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Stuffed Chicken Thighs & Cauliflower (One-Pan Meal)

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!

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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.

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.

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

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)

4.65 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
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!
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $9-$12
Servings: 6 to 8 stuffed thighs

Ingredients

  • 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 head cauliflower cut into large florets**

Instructions

Prep:

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

How to Make Rice Stuffed Chicken Thighs:

  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 simmer, cover with tight fitting lid and simmer 15 min or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and and keep covered.
  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 min or until soft and golden.
  3. Stir grated cheese into the hot rice then stir in the sautéed carrots & onions. Set aside to cool slightly while prepping chicken.
  4. 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.
  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.
  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.

Recipe 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.

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

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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  • 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

  • Tanya
    October 21, 2017

    Hi Natasha. I made the first time this dish and I have about 2 cups extra rice mixture. Any idea how I can use this rice .
    Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 23, 2017

      Hi Tanya, you could sauté it 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

  • Candice
    October 13, 2017

    This was very good and even my very picky son liked it so it’s a winner in my book! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 13, 2017

      Awesome! I’m glad to hear this recipe is “picky-eater” approved! Thanks for sharing Candice! 🙂 Reply

  • Polina Arapov
    October 11, 2017

    This turned out to be delicious! I had some stuffing left over so I just served it as a side dish and even my kids ate it.
    Thank you so much! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 12, 2017

      You’re welcome Polina! I’m glad to hear how much everyone enjoys the recipe! Thanks for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Marina
    August 30, 2017

    Is it ok to use basmati rice? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 30, 2017

      Hi Marina, I think that would work fine. Reply

  • Alex
    April 1, 2017

    I made this on my husbands birthday for the in laws and everyone loved it, thank you as always all your receipes are amazing! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 1, 2017

      Hi Alex, I’m so glad you all loved the recipe! Thank you so much for the wonderful review! 🙂 Reply

  • Olga
    March 15, 2017

    We loved this dish!!! The chicken came out juicy, I was afraid it would be dry but my husband LOVED IT!!! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 15, 2017

      I’m happy to hear you both loved the recipe! Thanks for sharing Olga 🙂 Reply

  • Elina M.
    March 7, 2017

    Hi Natasha, just plopped this dish in the oven and am very excited for the outcome. Hubby will love this and I’m sure leftovers will be amazing for lunch. The filling is incredibly tasty in and of itself. Thank you for this marvelous and surprisingly easy week night recipe. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 7, 2017

      Oh awesome!! I hope you both have a lovely dinner tonight! These do reheat really well so they are perfect as leftovers for lunch! Reply

  • Emily
    February 11, 2017

    Oh my goodness, these are soooo delicious!!! I was eating the cheesy rice with a spoon!! And I love that it’s a complete meal all on one pan – super easy! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 11, 2017

      I’m glad to hear you loved the recipe! Thank you for sharing your awesome review! 🙂 Reply

  • Marina
    January 23, 2017

    Hi Natasha. I noticed you mentioned broccoli instead of cauliflower. Could that we an alternative to cauliflower when I don’t have that on hand? I’m gonna try it this week.looks very yummy with just the chicken and rice inside. Thank you for your hard work. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 23, 2017

      Hi Marina, thank you for your encouraging words! Roasted broccoli is great but the lengthy cooking time in this recipe really dries it out which is why I wrote that broccoli doesn’t work well. You might try some thick-sliced carrots or bell peppers instead. Let me know if you experiment with anything else 🙂 Reply

      • marina
        February 11, 2017

        S I made it with butternut squash instead of cauliflower. I must say it turned out really good. thanks for the recipe. Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          February 13, 2017

          You’re welcome Marina! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe!! Reply

  • tanya
    January 18, 2017

    i will make this soon.thank you for some thin new. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 19, 2017

      Let me know how it turns out Tanya! Reply

  • Julia
    January 16, 2017

    Everyone in my family loved it! I used chicken breast instead cause I always have that on hand. I have cut it in half in the middle and then in half again and added a little mayo to it. Definitely will be making this again!❤ Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 16, 2017

      That’s a great alternative! So glad your family enjoys the recipe as much as mine does Julia! 🙂 Reply

  • Lana
    January 15, 2017

    What an amazing and easy recipe to make! It was very delicious and went fast! I will definently be making it again, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 16, 2017

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it Lana! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!! 🙂 Reply

  • Natalia
    January 14, 2017

    I love that there’s a make-ahead option which is awesome for a nice dinner for my family at the end of a long day. Thank you! These tasted really good and the couple that were leftover reheated well the next day. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 14, 2017

      I completely agree! I love make-ahead dinners!! Reply

  • Stacy
    January 14, 2017

    OK this was pretty good. But it tastes just like the chicken and rice recipe on this website. My family loves that recipe and were confused as to why it was presented this way. Lol. This recipe was too much work. I won’t be making it again. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 14, 2017

      Hi Stacy, I’m glad you liked it, but did you make the chicken and rice recipe for this recipe? This rice is considerably faster and easier than the one you’re referring to. It’s a fun way of getting dinner on one pan and a new way to serve chicken 🙂 Reply

      • Stacy
        January 16, 2017

        Hi Natasha, first off I wanted to say that I love your site and all the step by step delicious recipes! Maybe the biggest reason why I thought this recipe was a lot of work was because I accidentally bought bone-in skinless thighs instead of boneless. So, after deboning them and then pounding them, I was like, this is a lot of work. Sorry, it was my fault for grabbing the wrong chicken. Then, I wrote the review after a long day. Please do not get me wrong! They were tasty. They just reminded me of the chicken and rice recipe which I make frequently. Take care! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          January 16, 2017

          Oh no worries at all! I completely agree that deboning chicken is a real pain! I’m so glad you enoy the chicken and rice recipe! I think it’s my sister’s all-time favorite recipe based on how often she makes it :). Thank you for reporting back and I hope your day got better 🙂 Reply

  • Ali
    January 11, 2017

    Will it be ok to use different kind of cheese like montrey jack? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 11, 2017

      Yes that would work fine 🙂 Reply

  • Alla
    January 11, 2017

    Yum! Totally making this sometime this week. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 11, 2017

      It is amazing! Let me know what you think! 🙂 Reply

  • Tanya
    January 10, 2017

    What an awesome idea for stuffing, we do chicken thighs stuffed with mushrooms and instead of the toothpick we wrap a bacon strip to keep it together. .. Love the idea of rice, since not everyone likes mushrooms.. Will make this asap. Thank you so much for all the recipes. Absolutely love your site.. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 11, 2017

      You’re welcome Tanya! Let me know what you think of the recipe please. 🙂 Reply

  • January 10, 2017

    This looks delicious! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 11, 2017

      It certainly is! Reply

  • inna
    January 10, 2017

    Thank you for sharing! does it have to be specific jasmine rice, or I can use any other kind of rice say long grain brown rice or white rice? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 10, 2017

      Absolutely, you can use whatever rice you prefer, except minute rice. Just make sure to cook it according to the package instructions since various rice varieties take different amounts of time and water to cook. Reply

  • Svetlana
    January 10, 2017

    Would love to try this recipe, unfortunately I don’t like chicken thighs!! Do you think chicken breast would work just as well?? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 10, 2017

      I think you could make it work but you’ll probably have to add some kind of sauce to keep the chicken breasts from drying out. This is why I think chicken thighs work best and it’s what I would recommend for this recipe. Chicken thighs are much more forgiving and less prone to drying out. If I were to test it with chicken breast, I might try spreading with a thin layer of mayo to keep the moisture in. Reply

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