Dinner, Gluten Free, Healthy, One Pot, Stove Top, Summer

Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet

This Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet is the perfect one pan meal for any night of the week. With crispy seared chicken thighs, toasted rice and fresh cherry tomatoes, it’s hearty and super satisfying but still pretty healthy! Ready in under an hour, this skillet dinner is great for special occasions or just a family friendly weeknight meal.

Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet

How to Make Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice

One thing I love about these one pan meals is how easy they are to throw together. It’s not the quickest recipe ever, but the flavor more than makes up for that. Plus, cleanup is a breeze!

To make this burst cherry tomato chicken and rice, start by coating the chicken thighs with a generous amount of salt and letting them sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes. The salt is going to displace the water in the chicken and make them so delicious. It also draws out moisture, making for extra crispy skins.

Once your thighs have rested, it’s time to pan sear them. Bone in, skinless chicken thighs are best because they have the most flavor and the fat in the skin will render to create the perfect base for our rice. For perfectly browned chicken thighs, start them off in a warm (but not ripping hot) pan and cook them undisturbed for at least 10 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when each thigh releases effortlessly from the pan and has a nice golden crust.

Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet

From there, transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and set those aside. You’ll probably have a good amount of fat in the pan. I like to drain off all but a couple tablespoons but this is up to you. While the pan is still hot, sauté the onion, garlic and spices. Dump in the rice and let it toast for a couple minutes in the chicken fat. This will add a really nice nutty flavor to the final dish.

Pour in a few cups of stock, a little balsamic vinegar and bring everything to a boil. Dump in those fresh cherry tomatoes and nestle the chicken back into the rice. Cover tightly with a lid, or if you’re using a cast iron skillet like me, just wrap tightly with foil.

Bake for about half an hour, maybe less depending on the size of your chicken thighs. To really make sure the rice absorbs all that flavor, let the skillet sit covered for about 5-10 minutes before digging in.

If you would like to re-crisp the skins (mostly for presentation), place the skillet under the broiler for an additional 3-5 minutes. But watch closely! It will burn very easily.

When you’re ready to serve, divide among plates and top with sprigs of fresh basil. I like to serve this burst cherry tomato chicken and rice with a simple side salad, some more fresh tomatoes and a pinch of flaky salt. Enjoy!

Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet

More Recipes to Try

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet

Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet

The easiest one pan dinner with crispy skin chicken thighs, flavorful seasoned rice and burst cherry tomatoes. Satisfying but still pretty healthy, perfect for a special occasion or just a weeknight meal.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 1/2 lbs bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
  • Basil for serving


    1. Preheat the oven to 400º F and position a rack in the center.
    2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and let sit at room temperature for at 15 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
    3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the chicken thighs skin side down until deeply golden brown. About 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 
    4. Add the onion into the hot skillet with the rendered fat and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic, spices and rice. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until fragrant. 
    5. Add the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock and cherry tomatoes. Bring to a boil then nestle the seared chicken thighs into the rice. Cover with a lid or wrap tightly in foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Let sit for 10 minutes covered before serving.
    6. Optional: To re-crisp the chicken, place the skillet, uncovered, under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Watch it closely to avoid burning.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/6 recipe

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 21g

All nutritional info is an estimation

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