Instant Pot Chicken Souvlaki Rice

You and your family will fall in love with this recipe for Instant Pot chicken souvlaki rice served with Greek salad and yummy tzatziki yogurt sauce. Marinated chicken and rice are cooked as a one-pot dish, freeing up your hands to make the salad and the sauce. This amazing Greek dish is full of flavor and color and is nutritious and gluten-free friendly.


Whether you’ve been to Greece or to a Greek restaurant, you might have come across a dish called Souvlaki. Greek souvlaki is essentially well-seasoned, often marinated meat grilled on skewers, similarly to kabobs, and served as a souvlaki pita wrap or on a platter with a side of cooling tzatziki sauce, rice or potatoes, and salad. As a pita wrap, it’s popular street food in Greece but it can also be found one many trattorias and restaurant menus.

Souvlaki is traditionally made with pork meat but these days you can find lamb and chicken souvlaki as well as beef and fish. Even if you don’t have an outdoor grill at home, you can easily recreate a Mediterranean dish in your kitchen.

Souvlaki Marinade 

In our opinion, this dish is ALL about the Greek souvlaki marinade made with oregano, rosemary, lots of garlic and lemon juice, paprika and olive oil. It flavors the meat and keeps it nice and juicy.



Today, we are going to show you how to make Greek souvlaki chicken and rice as a one-pot dish using the Instant Pot. The meat and rice are cooked at the same time, during which you can prepare a colorful Greek salad and the accompanying tzatziki sauce. It’s an adaptation of the traditional souvlaki as we’re not grilling the meat, but TRUST US, this dish is delicious and the juices from the chicken and the marinade add lots of flavor to the rice below. 

As a meal, it’s very nutritious covering all the food groups. We’ve got fibre, protein, carbohydrates, healthy olive oil, lots of veggies, a bit of fermented dairy, and plenty of herbs and spices. 

Chicken Souvlaki Rice (Instant Pot Recipe)



You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown for this dish in the recipe card below. Here are some basic steps and a quick video showing you how to make it. 

PART 1. Marinate the chicken. Add the rinsed rice, stock and lemon zest to the pot and store. Place the chicken and all the juices on top. Cook on HIGH for 5 minutes with a 5-minute natural pressure release. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Diced chicken is small enough to cook quickly, so it’s perfect for this one-pot method.  

How to cook chicken souvlaki in the instant pot step 1

One-Pot Chicken Souvlaki & Rice

PART 2. Prepare the Greek salad and the yoghurt-cucumber tzatziki sauce. To save time, you can pick up ready-made tzatziki dip from the supermarket. 

Make Greek salad and tzatziki sauce

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Instant Pot Chicken Souvlaki Rice

Instant Pot Chicken Souvlaki Rice With Greek Salad & Tzatziki

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Greek
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Learn how to make a one-pot dinner meal of Instant Pot souvlaki chicken rice (cooked together) and served with gorgeous Greek salad and cooling tzatziki yogurt sauce. It’s great for the family or when having friends over dinner. The recipe will yield 4 grownup servings.



2 skinless chicken breasts, diced into cubes (about 1 lb of meat)

Chicken souvlaki marinade
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or grated

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon sweet paprika (or mild)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

A pinch of pepper

For the rice 
1.3 cups long-grain rice, rinsed 4-5 times with cold water cup long-grain rice

1.5 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock

Zest of 1 lemon

To finish the chicken and rice: A drizzle of olive oil & extra lemon juice

Greek Salad With Herbs 
2 tomatoes, sliced into wedges

1/2 bell pepper, sliced

1 medium cucumber, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped mint

1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

23 tablespoons olive oil

A generous pinch of salt and pepper

1/3 cup Kalamata olives

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Tzatziki Sauce
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt or plain, unsweetened

1/2 medium cucumber, grated

2 small cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

A pinch of pepper

A little olive oil drizzle (optional)

