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One-pot BBQ chicken and rice saves my dinnertime struggle (and perhaps will save yours too!)
I am constantly looking for new ways to make one-pot meals and/or incorporate different flavors into dinner.
While I love leftovers, I don’t always love the same dishes weekly — if that makes sense? I just like being able to change things up. I’m a flavor girl. Spices, sauces, sign me up.
This original blog post was written in 2016 and I remember that one-pot meals were starting to pick up traction.
It seemed like everyone was doing a one-pot wonder and writing cookbooks on them.
I’m not knocking the idea, at all. I’m just reminiscing on when they started to gain popularity and to be honest, it’s pretty brilliant.
I guess one-pot meals have always been around but not to the extent that food writers have talked about them.
One-pot meals are incredible for busy families and overall, it’s just less mess and easier. I love them and I hope this one-pot BBQ chicken and rice dish will fit right into your busy weeknight schedule.
Tell me about this one-pot BBQ chicken and rice recipe
I am always a fan of one-pot meals and this one-pot BBQ chicken and rice dish is no exception.
Imagine this like going to your favorite BBQ restaurant and having side dishes except everything is now in one pot and cooks all together!
How do I make this one-pot BBQ chicken and rice recipe?
Super easy. The ingredient list isn’t that big (it looks long but it’s really a lot of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge).
Here’s a preview of the ingredient list:
- BBQ sauce
- Chicken thighs
Can I make this with something other than BBQ sauce?
You could but that would defeat the purpose of the recipe title! I am not sure what kind of sauce you would substitute in for the BBQ sauce; if you think of one and want to see if it’d work, let me know below in the comments.
What kind of BBQ sauce can I use?
The beauty of this one-pot BBQ chicken and rice recipe is that you can use any BBQ sauce that you love!
My favorite (and this is not sponsored) is Stubb’s Sweet Heat BBQ sauce.
I love sweet and spicy BBQ sauces. I’m not much of a fan of the mustard-based sauce.
Oh, speaking of which, when I say “any BBQ sauce,” I would stick to the thicker Kansas-city style BBQ sauces (think sweeter) and not the mustard-based ones because that could turn your dish into something way overpowering and unpleasant.
However, if you love mustard-based BBQ sauces in mass quantities, you can certainly use that in this too but this recipe was made for the sweeter, thicker BBQ sauces that you think of most often when you’re at the grocery store.
Can I use homemade BBQ sauce?
What kind of rice?
I used regular short-grain white rice.
Definitely don’t use minute-rice or quick/instant rice here.
You could use brown rice but it would take longer to cook.
Can I use chicken breasts?
Preferably not because it could dry out. I love using boneless, skinless chicken thighs in almost all my one-pot/stovetop chicken dishes because the chance of it drying out and becoming tough is less with dark meat; however, if you really are averse to dark meat, you could use chicken breasts or even chicken tenders.
If you’re going to use chicken breasts, I highly suggest thinner ones and not super thick ones.
Can I add different beans to this?
I used canned black beans but you can use whatever canned bean you like.
Canned kidney beans would work well in this or even canned black-eyed peas.
What kind of add-ins could I add?
Anything you want but I feel that I have pretty decent add-ins into this already with the corn, beans, and rice!
What toppings for this one-pot BBQ chicken and rice recipe?
I sprinkled fresh tomatoes on top along with cilantro (but to be real — I picked off the cilantro because I have the gene that makes it taste like soap; I did it mainly for Jason and photographs) and of course you have to have avocado slices!
Can I bake this in the oven?
You definitely could! I would do covered at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes, or until rice and chicken is completely cooked through.
Bourbon makes things better.
Ha, it certainly does. The original recipe actually called for a splash of bourbon in the BBQ sauce but I know many readers don’t like cooking with alcohol (for personal reasons — totally fine) so I omitted the bourbon when I rewrote this recipe and retook photos. If you want to, a splash or two of bourbon in the BBQ sauce would make this one-pot BBQ chicken and rice dish even better!
Other one-pot meals that you may like:
One-Pot BBQ Chicken and Rice
- 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce, (see notes below)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅔ cups frozen corn, thawed
- 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup short-grain white rice, NOT quick/minute rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup freshly shredded colby jack cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Avocado, diced tomatoes, and parsley or cilantro, for topping
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- In a large deep skillet or pot, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper then brown chicken on both sides. Using a pastry brush, brush a generous amount of BBQ sauce onto the chicken on both sides while it is browning. Remove chicken from skillet once halfway cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside on a plate.
- In the same skillet, add onion and garlic. Cook until softened then add corn and black beans. Toss to incorporate. Add the rice to the skillet and gently "toast" it for a couple minutes.
- Carefully pour the chicken stock in the skillet and add the remaining BBQ sauce into the skillet. Stir to incorporate completely. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a medium-low heat. Place chicken back into skillet and nestled into the rice and liquid. Cook covered for 30 minutes, or until rice is completely cooked through.
- Add cheese on top and cover skillet to melt. Once cheese has melted, remove skillet from heat and top with avocado, diced tomato, and parsley or cilantro, if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Photography by Jesse Reilly
Friday 10th of February 2023
Delicious! I defrosted chicken chunks by mistake, so it ended up being like bbq fried rice. Didn’t put in cheese, because it didn’t need it! It’s going into the regular rotation!
Wednesday 11th of January 2023
Made this tonight and it is going to be one of those recipes I will make over and over. So good. My chicken thighs were bone in since it is what I had but don't think it changed the recipe in any significant way. Had all the other ingredients. Again SO GOOD.
Sunday 12th of June 2022
I want to try this with cauliflower rice. Should I reduce the chicken stock?
Tuesday 14th of June 2022
to be honest, i haven't tried cooking this with cauliflower rice. it'll honestly cook too fast for this dish so i would probably just cook it separate or something.
Friday 4th of February 2022
Okay this was DELICIOUS! And so easy. I used the Chipotle Honey BBQ sauce by Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ. Also sprinkled in some crushed red pepper on the final step prior to serving. Topped it with Greek yogurt (aka “healthy” sour cream), avocado, and Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce!! Will definitely be making this again!!
Sunday 23rd of January 2022
I made this last night!! Amazing! my kids loved it!! I used Sweet Baby Rays Honey barbecue sauce!! Great taste!!! I love the mixture of the black beans, corn and rice! I should have taken pictures!! We ate it right away!!