These rice stuffed chicken thighs are crispy on the outside & filled with savory veggies & rice. A classic Slavic party food that’s always a crowd favorite!
If you are a bit short on time, try making my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Thighs instead.
Known as “Solomon Golubtsi”, this rice stuffed chicken thighs dish is staple at Slavic weddings, receptions, and family get-togethers. You’ll love how the chicken produces a delicious fatty sauce that seeps into the rice as the dish bakes. It’s out-of-this-world tasty and I crispy chicken skin that forms on top of each stuffed thigh is just a bonus.
Making Slavic Stuffed Chicken Thighs
All you need to make this delicious meal is 8 simple ingredients.
- Cook the Rice: In a pot of salted water, cook the rice. Set it aside to cool.
- Sauté the Veggies: In a large skillet, sauté the onions and carrots in olive oil. Set them aside and to cool.
- Prepare & Pound the Chicken: Next, slice the bone out of the chicken thighs and trim off any loose or excess skin. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken from the inside until flat and thin (don’t forget to leave the skin on!).
- Stuff the Chicken: In a medium bowl, mix the rice and veggies together and season them to taste with salt and black pepper. Place a handful of the rice mixture into a pounded chicken thigh and fold over the loose sides into the middle.
- Bake the Chicken Thighs: Place the stuffed chicken thighs into a baking dish. Sprinkle the chicken with seasoning. Bake the thighs at 350°F for 45 minutes. Bon appetit!
Hot Tip: Use the leftover chicken bones to make chicken broth.
6 Pro Tips for Making Stuffed Chicken Thighs
From our kitchen to yours, find a handful of helpful tips to help you nail this recipe.
- Use leftover rice to speed up the process. To save some time, use leftover or precooked brown, white or wild rice.
- Opt for a garlicky seasoning blend. Garlic parsley salt is our go-to seasoning to sprinkle on top of the stuffed chicken. It’s a very popular spice blend used throughout the Eastern European cooking, but feel free to play around here. You can and should use your favorite seasoning blend!
- Top the thighs with some shredded cheese. This is totally optional, but if you’re a cheese fanatic, adding a bit of mozzarella or parmesan cheese inside the rice filling is super tasty.
- Don’t skimp on tenderizing your chicken thighs. Tenderizing the thighs ensures that the chicken pieces are uniform and will bake evenly. It also makes the meat so much more decadent and easy to chew.
- Drain the excess grease. At around 30-40 minutes of baking, drain some of the liquid out of the pan so that the rice is not fully flooded with fat.
- Use a meat thermometer to check doneness. You don’t want your chicken to be too dry or undercooked. Skip the guesswork and use a meat thermometer to ensure that the inner temperature of the thighs have reached 165°F.
Ideas for Serving
For a well-rounded Slavic meal, serve your rice stuffed chicken thighs with a beet and garlic salad or a Russian vinaigrette salad. Or, if you’re craving something more crunchy and fresh, pair the thighs with a cool and refreshing creamy cucumber salad.
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
If you have some leftover stuffed chicken thighs, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. This will keep the rice and chicken from drying out prematurely. To reheat the thighs, pop them in a casserole dish covered with foil and bake them at 350°F until warmed through.
Freezing Stuffed Chicken Thighs
If you’re a diehard meal prepper or working ahead for a party, there are two ways to freeze your stuffed chicken thighs — cooked or raw. Here’s how to do both:
Freezing Fully Cooked Stuffed Chicken Thighs
Allow fully cooked stuffed chicken thighs to completely cool in the refrigerator. Then, wrap each chicken thigh in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. Freeze the thighs for up to a couple of weeks. To reheat, place the thighs in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until warm all the way through. If you’re unsure, cut one of the pieces in half to check the internal warmth.
Note: Cooked chicken is more prone to freezer burn, so it doesn’t last as long as the uncooked chicken.
Freezing Uncooked Stuffed Chicken Thighs
Put uncooked stuffed chicken thighs on a parchment lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for about an hour. Then, layer the frozen stuffed thighs between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Freeze it for up to a month. To serve, thaw in a single layer overnight in the refrigerator. Bake according to the recipe’s instructions.
Is it better to bake stuffed chicken thighs at 350°F or 400°F?
It’s best to bake stuffed chicken thighs at 350°F. You don’t want to shock them with too high of a heat and cause them to overcook!
Is it better to cook stuffed chicken thighs with or without the skin on?
If you like crispy skin, extra texture, and flavor, leaving the skin on your stuffed chicken thighs is a must. You’ll love how the skin gets super crispy during the baking process and protects the meat from overcooking.
Do you need to flip the stuffed chicken thighs over halfway through cooking?
No, you do not need to flip stuffed chicken thighs over halfway through cooking them. Keep the seam side down so that they don’t fall apart and leave them right side up.
Is it OK if stuffed chicken thighs are slightly pink?
Yes, it’s OK if your stuffed chicken thighs are slightly pink on the inside so long as the internal temperature has reached 165°F. This is perfectly natural with dark meat cuts!