To finish the chicken and rice: A drizzle of olive oil & extra lemon juice


  • Place the diced chicken in a bowl and add the marinade ingredients. Combine well and set aside for 5-10 minutes while you get other ingredients ready.
  • Rinse the rice under cold water 4-5 times and set aside. Prepare the chicken or vegetable stock (you can use ready-made or dissolve a stock cube). Grate a teaspoon or so of lemon rind. We’re ready to cook.
  • Turn the Instant Pot. Add the rice, vegetable stock and lemon zest. Stir through. Place the marinated chicken pieces on top of the rice, pour in any remaining juices to get all those flavors in. Dicing the chicken in cubes allows it to cook quickly so you can use the same time for both rice and the meat. Plus, the marinade in the chicken will also flavor the rice beneath.
  • Pop the lid on top, lock and make sure the top valve is positioned to Sealing. Press Manual/Pressure Cook and set to 5 minutes at HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and the timer will begin. Note that cooking starts during the pressure build-up.
  • Prepare the salad and tzatziki. While the chicken and rice are cooking, get onto your sides. Grate the cucumber and squeeze some of the juice out with your hands. Transfer the flesh to a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, minced garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper, drizzle of lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon) and olive oil. Mix and set aside.
  • Cut up the salad vegetables, red onion and herbs and add to a large bowl. Dress with red wine vinegar (or lemon juice), olive oil, salt and pepper and combine. Top with a sprinkle of dried oregano and Kalamata olives. Set aside.
  • Once the timer is up, allow 5 minutes for natural pressure release and then point the top valve to Venting (press it down on newer models) to let off the remaining pressure. Open the lid, the rice should have absorbed all the liquid. Drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice over the top.
  • Serve the chicken and rice in bowls or plates with a side of Greek salad and a tablespoon or two of Tzatziki on top. Enjoy!


Rice: you can use regular long-grain rice such as Basmati or Jasmine but medium-grain will also work. Make sure to rinse the rice really well under cold water (4-5 times), which will keep it nice and fluffy (not stodgy).

Chicken: We use diced chicken breast but you could use turkey, chicken thighs, diced pork, lamb or beef for this recipe.

Greek salad: While it’s lovely to keep with the whole Greek theme here, you can make any kind of salad you like. No time to cut up the vegetables and herbs? Pick up a pre-made salad in a bag!

Tzatziki sauce: As with the salad above, if you’re short on time or energy, feel free to pick up ready-made tzatziki sauce or dip from the supermarket.

Stock: If using low-sodium stock, add a little salt to the rice when cooking.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup rice with 1/2 cup chicken, 1.5 cups Greek salad + 1-2 tablespoons tzatziki
  • Calories: 611
  • Sugar: 7.3 g
  • Sodium: 1061.8 mg
  • Fat: 24.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 63.6 g
  • Fiber: 4.2 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Cholesterol: 86.8 mg

Keywords: One-Pot, Gluten-Free, Dinner, Mediterranean, Rice, Chicken



Greek Chicken Lemon Soup With Orzo

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Instant Pot Recipes
By Instant Pot Eats

About Instant Pot Eats: Published by a seasoned food blogger and cookbook author, Irena Macri, and a team of cooking experts and enthusiasts, this blog is dedicated to delicious Instant Pot recipes. We love sharing all food including our favorite stovetop and oven dishes.

More about us here »


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  1. I love this recipe and have been making it for some time now. My daughter loves it as do I! Presently, I am Whole 30 and want to make this in my instant pot without the rice. Is there a way to do that? Please advise!

  2. Very tasty, but chicken seems to need something.
    Maybe chicken stock or cumin.
    Not shawarma flavor I’m used to.

  3. This recipe is absolutely delicious!! Rice and chicken was cooked perfectly as I did everything according to the recipe, I did marinate the chicken for few hours, salad and tzatziki went along side it beautifully, in laws loved it so did we

  4. VERY good flavour. Seriously. Marinade will be used for grilling too. I used breasts and marinated longer so chicken was a little dry and for me rice was a little mushy so… I will change slightly to have equal stock and rice and will definitely try chicken thighs maybe even pork tenderloin….maybe even only a 4 minute cook and still 5 NPR? Also, really like how easy the Tzitzi sauce was and it was a great addition. Will definitely make again. Delicious and easy.

    PS. i make a village greek salad that is just 1T Olive oil 1T white wine vinegar about 2 cloves garlic 1/2 tsp salt and it is simple simple and authentic greek
    1 red pepper 1/2 (about) english cuke 2 roma tomato and a couple slices of chopped red onion. Dress about 1 hour ahead, mix and 1/2 hour before serving mix in feta.

