Instant Pot Chicken and Yellow Rice (or Arroz Con Pollo, it’s Spanish name), is a wonderfully easy, delicious family favorite food. Lean how to make this awesome bit of Carribean comfort food with minimal effort in the Instant Pot!
👍 Recipe Features
- Super flavorful: Saffron flavors infuse into this rice, which soaks up the juices from the chicken for an amazingly flavorful bite.
- Way easy: Just a quick saute is all you need before closing the lid and letting the Instant Pot work it’s magic. Shred your chicken, stir everything together and enjoy!
- Guilt free! This is one of my favorite comfort foods, but the best part? It comes at under 500 calories for a bowl.
- Olive oil. Pure fats are always best, so I go with extra virgin olive oil. I can usually get a huge bottle for a good deal from Costco.
- Fresh garlic cloves. The oils release and cook throughout the rice for a subtle flavor. Mince them fine before adding to the pot.
- White onion, shredded carrots and red bell pepper. A mirepoix of sorts, giving you a nice veggie blend to mix in as it cooks. I opt for red bell pepper over green. This is equally for the subtle sweetness a red bell pepper brings, but also for a pop of color.
- Kosher salt and black pepper. Season in layers. I start by seasoning by veggies as they cook. I’ll season the chicken a little bit with it before it goes in, then another pinch at the very end if it still needs it.
- Light beer. This is optional, but it really adds another layer of flavor and is big among Cuban styles of this dish. Simply let it simmer for a minute to cook off the alcohol. If skipping the beer, just add equal amount more of chicken stock.
- Yellow Rice, with seasonings. This is an easy recipe, so we’ll take the shortcut here and grab a bag of seasoning with the spices already included.
- Chicken stock. Salted or unsalted works fine.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs. You could use chicken breasts or even chicken drumsticks as well if you wanted, but I like the tenderness and flavor from thigh meat. I chop my chicken into bite size pieces and season it with salt and pepper before adding it to the pot.
- Frozen peas. We mix these in at the very end, just heated through enough to be warm and juicy to the tooth.
Turn the Instant Pot on Saute: More. Allow a few minutes for it to come to temperature. When the display reads “Hot”, add in olive oil and minced garlic cloves. Cook for one minute, until you can smell the garlic.
Add white onion, shredded carrots and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Pour in light beer and simmer for about a minute.
Add in yellow rice packet with seasoning and chicken stock. Stir everything together. Season cut boneless skinless chicken thighs with salt, pepper and paprika. Place seasoned chicken on top of rice and stock and close lid to Instant Pot .
Make sure vent is set to “sealing” and set Instant Pot to Manual: High for 8 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure. Allow another 10 minutes when the timer goes off for the pressure to naturally release. Then, flip vent to “venting” to release remaining pressure.
When pressure indicator has gone down, carefully open lid. Add in frozen peas and stir everything together. Let sit about 3 minutes to warm peas through. Taste for salt and pepper and add more, if needed.
Spoon into individual bowls and enjoy!
Quick Tip: The Instant Pot makes for a great tool for making meals ahead of time. You can easily make this one earlier in the day and leave it on “keep warm” until you’re ready to eat.
💭 Top Tip
The biggest thing that can turn people off of using an Instant Pot is the dreaded “burn warning”. For rice, there needs to be just enough liquid to make this work. I’ve made and tested this recipe many times and find the measurements included to be safe. However, make sure to read the instructions on your rice packet and add as much liquid (beer + chicken stock) as is instructed.
Leftover Instant Pot Chicken and Yellow Rice keeps well in the fridge for a quick lunch or leftover dinner later in the week. Store it in an airtight container for as many as 3-5 days.
Easy Fried Rice
My favorite way to step up the leftovers is to make crispy rice. Here’s how you make it:
- Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat and add a generous amount of oil (I use vegetable oil).
- When oil is shimmering, add leftover chicken and yellow rice to pan press into a flat layer with a spatula.
- Cook, without stirring, until the bottom of the pan turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the rice over with a spatula and cook until underside is browned again, about 3-5 minutes more.
