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Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice

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!

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Cheesy chicken and rice on a white plate garnished with fresh parsley.

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!

Ingredients

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.

Seasoned pieces of uncooked chicken in an Instant Pot.

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.

Pushing rice into the broth in an Instant Pot using a white spatula.

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.

Cheesy chicken and rice in an Instant Pot being scooped by a wooden spoon.

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.)

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Cheesy chicken and rice on a white plate garnished with fresh parsley.

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Laura Lawless, BASc
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.
4.5 from 2 votes
Servings 6
Calories 507
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Inactive time 30 mins
Total Time 44 mins

Ingredients

  • pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, 1-inch dice
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models. 
  4. Be sure to check out more of my Instant Pot recipes!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Equipment

Instant Pot (8 qt)
Dry Measure Cups
Sieve
Box Grater

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 827mg | Potassium: 704mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4961IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 317mg | Iron: 2mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. Hi Laura! I’m wondering if I could make this without traditional half and half by using the cashew cream you use in some of your other recipes. Any thoughts?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I don’t see why not! If you include some nutritional yeast in the cashew cream, it will add to the “cheesiness”. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!

      1. 5 stars
        I gave it a go with the cashew cream (only because my stomach doesn’t tolerate half and half well) and it was delicious! Added the nutritional yeast per your recommendation and the results were terrific. New family favorite, boy is this one easy! Thanks Laura!

      2. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

        So glad it worked out, Madison! Thanks for reporting back!

  2. 4 stars
    I think it was a delicious and easy meal. The reason I ranked it 4 instead of 5 stars was simply because I think it needs just a little more seasoning. Adding hot sauce definitely helps. It definitely is a stick to your ribs type of meals and for that is very good.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Tyler, yes, you can definitely change up the seasoning to suit your taste! Thanks for leaving a review!