This Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni chicken is a kid friendly meal you do not want to miss! A family friendly meal that goes together in a snap and cooks in ten minutes!!
Tender bite sized pieces of chicken are nestled in a classically savory and delicious homemade version of Rice-a-Roni.
And no worries, this version is all real food…no scary processed ingredients here! Just basic pantry staples will make this one pot wonder!
Remember Rice-a-Roni when you were growing up!!?
While it certainly still exists….I no longer am willing to purchase it. It contains some less than stellar ingredients I prefer not to feed my family.
And really, there is no need!
With a few simple ingredients and spices, you can have that classic flavor you fondly remember…and totally gluten free to boot!
Meet the Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni Chicken, a perfect quick recipe to throw into that mom arsenal! (If you just want to make the side dish, try my Instant Pot rice a roni with no added meat)
How To Up Your Nutrition In This Quick Dinner!
I always like to get the most bang for my buck when it comes to the food I feed my family. Using bone broths are a great way to add loads of flavor to your foods, as well as essential amino acids and collagen: essential components in our bodies! Bone broth even contains some protein from the collagen!!
While I love to make my own bone broth in the Instant Pot, in a pinch, I love to have my Perfect Supplements Bone Broth Powder to throw in!
True to their rigorous quality standards, this bone broth contains ONE ingredient: organic chicken bones!! Well of course, they slow cooked them in water too! The broth is then dehydrated to give you a convenient but totally nutritious add in to all sorts of meals!
Here are some nutritional highlights of this top quality bone broth:
- contains all 9 amino acids
- contains the collagen (types 1, 2, AND 3) , chondroitin, and glucosomine: all amazing for joint health!!
- Non GMO, and glyphosphate free…..and tested to be so!!
And they will back their product with a 60 day money back guarantee!! Don’t love it? Return it for all your money back! But I know you will love it as much as I do…they have become my go-to for collagen, gelatin, dessicated liver, and other high quality supplements! Use TESSA10 for 10% off any order.
Stove Top Rice-a-Roni Chicken?
I haven’t tested it yet, but I plan to!
- The liquid would need to be increased for simmering on the stove. I would start with 2 3/4 cup broth, added in after you have followed all the ‘Saute‘ instructions.
- Pour in the broth, bring to a simmer, then cover and let gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest another 5-10 minutes.
More Quick & Easy Instant Pot Meals:
Having lots of quick and easy recipes on hand is key to feeding your family well, even when time is crunched!! These recipes are all straight forward and call for simple ingredients. As an added bonus, they are kid-friendly!
- My Instant Pot Chicken Adobo is equally delicious atop a Chinese chicken salad or a bowl of rice!
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili is a low carb creamy stew made with ground chicken….and a healthy surprise!
- Instant Pot No Noodle Lasagna (could serve over noodles too!!)
- Everyone needs an Easy Beef Stew in their life!
Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni Chicken Recipe:
Did you try this? I want to hear about it! Leave a comment and a star rating below!
May 12, 2022 I updated the instructions for this recipe. While I never had issues, some complained of the burn notice, so I’ve modified the directions to make it more seamless for everyone! The original instructions can be found in the ‘note section’ of the recipe card.
Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni Chicken
A real food version of chicken Rice-a-Roni with tender bits of chicken breast meat cooked along side for a perfect family dinner!
- 2 tablespoons butter or avocado oil
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped, OR 2t onion powder added to spice mix below
- 1/2 cup gluten free spaghetti broken into 1" pieces, OR gluten free orzo, or replace with more basmati rice.
- 1 1/4 cup long grain rice I prefer California basmati
- 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons sea salt to taste, will depend on the broth you use.
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 3 1/2 cups bone broth homemade or your favorite chicken broth
- 1 pound chicken tenders, chopped or bite size pieces of chicken breast or thighs.
Press "sauté' on your Instant Pot. Add in the oil or butter, and when hot, toss in the onion.
Meanwhile, mix your spices and broth together to be ready for step 5.
Stir the onion for a few minutes to soften, then add the broken spaghetti pieces to brown slightly, several minutes. You will notice the noodles getting darker in color. Remove and set aside.
Now sauté the chicken pieces until most pink is gone.
Add all the rice, the seasoning mix, reserved noodles onion mixture, and broth stirring to combine, ensuring no stuck bits on bottom of the pot.
Lock on the lid and set 'manual' high pressure time for 10 minutes. Called 'pressure cook' on newer models. It generally takes 5-8 minutes for the pressure cooker to come to full pressure and start its backward 10 minute timer, FYI! If you want to decrease this time, preheat your broth before adding it.
When the Instant Pot beeps, hit 'cancel', and release pressure (pull pressure valve forward towards you). Open lid, stir, add in some sautéed veggies of choice if desired, and serve!
Vegetable addition note: In these pictures, I added some steamed broccoli to the end product...cooking broccoli WITH the rice would = mush broccoli - yuck.
