This Slow Cooker Basil Chicken and Rice is a complete meal with tender chicken thighs, rice, and plenty of basil. Try this recipe tonight to put an easy weeknight dinner on the table.
Basil adds such a wonderful flavor to meals, just like in my Slow Cooker Puttanesca Sauce – a must-try for your next pasta dish.
Why this recipe works
This recipe is a spin on my mom’s oven recipe for basil rice. My mom makes a basil rice recipe that goes great with anything. She would brown rice and butter in a skillet, add dried basil, chicken broth, and rice and then finish it in the oven. I made her rice recipe a complete meal by adding chicken and easier by using the crock pot.
For this recipe, I cook chicken, leeks, basil, butter, and chicken broth for 6 hours. Then I stir in Minute Brand rice and put the lid back on, and cook for about 25 minutes more. You may remember that I do not like conventional rice in the slow cooker; it gets gummy. Minute rice is preboiled and then dried, so it doesn’t get gummy, and it cooks fast.
The rice turns out perfectly fluffy and tastes amazing since it is flavored with the butter and broth the chicken has been cooking in. The thighs turn out moist and tender in this meal too! Your whole family is sure to enjoy this meal. Don’t forget to check the bottom of this page for more chicken recipes.
- Chicken: I use chicken thighs for this recipe. They are a fattier cut which means more flavor for this chicken dish.
- Chicken Broth: The chicken broth will soak up the flavor from the chicken, butter, leeks, and seasonings as well as serve as the liquid for cooking the rice.
- Rice: As I mentioned above, I like the way Minute brand rice cooks in the slow cooker. You’ll have perfectly cooked rice for a delicious recipe.
- Seasonings: Butter, dried basil, kosher salt, and black pepper provide the perfect amount of seasoning to this basil chicken recipe.
Step One – Place the chicken into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add in the chicken broth, basil, salt, pepper, and leeks. Put the unmelted quartered butter on top.
Step Two – Cook chicken thighs on LOW for 6 hours.
Step Three – When the cooking time is complete, add in the rice and stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 25 minutes longer.
Step Four – Serve warm and enjoy!
Yes. Chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins would pair perfectly with the other ingredients.
Although this calls for basil, you can also play around with adding fresh lemon juice to create a lemon basil chicken. Garlic powder and parmesan cheese would be absolutely delicious. It can also be turned into a Thai dish by adding soy sauce, fish sauce, holy basil, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. Cherry tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes would marry well with this dish as well.
Although it is considered a one-pot meal, you can still serve additional sides like garlic bread, roasted red peppers (for a topping), and fresh green onion as a garnish.
Add any remaining chicken and rice to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the leftovers on the stove top over medium low heat. You may have to add a bit of liquid to keep the rice from sticking and/or burning.
Of course. Fresh basil, homegrown basil, normal sweet basil, or dried basil leaves will work. You can also add fresh spinach. I recommend cutting the fresh basil leaves, so the flavor disperses easily.
Delicious recipes like this can be served with zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, or over pasta of your choice.
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Slow Cooker Basil Chicken and Rice
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 15 oz. can chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup diced leeks
- 3 Tbsp. Butter
- 2 cups white Minute rice ADD AT THE END
- Add the chicken, chicken broth, basil, salt, pepper and leeks to the slow cooker. Add the butter on top of the chicken, no need to melt it.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
- After the cooking time is done, remove the chicken onto a plate with a slotted spoon. Stir in the minute rice, Add the chicken into the rice. Cover and cook on LOW for 25 more minutes, or until the rice is tender.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to Video:
- UK viewers: If you can’t find Minute rice try Tilda’s Easy Cook Long Grain Rice.
- Add any remaining chicken and rice to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the leftovers on the stove top over medium low heat. You may have to add a bit of liquid to keep the rice from sticking and/or burning.
- Although it is considered a one-pot meal, you can still serve additional sides like garlic bread, roasted red peppers (for a topping), and fresh green onion as a garnish. You can also serve this with a steamed vegetable or a green salad.
- Chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins can be used instead of chicken thighs.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.
What is the “blacknes” on the chicken shown in the picture?
Sarah Olson says
It’s the basil piled up.
This is a great recipe – very good! I have made it several times.
J. Coombs says
Great recipe, everyone wants it again ASAP.
This is super easy and super flavorful!! Not in the least bit bland. Chicken is fall apart tender and the rice is perfectly seasoned. I’ve made this several times and my family loves it!!! It’s definitely a keeper.
The rice is great but the chicken comes out a little bland.
Made this tonight and both husband I loved it. Don’t understand how someone would think it was bland. This recipe will definitely replace the one I usually use.
?? Can I substitute boneless chicken breasts for the thighs? If so, are there any changes or timing amounts that would be different?
Sarah Olson says
Yes, I would add a small splash more of broth or water though.
Michael Scampini says
Would adding veggies and hot peppers and making it more soupy effect the rice texture? I was thinking of adding thai hot peppers, some coconut milk a dash of curry powder and some green and red peppers.
Sarah Olson says
I think if you add coconut milk, I would add less chicken broth. But otherwise, I think it should be fine!
LeeAnn Ronin says
I made this with 2 bags of instant basmati rice And one bag of instant brown minute rice. All the three bags emptied added up to 2 cups of instant rice. It was so delicious. I shared it with 3 people and they loved the dish!!
3 bags of rice plus 2 cups of rice? I don’t get it
Could I do this in the instant pot?
Sarah Olson says
I think you could. I wouldn’t pressure cook the rice at the end though. Just put the lid on until the rice puffs up.
I found this recipe to be good but pretty bland. The chicken was falling apart which was great but it just did not really have much flavor. I used instant rice and that works great (I asked about it but never got a response which is why I am mentioning it here).
I would add lemon juice when you add the rice
Becky P says
Can I use instant rice? If so would I just cook rice for the 5 min it says on box instead of 25?
Jan Miller says
I think you would have to cook the rice for 25 minutes because you’re putting it in slow cooker/ crockpot, and rice will need that much time in it, also put the crockpot/ slow cooker on the high setting once you put rice in .
Very good! I didn’t think it could be so good with such few ingredients. The only thing I did differently was add chicken stock instead of chicken broth, only because that’s what I had in the fridge. This one’s a keeper for sure!
Can I cook on high instead of low? Waited to late to make it. I will be eating at 8pm if I cook on low
Sarah Olson says
Yes will do fine