Your New Secret to a Deliciously Simple Homemade Dinner—Yes, Even On Weeknights

No grain, no gain.

By Bridget Chambers
rice with veggies and edible flowers at the home of shelley klein armistead, COO of Gjelina group

In a bowl, on a roll, or plated up all by its delicious self, rice has my carb-lovin’ heart. I was today-years-old when I realized how truly versatile it is: from sushi, to burritos, to risottos, to stir-frys, the options are endless. Traditionally, rice was considered to be divine, and I’d have to agree. Even more angelic? One-pot rice recipes that take the stress out of cooking rice without a rice cooker.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted cooking rice in a pot only to lift up the lid to burnt rice crisped to the bottom. I’ve since started relying on Trader Joe’s frozen jasmine rice but have been itching to find better ways to use it. These one-pot rice recipes are a great weeknight solution because they are simple to make, often come together in just 30 minutes, and are hearty enough to be a full meal. Plus, in most of these recipes, the rice cooks right along with all of the other ingredients, which not only makes our jobs easier, but it infuses the rice with all the delicious flavors of the dish. These 10 one-pot rice recipes are sure to be more than a one-hit-wonder in your dinnertime rotation.

featured image by kristen kilpatrick

Keep scrolling for 12 one-pot rice recipes that’ll infuse your weeknight dinners with flavor and ease.

Chicken and Rice Soup _One-Pot Rice Recipes

Chicken and Rice Soup 

Why we love it: This chicken and rice soup is the cure-all for any of your ailments. Suffering from spring allergies? A summer flu? Long day at work? Whip up a batch of this chicken and rice soup for the soul. The soup comes together in one pot and is served over a scoop of cooked rice, making it hearty, healthy, and healing. 

Hero ingredient: I’m a sucker for zucchini being a delicious way to sneak in some extra greens.

Get the recipe for Chicken and Rice Soup.

Spring Rice with Greens and Peas

Spring Rice with Greens and Peas

Why we love it: One pot rice recipes don’t get more simple or fresh than this. This spring dish is a perfect side for any meal or base for any bowl. You simply fold the peas and greens into the cooked rice and serve alone or with as many creative toppings as you can think of. Not to mention, the seasonal greens are the perfect pop of color for your table.

Hero ingredient: Power packed greens.

Get the recipe for Spring Rice with Greens and Peas.

One Pot Cheesy Mexican Lentils, Black Beans and Rice from Recipe Runner_One-Pot Rice Recipes

One-Pot Cheesy Mexican Lentils, Black Beans and Rice from Recipe Runner

Why we love it: What’s not to love about a one-pot, vegetarian, gluten-free weeknight dinner recipe? Perfect for Meatless Monday, the lentils and black beans pack this meal with protein, while the rice makes it hearty and filling. I love to serve this with tortilla chips for dipping and crunching. 

Hero ingredient: Lentils take the lead. 

Get the recipe for One-Pot Cheesy Mexican Lentils, Black Beans and Rice.

Easy One-Pot Cajun Shrimp & Rice from The Seasoned Skillet_one pot rice recipes

Easy One-Pot Cajun Shrimp & Rice from The Seasoned Skillet

Why we love it: This one-pot shrimp and rice recipe is bursting with flavors the whole family will enjoy. It’s ready in 30 minutes and the cajun seasoning is ultra-satisfying. Even if you aren’t a shrimp-lover, save this recipe and use the technique and spice combo on chicken, beef, or veggies. Plus, the leftovers make a great lunch.

Hero ingredient: Cajun seasoning is a southern gem.

Get the recipe for Easy One-Pot Cajun Shrimp & Rice.

vegetarian sheet pan curry with kale and cauliflower

Sheet Pan (or Skillet!) Coconut Vegetable Curry

Why we love it: Prepare to have your mind blown. This recipe involves one of the best cooking hacks: cooking the rice on the plan, right along with the veggies. No, this is not made in a pot, but it’s all made on one pan without having to boil the rice separately. But besides the genius of this hack, this recipe is packed with tons of flavor and just a handful of ingredients that will make this dish a household staple.

Hero ingredient: Cauliflower has some serious power over me.