  5. Very happy with the recipe !! What a winner ! My husband , who usually is the one cooking , often can be critical of what o make or even if he likes he , he doesn’t ask for me to make it again. When I tell you he raved about this for 20 minutes I am not exaggerating! He devoured it and that was just the chicken and rice (he’s picky so the veggies and tziki sauce are for me!). He said he wants me to make it again next week! The only things we would change is just a tad more salt and a tad more liquid or maybe cooking one more minute , as a small portion of the rice was a little Al dente . I loved how simple this was. Chopping/mincing was the hardest part and that wasn’t hard . Very happy to have found this !

  6. This was sooo good! cane out perfect! I did use store bought marinades and dressing and still added the lemon juice and zest and it was still really good! super easy!

  7. Such a flavorful dish! I made it with pork and it was perfectly cooked & tender. Will definitely make tzatziki next time, that would have added another tasty element but we loved it none the less. Also enjoyed it with some toasted garlic pita bread. Delicious

  8. I tried this recipe, but my rice did not cook thoroughly after the 5 mins High Pressure + 5 min NR and there was still quite a bit of liquid in the pot. I used long grain brown rice. Any advice on what I could have done wrong?

    1. Hey Dee, brown rice takes 20 minutes at HIGH pressure. This recipe was made with white rice, which is much quicker to cook.

  9. Hi we love this dish and have made it many times. I’m hoping to make it for a group and wondered how do you make the rice in a separate pot? Do the liquid amounts change? What about for the chicken. I want to make 3x the amount we usually make. What kind of rice did you use in the pictures? Thank you!

  10. WOW! Super delicious! I wanted a higher chicken to rice ratio, so increased chicken to 2 pounds and doubled the marinade. Used brown rice which needs longer to cook. 20 minutes on high pressure with 10 minute natural release. The only thing I think could make this even better is to stir in chopped parsley after cooking. Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  11. Flavors are divine! I cooked the rice by itself after reading the comments about the burn notice. I’ve had a burn notice with other chicken and rice recipes. Today I got Rotisserie chicken and prepared the marinade, covering the rotisserie pieces. When rice was done (after depressurization) I combined the chicken and cooked rice. I would like to cook the chicken and rice together. Have the authors done any testing and tried to make this dish with a rotisserie chicken? I imagine I’d have to adjust the cooking time.

  12. My chicken ended up sort of dry, not flavorful, and the rice was over cooked. Any tips for me to try again please?

  13. I want to make this tomorrow and your measurements for the rice depending on how much you make says 2.6 for 2 times the servings. Is that 2 cups and 1/6 of a cup? Just wanted to make sure. Also I don’t have a pot n pot but I always get the burn notice whenever I make things that have to do with rice . Could it be that I don’t rinse it enough before adding it? I would rather follow your recipe but some people on Pinterest comments are saying don’t mix the rice because you’ll get a burn notice and to put the chicken first and then rice on top which doesn’t make sense. HELLPPPPP

    1. Hey Leyla, apologies if we’re late with the response. 2.6 cups is 2 cups + 2/3 of a cup. With the burn error, do you use an 8-quart pot? Oftentimes, you have to add a little more liquid than listed in the recipe that’s made for a 6-quart. If you do use an 8-quart, I suggest adding an extra 1/4 cup on top of the double suggested amount. Chicken on top should still work.

  14. Made this for the Mr.., well first time in a long while he ate without speaking he wasn’t too sure how this was going to taste. Me. Loved it and would like it again this time with pork cubes(the chicken breast was great) I Used Jasmine rice and followed the directions to a Tee. 10/10 thank you for the great recipe

  15. First try and this was a hit! My family of 5 loved it. I tripled the chicken and rice recipe and it turned out wonderful! Added 2 min to the cook time. Made it in a 6-quart Instant Pot.

    1. I think it would work quite well and cooking time should be about the same if you cut the tenderloin into similar size pieces.

  16. The chicken came out terribly dry. Maybe thighs would have been better. The rice was scrumptious! The salad was also very good. Some feta would take it over the top.

  17. I used the recipe for the chicken and rice. I subbed Penney’s Greek Seasoning for the oregano and rosemary, and marinated the chicken all day. Super yummy and the rice was perfect. Hubby loved it and it may end up a go to dinner.

  18. This is an amazing dinner and easy as can be! We loved it! Will add it to our staples!
    Would this also work without an instant pot? We’re going to a cabin and I don’t really wanna take the IP along. Does anyone have experience? Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can cook the rice on the stovetop separately and grill/pan-fry the marinated chicken. Place pre-grilled chicken on top of the rice when it’s halfway cooked, including any leftover marinade/grilling juices, which will flavor the rice as well. Finish cooking together.

