Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks and Rice is a mouthwatering one pot dinner that you’ll love making time & again! The chicken legs dry rub, the seasoned fluffy rice doused in the chicken drippings and the crispy seared chicken skins create such a magical flavor profile. Your whole family will love this chicken legs and rice recipe.
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Instant Pot Chicken Legs and Rice
Who doesn’t love a mouthwatering chicken and rice recipe? It’s so versatile, you can play around with the seasonings, use different cuts of bone-in skin on chicken and also add a few extra veggies of your choice like corn kernels, green peas.
Picky eaters love this flavorful one pot chicken drumsticks and rice and this recipe freezes well to. The seared chicken legs with crispy skins create such a great depth of flavor and you will love every bite of the fluffy non mushy rice. So good!
The best part of this easy chicken and rice recipe is that you can make it with pantry ingredients.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Chicken Drumsticks: Do not remove the skin. The skin turns crispy when seared well, this elevates the flavor of this easy chicken and rice recipe manifold.
- Basmati Rice: We love to use white Basmati rice. You can use your favorite brand or any store brand.
- Aromatics: Onion & garlic. Yellow onion would be the best choice here.
- Veggies: Red bell pepper & green bell pepper. You’ll love the sweetness from the red bell pepper and the bright crisp flavor from the green bell pepper. They both compliment each other so well.
- Tomato paste: This will add a bit of tang and more flavor to the recipe. Tomato paste from the tube is so easy to use and it lasts long too. I always love using the paste from the tube.
- Seasoning: Sweet paprika, ground black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes (skip if heat intolerant). You can sub the sweet paprika with smoked paprika if that’s what you prefer. You can also sub the oregano with Italian seasoning. That would be good too.
- Lemon juice: You will love the bright flavor and the slight tartness from the lemon juice. You can also add a pinch or two of fresh lemon zest in liquid just before pressure cooking the chicken drumsticks and rice.
- Olive Oil: Use extra light or light olive oil. You can also use avocado oil.
- Butter: This will help turn the chicken skin crispy with a gorgeous golden brown color. So tempting, yummy!
- Better than Bouillon chicken base: This stuff is real good, stir it in Luke warm or warm water to make an instant homemade chicken stock. You’ll not need the store bought chicken stock ever again. Better than Bouillon is packed with flavor.
- Liquid: Normal water. I stir my better than bouillon in the water to make my own chicken stock.
- Fluffy Rice secret: If you love non mushy extra fluffy rice just like we do than do rinse the rice multiple times under running tap water until the water runs clear. This process will help rinse out the surface starch from the rice and keep it nice and fluffy when pressure cooked. You’ll love the rice texture.
- Avoid BURN error: Rinse the rice very well as stated above and do de-glaze the pot by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of your spatula. There will be lots of brown bits stuck at the bottom of the pot after searing the chicken. Deglazing will help loosen them. This will prevent the dreaded BURN!
- Extra spicy: Add about ½ teaspoon cayenne if you prefer extra spicy flavor.
- Extra flavor: Rub the chicken legs with a simple rub and sear them until golden. This will help build so much flavor, keep the chicken nice and moist and also make the skin crispy.
How to make Chicken drumsticks and rice in instant pot?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Prep & sear chicken drumsticks
- Prep chicken: Pat dry the chicken drumsticks with the help of kitchen towel, rub them well with the seasonings so that all the drumsticks are coated nicely and uniformly.
- Sear chicken legs: Set the instant pot SAUTE mode set at NORMAL heat settings. Add butter & oil and sear the chicken until golden on all sides. Set them aside.
Step #2 Deglaze pot
- Sauté aromatics & veggies: Lower the heat to LOW mode. Sauté the onion & garlic for just 30 secs. Add salt to quicken the process. Add the bell peppers and sauté for another 30 secs.
- Deglaze pot: Now, mix in the tomato paste into the stock. Add this to the instant pot and deglaze the pot very well by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen all stuck bits and crumbs from the bottom of the pot and prevent the BURN error. DO NOT rush this step.
Step #3 Pressure cook
- Layer ingredients: Rinse the rice thoroughly a multiple times under running tap water until clear water runs through. This will help rinse the surface starch from the rice and prevent it from becoming mushy and also prevent the BURN error. Add the rinsed and drained rice into the pot. Spread it into a single layer with the help of your spatula. Layer the seared chicken legs on top of the rice and DO NOT stir or mix.
- Pressure cook: Secure the lid and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 mins followed by 10 mins natural release. Than, release the rest of the pressure manually.
- Serve: Fish out the chicken drumsticks. Fluff the cooked rice with the help of a pair of forks. Serve the chicken legs and rice garnished with fresh chopped parsley and drizzled with lemon juice.
