Marry Me Chicken

So, you know those nights when you want something utterly delicious but don’t want to deal with a sink full of dishes? Yeah, me too. Well, I’ve got something special for you today: Marry Me Chicken and Rice. It’s this cozy, flavor-packed dish that’s all made in one magical pan. Seriously, it’s so good it might just elicit a marriage proposal (or at least a request for seconds)!

Why You’ll Love Marry Me Chicken

First off, it’s called Marry Me Chicken for a reason. It’s rich, creamy, and just the right kind of indulgent. Plus, it’s paired with fluffy rice that cooks up in the same pan. And did I mention it’s a one-pan wonder? Yeah, that means minimal cleanup. We love that, right?

You won’t need the entire arsenal of kitchen tools for this one. Just grab a large deep skillet (with a lid), a good knife, and measuring spoons/cups. That’s it. We’re keeping it simple but spectacular.

Ingredients Needed To Make Marry Me Chicken

You’ll need some chicken breasts (cubed for quick cooking), a bunch of spices (think Italian vibes with oregano and thyme), a little heat with red pepper flakes, and the unsung hero of this dish: sundried tomatoes. They add this incredible depth of flavor that’s just chef’s kiss.

You’ll also grab some heavy cream, parmesan (because cheese makes everything better), and, of course, rice. Oh, and don’t forget the greens! A handful of baby spinach and fresh basil to finish it off with a pop of color and a burst of freshness.

Here’s a full list of ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cubed
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 oz sundried tomatoes, chopped (if using in oil, drain the oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil

How To Make Marry Me Chicken

  1. The Prep: Cube your chicken to bite-sized perfection. This isn’t just for aesthetics; it helps the chicken cook evenly and soak up all the flavors.
  2. Brown the Chicken: Get that skillet nice and hot, add a drizzle of olive oil, and let the chicken do its thing until it’s golden.
  3. Flavor Bomb: Time to throw in the garlic, spices, and tomato paste, stirring until it’s fragrant. Then, pour in the chicken stock and let the magic start.
  4. Rice, Baby, Rice: In goes the rice. Give it a good stir, reduce the heat, and cover. This is where patience is a virtue. No peeking too often; we’re letting it simmer to perfection.
  5. Creamy Dreamy: Once the rice is tender, stir in the heavy cream and parmesan. Watch as it transforms into this creamy, dreamy concoction. Then, fold in the spinach and basil for that fresh finish.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use regular tomatoes instead of sundried tomatoes?

While sundried tomatoes add a unique, concentrated flavor, you can substitute with fresh tomatoes if necessary. Keep in mind the flavor profile will change slightly.

How do I prevent the rice from sticking to the pan?

To prevent sticking, ensure you stir the rice occasionally during the low-heat simmering process. Also, make sure there’s enough liquid in the pan by adjusting with a bit more stock if necessary.

Can I use a different type of rice?

Yes, but cooking times may vary. Basmati rice is recommended for its flavor and texture, but you could use jasmine or even a long-grain white rice. Adjust the liquid and cooking times according to the type of rice you choose.

Is there a dairy-free alternative for heavy cream and parmesan?

For a dairy-free version, you can use coconut cream as a substitute for heavy cream and nutritional yeast or a vegan parmesan alternative for the cheese. Adjust the quantities to taste.

Can I make this dish vegetarian?

Absolutely! Swap the chicken for a plant-based protein like tofu or chickpeas, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Can I add more vegetables to this dish?

Yes, feel free to add more vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini. Add them when you sauté the garlic and spices to ensure they’re cooked through.

Variations & Substitutions


  1. Protein Variations
    • Turkey or Pork: Substitute chicken with turkey breasts or pork tenderloin for a different taste.
    • Seafood: For a pescatarian option, try shrimp or scallops, adding them towards the end of cooking to prevent overcooking.
    • Vegetarian: Replace the chicken with a plant-based protein like tofu or a meat substitute. Ensure it’s cooked according to package instructions before adding it to the rice.
  2. Vegetable Add-ins
    • Mushrooms: Add sliced mushrooms with the garlic for an earthy flavor.
    • Bell Peppers: Include diced bell peppers for a sweet, colorful addition.
    • Artichokes: Stir in canned artichoke hearts with the sundried tomatoes for a Mediterranean twist.
  3. Cheese Varieties
    • Mozzarella or Fontina: For a stretchier, milder cheese experience, try mozzarella or fontina instead of Parmesan.
    • Vegan Cheese: Use a vegan cheese alternative to make this dish dairy-free.
  4. Rice Options
    • Brown Rice or Quinoa: For a whole grain option, substitute basmati rice with brown rice or quinoa, adjusting the cooking time and liquid as necessary.


  1. Heavy Cream Alternatives
    • Coconut Milk: For a dairy-free version, coconut milk can provide creaminess.
    • Greek Yogurt: Add Greek yogurt for a tangy, creamy texture. Stir it in at the end of cooking to prevent curdling.
  2. Sundried Tomatoes
    • Fresh Tomatoes: If sundried tomatoes aren’t available, fresh cherry tomatoes can be a good substitute, added towards the end of cooking to keep them from becoming too mushy.
    • Tomato Paste: Increase the amount of tomato paste slightly for a deeper tomato flavor if you’re out of sundried tomatoes.
  3. Spinach and Basil
    • Kale or Arugula: Replace spinach with kale for a heartier green or arugula for a peppery bite.
    • Dried Herbs: If fresh basil isn’t available, you can use dried basil, but reduce the quantity as dried herbs are more potent.
  4. Spice Adjustments
    • Customize Heat: Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to make the dish more or less spicy according to your preference.

Marry Me Chicken and Rice

This one-pan dish combines rich flavors with comforting simplicity for a delightful culinary experience.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 878kcal


  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Large deep skillet with lid
  • Kitchen Knife


  • 1 lb chicken breasts boneless and skinless, cubed
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Dash of red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 oz sundried tomatoes chopped (if using in oil, drain the oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup baby spinach chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil


  • Cube chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.
  • In a large deep skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and chicken. Brown the chicken.
  • Add minced garlic, kosher salt, oregano, thyme leaves, black pepper, red pepper, onion powder, tomato paste, and chicken stock. Mix well.
  • Stir in basmati rice. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid. Check every 5 minutes to ensure rice isn’t sticking.
  • After 20 minutes, when rice is cooked, stir in heavy cream, parmesan cheese, baby spinach, and fresh basil.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 878kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 2536mg | Potassium: 1622mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2438IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 787mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheSaltyCooker or tag #thesaltycooker!

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