I’m not sure what it says about us but if I’m being 100% honest with you I have to admit that one of our go-to road trip meal stops is and probably always will be Cracker Barrel. It’s basically cafeteria food but something about the experience of eating there feels safe and comfortable and so you can bet that it’s our first choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the road. If it happens to be a Saturday, we’ll even drive far past our preferred stopping time until we reach a Cracker Barrel because, my friends, the Saturday Cracker Barrel special is a family favorite. Every Saturday, after 11am, Cracker Barrel serves up a chicken and rice dish that’s tough to beat. It, at least, was tough to beat.  Now that I’ve perfected my own version of chicken and rice in the Instant Pot, it’s safe to say that Cracker Barrel’s version is a close second.

Bowl of creamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice on wooden table with copper fork

Like so many of my favorite Instant Pot recipes, this one has been a huge hit with my family, and with several friends, neighbors and readers who’ve sent me sweet notes to let me know how much they love it. What makes it so special? I thought you’d never ask.

Making chicken and rice in the Instant Pot results in a creamy, casserole-like dish that takes comfort foods to a whole new level. Inspired by the Cracker Barrel version I love, this recipe brings mushrooms together with tender chicken and hearty brown rice. I plus my version up by adding carrots and celery and a couple of additional surprise ingredients that give this dish a gourmet twist.

Bowl of creamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice on wooden table with copper fork

I’m happy to tell you that I’ve been tweaking this recipe for years. Before I bought my Instant Pot, the Crock Pot  was my instrument of choice for replicating Cracker Barrel’s dish and I can assure you that if you haven’t taken the leap and purchased an Instant Pot yet, the Crock Pot works just fine in this recipe. The Instant Pot, though, allows you to take this dish from fridge to the table in record time. I love my Instant Pot because it makes it so quick and so easy for me to serve real food, made from scratch.

Whichever vessel you choose, I implore you to try this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice sometime soon. Whether you, like me, are a fan of the Cracker Barrel dish or not, I can almost guarantee that if you try this dish, you’ll lick the bowl clean.

Bowl of creamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice on wooden table with copper fork

There’s a good chance that once you’ve tried this recipe, it will make your regular dinner rotation. It’s too easy and delicious not to. But don’t stop with this one. My Instant Pot Mexican Meatball and Barley Soup should also make an appearance on your dinner table sometime soon. It’s another delicious dinner idea. And then, of course, you can’t go wrong with my Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup, either.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 35 min Total Time 50 mins
Serves 6     adjust servings



  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 16 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced with stems removed
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Add chicken, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, rice, salt, Worcestershire sauce and thyme to the stainless steel bowl of your Instant Pot.

Pour chicken stock and wine into the stainless steel bowl.

Lock the Instant Pot lid into place and set the valve to the "sealing" position. Program the Instant Pot to the Manual cooking mode and set the time for 25 minutes.

When cooking is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally depressurize for ten minutes. When ten minutes have passed, change the valve to the "venting" position. When the pin drops, unlock and remove the Instant Pot lid.

Using two forks, shred the chicken breast and return it to the stainless steel bowl of the Instant Pot. Add sour cream and stir thoroughly to combine. Add pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes


19 reviews
I threw every Chicken and Rice recipe out the window when I discovered this one. This Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is easy, creamy and as delicious and comfort food can get. Inspired by the Cracker Barrel dish, this one is a guaranteed family favorite.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 261kcal Calories from fat 59
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 731mg 30%
Carbohydrate 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 14g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

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  1. You have some great recipes, and love your approach of no cans—thanks for that! I’d rather not use canned soups etc. Also love the very thoughtful ‘print version’ button. Many bloggers don’t bother & that makes it difficult for those of us who’d like to print copies. THANK YOU!!

    1. Thank you so much for this word of encouragment, Sue! It can definitely be tough to find recipes that are quick, delicious and healthy; you usually get two out of the three at best. I’m hoping to put a dent in that problem one dish at a time! ;)

  2. I like short grained brown rice and I am wondering if it would take the same length of time as posted. Normally it takes longer that regular rice. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. Do you think this would work with wild rice? And how long would you cook it? Also appreciate you don’t use canned ingredients! Thanks!