  19. This looks so good. I want to make it for a large family dinner. I will need to triple the recipe for the party so I don’t think I can make it in my 8 quart IP. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe bake the rice with the chicken on top? Or should I cook them separately and then combine. Thanks

    1. Hey Adele,

      If you have an 8-quart, you could potentially double or triple the recipe or cook in two batches (the cooking time isn’t too long), then combine into a big serving casserole dish and reheat in the oven or simply keep covered under foil to keep warm. Or, cook the rice separately (use Rice button) and the chicken in a cup of chicken stock using the time provided in the recipe. Then combine the two when serving (you can pour some of that lovely chicken cooking broth over rice).


    1. Hey Michele, we don’t have the separate numbers but if you google Greek salad, the nutrition for that should be very similar to our salad.

  20. Got the BURN error repeatedly, caking rice to the bottom of the Instant Pot pan TWICE.


        1. Hey Christine, yes it’s uncooked rice and the measurement is regular 1.3 cups or 1+1/3 cup. It’s all about the ratio of water to rice, so if you’re using a slightly larger or smaller cup, as long as the ratio of liquid to rice is around the same, it will work. Cooking time will also stay the same.

    1. Yes, the rice and chicken can be frozen (not the salad, of course). Freeze in Ziploc bags or airtight container as soon as it cools down, up to 3 months.

  21. Hi. This is my 3rd attempt to making this recipe in my 8 quart Instant Pot.

    Once again the “ burn” message has appeared and yet I doubled the liquid.
    Can you send me this recipe with adjustments to making it in my Instant Pot so BURN doesn’t appear?

    This recipe sounds awesome, my family loves Greek dishes and I enjoy using my Instant Pot!!!

    1. Kudos to you for the 3rd attempt. You’re determined and we want to help. Some pressure cookers are more sensitive to the burn notice than others, so try the Pot-N-Pot method. Where you add water to your inner pot as usual but you put the ingredients in another pot that can fit inside your 8 quart. There are accessories made specifically for this or you can look for something you already own. Add an extra 3 minutes to your cook time, as it will take a little longer to cook having two layers for heat to transfer through.

    1. Hey Ariel, it should still work just as well, however some cuts of lamb might end up a little tough with such little cooking time. It will be cooked just the texture might depend on the cut used.

  22. This was amazing and so flavorful. I added extra of each spice listed because I do that on all recipes. I made everything else exact to your recipe The salad was also perfect. I was looking for a flavorful dish that reminded me of a restaurant and this is it. It looked exactly like the picture. We used store bought Tzatziki and for some of my family I heated some lightly buttered pitas in a pan. I love this and can’t wait for left overs for lunch.

    1. Thanks, Deb. You know what? I often do the same with spices and recipes as I personally love bold flavors. We make our recipes here crowd-pleasers with slightly milder spice level. Love the shortcut of store-bought Tzatziki and those warm pita breads.

    1. Yes, you can, however, quinoa takes less time to cook than rice so you might want to cook the chicken separately and then cook the quinoa or vice versa.

    1. Shrimp cooks really fast. So I would add the raw shrimp after the rice finished cooking. Immediately after you open the lid, toss the raw shrimp in with the rice and stir quickly. The residual heat should cook the shrimp.

      1. Hi Katie, long brown rice takes 20-22 minutes on HIGH pressure which might be too long for the chicken. I haven’t tried doing them together at the same time but my inkling is that the chicken might get a little tough to bite. I’d have to test it out, it could work fine. I just don’t want to guarantee the chicken’s texture 😉

  23. Doubled the meat and the marinade. The rice stayed the same and used basmati. The smell and flavor was so great. I’m going to try my fresh herbs next time. I did cut up some fresh herbs and sprinkled it in after it had cooled a little. Also added a little more lemon zest. It was so good! I write recipes for a living and this was a really good one. Love the nutritional info included. Great job!!

  24. Wow, this was excellent and full of flavor. This will be on the rotation list. Thank you so much for sharing!

  25. Used basamati rice, pressure cooked 5 minutes and once done and pressure was down, there was still so much broth left in the pot. Followed the recipe exactly. Not sure what happened.

