One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice

5 from 29 votes
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Simplify your weeknights with this vibrant One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice with sumac-pickled red onions. It’s healthy, flavorful, freezer-friendly, and a fantastic way to please everyone at your table.

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Turmeric chicken and rice in a black cast iron skillet topped with red onion and cilantro.
Read more: One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice

Vibrant, spice-rubbed chicken nestled into a pan of fragrant, scallion-flecked coconut rice. Finished with fresh cilantro and tangy-sweet red onion, this one dish dinner is downright crave-worthy.

It’s the kind of dish my husband and I hovered over the stove taking bites of because proper plating was simply an afterthought.

Especially during the final month of winter, THIS is the dish that will warm you from the inside out. And maybe even stave off any lingering seasonal cooties.

Why You’ll Love this Turmeric Chicken and Rice:

  • Family-Friendly. Even the pickiest eaters will find it hard not to love this comforting chicken and rice dish.
  • One Pot Meal. Lean protein, grains, and even some veggies! Gang’s all here.
  • Nutritious. Made with simple ingredients that boast big nutritional benefits.
  • EASY + Minimal Cleanup. The winning combination for weeknight cooking because you’re not left with a mound of dishes after dinner. Another one-pan recipe that fits the bill is this Moroccan Chicken.
  • Classic Comfort. This recipe gives a fresh, vibrant twist to a classic comfort food casserole. (And if your family loves rice casseroles, also add Wild Rice Casserole to your list!)

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients arranged on a wooden board with labels.
  • Chicken: I like using boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which are less prone to drying out due to their higher fat content. You can use chicken breasts, if that is your preference, though!
  • Spices: Turmeric, coriander, and black pepper are the stars of this dish and help give it a deep, rich, and memorable flavor.
  • Lemon: The acidity of lemon helps tenderize the chicken, and it adds subtle tangy notes. (Same is true for buttermilk and yogurt, if you prefer adding either of those to the marinade instead of lemon).
  • Ginger + Garlic: This aromatic duo forms a flavorful foundation for cooking the rice.
  • Scallions: You need 1 cup of scallions (or green onion), which amounts to roughly 1 bunch. If you have any leftover, they are also great as a garnish.
  • Rice: Look for short-grain white rice (such as sushi rice), which cooks in less time than long-grain white rice.
  • Broth: You can use bone broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth.
  • Coconut Milk: Look for a can of lite coconut milk, which infuses the dish with subtle nuttiness. The coconut milk also helps keep the chicken juicy and tender while it bakes.
  • Pickled Onions: I want to say these are optional, but they really are the perfect topping to bring the dish together. If you don’t have sumac on hand, just add a pinch of sugar to the onion mixture.
  • Cilantro: A flurry of fresh cilantro adds bright top notes. If you’re not a cilantro fan, parsley or fresh dill will also work well.

See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and quantities.

The Directions

Step 1: Marinate Chicken in lemon and spices at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Cook Chicken in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip, and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Chicken thighs being marinated in turmeric mixture and seared in a cast iron skillet.

Step 3: Add Scallions, Ginger, and Garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes, until aromatic.

Step 4: Toast Rice in skillet for about 1 minute, stirring to coat in aromatics.

Aromatics and rice being added to skillet and sautéed.

Step 5: Add Broth and Coconut Milk and bring to a boil.

Step 6: Top with Chicken, cover pan, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Garnish with pickled onion and cilantro, and serve!

Coconut milk, broth, and cooked chicken being added back to skillet before baking.
Skillet of chicken and rice after being baked.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Add Veggies: To make this a more well-rounded meal, add 1/2 cup of frozen green peas or a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach when you add then liquids to the pan.
  • Use a Different Milk: If you’re being mindful of saturated fat, you can use any alternative milk, such as almond, cashew, or soy milk. Blends of coconut milk and almond milk sold in the refrigerated section will work fine (I’ve made the recipe this way many times). Just make sure the milk is unsweetened and unflavored.
  • Make Spicy: Add a pinch of chili flakes, Sriracha, or your favorite chili paste when you stir in the rice. Alternatively, you can top each portion with your favorite hot sauce or spicy kimchi.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place turmeric chicken and rice in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
A gold serving spoon digging into a skillet of turmeric chicken and rice.

Serving Suggestions

This recipe can really be considered a full meal, however if you want to add a veggie side, here are some suggestions:

Recipe FAQs

What Type of Rice Works Best?

Look for short-grain white rice, such as sushi rice, which is available at mostly all grocery stores in the rice section. I have not tested this recipe with long-grain white rice, such as Jasmine or Basmati.

Can I Make This Recipe Vegetarian?

Yes, you can completely omit the chicken from this recipe and instead use a plant-based meat alternative or canned chickpeas.
If using a meat alternative, use the same turmeric marinade and cooking method as the chicken. If using chickpeas, I suggest tossing them in turmeric, coriander, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and roasting at 425ºF for 20 to 30 minutes, until crispy. Scatter them over the rice dish once cooked.

Can I Meal Prep this Recipe?

This Turmeric chicken and rice is a fabulous meal prep contender!! Just section it into 4 to 5 containers and enjoy on repeat for weekday lunches or easy dinners.

A teal plate filled with a single portion of turmeric chicken and rice, topped with pickled red onion and cilantro.

More One Pot Dinner Recipes:

If you try this Turmeric Chicken and Rice, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review!

Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 29 votes

One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice

Simplify your weeknights with this vibrant One Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice with sumac-pickled red onions. Healthy, flavorful, and freezer-friendly.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5

Equipment

  • Large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven with lid
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground sumac
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (green onion)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain white rice (such as sushi rice)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (13.5-oz.) can lite coconut milk
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Prepare Sumac-Pickled Red Onions:
    Place onions, red wine vinegar, sumac, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Massage vinegar and sumac into onions and let sit while you prepare the remainder of recipe. Toss every 15 minutes or so to ensure even pickling.
  • Prepare Chicken:
    Place chicken thighs in a large bowl and add lemon juice, turmeric, coriander, 3/4 tsp. salt, and black pepper; toss well to coat. Let the chicken marinate at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
    Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven with a fitted lid over medium. Once hot, arrange chicken thighs in pan and cook, untouched, for 5 minutes, until golden. Flip, and cook 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
    Add scallions, garlic, and ginger to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring often, until aromatic. Add rice and stir to coat. Let toast for 1 minute.
    Add broth, coconut milk, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt; bring mixture to a boil. Arrange chicken overtop, cover, and transfer pan to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Scatter pickled red onions over chicken, and garnish chicken and rice with cilantro.

Notes

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place chicken and rice in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 5oz. chicken + 1 cup rice mixture with toppings | Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 950mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1.5g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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5 from 29 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




26 Comments

  1. Susan L. says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic! Followed the recipe to a T.

  2. Sharon Zimmerman says:

    Have you ever done this with bone-in, skin on chicken thighs? I have a slight preference for the bone-in variety and was wondering if this dish would stand up to a slightly longer cooking time.

  3. Courtney Sheehan says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was off the charts! I’m so excited for leftovers tonight and to have this one in my rotation. Super easy and flavorful!

  4. Moonwillowofthemountains says:

    5 stars
    SO delicious!! This is a repeat recipe for sure. The short grain rice was the perfect texture.