Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice Casserole
Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken and rice is one of my go-tos for weeknight meals — I love the one-pot convenience.

When I saw that Elise had written a savory, creamy chicken casserole recipe made with mushrooms, sherry, and sour cream, I immediately thought of adapting it to the pressure cooker.

Not only does cooking this casserole in my Instant Pot require fewer dishes, but it gets dinner on the table in under an hour. I also love that you can just “set it and forget it” in the pressure cooker.

This adaptation keeps the same flavors of Elise’s original recipe, but I made a few little changes to make sure it turned out beautifully in the pressure cooker.

I’ve found that casseroles do much better in my Instant Pot when the meat is on the bottom and the rice is layered on top. This way, the rice doesn’t burn before the chicken is cooked through (this also makes cleaning the pan much easier!).

I know it sounds opposite of how you’d make a casserole in the oven, but it is foolproof. I also reduced the amount of liquid a bit, since there’s less evaporation with pressure cooking.

This recipe is total comfort food, a simple meal for chilly fall and winter nights. It’s really a complete meal by itself – you don’t need to serve anything else alongside! It makes four generous servings, and is easily doubled for a larger crowd.

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

For the casserole:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds (5 to 6) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice

To serve:

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Special equipment:

  • 6-quart electric pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot

1 Whisk together the sauce: In a mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the sherry, chicken broth, sour cream, cream, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.

2 Cook the onions, mushrooms, and garlic in the pressure cooker: Select the “Sauté” setting on the pressure cooker and heat the oil in the pressure cooker. (If you are using a stovetop pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium heat.)

Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, until a bit softened but not browned. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to wilt and give up their liquid, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.

3 Cook the chicken: Stir in the chicken thighs and let them cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often, until opaque and mostly cooked through (it’s fine if they’re still a little pink in the middle).

4 Add the rice and the sauce: Use your spatula to pat the chicken and vegetables down into a fairly even layer. Sprinkle the rice over the top of the chicken in an even layer. Slowly pour the sauce over the rice, taking care not to disturb the layer. Use a spoon to nudge down any grains of rice that are clinging to the sides of the pot, so everything is covered with the cooking liquid.

5 Pressure cook the chicken and rice: Secure the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure that the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Cancel the “Sauté” program on the pressure cooker, then select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” setting. Set the cooking time to 5 minutes at high pressure. (If using a stovetop pressure cooker, the cooking time is the same.)

The pressure cooker will take 5 to 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking time begins.

6 Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then quick-release the pressure by immediately moving the vent from “Sealing” to “Venting.” Be careful of the steam! Alternatively, you can let the pot continue to depressurize naturally, which takes about 20 minutes total.

The sauce may look a little bit separated when you initially open the pot. Don’t worry, it’s fine! Just use a fork to gently fluff the rice and incorporate the creamy layer back into the casserole.

7 Serve the casserole: Spoon the casserole into shallow bowls or onto plates, digging all the way down to the bottom so you get both rice and chicken in each scoop. Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley and serve hot.

Leftovers will keep for about a week and can be warmed in the microwave.

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