- Transfer to a platter and enjoy!
The goal of the base recipe here is to keep things simple, but there are plenty of ways to jazz up this recipe with some easy add-ins.
- Green olives with pimentos. Probably the most popular add in, this adds a briney, salty taste to contrast against the rest of the dish. But the sliced green olives and add them at the same time you do the frozen peas. Stir them in and enjoy.
- Dried Chorizo. Dice chorizo into small bites or thin rounds. Add in at along with rice and chicken stock. Stir together and cook everything well.
- Shrimp. Thaw shrimp and stir in at the same time you add frozen peas, stirring everything in. Allow the mix to sit for 5 minutes. The heat from the rice will cook the shrimp through.
🥘 Stovetop Option
You can make this recipe in the oven as well by following these instructions.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour olive oil and heat for one minute. Add uncut chicken thighs and brown on both sides before removing to a pan.
- Toos in garlic, white onion, shredded carrots and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook about 3 minutes, until soft.
- Pour in beer. When it begins to simmer, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer about a minute.
- Add yellow rice packet with seasonings and chicken stock. Place browned chicken thighs on reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pan with lid and simmer until moisture has evaporated (about 20 minutes).
- Open lid. Using two forks, shred chicken by pulling each in opposite directions. Add frozen peas and stir everything together. Let sit about 3 minutes to warm peas and serve.
🧼 Cleaning tip
If you measure everything out right, you should be able to clean the inner pot of your Instant Pot without much effort. However, sometimes you may end up with rice stuck to your pot. If this happens to you, there’s an easy tip for quick cleanup.
Fill the pot with enough water to cover the stuck rice. Add in 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Close the lid and set the vent to “sealing”. Set the Instant Pot to Manual: High pressure for 4 minutes.
Let the Instant Pot naturally release until all pressure is gone, then open the lid. The stuck rice should fall off and the pot should be easily cleaned.
Before you start this recipe, make sure you are familiar with the instructions and safety manual for your model of Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker). Instant Pot itself offers a nice set of videos on How to use an Instant Pot.
While pressure cookers are awesome tools, they have to be used correctly. Take the time to be familiar with how to use yours before you begin to avoid injury and give you the tastiest results.
🥗 Side Dishes
Instant Pot Chicken and Yellow Rice eats on the rich side, so a clean tomato and cucumber salad would give you some nice acid to balance out your meal.
Or, keep things traditional with carribean side dishes like fried plantains, mango salsa or grilled pineapple. All these sides give you some brightness which offer a great contrast to the starch-heavy arroz con pollo.
🥙 Related Recipes
- Instant Pot Red Pepper Soup
- Instant Pot Jambalya
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Instant Pot Barbacoa
- Instant Pot Baked Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Caribbean comfort food made easy. This super easy chicken and yellow rice comes together with minimal effort for a delicious weeknight dinner!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup white onion, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper, or more to taste
- 1 cup light beer
- 10 oz packet Yellow Rice, with seasonings
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Heat Instant Pot to Saute: More. Add olive oil and garlic cloves. Cook for about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add white onion, shredded carrots and red bell pepper and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, until softened. Pour in light beer and allow to simmer for about a minute. Press Cancel setting to stop cooking.
- Add in yellow rice packet with seasonings as well as chicken stock. Stir everything together. Place boneless skinless chicken thighs on top of rice and close lid.
- Make sure vent on top of Instant Pot is set to “sealing”. Set Instant Pot for Manual: High for 8 minutes. Allow Instant Pot to manually release for another 10 minutes. Then, switch the vent to “venting” and allow remaining pressure to release.
- Once the pressure indicator has gone down, carefully open the lid to the Instant Pot. Add the frozen peas and stir together. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Let rest about 3 minutes to warm the peas through.
- Spoon into individual bowls and enjoy!
The Instant Pot makes for a great tool for making meals ahead of time. You can easily make this one earlier in the day and leave it on “keep warm” until you’re ready to eat.
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Carribean
Keywords: Arroz Con Pollo, Chicken and Yellow Rice, Chicken and Rice