One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

Two bowls of one-pot chicken and brown rice with toppings.

Take a break from weeknight dishes and make this gluten-free one-pot chicken and brown rice meal with black beans, salsa, and corn. This dish has it all: protein, veggies, carbs, fiber, lots of flavor, and low cleanup! A variety of spices gives this one-pot meal a Southwestern flair without much added effort.

This hearty meal comes together in practically no time at all and slow-cooks over the stove for a mostly hands-off dinner. Instructions for making this black bean brown rice chicken in the Instant Pot are included, too!

Two bowls of one-pot chicken and brown rice with various toppings.
When topped with tortilla chips, cilantro (or green onions), cheese, lime, and flaky salt, this simple meal is downright delicious and beautiful.

Ingredients for One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

The magic of this one-pot black bean and brown rice chicken dinner is that it’s made from simple, everyday ingredients. There’s nothing fussy, and even kids love it.

  • Yellow onion. Yellow onion has the best flavor for cooked foods, but you can also substitute a white onion.
  • Garlic. There’s a lot of food here, so if you want a stronger garlic flavor, add another couple of cloves.
  • Olive oil. Just a touch to help the onion and garlic sauté. Use any oil you like best here.
  • Brown rice. Long-grain is my favorite, but this recipe will also work with short-grain brown rice.
  • Corn. Any kind of corn works here: frozen, fresh, or canned. Roasted corn has the best flavor, if you can find that!
  • Salsa. Use your favorite salsa here! I used Del Real’s Fire Roasted Red Salsa here.
  • Black beans.
  • Chicken broth. I use the lower-sodium kind; if you don’t have any on hand, substitute water or more salsa.
  • Spices. We’re breaking out all the savory seasonings for complex and delicious flavor. Measure with your heart when it comes to your favorites.
  • Chicken breast. This recipe works with both thawed and frozen chicken breast. Either way, the chicken shreds easily after cooking.
  • Your favorite toppings. This southwest chicken and rice bowl is great to start, but you get extra bonus points for adding dimension with thoughtful toppings. My favorites are flaky sea salt, shredded cheddar cheese, lime juice, sour cream, and cilantro. Also, tortilla chips are a must.
The ingredients for one-pot chicken and brown rice on a quartz countertop.
To prove this can be made with frozen chicken breast, I used frozen chicken in this photo shoot!

Quick Tips for Prepping Black Bean Brown Rice Chicken

This one-pot chicken meal comes together easily with no special techniques; however, seeing it made step-by-step gives you some familiarity so you know what to expect.

Sautéing the Onion and Garlic

I’ve tried larger and smaller pieces of onion, and I like the texture of diced onion best. You’re welcome to cut your onion pieces a little larger if you’d like. Sauté the diced onion in a Tablespoon of oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once the onion has softened, add in the garlic.

Cook the garlic for only a minute until fragrant—it cooks quickly!

Adding Brown Rice, Corn, Salsa, Beans, and Broth

Once the vegetables have softened, add in all the remaining ingredients except for the chicken. You can stir as you go or just once at the end. This is a great task to give to little kitchen helpers with supervision.

Cooking the Chicken

Place the chicken breasts in the center of the Dutch oven after the mixture has started to boil. The top of the chicken cooks largely by steam , so you want to make sure there’s enough steam in the pot.

Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes before uncovering and separating the chicken. There will still be some pink spots; flip the chicken over so the pink sides are facedown.

Shredding the Chicken

Use two forks to shred the chicken straight in the pot. If you’re worried about scraping the enamel on the Dutch oven, you can take the chicken out and shred it on a plate. There’s usually enough food between the chicken and the pot for me to comfortably shred the chicken. I get it, though, if you don’t want to risk your Le Creuset!

Once the chicken is shredded, give the whole pot a good stir to incorporate everything. This also gives you a chance to make sure all the chicken is fully cooked. If you see any pink, recover the pot. Let the whole meal cook for another five minutes, or until the temperature reaches 165°F.

Plating Black Bean Brown Rice Chicken

My favorite part of one-pot chicken and brown rice is the toppings. My husband and I usually place a handful of tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl and then add three or four heaping scoops on top. We place tortilla chips around the edges of the bowl to make a sun shape. Lastly, we add shredded cheese, a squeeze of lime juice, flaky salt, and cilantro. (You can use green onions if you aren’t a huge fan of cilantro!)

Make One-Pot Chicken with Frozen Chicken Breast

This is one of those meals that I can prepare on the dot with no advanced preparation. I always have a few packets of raw chicken breast in my freezer, and if my husband and I don’t know what to do for dinner, we can have this on the table in about an hour.

