Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans

I love skillet meals.

I love quick meals.

I love one-pot wonder meals.

I love classic, comfort foods remade with delicious ingredients.

And I love this chicken and rice which meets all the criteria above.

The finished texture of the rice is a creamy, cheesy, near-risotto-like consistency that is perfect with the tender crunch of the green beans and sizzling browned flavor of the chicken.

I have made this recipe time and time again and it never fails to produce a hearty meal, albeit unphotogenic, that pleases just about everyone in the whole family – especially me since I didn’t have to slave in the kitchen for hours to get dinner on the table.

P.S. I’ve updated my favorite banana bread recipe and the Hawaiian Haystacks recipe with new pictures and a few notes to the recipes.

One Year Ago: Cheese Rolls with Buttery Parmesan Crust
Two Years Ago: Zucchini Mozzarella Medley

Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans

Yield: Serves 4-6

Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, brushed clean and quartered or sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ pound frozen or fresh green beans
  • 1 cup shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Carefully lay each chicken breast in the skillet and cook until the chicken is well browned on the first side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken with a pair of tongs and let it brown on the second side, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Drain all but about 1-2 tablespoons oil from the pan.
  2. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom and edges of the pan, until the mushrooms begin to soften and start to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the rice and continue to cook until the edges of the rice turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken to the pan and cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the rice is mostly cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the skillet again, brushing off any rice that sticks to the chicken back into the skillet. Cover the chicken with foil to keep warm. Stir the green beans into the skillet, stir the mixture well, cover and continue to cook on low until the beans and rice are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cover and Bake

48 Responses to Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans

  1. Karalyn says:

    You have a lot of one skillet meals. What size skillet do you use? I don’t fell like mine is big enough.

  2. Caitlin says:

    Wow!! Just made this great!! A little complex but decided to add the chicken at the end and mix it in and didn’t add the cheese because it was just great but AMAZING!! boyfriend and boyfriend dad approved!!!

  3. Val says:

    I’m trying to find a recipe that would be kid friendly using Cauliflower. Do you think I could use this recipe and substitute the cauliflower for the green beans?

  4. Kristen R says:

    This is one of my favorites. It’s simple and quick. I’ve also made it with broccoli instead of green beans and that way is actually my favorite way to have it. I’ve also sometimes not had mushrooms on hand and it tastes good with or without the mushrooms. Thanks for an easy meal!

  5. meg says:

    We really loved this! Well, especially my 17 month old and I loved it:) I used broccoli instead of beans, and I didn’t have mushrooms, so to bulk it up a bit I chooped up a zucchini into tiny pieces (I have to disguise it so my kids will eat it;) and sautéed it in place of the mushrooms. Totally delicious, and nobody even noticed the zucchini! Success!!

  6. Diane says:

    This was pretty tasty! I made it with broccoli, and didn’t use mushrooms or cheese – my hubby’s tummy was upset and I thought it would be easier on him without. The chicken ended up a little bit bland, but it did go very nicely with the rice. I ended up cooking mine on medium low for the first 15 minutes, and then on medium for the next 10 – probably because my stove is weaksauce and has a hard time with simmering. (There was still a lot of liquid after the first 15 minutes!)

  7. Jennifer says:

    I just made this for dinner tonight, and wow. It was DELICIOUS! We used basmati rice and asparagus instead of green beans because asparagus was on sale. The rice and asparagus both took a little longer than the recipe, but only about 5 minutes longer. This is such a versatile recipe and will definitely be a staple in our house now. It’s got all of our favorites: onion, garlic, mushrooms, rice, veggies, and cheese! Thanks Mel for a delicious and simple one pot recipe! You should try the asparagus sometime. It came out perfectly cooked, not mushy, and what’s better than asparagus and cheese?

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Mel,
    I made this recipe tonight for dinner and everybody loved it!! I have a question though, I don’t know if you’ve tried it this way before, but do you think instead of cooking the chicken before for 3 to 4 mins on each side , you can just put them completely raw in the skillet while the rice is being cooked and cook the chicken that way until completely cooked will work? Thanks so much

  9. Jessica says:

    This meal was delicious! My 19 month old and my husband both cleaned their plates. I left out the mushrooms, and used green beans fresh from my garden! My favorite part? Since it’s been 90+ degrees around here lately I haven’t been wanting to heat up my home by using my oven, so I cooked this in my electric skillet on my back patio. Easy clean up and my house was nice and cool for dinner 🙂

  10. Mel says:

    Kristin – yes, I’ve done that before and it works fine (just cook the chicken for less time).

  11. Kristin says:

    Do you think you could cut the chicken into cubes and do it that way instead of using whole breasts?

  12. […] Beans-I’ll use the green beans to make Chicken and Rice with Green Beans (similar to this recipe). I just can’t get enough of this […]

  13. […] be making one of our favorites: Chicken with Rice and Green Beans. It’s similar to this Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans, but I do mine in the oven and use brown rice and don’t use […]

  14. Kristen says:

    I made this for my in-laws, and they raved about it! It was so simple, and so delicious. Definitely a keeper!

  15. One Dish Cheesy Chicken and Rice | The Flour Patch says:

    […] Source:  Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  16. Tannis says:

    You are right, this meal fits all of your criteria. I fell in love with just the mushrooms, onion, garlic and oil. I seriously can’t wait to make that on it’s own one night. Would be a nice side or I’d even enjoy it as a snack. But the whole dish is fantastic as well. Thank you!

  17. Amy Yaeger says:

    This is sooo…. Delicious!! I didn’t even add any cheese…Another winner Mel!!

