Chicken/ Hearty Dinners

Tomato Basil Baked Chicken and Rice

January 21, 2021 by Chris Collins

This Baked Chicken and Rice is loaded with a gorgeous Tomato and Basil flavour. It makes the perfect dinner because it’s all made in one dish!

overhead shot of chicken and rice freshout the oven with tongs grabbing chicken

The BEST Chicken and Rice Recipe!

Fluffy rice, juicy chicken, crispy skin, it’s all going on. We’ll get to the rice bit in just a sec, but first things first let’s talk chicken.

What cut of chicken to use?

For this recipe you’ll want to use bone in skin on chicken thighs. Thighs will cook at the same rate the rice does so work perfectly here. They’re also fattier (so more flavoursome) and often come out more tender than breast does. The bone in will ensure the chicken cooks nice and evenly through the centre, whilst the skin. Well, who doesn’t love crispy skin?!?!

What chicken seasoning to use?

The chicken is one of the main events here, so it’s important to let it shine. As such I coat the chicken in paprika, onion & garlic powder, parsley & basil and s&p before placing on top of the rice. I’ve played around with a few seasoning combos in the past and can tell you this combo is the winner.

Process shots: add seasoning to pot (photo 1), combine (photo 2), place chicken skin side up (photo 3), rub 2/3 seasoning on top (photo 4), flip (photo 5), rub in the rest of the seasoning (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to season tomato basil chicken

Baked Chicken and Rice

Alrighty, chicken seasoned, let’s talk baked chicken and rice.

When I first started experimenting with this recipe I was somewhat apprehensive of how the rice would turn out. But I think you’ll be surprised just how light and fluffy it turns out! The rice also comes out beautifully flavoursome. It soaks up all those gorgeous flavours from the chicken, alongside a few other goodies thrown in the dish too.

Tomato and Basil Chicken

The tomato basil aspect of this dish comes from a few different places to give it a really well rounded flavour, and really push the delicious combo that is tomato and basil.

  • Tomato Paste – This is infused into the chicken stock and water which the rice is cooked in.
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes – These add a nice bit of texture to the rice and infuse a punchy tomato flavour.
  • Dried Basil – This is used to coat the chicken and is also infused in the liquid as the rice cooks.
  • Fresh Basil – This is stirred through right at the end to give a final fresh blast of basil.

Both of the tomato and basil ingredients serve different functions and actually add different flavours, so it’s important to use all of them.

What rice to use?

White rice is best here. Brown rice will still be too hard by the time the chicken has cooked. I find long grain comes out the fluffiest, but Basmati also works nicely!

Process shots: add onion to baking dish (photo 1), bake until soft (photo 2), pour in chicken stock and water (photo 3), add tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, dried basil and salt (photo 4), whisk (photo 5), add uncooked rice (photo 6), stir to combine (photo 7), add chicken on top and bake (photo 8).

8 step by step photos showing how to bake chicken and rice

Baked Tomato Basil Chicken and Rice

You’ll find that once the chicken has cooked nearly all of the liquid will have reduced, which is good. Sometimes though the rice directly underneath the chicken is still slightly undercooked. As such, it’s important to allow everything to rest for 10mins so the rice can finish cooking.

After that, take off the chicken and fluff up the rice with some fresh basil.

4 step by step photos showing how to serve chicken and rice

Serving Tomato Basil Chicken

This will serve 6 small portions with a side salad. I highly recommend using a leafy green (rocket/arugula or watercress add a good punch of flavour) with parmesan and balsamic glaze. The parmesan and balsamic glaze compliment both the tomato and basil PERFECTLY. If you wanted to add another dish some Roasted Broccolini would also go nicely.