Can I Make this One-Pot Recipe in the Instant Pot?

Yes! Simply use the Sauté function for the first part of the recipe, then cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. I’ve also included these instructions at the bottom of the recipe card itself for easy reference.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

Quick, easy, and delicious meals seem to be my savory specialty. Here are a few other recipes you might like to try:

Dish Cleanup: Not Too Bad

I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.

My one-pot chicken and brown rice dinner recipe has a cleanup rating of a 2. There’s a Dutch oven, a cutting board, and a knife, along with a handful of measuring cups and spoons. You’ll save time on dishes if you measure out the rice, corn, and salsa as you go in the same measuring cup instead of placing them into their own little bowls.

And, of course, you won’t have to wash measuring spoons if you measure the spices solely with your heart!

A collection of dishes used to make one-pot chicken and brown rice.
Even when adding a few bowls to hold the beans and corn, this recipe still has very little cleanup—rather minimal for a dinner that feeds six!

One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice

A bowl of one-pot chicken and brown rice with black beans and corn topped with tortilla chips, cilantro, lime, and cheese.

The perfect, one-pot weeknight chicken dinner with black beans and brown rice everyone will love. You don't even need to plan ahead—this recipe works great with chicken straight from the freezer!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14.5-oz can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ to 1 teaspoon each)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed or frozen!)
  • Topping ideas: flaky sea salt, shredded cheddar cheese, lime juice, cilantro, tortilla chips


  1. Dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic. Keep the two separate, as they'll go into the pot at different times!
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, then add the diced onion. Stir occasionally until the onion has softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Add brown rice, corn, salsa, black beans, spices, and chicken broth. Stir together and bring to a boil.
  5. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes. The mixture should be bubbling softly the entire time to release enough steam to cook the chicken. If you don't hear the pot simmering, raise the heat a bit until you do.
  6. If your chicken breasts were frozen together, you'll want to separate them after 30 minutes of cooking. Remove the lid and separate the chicken breasts. Place the pink side of the chicken face-down and re-cover to continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and shred the chicken breasts using two forks. Stir to incorporate. If the chicken is still a bit pink, replace the lid and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75°C.
  8. Spoon into bowls, then top with flaky sea salt, shredded cheddar cheese, and cilantro, if desired. Best served with tortilla chips or quesadillas on the side.


To make this meal in an Instant Pot, use the saute function for Steps 1-3, then cook on high pressure for 22 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Shred the chicken with two forks, then stir together and spoon into bowls.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 1097mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 8gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g

The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.

Thanks for trying out my black bean brown rice chicken recipe! Please consider rating this recipe so others find it, too.

I’d love to see how your recipe turns out: Take a photo and tag me on Instagram @floralapronblog to share with me, or use the hashtag #floralapronbakes.

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  1. I <3 one pot meals!!!! Really good flavor and great for make ahead lunches. Learn from my mistakes and make sure your burner isn't too high when everything's cooking up, otherwise you'll scorch the rice at the bottom of your dutch oven

  2. I read the above comment and was diligent to leave my burner on simmer, so my rice didn’t scorch. However, my rice was not done. Chicken was done (170 degrees) but rice was NOT done. I think you need to go back to the drawing board for this one pot meal.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I’m sorry to hear that this recipe didn’t work out for you! I’ve tested it literally dozens of times and even had three friends make it in their kitchens to help me get it right, so I’m sad to hear that it wasn’t the case in your kitchen.

      Brown rice generally takes 30-45 minutes to cook, so the full 45 minute cook time after the liquid was boiling should have been long enough to cook the rice thoroughly… Perhaps you’re using a longer grain of brown rice or a pot that released a lot of steam, resulting in a longer cook time?

      If you made this with thawed chicken breast, the chicken will be done before the rice is. I usually shred the chicken at the 30-minute mark, give it all a stir, and let the mixture cook for another 15 minutes. That cooks the rice completely, and the chicken doesn’t dry out one bit 🙂

      And, if you’re up to trying this recipe again sometime, there should be plenty of liquid in the pot to allow you to simmer this meal for another 10 minutes, if you need to.

      Hope you were able to enjoy the meal and troubleshoot in real time anyway! Thanks for the feedback.

  3. I absolutely LOVED this recipe!! I meal prep for the week and typically by the third meal I’m over it, but this never got old! I especially liked the convenience of the “one pot” meal. It was easy and delicious. I followed the directions exactly and the chicken and the rice texture came out perfect.

    Will definitely be making again!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks so much for leaving such a glowing review! Glad you liked it 🙂

  4. I used white rice and would def say to sear the chicken first. Otherwise gorgeous

    1. Glad to hear this recipe worked with white rice!

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