Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet
Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet – This one-pan chicken and rice meal is an easy weeknight dinner delight! Juicy chicken thighs are cooked with fresh lemon, creamy rice, and rich Parmesan cheese for a zesty and cheesy skillet recipe your family will love.
Is there any other effortless dinner combination better than chicken and rice?
There are dozens of different variations for making this comforting meal from nearly every corner of the world; it seems that just about every culture has a staple rice and chicken recipe.
We’ve recently shared my mom’s classic chicken and rice recipe, and Cuban Arroz con Pollo, to name just a few of my favorite versions.
This Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice recipe is a fun twist you can easily make in one skillet using boneless chicken thighs. The rice is zesty, yet perfectly rich from the combination of lemon and Parmesan cheese. It’s also very creamy and luxurious, but without any heavy cream or canned ingredients.
The Best Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet
This bright and comforting recipe is a great midweek dinner idea for spring. It requires only a handful of wholesome ingredients, and is easily made in well under an hour using one skillet.
The chicken and rice make hearty main and side dishes, and pair well with light, fresh salads that take just a few minutes to make.
You can also try other robust and healthy veggie sides like simple Oven Roasted Broccoli, or really punch up the seasonal flavors with my favorite Lemon Butter Roasted Asparagus!
And speaking of seasonal delights, I must recommend enjoying this lemony chicken and rice skillet with sweet berry desserts – like this Berry Crostata with Lemon-Honey Ricotta Cream – and light, fruity cocktails.
Doesn’t a Sherry Cherry Cobbler Cocktail sound really good right about now?
What Ingredients You Need
You’ll love how few ingredients are needed for this easy one-skillet recipe. Each component shines beautifully, and all work so wonderfully together to create a dreamy, creamy rice and chicken meal.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Sweet Onion
- Long-grain rice
- Dried rosemary
- Chicken bouillon
- Parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Our Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet Recipe
1. Set a large sauté pan (with a lid) over medium heat, and add the butter. Once melted, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
2. Next, salt and pepper the chicken thighs liberally on both sides.
3. Gently push the sautéed onions and garlic to the sides of the pan. Then place the chicken thighs in the skillet in a single layer. Brown the chicken for 1-2 minutes per side, just until color forms. Move the chicken to a holding plate and set aside.
4. Mix together the rice, lemon zest, rosemary, and bouillon in the skillet. Stir well, and place the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Pour in the water and give a gentle stir around the chicken.
5. Bring the dish to just barely a boil. Cover the skillet, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is cooked through. The water should be completely absorbed and there should be vent holes in the top of the rice when it’s done.
6. Lastly, remove the lid and move the chicken pieces to the side of the pan or to a plate. Stir in ¼ cup lemon juice, the Parmesan cheese, and parsley into the rice. Taste and season as needed.
The rice should be creamy, slightly cheesy, and wonderfully fragrant.
Serve the chicken and rice warm. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, or lemon slices, if you like.
Get the Complete (Printable) Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet Recipe Below. Enjoy!
What Substitutions Can I Use in Place of White Rice?
Brown rice or orzo pasta would be yummy alternatives to traditional long-grain white rice in this skillet recipe.
If using brown long-grain rice, be sure to first cook the rice in the skillet according to package instructions. Then add the chicken back to the pan half way through cooking.
Try cauliflower rice for a low carb recipe: Increase the original chicken thigh cooking time while browning to 4-5 minutes each side, and cut the covered simmer time down (with the chicken and riced cauliflower) to 10 minutes.
Can I Use Chicken Breasts Rather than Thighs?
You absolutely can make this Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet with chicken breasts.
You’ll want to either filet the breasts in half, or pound thin to ensure even cooking.
Can This Chicken and Rice Skillet Be Made Ahead?
Yes! This recipe is great for dinner and lunch meal preps, and tastes delicious when reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.
The chicken and rice keep well together stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Looking for More Easy One Skillet Recipes?
- Buffalo Chicken and Rice
- Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken
- Chicken Broccoli Quinoa
- One-Pot Shrimp Black Bean Rice
- Chicken Gnocchi
Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet
- 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, or chicken tenders
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups dried long-grain rice
- 2 large lemons, zested and juiced
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon, paste or powder
- 3 + cups water
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- Set a large sauté pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Salt and pepper the chicken thighs liberally on both sides.
- Push the onions and garlic to the sides of the pan. Then place the chicken thighs in the pan in a single layer. Brown the chicken for 1-2 minutes per side, just until color forms. Move the chicken to a holding plate.
- Mix in the rice, lemon zest, rosemary, and bouillon in the pan. Stir well. Then place the chicken pieces on top of the rice and pour in the water.
- Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat if needed, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is cooked through. (The water should be completely absorbed and there should be vent holes in the top of the rice.)
- Remove the lid. Move the chicken pieces to the side of the pan. Stir ¼ cup lemon juice, the parmesan cheese, and parsley into the rice. Taste and season as needed. (The rice should be creamy. (Add ¼ – ½ cup water to loosen the texture if needed.)
- Serve warm. Garnish with extra cheese, parsley, or lemon slices if desired.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
Looks yummy, but we’re not big lemon fans, think it would be ok with just a little lemon or none at all?
Yes, you can omit or reduce the lemon if you like. It will still taste delicious!
This was amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever rated a recipe before but I had to come and rate this one! So flavorful. Easy cleanup! I threw the chicken in the oven on broil at the door to crisp up the skins. So so good! Thanks for sharing!
I used thin chicken breasts. This was a hit with the family! Will definitely make again.
This recipe is AMAZING. As a single woman, whatever dish I make, I am eating for dinner all week, so I am usually sick of it by the end; but I made this one again. Cooking the rice in with everything else is the clutch move.
Made this tonight and omg the raves. Used breasts but followed the recipe to a tee and it was absolutely delicious! More please!!
I only had a lime but it was delicious! I forgot the parsley at the end. Yummy, yummy! I used 6 bone in with partial skin thighs, I think if I had taken all the skin off it wouldn’t be as fatty but it was certainly tasty!
Hi! Can I substitute fish/seafood for the chicken? How to adjust the cooking time for the substitution?
Yes, you can! When you add it in depends on what kind of fish or seafood you are adding. Shrimp or scallops should be added in the last 5 minutes the rice is cooking. If using larger fish fillets, you can add them in when you add the rice. If you give it a try, please report back! :)
So happy to have found this! Made it tonight and we all loved it. I omitted the garlic since i’m not a big fan and it was super tasty. Thanks!
I made this tonight!! I made a few substitutions with what I had on hand. I used lemon pepper seasoning instead of lemon zest, chicken broth instead of bouillon and water and cooked the boned and skinned thighs I had in hand for a couple of minutes longer on each side. The meal was delicious!!
Just made this for dinner tonight and it’s delicious!
Super delicious and easy meal.
This recipe is so delicious. The timing is perfect. The lemon zest and rosemary really make the flavor. Definitely will make again!
This was SO good!! My entire family loved it and we can’t wait to make it again!
This is a nice change from our normal chicken dinner routine. We loved the flavor and it was nice being able to make it all in one pot. Less clean up, yay!
Such an amazing citrus chicken dish. Tastes so fresh and wonderful