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Bowl with with turmeric rice with flecks of carrot and dill and slices of chicken

Instant Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice

  • Author: Jenny Meier | Kitchen Skip Blog
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes (plus time for Instant Pot to come to pressure)
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Instant Pot Turmeric Chicken and Rice is healthy comfort food and an easy, flavorful dinner that my whole family loves. My kids like the turmeric chicken and rice plain and I like to add garnishes like crispy spiced chickpeas, slivered almonds and fresh cilantro.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium carrots
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt  
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain brown rice (brown jasmine or brown basmati)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 
  • Optional garnishes: Crispy spiced chickpeas (see recipe below), toasted slivered almonds, fresh cilantro, parsley or dill, hot sauce, fresh, grated turmeric root


  1. For this recipe, the onion, garlic and carrots need to be finely chopped. You can do this by hand, or use a food processor and the task is easier and faster. Here’s the easiest way to do it: Peel the onion and cut into 4 pieces, peel the carrots and cut into thirds and peel the garlic cloves. Put the onion, garlic and carrots in the food processor and blend until finely chopped. 
  2. Select the saute setting on the Instant Pot and add the oil. Add the mixture of onion, garlic and carrot. Saute for just a few minutes, until the onion begins to soften. 
  3. Press the cancel button to turn off the saute function. Pour in just a little bit of the chicken stock to loosen any browned bits of vegetable that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up any bits stuck to the pot. 
  4. Spread the onion, carrot and garlic out in an even layer. Add the chicken thighs in an even layer. Sprinkle the turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper evenly over the chicken. 
  5. Sprinkle the rice on top of the chicken in an even layer then gently pour the chicken broth into the pot. 
  6. Gently pat down the rice so that it’s mostly submerged in the broth.
  7. After adding the broth, Do not stir - the rice should stay on top of the chicken as much as possible. (The chicken acts as a barrier between the bottom of the pot and the rice. If too much rice is on the bottom of the pot, it might burn and stick)
  8. Secure the lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Select the Manual setting and program the Instant Pot to cook for 22 minutes on high pressure. 
  9. For brown rice, I usually let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes after the cooking time is done. When the pressure has released, remove the lid and stir the rice and chicken. If there is still liquid in the pot, let the rice sit for about ten minutes with the lid loosely on, stirring occasionally so the rice absorbs any remaining liquid. 

Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Drain a can of chickpeas and put the drained chickpeas on a baking sheet. Generously coat the chickpeas with olive oil, spices and salt. For this recipe, I use the same spices I put in the chicken and rice (turmeric, cumin, coriander) but you can use any spice or spice mixture that you like.
  3. Roast for about 25 minutes, until crispy. 


White rice cannot be substituted for brown rice in this recipe. The ingredient amounts and cooking time would have to be changed.  If you’d like an Instant Pot white rice and chicken recipe, try this one

Short grain brown rice doesn't work well with this recipe either. I recommend using long-grain brown rice. 

I made this recipe with brown basmati rice and 22 minutes was the perfect cooking time. The cooking time for brown rice in an Instant Pot ranges from 20 to 25 minutes. Depending on the variety and brand of brown rice used,  you might have to adjust the time for this recipe, either a few minutes more or less, for your tastes. 

I usually serve sauteed kale or spinach on the side of this dish, and I often also serve green beans or frozen peas for the kids. 




  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot, Instant Pot Chicken, Turmeric Rice