  18. Leslie says:

    I made this last night and it was great. My husband said “This is really good.” That is a compliment from him since usually he just eats with no commentary. The best part is there is enough for leftovers tonight!

  19. Thanks for another great recipe Mel! We loved it!

  20. Darcy says:

    Just made this the other night and both my husband and I were blown away! So creamy and flavorful, even before the cheese was added it tasted amazing…like onion soup mix was in it or something. Will definitely be adding this to the rotation and making it regularly. Was out of white rice and had to use brown rice, which is healthier but, it took forever to cook. Wondering if there is a way of making it with brown rice that doesn’t take an hour to soften up? Thanks for such a healthy, flavorful, and easy to make meal…..and only one pan to clean!

    • Mel says:

      Darcy – thanks for the rave reviews on this recipe! I’m thrilled you loved the flavors so much. As for the brown rice dilemma, unless you use minute brown rice (which I wouldn’t really recommend for this recipe) I’m not sure there is a way to get around the longer cooking time. Brown rice, while healthier, definitely needs more time to absorb all the liquid.

  21. Pam says:

    Great recipe! It’s a fantastic mix of ingredients that I’ll have to try! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Amy says:

    Had this tonight for dinner. I love it when I have all the ingredients for a recipe. We used brown rice and colby jack cheese instead. Mmmmmm. Thanks!

  23. Susan says:

    Made this tonight, liked it quite a bit! It took me a lot longer to make than I expected, though that’s probably due to my own inefficiency in the kitchen. We felt like it called for too many green beans but loved the chicken and rice parts!

  24. grace says:

    among the ingredients that i ALWAYS have on hand are chicken, cheese, rice, and green beans. that said, i’ve never had them all together. yum.

  25. Angie says:

    Hey Mel – I made this last night for dinner and everyone loved it! Well, Trev loved the chicken and beans, but he’s not a rice fan anyway. But thanks again for such an easy meal that is healthy! (well, minus the cheese, I guess 😉 )

    • Mel says:

      Angie – oh, that Trevor…I’m glad he found something to love in a dinner you slaved over. 🙂 And hey, cheese has to be healthy…considering our husbands’ professions right? Health food in my book, man.

  26. Just wanted you to know that I made this last night and got rave reviews. Very yummy! Like REAL Rice-A-Roni, the kids said.

    I sure love your blog. I link to it frequently and pass it around to all of my friends. Thanks for all you do! You save me so many times when I’m here wondering, “What’s for dinner???”

  27. Rebecca says:

    I made this for dinner last night pretty much following the recipe. It was good and my husband loved it, but I think I might add some different spices next time to give it some more flavor (that may be because I didn’t add the full amount of cheese!).

    • Mel says:

      Rebecca – glad you liked this alright. It is definitely a simpler meal with simple flavors but could probably be jazzed up in a variety of ways!

      Cathy – love the half white/half brown rice combo. Thanks for letting me know you liked it!

      Erika – way to go on making this meal work with all of your substitutions. Impressive!

  28. Cathy says:

    This was so good and I love that it took only one pot to make! Tastes just like risotto. I used have white and brown rice. Will make again…Thanks Mel!

  29. Erika says:

    MMMmmm, made this tonight & even tho the whole fam didn’t love it, I did & will make it again. I had to make some substitutions as I was out of some of the ingredients. I used frozen chicken tenders & drained the water off after they were defrosted in the pan so they could brown. I used reconstituted mushrooms (from costco) as had no fresh. Did not have enough white rice so used some precooked frozen brown rice (again, from costco) & added that in the last minute. And I used fresh broccoli florets instead of green beans as that’s what I had. Love that this dish can have so many substitutions – really something you can play around with when you need a last minute dinner idea like I did today. Thanks Mel!

  30. The Southern Cookbook says:

    Love one pot meals. This looks wonderful 🙂

  31. Kimiko says:

    Oooh this sounds delicious! I’ve been avoiding the kitchen for a while, just because it’s been so HOT lately!…but this sounds perfect, and I have all the ingredients at home already. I think I may try adding in other vegetables too, along with the green beans, just to have more of a variety. I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂

  32. Stephanie DeVault says:

    Mmmm….looks yummy. Oddly I add chicken to the other skillet rice with veggies and cheese to make a complete meal out of it. And it’s one of my favorites. I think I’ll try this one, though, and compare!

  33. Michelle says:

    I love one skillet/pot meals too, and make them often. And cheesy rice is one of my kids’ faves but I hate to buy those packets. Great alternative!!

  34. I love the same things! Nix the canned soup! Thanks for the post, I will probably do this one with brocolli, comfort food made healthy, nice!

  35. […] Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans […]

  36. StephenC says:

    Very attractive idea. One question: the 4 cups liquid to only 1 1/2 cups rice is an unusual proportion. I suspect you know what you’re doing.

    • Mel says:

      Hi StephenC – this rice turns out a moister texture than, say, a traditional steamed white rice. It’s more like a risotto – creamy and tender. Thanks for the note, though. It’s a good heads up for those making the recipe to keep an eye on the rice and heat to make sure the rice gets cooked all the way and it doesn’t turn out overly soupy.

  37. Kim in MD says:

    I am with you on the one pot/skillet meals, Melanie! Thanks to you (for introducing me to them), they have changed my life! I am constantly thinking “how can I make this a one pot meal”! I will definatley make this….thanks so much! 🙂

  38. I am bookmarking this for something quick and simple! It looks delicious!

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