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One Pan Chicken and Rice with Zucchini

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This One Pan Chicken and Rice with Zucchini and Tomatoes is the easiest one pot chicken and rice casserole ever. Using dry rice, it’s a simple prep dish for busy weeknights that’s delicious with Spanish-inspired flavors, tender chicken and perfectly cooked rice. And then drizzled in a Garlic Honey Sauce. The zucchini and tomatoes are vibrant and delicious, truly making it a one-pan meal.


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I love one-pot meals, don’t you?! Not only does it make cleanup incredibly simple, it makes everything easier. Then… there are the flavors to consider. Oh my, so good! They all get to mingle together in the oven with a delicious Spanish-inspired paprika sauce, allowing for a truly delicious dinner I hope you will love!

The prep? As mentioned, it’s a low-prep meal I love for hectic weeknight dinners or busy weekends when everyone is going in different directions. The only prep needed in this dish is a simple sauce made with olive oil and spices, plus slicing zucchini. That’s it!

What to Love About This One Pot Chicken and Rice

Here are three reasons I love to add this meal to our regular meal rotation:

  • It’s a one-pan recipe that not only provides easy cleanup- but easy cooking, too!
  • Hearty and delicious with perfectly seasoned and cooked chicken, vegetables, and fluffy, perfect rice. (I think it’s the rice that gets me every time!).
  • Doesn’t require multiple steps; it’s a simple and easy recipe using dry rice and very little prep.

I love one-pot, or one-pan meals for busy weeknight and even weekend cooking. Much like our always popular Easy One Pot Pasta with Ground Beef and Broccoli or the jazzy One Pot Jambalaya or the simple One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole, this Spanish-inspired one pot dish is soon to become a favorite.

Spanish Inspired One Pot Chicken and Rice Ingredients

Here is a list of ingredient notes for this recipe. Specific ingredient measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here are the ingredients I used in this easy one pot chicken dish:

  • Chicken: I’m using bone-in, skin on chicken thighs, but chicken breasts can also be substituted. My family loves a crispy skin on chicken, but you can use skinless chicken and even boneless, skinless chicken if you prefer. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
  • Paprika Sauce: olive oil, smoked paprika, onion powder, dried oregano, and minced, pressed, or chopped garlic cloves.
  • Dry rice: I’m using long-grain white rice I had on hand, but basmati rice would be delicious as well. I’ve not tested this recipe using brown rice. A small amount of butter is used to dot the rice for flavor before baking.
  • Vegetables: Sliced zucchini and cherry tomatoes are perfect in this dish. For the cherry tomatoes, I add them whole, which delightfully reduces prep time.
  • Hot Honey Sauce: Honey, hot sauce to taste, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.

How to Make this Spanish-Inspired Chicken and Rice Recipe

While step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card below, here is a quick overview of how simple this dish is!

Begin by preheating the oven to 400℉ and oiling or coating a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

Top view of seasonings in Paprika Sauce in a white bowl
Top view of uncooked chicken coated with Paprika Sauce in a white bowl
Top view of dry rice and sliced zucchini in a casserole dish
Top view of uncooked One Pan Chicken and Rice in a casserole dish ready for the oven
  1. Make the Paprika Sauce: Combine the olive oil, smoked paprika, onion powder, oregano, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat all sides.
  2. Add rice, zucchini, and tomatoes to the prepared pan. Pour water over the top, add butter, and arrange the chicken over the rice.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. See notes in the recipe card on rice.
  4. Once cooked, spoon half of the sauce over the chicken and reserve the remaining for serving. Top with fresh herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, or parsley.

One Pot Chicken and Rice FAQs

Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?

Absolutely! Boneless chicken works perfectly in this one-pot wonder. Be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure your chicken is tender and cooked through.

How spicy is the paprika in this dish?

The paprika adds a wonderful depth of flavor without being overly spicy. It lends a warm and smoky note rather than heat. Feel free to adjust the amount to your taste preferences or choose a sweeter or smokier variety of paprika.

Can I add other vegetables or herbs to personalize the dish?

Absolutely! Cooking is all about creativity. Feel free to add your favorite vegetables or herbs to make the dish your own. Chopped bell peppers, spinach, or even a sprinkle of fresh basil can complement the flavors beautifully.

Closeup view of One Pan Chicken and Rice with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and fresh thyme.
Top view of One Pan Chicken and Rice with a silver fork in a white casserole dish

One Pan Chicken and Rice with Zucchini

Discover a flavorful one-pot chicken and rice recipe with zucchini, tomatoes, & drizzled with a zesty hot honey sauce. Easy and delicious!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs or breasts (skin on or off)
  • 1 3/4 cup uncooked dry white rice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups water plus, potentially an additional 1/3 cup water

Smoked Paprika Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped or pressed

Hot Garlic Honey Sauce

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • hot sauce to taste (I added about 7-10 drops)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉ and lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
    Top view of spices in Paprika Sauce
  • In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, paprika, onion powder, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat.
    Top view of uncooked chicken thighs in paprika sauce
  • Add the rice, and zucchini to the prepared baking dish. Pour 2 cups of water over the rice. Add the butter and arrange the chicken and cherry tomatoes over the rice and zucchini. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is fluffy and the chicken is cooked through. If the rice is still hard, add an additional 1/3 cup more water and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
    Top view of Chicken and Rice with zucchini and tomatoes in a casserole dish ready for the oven
  • When the chicken is done, spoon half the sauce over the chicken. Serve the chicken, rice, and zucchini topped with fresh basil and extra honey sauce. Enjoy!
  • Make the sauce: In a saucepan, warm the honey, hot sauce, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes along with a pinch of salt.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, spoon half of the sauce over the chicken and reserve the reaminig sauce for serving. Top the chicken with fresh herbs like basil, thyme, parsley, or all three.

Notes

1. Chicken: Bone-in thighs are best with this dish because the cooking time is the same as the rice. I’ve left the skin on for my guys, but skin-off is preferable in my opinion. It’s easy to remove the skin.  
Drumsticks would be a great substitute with no change to the cook time or oven temperature. 
Boneless Skinless Thighs and Breasts: To substitute boneless skinless thighs or breasts, add rice, water, and butter to the casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover the casserole, and top with zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Add an additional 1/3 cup water if necessary to the rice. Top with paprika sauce glazed chicken and bake uncovered for a further 20 to 25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. 
2. Rice – Any long-grain white rice works well in this recipe as it yields the fluffiest rice. 

Nutrition

Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 427mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 701IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken and rice, one pot chicken and rice

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