Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice is a Winter favorite around here.
It’s a warm, comforting, stick-to-your-bones kind of meal. I prefer to make it on days that are extra cold outside, or just when we’re craving it to begin with. In fact, I’ve made it three times already in the past two months. The best part? It can be made and ready to eat in under an hour.
Like the name suggests, the rice turns out perfectly creamy and soft but still has a little bit of bite to it left. The chicken is tender and well-seasoned. Fresh parmesan adds a nutty and cheesy component both within the rice and served on top as a garnish. And peas are added in as the vegetable of choice, but also for a lovely pop of green.Jump to Recipe
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What Makes Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice so Good?
- Butter. Provides richness and depth of flavor (and comfort).
- Heavy cream. Provides richness and is the basis for our smooth, creamy sauce for the rice. Tip: You can also use half-and-half here. I’ve done that in the past and it still turns out great, just a little less creamy.
- Freshly-grated parmesan cheese. This is important. Buy a wedge of fresh parmesan and shave it yourself. Do not use the “sand” kind of parmesan that comes in a plastic can. Tip: You can either use the parmesan rind (the hard edge that’s leftover after you’ve grated the parmesan) in this dish for added flavor, or you can freeze the rind and use it later. You could throw it into a homemade tomato soup or pasta dish later down the line.
- High-quality white rice. I prefer to use jasmine rice in this dish because it’s delicate, aromatic, and cooks up fast.
- Chicken breast. Our delicious protein source.
- Chicken broth. Adds a savory-ness to this dish and is the liquid in which our rice cooks in.
- Onion. The minute it hits the hot pan, you’re a chef.
How to Make Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice:
1. Prep. Dice onion and set aside. Wash and trim chicken breasts, then slice into 1-inch (bite-sized) pieces.
2. Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat.
3. Add onion and cook until translucent.
4. Push the onions to one side of the pan and add in the chopped chicken.
5. Add in salt, pepper, seasoned salt like Season-All (optional), and Italian seasonings. Allow to cook 5 minutes or so before stirring around the chicken to get a golden sear. Tip: If the chicken is sticking to the pan that usually means it needs to cook a few minutes longer before being stirred.
(Keep in mind that you want the chicken to still be raw in the middle, as it will continue to cook along with the rice.)
6. Once chicken is browned a little, stir in chicken broth and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer 12-15 minutes, depending on your rice. You don’t want to overcook the rice, so be sure to test doneness after 10 minutes or so.
7. In the meantime, grate your parmesan cheese.
The mixture should look something like this once the rice and chicken are cooked through. There will still be a little bit of chicken broth, but the mixture will thicken up a lot in the next step.
8. Stir in heavy cream and freshly-grated parmesan cheese. Tip: I prefer to use a silicone spatula for stirring to avoid breaking any of the rice.
You can see here that I added in my parmesan rind at this step. I let it sit 5 or so minutes until it got all gooey, and then discarded it.
9. Serve warm with peas, more freshly-grated parmesan cheese, and parsley.
Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice
- 4 large chicken breasts (or about 2 lbs. worth of chicken) - trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup long grain white rice - I use jasmine rice
- 1 cup peas
- 1 large yellow onion - diced
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese - + extra for serving on top
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp Italian seasonings
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- (optional) 1/4-1/2 tsp seasoned salt - I use Season-All
- parsley for serving
- Prep: Dice onion and set aside. Wash and trim chicken breasts, then chop into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces.
- Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Push the onion to one side of the pan and add in the chopped chicken. Add in salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and seasoned salt (optional). Allow to cook 5 minutes or so before stirring around the chicken to get a golden sear. Keep in mind that you want the chicken to still be raw in the middle, as it will continue to cook along with the rice in the next step. Tip: If the chicken is sticking to the pan that usually means it needs to cook a few minutes longer before being stirred.
- Once chicken is browned a little, stir in chicken broth and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer 12-15 minutes, depending on your rice. You don't want to overcook the rice, so be sure to test doneness after 10 minutes or so.
- In the meantime, grate the parmesan cheese.
- Once rice has reached desire consistency, use a silicone spatula to stir in heavy cream and freshly-grated parmesan cheese. (Optional) You can add in your parmesan cheese rind at this step and let the mixture sit 5 minutes until it becomes gooey, then discard the rind. Tip: Try to not break or overwork the rice to prevent extra starches from being released.
- Serve warm with peas, more freshly-grated parmesan cheese, and parsley. Enjoy.