Get the recipe for Sheet Pan Coconut Vegetable Curry

One-Pot Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice from RecipeTin Eats_one pot rice recipes

One-Pot Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice from RecipeTin Eats

Why we love it: The best part about one-pot rice recipes is that the rice fully absorbs the flavors of the dish. This recipe is perhaps the ultimate example of that fact, considering the chicken itself cooks on top of the rice, so it’s three times as flavorful as cooking rice in chicken stock. Then the lemon takes it to the next level. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If we’re trying to be technical, this is a one-pan recipe, but hey, close enough.  

Hero ingredient: When life gives you lemons, make lemon rice.

Get the recipe for One-Pot Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice.

One-Pot Burrito Bowl_one pot rice recipes

One-Pot Burrito Bowl from I Heart Naptime

Why we love it: Chipotle, watch your back. With one pot and some uncooked rice, this recipe gives the restaurant’s burrito bowl a run for its money. These burrito bowls come together in just 30 minutes and three steps: sauté, simmer, and top. The best part? You can totally customize it to your liking. You can even make it vegetarian by swapping the meat for sweet potatoes. I personally like to use lean ground turkey and top it with some fresh guac.  

Hero ingredient: All the cheese, please. 

Get the recipe for One-Pot Burrito Bowl Recipe.

One Pot Chinese Chicken and Rice from RecipeTin Eats_one pot rice recipes

One-Pot Chinese Chicken and Rice from RecipeTin Eats

Why we love it: Who needs takeout when one-pot rice recipes like this exist? This one-pot Chinese chicken and rice recipe curbs your fried rice cravings with uncooked rice. Because who really has day-old rice on hand when they want fried rice? The 10-minute marinade for the chicken plus all the veggies make this a well-rounded meal that you’ll be cooking on repeat. Plus, the marinade doubles as a sauce, so you’re killing two birds with one… pot?

Hero ingredient: You’ll want to pour the marinade/sauce/little taste of heaven on just about everything.

Get the recipe for One-Pot Chinese Chicken and Rice.

Broccoli Chickpea Rice Casserole_one pot rice recipes

One-Pot Cheesy Broccoli Chickpea Rice Casserole from Flavor the Moments

Why we love it: Traditional broccoli casserole, meet your easier, vegetarian sister. This recipe swaps chicken for chickpeas, can be made with any kind of rice, and is super customizable. Chances are, you probably have all the ingredients on hand, so there’s no excuse not to try this one out. 

Hero ingredient: Chickpeas = champ.

Get the recipe for One-Pot Cheesy Broccoli Chickpea Rice Casserole.

One Pot “Fried” Rice_one pot rice recipes

One-Pot “Fried” Rice from Food Dolls

Why we love it: This recipe had me at “12 minutes.” Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than fried rice and this one-pot recipe might be the fastest, easiest way to make it. Plus, this recipe also uses uncooked rice, eliminating the need for leftover rice (because I tend to polish off all the rice anyways every time I get takeout). While it isn’t technically “fried” rice, this dish still has all the flavors without the constant sautéing. 

Hero ingredient: My favorite part of fried rice is always the scrambled eggs. 

Get the recipe for One-Pot “Fried” Rice.

One-Pot Rich Lemon Rice_one pot rice recipes

One-Pot Rich Lemon Rice from The Kitchn

Why we love it: Describing this recipe as “carbonara meets risotto” is all it took for me to add the ingredients to my grocery list. This is probably the most unique out of all of the one-pot rice recipes I’ve seen, and simultaneously one of the easiest. The carbonara flavors are spiced up with some tang from the lemon juice and the perfect amount of heat from cayenne pepper, checking off every box on my flavor wishlist. 

Hero ingredient: The parmesan puts the rich in “Rich Lemon Rice.”

Get the recipe for One-Pot Rich Lemon Rice.

One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice_one pot rice recipes

One-Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice from Creme de la Crumb 

Why we love it: Again, this is technically a one-pan, not a one-pot recipe, but who’s judging? This recipe comes together with a simple Spanish seasoning mix that takes classic chicken and rice to a whole new level. Lovers of the recipe note that it has just the right amount of spiciness, is incredibly easy to throw together, and is “heaven in a skillet.” Need I say more?

Hero ingredient: There’s not an ingredient more heroic than this Spanish seasoning mix.

Get the recipe for One-Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice.