These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

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These baked cheesy rice stuffed chicken thighs are so flavorful, tender and frankly just a great chicken recipe!! The number one search on my blog is?… You guessed it, CHICKEN!! It’s no wonder this recipe so popular!

This chicken recipe really delivers. The ingredients are simple and what a fun way to put dinner on the table – a balanced meal baked together on 1 sheet pan. It’s fancy enough for company and simple enough for a weeknight meal. You can absolutely prep this meal a day ahead then pop it in the oven for dinner!

My aunt Tamara shared this recipe with me and it is so yummy! She texted me a photo and I knew it would be an instant hit. Sure enough, it was! Everyone in our house loved it. Thank you Toma for sharing this with me!! It was so good, I made it 2 days in a row! By the way, these reheat really well the next day. Think: work lunch! 

These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients for Stuffed Chicken Thighs:

1 cup dry jasmine rice (un-rinsed)
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to drizzle chicken
2 Tbsp butter
3 medium carrots, grated on the large holes
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 oz medium cheddar cheese, grated on large holes
salt and black pepper
6 to 8 medium boneless skinless chicken thighs*
1 large head cauliflower, cut into large florets**

These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

*We made 6 thighs but there is enough rice mixture to make 8 stuffed thighs if you want to make the bigger batch. Baking time would remain the same.

**Carrot sticks or thick rings of carrot would also work, but I found that broccoli shrivels with these baking times.

Make Ahead Tip:

Make the entire recipe and without baking, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F and bake 45-50 minutes (it will take a few minutes longer than usual if your are starting with a chilled pan and chicken).

How to Make Rice Stuffed Chicken Thighs:

Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or Silpat. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

1. Start by cooking rice: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup rice. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with tight fitting lid and simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and and keep covered with lid.

A pot with cooked rice and a spatula in the pot

2. While rice is cooking, place large sauté pan over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add grated carrots and diced onion, season with 1/2 tsp salt and sauté 8-9 minutes or until soft and golden.

Two photos of carrots and onions being sautéed together in a skillet

3. Stir grated cheese into the hot rice then stir in the sautéed carrots and onions. Set aside to cool slightly while prepping chicken.

Four photos of a mixture being put together in a pot for stuffed chicken thighs

4. Trim chicken thighs of excess fat and arrange on a cutting board between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound chicken thighs as much as you can without breaking through the meat (about 1/8 thick). Season both sides of thighs lightly with salt and pepper. If you don’t have a flat meat mallet, you can use the base of a heavy saucepan. 

These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

5. Lay thighs smooth-side down. Make a ball of rice with your hands and place over chicken thighs. Wrap meat around rice and secure each thigh with 2 toothpicks. It doesn’t have to be perfectly covered.

These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

6. Place cauliflower on baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Push cauliflower to borders of baking sheet. Place stuffed chicken thighs in the center of the baking dish, drizzle chicken lightly with olive oil and bake in the center of the oven at 350˚F for 45 minutes.

These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

Stuffed Chicken Thighs and Cauliflower (One-Pan Meal)

4.68 from 25 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
These baked cheesy rice stuffed chicken thighs are so flavorful, tender and frankly just a great chicken recipe! These reheat really well the next day. Think: work lunch!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 to 8 stuffed thighs
  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice, un-rinsed
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to drizzle chicken
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 medium carrots, grated on the large holes
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 oz medium cheddar cheese, grated on large holes
  • salt and black pepper
  • 6 to 8 medium boneless skinless chicken thighs*
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets**

Instructions

Prep:

  • Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or Silpat. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

How to Make Rice Stuffed Chicken Thighs:

  • Start by cooking rice: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup rice. Reduce heat to simmer, cover with tight fitting lid and simmer 15 min or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and and keep covered.
  • While rice is cooking, place large sauté pan over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add grated carrots and diced onion, season with 1/2 tsp salt and sauté 8-9 min or until soft and golden.
  • Stir grated cheese into the hot rice then stir in the sautéed carrots & onions. Set aside to cool slightly while prepping chicken.
  • Trim chicken of excess fat and arrange on cutting board between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound chicken until about 1/8 thick. Season both sides of thighs lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Lay thighs smooth-side down. Make a ball of rice with your hands and place over chicken thighs. Wrap meat around rice and secure each thigh with 2 toothpicks.
  • Place cauliflower on baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Push cauliflower to borders of baking sheet. Place stuffed chicken thighs in the center of the baking dish, drizzle chicken lightly with olive oil and bake in the center of the oven at 350˚F for 45 minutes.

Notes

*We made 6 thighs but there is enough rice mixture to make 8 stuffed thighs if you want to make the bigger batch. Baking time would remain the same.
**Carrot sticks or thick rings of carrot would also work, but I found that broccoli shrivels with these baking times.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Stuffed Chicken Thighs and Cauliflower
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

 

These Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

Serve stuffed chicken thighs with a sides of roasted cauliflower (If you’re curious that pretty blue platter is by Fiesta). Wholesome, delicious and healthy dinner! And it tastes just as good as dining out, except it’s way less expensive and comes with an extra side of feelin’ good that you made something from scratch for the people you love. Oh and p.s. leftover stuffed chicken thighs taste just as good reheated. SCORE!!

TheseThese Baked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are flavorful, tender and frankly a great chicken recipe! A 1-pan healthy chicken dinner (*with make-ahead option) | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Jessie
    December 31, 2023

    Hey Natasha!

    Any chance you have the nutritional info for this recipe?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 1, 2024

      Hi, we are slowly working through all of our recipes to add nutrition info but it is a time consuming process as they have to be added one at a time. Thank you for being patient!

      Reply

  • Karen
    February 2, 2023

    I have not made this as yet. My husband is waiting patiently for me to make it. I have all the ingredients so will be making it soon. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 2, 2023

      Hi Karen! That’s great. I hope you love it. Would love to hear your feedback.

      Reply

  • TanyaV
    April 12, 2022

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing!! Everything was gone right away thank you for sharing ❤️

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 12, 2022

      I’m happy to hear that, Tanya. Thank you for the review and good feedback!

      Reply

  • Kerry
    October 30, 2021

    So I was looking for a recipe for things I had on hand and this looks amazing. I have bone in thighs so I’m thinking I could just stuff the rice under the skin. Do you think that would work? Do you think i need to pan fry first or will the skin crisp up while it cooks?

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 1, 2021

      Hi Kerry, I haven’t tried stuffing these bone-in. I imagine it will take longer to cook, and you may need to alter the steps a bit. We used (purchased) Boneless chicken thighs, and that spread the process up quite a bit.

      Reply

  • Natasha W
    March 16, 2021

    Hi, I’ve made this recipe before and it was delicious! I was hoping to make a double batch and freezing half and wondered if you’d ever tried that and when is best to freeze? Before or after baking the chicken? Thanks in advance!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 16, 2021

      Hi Natasha, thanks for your great feedback. I have only tried making this ahead and refrigerating it but freezing should work well too. Make the entire recipe and without baking, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F and bake 45-50 minutes (it will take a few minutes longer than usual if your are starting with a chilled pan and chicken).

      Reply

  • Derek Canuck
    February 15, 2021

    I found this easy and quite yummy. Straight to the Natasha Favourite folder 🙂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 15, 2021

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Marcella
    May 15, 2020

    I love your recipe’s I’ve tried so far, but this one fell flat. I used deboned thighs and it still took me over an hour to get this dish in the oven. There was really no flavor with this dish either. Maybe seasoning the chicken with garlic salt or adding garlic to the rice may have helped. I won’t make this one again because of how long it takes, but I’ve been trying a lot of others and they are great!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 15, 2020

      Hi Marcella, these normally have a lot of flavor – I wonder if the seasoning was missed at any point in the recipe?

      Reply

  • Byenia
    April 8, 2020

    Made this recipe tonight. Honestly, after de-boning and then pounding and stuffing the chicken thighs, this all turned out to be quite a chore for what would’ve been just as good if the rice had been served on the side. Everything tasted great, but in the future I’ll likely deconstruct this recipe and serve it that way instead.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 9, 2020

      Hi Byenia! Yes, if you add deboning into the process that is quite the chore. We used (purchased) Boneless chicken thighs and that spread the process up quite a bit.

      Reply

  • Irina
    March 19, 2020

    Hallo , Natasha !

    I’m Irina. Greetings from Netherlands . Compliments voor what are you doing . I’ m in your funclub.
    Please , put Metric options by every recept’ list, it safe time .

    Best wishes ,
    Irina

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 19, 2020

      Hi Irina, We are currently working on adding metric measurements to all of our recipes but it is taking some time as we have to add them one at a time. Thank you so much for being patient! In the meantime, check out our post on measuring which should help

      Reply

  • Matt
    August 17, 2019

    Can we make this without an oven? Maybe just pan-sear it

    By the way when did you start cooking? When did you find your passion? How did u learn? Do you take cooking classes? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 17, 2019

      Hi Matt, I think that would work but you might need to keep it partially covered for a time and double-check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. My Mom was trained in the culinary arts and we grew up eating really well and I wanted to do the same for my family. I was not formally trained, mostly self-learned through cookbooks, practice and instruction from my Mother and Mother-in-law as I learned the old family recipes.

      Reply

  • Natalya
    December 11, 2018

    I made it yesterday and it was absolutely delicious. Very quick and easy to make. I had extra rice left so I just put it on top of the chiken, it worked perfectly!!!
    Thank you <3

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 11, 2018

      Thank you for sharing that with me, Natalya!!

      Reply

  • Liz
    October 21, 2018

    Easy and delicious. However, the rice filling made ALOT. I had 8 thighs and could have filled 4 more!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 22, 2018

      Hi Liz! I’m happy you enjoyed this recipe! You could sauté the rice up and enjoy it as a side. I haven’t tried this but it might be interesting to add an egg and sauté as rice patties (I’m giving myself ideas here!) 🙂

      Reply

  • judith
    April 11, 2018

    this looks delicious can I use a substitute for cheese. thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 11, 2018

      Hi Judith, I haven’t experimented with anything else so I’m not sure what else would help to hold the rice together the same way. If anyone else has experimented, please let us know and thank you! 🙂

      Reply

  • Eleni
    January 16, 2018

    Very labor intensive recipe. Pounding thin the chicken thighs was not easy because it falls apart. Having to trim the fat was a lot of work. The rice stuffing was absolutely delcious. The cauliflower came out kind of dry. I followed recipe exactly. Too much work to make it again. I will definitely make the rice by itself.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 17, 2018

      Hi Eleni, I am glad you enjoyed the rice filling 🙂

      Reply

  • Helen
    December 14, 2017

    Can you use mozzarella instead of cheddar?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 14, 2017

      Hi Helen, yes that should work well 🙂

      Reply

  • Jenna
    November 14, 2017

    Hello 🙂

    Would these be considered as Solomons Goluptsi?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 15, 2017

      Hi Jenna, I’ve never heard that name given to goluptsi. Interesting!

      Reply

      • Jenna
        November 17, 2017

        They’re made in the same way, with the same ingredients! I imagine your recipe is just as delicious as the one I’ve tried! 🙂

        Reply

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