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This One Pan Indian Chicken and Rice is your classic chicken and rice dinner made better! This one pan meal is made up of tender bites of chicken, perfectly cooked rice, and soft, flavorful cauliflower florets. It’s hearty, flavorful, and makes the perfect easy weeknight meal!
Easy One Pan Meal
If I told you I was serving Indian spiced chicken with cauliflower and rice in a super creamy and flavorful coconut tomato sauce, you’d probably assume it took me a while. And that it also required at least a few dishes!
Think again! This One Pan Indian Chicken and Rice is exactly that meal, but the chicken, the rice, the cauliflower, and the sauce are all cooked together in a single saucepan.
Not only is this recipe so easy, but it tastes incredible, serves a group, and makes great leftovers. No mess, no crazy cleanup, but definitely an amazing dinner. I just love Healthy One Pan Meals!
Can You Cook Rice and Raw Chicken Together?
Yes. Yes you can! This recipe involves cooking cubes of chicken and rice in the same pan at the same time. All you need to do is sear the chicken for a couple minutes, then you’ll add the rice and liquids and let it all finish cooking together.
It’s so simple, everything comes out perfectly, and it sure does make for incredibly easy cleanup!
- Butter: You can use grass-fed butter or ghee for a more authentic flavor.
- Aromatics: We’re creating a flavor base with the classic combination of diced onion and minced garlic.
- Cauliflower: You’ll need 1 cup of cauliflower florets. Be sure they’re chopped relatively similar in size so that they cook at the same rate.
- Chicken: I use a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If preferred, chicken thigh will work too. Whatever you use, it should be chopped into 1″ cubes for quick cooking.
- Seasonings: fine sea salt, black pepper, grated ginger, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, ground cardamom, and paprika.
- White Rice: No need to cook it first. The rice cooks right in the sauce!
- Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Paste: I use a can of diced tomatoes for texture and a little bit of tomato paste for some added flavor depth and richness.
- Chicken Broth: Veggie broth will work too.
- Coconut Milk: Creates the perfect creamy sauce.
- Fresh Spinach: Wilting a handful of fresh spinach into the sauce gives it the perfect pop of color.
- Optional Add-Ins: You can finish your Indian chicken out with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for some extra heat and garnish it with a little bit of fresh parsley.
Spices for Indian Inspired Cooking
- Garam Masala
- Red Chili Powder
Those are some essential spices for Indian cooking and many used here, that give so much depth and flavor to this recipe!
How to Make One Pan Indian Chicken and Rice
This simple one pan meal takes just 10 minutes to prep! Here’s a quick summary of the recipe:
- Cook the cauliflower: Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan, then add in onion, garlic, ginger, and cauliflower. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the cauliflower starts to soften.
- Add the chicken and rice: Add the spices and chicken to the mixture, then sear for a couple of minutes on each side. Pour in the rice and toast for another minute.
- Make the sauce: Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth, then cover the mixture and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice has soaked up the broth.
- Finish and serve: Add in the spinach and coconut milk and allow the spinach to wilt, then garnish and serve.
What Rice to Use
I recommend white rice for this recipe! The key to a one pan meal is to use ingredients that will all be done cooking at the same time! Brown rice in particular takes much longer to cook than white rice, so the timing of everything won’t line up properly. Definitely stick to white rice for the best results in regards to timing, etc.!
Tips and Notes
- Cut everything evenly. The key to making sure everything cooks perfectly in the same pan is to make sure it is also all chopped up to roughly the same size. So, make sure the cauliflower florets are all pretty similar in size and that the chicken is cut into even 1″ cubes.
- Toast the rice first. When you add the rice to the pan, let it cook for a minutes or so before you add the broth and other liquid ingredients. Toasting the rice brings out some of its natural flavor!
- Check the temperature. Before serving, make sure that the chicken is done using an instant read thermometer. It should be 165ºF.
- Make it vegan. If you want to make this into a vegan meal, you can use vegan butter, leave out the chicken, and sub in veggie broth.
This one pan Indian chicken and rice is…well…a one pan meal. So, you don’t necessarily need to serve it with anything at all! However, you definitely can’t go wrong with a piece of your favorite naan, roti, or just toasted bread of choice!
How to Store
Leftover Indian chicken and rice will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen for 2-3 months, but the texture won’t be quite as good.
To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then warm on low on the stove until heated through. If the mixture is a little dry, add a splash of chicken broth as it heats.
One Pan Meals
- One Pan Moroccan Fish
- One Pan Roast Chicken Dinner
- One-Pan Skillet Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
- One-Pan Paleo Cashew Chicken
- One-Pan Shrimp and Green Beans in Chinese Garlic Sauce
- One-Pot Taco Pasta
Watch The Video:
One Pan Indian Spiced Chicken and Cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or ghee
- 1 onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken Breasts cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 14.5 ounce can Tuttorosso diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- Optional: Red pepper flakes to taste
- Optional: Parsley for garnish
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in diced onion, garlic, grated ginger, and cauliflower florets. Cover and let cook, stirring every 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent, and cauliflower begins to soften.
- Add in all spices and chicken, sear cubed chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each sides.
- Pour in rice and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Cover and let cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until the chicken broth has soaked up into the rice mixture.
- Add in the spinach and coconut milk and cook until the spinach has wilted, stirring for 1 minute.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Garnish and serve warm!
- For vegan: omit chicken and sub vegetable broth.
it is one of my favorite meals
If you finish reading it says cook 20 minutes more till chicken broth is absorbed by the rice.
I’m going to try cauliflower rice I had the same question
Would the recipe need to change at all if brown rice was used rather than white rice?
No it should be fine!
Currently making this and it wasn’t very clear that the rice needed to be uncooked… might want to note that. I cooked my rice and am now hoping I don’t have soup.
Have you ever tried substituting quinoa for the white rice? Also, is the rice uncooked when it goes in the pan?
I don’t eat quinoa so I haven’t, but I’m sure you can! And yes, uncooked!
How many ounces of tomatoes?
It says it! 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes 🙂
Could this be made with cauliflower rice?
I always side-eye dishes that claim to be one pot, becuase they’re never as easy as they look and often require other steps. But this one looked promising so I made it, and I’m so glad I did. And I will do it again. It was easy, and actually just one pot, and it was a hit with my husband and my 16 month old.
I added some extra coconut milk because let’s be real, a quarter cup was never going to be enough, and did heavy measurements on all the spices because again, most recipes are never enough. I also realized that I was out of cardamom as I was measuring spices so I used half the amount of cinnamon instead.
This one is going in the regular rotation for sure!
I don’t see rice listed in the ingredients, but the method section says to add in rice and cook 1-2 minutes… … (???)
It’s in the ingredient list!
Love a one pot meal! This looks delicious!!