Original Instructions: 1.Press "sauté' on your Instant Pot. Add in the oil or butter, and when hot, toss in the onion. 2. Meanwhile, mix your spices and broth together to be ready for step 5. 3. Stir the onion for a few minutes to soften, then add the broken spaghetti pieces to brown slightly, several minutes. You will notice the noodles getting darker in color. Hit 'cancel.' 4. Add all the rice, the seasoning mix, and chicken, stirring to combine. 5. Pour in the bone broth or chicken broth, stirring gently. Ensure no bits stick to the bottom...newer Instant Pots have a sensitive 'burn' notice sensor. If any rice kernels are on the side of the insert, shove them back into the broth. 6. Lock on the lid and set 'manual' high pressure time for 5 minutes. Called 'pressure cook' on newer models. It generally takes 5-8 minutes for the pressure cooker to come to full pressure and start its backward 5 minute timer, FYI! If you want to decrease this time, preheat your broth before adding it. 7. When the Instant Pot beeps, hit 'cancel', and let it sit (natural release) for at least 10 minutes before releasing pressure (pull pressure valve forward towards you). It is worth noting that this natural release time is essential for the rice to cook fully and the chicken pieces to tenderize.
Kirsten M. says
The updated cooking instructions on this worked like a charm! I also sautéed salted broccoli to Al dente before mixing in and it was awesome! The whole family hobbies it down.:)
“Gobbles” it down I mean.:)
This was so delish, everyone in my family really enjoyed this dish. Will be making this again for sure
Thanks Karina, glad everyone liked it!
Lynda Kimpel says
What are the reddish orange pieces in the bowl? And I see broccoli but it isn’t mentioned in the recipe. How much? And when is it added?
I added some chopped red bell pepper for the picture, it was too bland looking by it self! And I stirred some chopped, steamed broccoli into the finished dish.
Lynda Kimpel says
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
Pinning this one to make asap! Looks and sounds delicious!
Comfort food !!! Thanks.
I loved rice a roni when I was a kid! Thank you for your recipe, now my littles can be introduced to a nutritious version of a childhood favorite comfort food!
How long to cook this with frozen chicken breasts?
Because of the rice, we can’t add too much more cook time. So when I have done this with chicken breasts, I have cut the chicken into small bite-size pieces first. I maintain the same cook time, but let it do a full natural release. Hope that helps!
This is now added to my weekly dinner line up. I LOVE it. I haven’t been able to make recipe dinners for some time given how little my boys are, but this…THIS is so easy and turns out so creamy and marvelous. It’s my favorite comfort food right now. It’s one for my permanent recipe collection.
Easy for the win, thanks Cassandra!!
jenna urben says
Oh my gosh, my husband and I were JUST talking about rice-a-roni lol! So awesome to have this recipe, can’t wait to try it out. I need to use my IP more often 🙂
ChihYu Smith says
Wow ! That looks so flavorful and delicious. What a fabulous everyday healthy simple meal!
Anne Lawton says
This recipe sounds delicious! I used to love rice a roni , but like you won’t eat it anymore. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
The picture has broccoli and red pepper (maybe?). Do you add the vegetables before pressure cooking? Or are you steaming those separately and adding in at the end?
Hi Jolie! That was for added color for picture taking purposes since by itself, it is pretty monochromatic! I have served with salads and steamed broccoli…cooked separately. You could steam broccoli for ‘0’ minutes in IP before doing the recipe too, quick release (using steam trivet and 1 cup water).
Hope that helps! Let me know if you have more questions!
Megan Stevens says
Mmm, total comfort food. Love all the nutrition packed into this, and definitely the cozy factor!
Katie Beck says
This looks like something my kids would absolutely scarf down! And I love the quickness of the instant pot for a work night meal 🙂
Lindsey Dietz says
You must’ve grown up in a boxed rice dinner house, too… LOL This is pure comfort food and SO easy! I can’t believe it only takes 5 minutes of cooking time!
Love this! I used to eat Rice-a-Roni all the time and this definitely brings me back. I can’t believe how easy it is in the IP!
Joni Gomes says
This is talking to the inner child in me and I love it! making this ASAP! Thank you 🙂
Amy Knight says
I love this real food take on the classic childhood food!
Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri says
This is so fun! I grew up on the boxed Rice-a-Roni and I’m an 80’s baby and spent some of my childhood in San Francisco, so that commercial jingle is still sealed in my memory. Love this recipe, so yummy!
linda spiker says
Can’t beat the IP for easy dinners!
Renee D Kohley says
This is so perfect for busy weeknights! Thank you for the fun dinner change up – my girls will love this!
Shelby @Fitasamamabear says
This looks so simple! Perfect for a weeknight dinner- yum!
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
Excited to try this one! Thanks. I am relatively new to IPot.. so loving learning!