Lemon Chicken & Rice Skillet

By: Amber Goulden, NTC

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This Lemon Chicken & Rice Skillet is a one-pan dinner that is packed with delicious, robust flavor!

lemon chicken and rice skillet

I have a new and growing love affair with skillet dinners. I just love the idea that you can take out a SINGLE skillet and, with a strategic cooking sequence, have a fabulous complete dinner. My semi-obsession with single-pan/pot/skillet dinners stems from two places …first, because I'll do just about anything to avoid washing dishes and second, because my mom loves to tease me for constantly using more dishes than necessary. When I was learning to cook, I would get out a separate bowl, pot, cutting board, and knife for just about every single thing I prepared. At the end of even the most basic meal prep, I'd have a kitchen FULL of dirty dishes. The polite teasing inspired a contest I have with myself: how to be more minimalistic with my dishes. I feel pretty pro-level with cutting board and mixing bowl usage and keep getting better at my minimal cooking tool use (pots, pans, etc.).

This Lemon Chicken & Rice Skillet is a new breakthrough in my minimal equipment venture because it has RICE! You see, I live in a very carb-friendly house. A one-skillet dinner that doesn't call for a cooked starch is easy (think: Asian stir-fry). But what if you want to add a carb? That's where things get tricky, but we cracked the code with this dinner.

lemon chicken and rice skillet

lemon chicken and rice skillet

lemon chicken and rice skillet

lemon chicken and rice skillet

The process is simple to make this stunning dinner. You start off by pan-searing the chicken breast on each side until they're nicely golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and then add in your dry rice. Though totally optional, I recommend toasting the rice in the pan a bit before you add broth. It will help deepen the flavors even more. THEN, stir in broth and some fresh herbs to cook the rice. Bring it to a boil, cook for about 10 minutes, then return the chicken and add some fresh lemon. Let the flavors come together and you have yourself one dang fancy, tasty, easy dinner! BEST OF ALL, you only have one pan to wash.

PS. If you're wondering WHY white rice instead of brown, check out my very geeky podcast episode on the topic HERE!


Lemon Chicken & Rice Skillet

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup white rice (I used Basmati)
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Additional fresh chopped thyme, for garnish


  1. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides.
  2. Melt butter (or olive oil) in a skillet over medium high heat. Once melted, add the chicken. Sear for 3-4 minutes per side, until browned.
  3. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add the rice to the skillet over medium-high heat and stir. Cook 1-2 minutes until toasted. It will give off a slightly nutty aroma at this point.
  4. Add the broth to the pan with the rice and whisk to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  5. Once rice is boiling, give it a final stir, add the thyme sprigs, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes has passed, remove the lid from the pot and stir the lemon juice into the rice, then place chicken breasts and lemon slices on top of the rice.
  7. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, then remove from heat, let cool slightly, garnish with extra thyme, and serve!


If you have large chicken breasts (more than 1-inch thick) slice them in half before searing.

Keywords: Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, quick, easy, one pan

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Recipe rating

  1. Carley says:

    What kind of rice did you use? This looks amazing! It is on my meal plan for the week!

  2. Emily says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I loved the flavors and how easy it was. Just want to note, mine did take about 15 minutes longer than the recipe stated, but i might have been using thicker chicken breasts. Thank you!

  3. Albert Bevia says:

    This meal sounds so incredible, love the combination of chicken and rice, and such a great technique to make this all in 1 pan! nothing worst that using up a bunch of pans and dishes to make a dinner! great post and recipe 🙂

  4. Karly says:

    Love the one pan idea! Rice and chicken is always a hit at my house! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lindsay says:

    My family really enjoyed this recipe!!! We can’t wait to make it again!!

  6. June says:

    I love rice and would love this dish. Sadly I am diabetic and rice sends my sugar skyrocketing. Any suggestions?

  7. Whitney says:

    I made this last night for dinner, and it was SO SO SO good. Totally (picky, but awesome, LOL) husband approved. The rice cooked perfectly, and cleanup was a breeze using just one pan!

  8. Sarah says:

    This was very good! I made it as is the first time and found that it wasn’t enough rice for us so I just doubled the rice and liquid with additional 1/2 of a lemon’s juice and it was perfect. It is a great weeknight meal that can be on the table fast. We like to pair this with roasted lemon broccoli for a complete meal!

  9. Eirinn says:

    Made this tonight and added a zucchini, it was great! Thanks for all the awesome recipes (and Gus and Gray videos)!

  10. Leeanna says:

    So yummy! This was dinner this evening and it was delicious! I did have to add about a cup of extra liquid (I think my pan was still too hot after adding the rice and broth, it was almost cooked out after the first 10 minutes). But I fixed it and all was well. Very good and I will definitely make again!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So good to hear, Leeanna! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Yvonne says:

    Super Easy and so good. Will be adding to our regular rotation. Also easy enough for my 12 yr olds to cook!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo!!! So glad you loved it!

  12. Alison says:

    This is such an easy meal to throw together! Tastes delicious ❤️

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you love it, Alison!!

  13. Katherine says:

    Any suggestions on how to use brown basmati? Should I precook it in my rice cooker?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We haven’t tried this with brown rice, Katherine, so we can’t say for sure. It would definitely take a different amount of time and a different water to rice ratio.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    If I only have dried thyme, when would you recommend adding it?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Definitely! I’d use about a teaspoon of dried thyme in place of the 4 sprigs!

  15. Jill says:

    I love this recipe – it’s quick, easy and delicious. I make it weekly in our house. I increase the rice and broth a bit to guarantee a good ratio of chicken to rice for leftovers. Thank you for creating such delicious, thoughtful recipes!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Jill! We’re so glad you love it!