you can sub 1 cup diced fresh carrots (add before pressure cooking) and stir in 1 cup of thawed frozen peas along with the cheddar cheese.
- Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure, plus wait for the cheese to melt.
- This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models.
- Be sure to check out more of my Instant Pot recipes!
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