Chicken drumsticks and rice instant pot recipe is a complete meal all by itself. However, we love to serve it with one of these soups or a simple steamed and seasoned vegetable on the side:
- Instant Pot Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
- Instant Pot Cheesy Potato Soup.
- Instant pot steamed broccoli.
- Instant Pot steamed carrots.
- Instant pot green beans no steamer basket.
Fridge: Instant pot chicken drumsticks and rice will last for 5 days in the fridge when stored in air tight container.
Freezer: You can freeze the dish for up to 3 months. We love to freeze individual servings in freezer safe bags or containers.
How to reheat
Reheat chicken drumsticks and rice in microwave oven until warm or hot. Sprinkle few drops of water on top of the rice before reheating. This will prevent the rice from drying.
More one pot dinners
- Instant pot chicken drumsticks and potatoes
- Instant pot chicken thighs and vegetables
- Instant pot chicken fajita rice
I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU! If you try this Instant pot chicken drumsticks and rice recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I would love to hear how it turned out for you, or any changes you make. You can also follow me on Pinterest or subscribe our free NEWLETTER for new recipes every week!
Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks and RicePrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 5 chicken drumstciks (**skin on. You can use 6 or 8 drumsticks. The recipe, cook time would remain the same.)
- 2 cups Basmati Rice (**white basmati rice rinsed very well and drained.)
- 1 cup onion (**yellow onion roughly chopped.)
- ½ tbsp garlic (**minced)
- ½ green bell pepper (**roughly chopped. Use a medium bell pepper.)
- ½ red bell pepper (**roughly chopped. Use a medium bell pepper.)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (**freshly squeezed.)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil (**use extra light or light olive oil.)
- salt (**add according to your own personal taste preference.)
Dry rub for chicken
- ½ tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**chicken base. )
- 3.5 cups water (**use warm water. Stir the better than bouillon in this water to make an instant flavorful chicken stock. You;ll love it!)
Prep & sear chicken drumsticks
- Pat dry the chicken drumsticks with kitchen towel. Add lemon juice and all the dry seasoning mentioned above in the ingredients section as "Dry rub for chicken". Rub the chicken legs to coat them well with the seasonings.
- Set instant pot on Saute mode set at NORMAL heat. Add butter & olive oil. When they begin to become hot gently release the chicken drumsticks and sear them until golden on all sides. Once done, set them aside on a plate with the help of a pair of tongs. You'll have lots of brown bits stuck at the bottom of the pot due to the ssearing process. Don't worry, we'll be deglazing the pot in the next step and the brown bits will help boost the flavor of the dish.
- Lower the heat to LOW mode on SAUTE settings. You can do this by pressing the SAUTE button more than once. Throw in the onion & garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add salt according to your personal taste preference, salt will help soften the onion quickly. Now throw in the bell peppers and saute for 30 seconds.
- Stir the better than bouillon chicken base + the tomato paste into the warm water and pour this into the pot. Immediately deglaze the pot by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen every bit of stuck food particles from the bottom of the pot and prevent the BURN error! DO NOT rush this step. You need to deglaze the pot until every stuck food particles is scraped off.
- Cancel the saute mode. Rinse the white basmati rice several times under running tap water until clear water runs through. Drain the rice in a colander or strainer and add it to the instant pot. Give everything a quick stir. Now layer the seared chicken drumsticks on top of the rice in a single layer. DO NOT stir or mix.
- Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 mins. Once the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep, allow 10 mins natural pressure release and than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Once the floating metal pin on top of the lid drops open the lid carefully. Fish out the chicken drumsticks and gently fluff the rice with the help of a pair of forks. Serve the chicken legs and rice garnished with lemon juice and fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!
- Rice: This recipe is tested using white basmati rice. If you choose to use any other variety you need to adjust the liquid amount and also the cook time.
- Chicken Drumsticks: You can use up to 8 drumsticks in this recipe in a 6 quart instant pot. Just stack them before pressure cooking.
- Spicy chicken legs and rice: You can add about ½ teaspoon cayenne for extra heat. You can also add 1 jalapeno pepper (diced, seeds not removed) while sautéing the bell peppers.
- Prevent BURN: Deglaze the pot very well by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with a spatula and make sure to remove all stuck bits and crumbs from the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the BURN. Also, do rinse the rice well until water runs clear.
- Other veggies: You can add about ⅓ cups dice carrots and ¼ cup corn kernels in this recipe. Add them along with the bell peppers and sauté.
- Butter: To make this recipe even more healthy you can skin the butter and replace it with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Butter helps to crisp up the skin and make the drumsticks nice and golden.