One-Pot Lemon Chicken and Zucchini with Rice

Written by Megan of Stetted.

My son just turned five the other day, and while that means we have yet to dive into the busy world of elementary school, I’m already having horrifying visions of homework and sports and fundraisers and PTA meetings.

OK, it’s probably not as bad as many of the parents I know make it seem (please don’t tell me if it really is that bad) but I am still trying to get a head start on planning for the future by building up a repertoire of dinners that are easy to make, don’t use a sinkful of dishes, and are family approved. One-pot meals to the rescue!

We’ve talked about one-pot meals on Simple Bites before – they can range from classics in the slow-cooker to quick stovetop dishes. But my favorite way to make a one-pot dish is to use my dutch oven.

If you don’t have a dutch oven yet, I highly recommend getting one. They are workhorses, and I use mine for everything from summer jam to winter chili. They hold up really well, and often turn up at second-hand stores if you don’t want to shell out for new.

Have you ever made roast in a slow cooker, placing the veggies and meat in a specific order? This is the same way I cook in a dutch oven. Layering ingredients in a dutch oven means you don’t need to worry about cooking ingredients separately, and this includes the grains. The first time I cooked rice this way I was nervous, but it turned out perfectly cooked and deliciously infused with the flavors of the other ingredients.

Our vegetable delivery service brought us some late-season zucchini, as well as local Meyer lemons, so I raided our meat stash for some chicken thighs. You can actually use semi-frozen chicken in this recipe, but be sure the chicken is fully cooked before serving.

Pair with a green salad and perhaps dinner rolls, and you’ve got a hearty, welcoming meal. While the overall time might seem long, most of it is hands-off, leaving you to help with homework, work on the family schedule, or print out more posters for the PTA. Just in case you need to.

One-Pot Lemon Chicken and Zucchini

A simple one-pot meal that has the oven do the work.
3 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 342kcal
Author: Megan Myers


  • Oil for coating dutch oven
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs fat trimmed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • 4 cups sliced zucchini about 1 pound
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat inside of a 4-quart dutch oven with a neutral-tasting oil.
  • Rinse rice until water comes out clean, then pour into the dutch oven. Add broth and stir.
  • Arrange chicken on top of the rice, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Slice 1 lemon into rounds and arrange on top of chicken. Add the zucchini and garlic on top of the lemon.
  • Halve the other lemon and juice half over the top, reserving the other half for serving, if desired. Top with rosemary sprigs and cover.
  • Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.


* If it's too late in your area for zucchini, butternut squash will do as well, but do not squeeze lemon juice over the top.
* Meyer lemons are milder and more delicate than regular lemons, but feel free to use regular lemons if you can't find them.


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 689mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 305IU | Vitamin C: 30.9mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3.7mg

Hungry for more? Check out these options:

What’s your favorite thing to make for a quick dinner?

About Megan

Megan Myers is a copyeditor and spatula-wielding mom seeking out the simpler life in Texas. Her blog, Stetted, focuses on her family’s journey from junk food addiction to a diet of local, organic, and whole foods, while exploring the many options farmers provide.

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  1. Looks so delicious! I love anything lemony.

    Would this work well with brown rice? We don’t tend to eat refined grains if we can avoid it.

    • Hi Ellen!
      It does work with brown rice, but you should use rice that has been parboiled since it usually takes longer to cook than white rice. You could also try soaking raw rice in boiling water (about 1 1/2 cup water per cup of rice) while you prep your ingredients.

      • Hi Megan,

        I know this is an old post but I am wondering why you rinse the rice? I have always thought that you shouldn’t with arborio. Also, thank you, this has become a regular dish at my house!

  2. This sounds delicious! I’m a few years away from school but with two little girls, I’m a big fan of these kind of dinners. =)
    What kind of dutch oven do you use and would you recommend?

  3. I just got a Dutch oven for my birthday. I have languishing zucchini and some chicken! This sounds perfect.

  4. A quick stir fry is always a go-to for a last minute meal at our house.

  5. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    5 stars
    Quick dinner for us usually means tacos or chicken soup, but I love the look of this. I’ve never cooked rice in my French oven the way you did here, and now I can’t wait to try it.

  6. This looks really yummy! I love one-pot meals

  7. I am in the midst of crazy homework, sports, etc. and love a one pot meal, quick to make, quick to clean up is what I am all about on weeknights! I’m also looking to increase my veggies, so this sounds like its going onto my menu for next week.

  8. Lemon, then one-pot. You’ve hooked me instantly! Thank you for sharing meals that are simple AND delish.

  9. I don’t have a Dutch oven….any ideas how I could make this in a crockpot or just in regular baking dish? Also can I substitute regular white rice for the arbroro? Thanks! 🙂

  10. I love meals like this. It sounds similar to a lemon chicken and rice meal that mom always made – I can’t wait to try this version with zucchini.

  11. i immediately made this the same day. so yummy and easy. i am returning to work and have a 2 year old and 3 month old so i need more ideas like this! i did add halved mushrooms, yummy. thanks!

  12. 1 star
    This was not good. Mushy and no flavor.

  13. It was easy and delicious! And I loved that I could sit back and relax while it was cooking, no need to handle many pots on the stovetop. And only 1 dish to clean!! It was also delicious as leftover after being frozen.

  14. I’m with Margaret Christine — lemon + one-pot sounds bright, delicious, and easy! I hope you’ll consider contributing this dish to this month’s Shine Supper Club. Our theme is one-pot meals.

  15. This looks like such a simple but delicious dish – looks perfect for when the weather gets colder! All your recipes look so yummy!
    If you have a moment, do you mind checking out my blog please – I’m new on the whole blogging thing haha!
    Thank you 🙂

  16. I started making this recipe a year ago and have made it every other week since. It’s so simple and delicious. I think my air tight cast iron pot makes it extra creamy. Thank you for sharing.

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