    1. Most people only take time to comment if they want to complain. Thank you, Marita, for your recipe compliment. I appreciate it so much!

  4. This sounds so good that I got inspired…its in my IP right now. After a hard day working in the barn I can’t wait to eat this. Thanks for the no canned stuff approach too….I never have that stuff on hand and hate to use it.

    1. It’s definitely a hearty meal — perfect after a long day of work! I hope it becomes a quick favorite, Kristen.

  5. I always forget to defrost chicken. Do you have any tips for using frozen chicken for this recipe? I can’t wait to make this!! Thank you!

    1. I’ve not tried it with frozen chicken yet, Michele, but I would love to hear your experiences if you try it before I do.

  6. I made this recipe tonight just as written and it’s turned out so good! Even my youngest son liked it and he’s hard to please! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  7. You have some great recipes on here for Instant Pot. I have to admit that I’ve never tried the Cracker Barrel dish but we made this last night and loved it. I’ll be making it again.

  8. My husband said this is the best thing I’ve made in my Instant Pot yet. I will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you for the great recipe.

  9. I loved it. The only thing I will adjust next time, is that salt. I will reduce it to one tsp. Other than that, it was quite tasty.

  10. I’ve made this three times now. Will definitely continue the trend! We love this recipe.

  11. I’m making this tonight. very quick to put together. got 21 minutes left on the counter and it smells great.

  12. This is on deck for tomorrow night. I will be doubling to feed my family. We love creamy chicken and rice, I usually cook the (whole) chicken in the crock pot then shred, cook the rice in the rice cooker, cream of chicken soup from scratch on the stove then bake it all in a casserole dish. If I can do it in 1 pan, this will be a game changer!

  13. I used to work at Cracker Barrel and I’d love to be able to make something like this at home!! I don’t have any brown rice on hand. Would you recommend any cooking time alterations for using jasmine rice? Thanks!!

  14. This was delicious. I switched it up a little. I didn’t add celery or onion(didn’t have) but put onion powder in and used long grain rice. At the end I put a hand full of parm cheese in, made it so creamy. Thank you the recipe.

  15. I’m trying this tonight. This will be my first time using my instant pot.

  16. This is so delicious! We love Cracker Barrel also – but this blows that out of the water.

  17. This recipe has made up my mind about buying an instant pot – bookmarking was this now, once my IP arrives, I’ll be back.

  18. You make delicious meals so accessible – love you for that. (So do my kids and husband, for that matter…)

  19. I doubled the mushrooms because we love them and this was delicious. I’ll make it again for sure.

  20. I completely forgot about adding the wine and sour cream but it still tasted amazing. It’ll be all the better next time when I do add all the ingredients you call for.

  21. I was so excited to make this tonite for dinner but mine turned out more like soup and was a little bland tasting. I followed the recipe to a T so I’m not sure where I went wrong.

    1. My first thought, Maggi, is that you may have inadvertently used a different type of rice. I’ve tried the recipe with brown Basmati rice and when I did, the dish was far soupier than I would like. It’s super important to use long grain brown rice for the dish to result in a creamy, casserole-like consistency.

  22. I made this for dinner and couldn’t believe how GOOD it was! My husband loved it! This recipe is a KEEPER!

  23. The recipe looks great but I’d like to make it tomorrow and don’t have any white wine. Could I possibly use red wine or cream sherry? Or maybe just skip it and add more chicken stock?
    Thanks so much.

      1. Thanks so much – I just added more chicken stock instead of the white wine and it was really delicious! What an easy and quick recipe – this will definitely be a new go-to meal in our house!
        Thanks again.

        1. It’s a go-to at our house, too! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it and I appreciate you stopping back by to let me know. Best to you, Rosemary!

  24. I’ve been making this pretty much every few weeks since you posted it last year. My whole family loves this meal.

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