  26. Is the 1.3 cups of long grain rice a typo? If not is there an equivalent weight measurement for the rice that would make it easier to measure?

    1. Hey Julia, we haven’t tried making the chicken and the rice together in the crockpot so not sure exactly. Your best bet is to use the timing you would for any other chicken dish in a crock pot, it should work fine for rice, I’d say.

  27. This was amazing! Doubled the chicken and used boneless/skinless chicken thighs instead. Only used 1tbs of oil in the marinade bc of the fat in the thighs. Kept everything else the same. Added some feta to the salad and some grilled pita bread and it was absolutely perfect. 🙂 Thank you!

  28. Sorry but this was a total fail!! The recipe could be fantastic if altered but I doubled the recipe because I have a family of 5 and we need more food! I was careful to double the liquid but got the burn notice multiple times and had to keep opening and adding more liquid. Ended up with mushy rice!! Flavors were great, sides were fantastic but next time I would make rice on the side and make the chicken on skewers!!

    1. Hey Diana, sorry it didn’t work for you while experimenting with doubling the recipe. The recipe was designed as for fewer servings and we haven’t tested for 5 people, so it’s not the recipe’s fault as such. If we do another batch, we’ll do a larger portion test and see how much liquid you need to add exactly to avoid the Burn notice. I find that generally with rice, you have to add a little more than just a double but will definitely test it out and let you know how it goes.

      IPE team!

      1. I try to make dishes like this using the Pot-in-Pot method. There are many larger stainless steel bowls that fit into the IP, and this totally prevents the possibility of the dreaded “burn” error message. Jusr a thought.

    2. We also ran into this issue but I agree the problem was needing more liquid before cooking. The pot never got up to pressure and when opened the rice was done and starting to stick to the bottom. We ended up finishing in frying pans. It was delicious. I would like to try it again with the original recipe.

  29. Made this recipe tonight in my Crockpot and it came out great. Whilst the flavour and texture is all there, I notice my chicken came out of the pot pale and not as red as seen in your photos. I wonder if it should have been 1 tablespoon of paprika, not 1 teaspoon? Anyhow overall a really good recipe and it took me just about 30mins from start to finish, perfect for weekday dinner!

  30. This recipe was really good. I think I left the chicken in too long on warm after the 5 minute pressure cook time so it came out tougher than I would like but it was still really delicious. The rice was so flavorful cooked this way. The tzatziki is a must on top. I got a little tired of prepping everything by the time i made the herb cucumber tomato salad so I just kind of winged in. Will absolutely make again and maybe marinate the chicken in the morning so the flavor makes its way through the meat and helps to keep it from drying out.

  31. This was really tasty and we’ll definitely make it again. I added dill and fresh mint to the tzatziki and it was fantastic.

    1. Thanks, Melanie. Love the dill in tzatziki, we didn’t have any on hand but I would absolute add it in myself.

  32. Can this recipe be done in a pot-in-pot? I have an IP Mini which I use almost exclusively…more so than the IP 6 qt that I have.

    1. Hi, Carlene At the moment both rice and chicken are done in the same pot at the same time. What do you mean by pot-in-pot in the IP mini? As in adding another dish inside your pot for either rice or chicken? You probably don’t have to do it as the chicken just goes on top of the rice directly (and adds flavor to it as well). You might just need to halve the recipe for the IP mini or maybe reduce it by a quarter of the ingredients.

  33. I made the chicken and rice portion of this recipe exactly as-written (I had to be a little more creative with the sides due to a lack of ingredients) and it made for a lovely meal: the chicken was flavourful, juicy, and tender, while the rice came out fluffy and perfectly cooked. The spices are wonderfully balanced as is, but I wonder if using a smoked paprika might not yield a dish even more reminiscent of souvlaki, as it would suffuse everything with just a touch of the smokiness you would usually achieve by grilling the chicken. In any case, my husband requested that I add this recipe to our rotation, which is rare and high praise, indeed!

    1. Thanks, Sian for a lovely comment. You are right, smoked paprika would go well with the dish and give that added smokiness you add from the grill normally. Very happy you enjoyed this recipe so much. Irena, IPE team!

      1. Hi, Annette Not with brown rice in the same pot as it needs a longer time to cook. You can do the rice first for 10 minutes and release the pressure, then add the chicken and do another stage of cooking together. Or cook the brown rice first, then do the chicken separately.

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