If you’re looking for another one pot rice dinner check out my Meatballs and Rice!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

One Pan Chicken Dinners

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this tomato basil chicken and rice shall we?!

overhead shot of chicken served with rice on small white plate with salad

How to make Tomato Basil Chicken and Rice (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of chicken served with rice on small white plate with salad

Tomato Basil Baked Chicken and Rice

This Baked Chicken and Rice is loaded with a gorgeous Tomato and Basil flavour. It makes the perfect dinner because it's all made in one dish!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Universal
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Calories per serving: 572kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • 8" x 12" Baking Dish (see notes)
  • Small Pot (to combine chicken seasoning)
  • Jug (for stock/water)
  • Serving Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Whisk

Ingredients (check list):

Chicken

  • 6 bone in skin on Chicken Thighs (see notes)
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp EACH: Dried Parsley, Garlic Powder, Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder, Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Tomato Basil Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups Uncooked Long Grain Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups / 375ml Hot Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups / 375ml Hot Water
  • 1 cup / 125g Sun Dried Tomatoes, finely diced (oil drained away)
  • 1/4 cup / 65g Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
  • 1 small bunch of Fresh Basil, finely diced
  • 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (can adjust to preference)
  • Oil Spray, as needed

To Serve

Instructions:

  • Add diced onion to a baking dish and spray with oil. Pop in the oven at 180C/350F for 10mins, or until it just begins to soften/pick up colour.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pot combine 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, dried parsley & salt, 1/2 tsp onion powder & dried basil and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Coat the chicken skin-side-up with around 2/3 of the spice mix, lightly rub, then flip over the chicken and rub in the rest of the seasoning. Place to one side.
  • When the onion is cooked, pour chicken stock & water into the baking dish. Add tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, dried basil and salt. Use a whisk to blend the tomato paste, then add rice and give it all a final stir.
  • Place chicken in the dish skin-side-up and coat in a little oil spray. Don't worry if the liquid covers some of the skin, it'll soon reduce in the oven. Pop the whole thing in the oven for 50mins, or until the chicken skin is crispy and beginning to char, with the liquid reduced right down and the rice around the edges cooked.
  • Once out the oven just lift the chicken thighs and use a fork to mix up the rice underneath (some grains will still look a little raw). Allow everything to rest for around 10mins. This is important to allow the rice to finish cooking and reduce the final bit of liquid. Remove chicken then sprinkle fresh basil over the rice. Use a fork to combine the basil and fluff up the rice.
  • Serve chicken thighs with rice and a side salad of leafy green, shaved parmesan and balsamic glaze!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Rice - I find long grain rice comes out the fluffiest, but most white rices work well. I've tested with Basmati which works really well, but I imagine Jasmine would work well too.
b) Dish Size - I find 8x12" works perfectly because most of the rice is covered and the liquid rises to the perfect level on the chicken. This means the rice doesn't dry out and the chicken stays moist. If you're dish is bigger consider cooking the 1st 20-30mins with foil on, just to ensure the rice doesn't dry out (more rice will be exposed).
c) Oil/Chicken Skin - I love keeping the skin on the chicken (there's nothing better than crispy chicken skin IMO). It does release a good bit of fat, which adds a good bit of flavour to the rice. However because of this it's essential to not coat the chicken in oil (only a light oil spray before going in) and the same with the onion. If you pour in regular oil you run the risk of the rice coming out greasy. Also just make sure you drain away the oil of the sun dried tomato for the same reason.
d) Cooking Time - You'll find that when everything comes out the oven some of the rice underneath the chicken will still not be cooked. After mixing/resting it should be al dente and once you've fluffed up the rice it comes out perfectly cooked. You'll find the rice around the edge of the dish cooks quicker than in the centre.
e) Serving - This will feed 6 with a side salad. I highly recommend balsamic glaze and parmesan, both of which perfect the tomato and basil perfectly!
f) Leftovers - Allow to cool then tightly cover in the fridge (should be good for a couple of days, longer at your discretion). Reheat chicken in the oven at the same temp until piping hot through the centre. Microwave rice.
g) Calories - based on 1/6 of the whole recipe with no side salad.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Basil Baked Chicken and Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 572 Calories from Fat 254
% Daily Value*
Fat 28.22g43%
Saturated Fat 7.546g38%
Trans Fat 0.154g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.349g
Monounsaturated Fat 11.92g
Cholesterol 172mg57%
Sodium 888mg37%
Potassium 932mg27%
Carbohydrates 45.36g15%
Fiber 3.9g16%
Sugar 5.99g7%
Protein 35.9g72%
Vitamin A 966IU19%
Vitamin C 8.1mg10%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 3.37mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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