Can you use chicken breasts to make rice stuffed chicken?
Yes, you can use chicken breasts to make stuffed chicken instead of chicken thighs. However, you will need to adjust the cooking time by lowering it, as chicken breasts cooks faster than chicken thighs do.
More Tasty Chicken Recipes to Try
- 5 Minute Grilled Chicken – Grilled ranch-seasoned boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Chicken Kiev (Kyiv)– Golden, crispy chicken stuffed with herb compound butter.
- Spatchcock Chicken – Super quick roasted whole chicken
- Grilled Chicken Kebabs – Juicy kebabs marinated in ranch dressing and mayonnaise
- Costco Chicken Bake – Chicken, bacon, and caesar dressing pastry pocket
- 6 chicken thighs
- 2 cup rice cooked
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic parsley salt to taste
- 1 tbsp pepper to taste
- 1 tsp salt
- Cook the rice in salted water. Set it aside and let it cool. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and carrots together until they soften and the onions turn transluscent. Set it aside and let it cool.
- Cut the bone out of chicken thighs. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken from the inside (leaving the skin intact on the outside) until flat and thin.
- In a medium bowl, mix the rice and veggies together and season them to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place a piece of chicken on a flat working surface. Place a handful of the rice mixture in the middle of the pounded thigh. Fold each lose side into the middle, securing the filling inside.
- One by one, assemble the stuffed chicken thighs seam side down into a baking dish flush against one another. Sprinkle the chicken with Vegeta seasoning or any other seasoning salt blend.
- Bake the thighs at 350°F for 45 minutes. Enjoy immediately!
Hi Natalya, I like to cook my rice in my instant pot (4 minutes / 10 minutes natural pressure release). I guess I was wondering if the rice should be fully cooked since it will be cooking in the oven with the chicken. Thank you in advance!
Hi Christina- correct, the rice should be fully cooked prior to starting this recipe. Enjoy!
And I followed your instructions on cooking the rice. It turned out perfect!!!
Yay! That's awesome to hear Lena. I'm so glad it worked out well for you.
These came out perfect!!! I trimmed the fat really good so they didn't have a lot of fat when they got done baking. I forgot and covered them with foil. Do you bake them covered or not?
Awesome, Lena! Trimming the fat is key. We bake them uncovered so the chicken develops a nice crust. Hope this helps.
Hi Natalya! I really want to make this dish because we tried it at my brothers wedding. I am always running into some trouble with rice thou. Can you provide a quick fail priof way of what kind of rice you use and approximately how long you cook it. Please. Thank you in advance!
Hi Lena, any rice would work for this recipe. I currently use basmati rice. I cook my rice with 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup of rice ratio. Bring it to a boil and cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat to low, and let the rice simmer for 12 minutes (don't open the lid or stir the rice during cooking).
Made these tonight and they were such a hit with my entire family! So good that I’m gonna make it tomorrow 🙂
Hi Matea- I'm so happy they were such a hit with your family, I love when that happens. Enjoy!
It looks really good. Would you recommend freezing already baked or raw is fine and then i can bake it . Thank you for all the recipes you post
Either way works, Lena. However, freezing them from raw saves you time and work. You're very welcome and thank you for the kind words!
Thank you for the recipe. I have made it a few times for the family and they love it. It is on the menu again tonight 🙂 This time I will try with some mozzarella added to the rice mix. Dan
Yay! That sounds so BOMB, Dan. I'll have to try it with cheese too. Let me know how it turns out and if you have any recommendations after you make it.
Can I use whole chicken?
Hi Jean - That might be a bit tough since these are stuffed. I've never tried it before, but assume it would be hard to stuff each individual cut (especially the wings and legs). Hope this helps!
I am working as a house cook, but I am not a prof cook 😊.. but with this recipe, I feel like I am a pro 😄…Thank you for this recipe, simple but perfect dish. I followed your suggestion buy adding mozzarella cheese and Its really tasty🥰.. I cooked few times already. Thank you momsdish 😘
Hi Mimi, I am so happy to hear that with the recipes you are able to feel more confident with your cooking, that is the whole goal here to make sure everyone can create delicious meals. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, I love hearing back 🙂
I have made these many times. Absolutely delish. Thank you
Hi Gillian, I am so glad you love the recipe, thank you for your feedback!
Hi! I have a silly question about the salt. Are both salts listed in the recipe for after the rice is finished cooking? The 1 Tbsp parsley garlic salt and 1 tsp salt? Thank you 🙂
Hey Lori, yes, this is for after rice us cooked. This recipe is amazing. Hope you love it!
The fact that this person still responds to these comments amazes me!! Anyways I prepped this the night before and added jalapeño laughing cow cheese to some of them..... it was so delicious!!
Hi Rose, I try to get all the comments, I love engaging with everyone! Interesting addition of the cheese, did you just add it into the rice mixture?
I actually spread it onto the chicken before putting the rice mixture. My rice stayed better on the ones with the cheese than the ones I made without! Both were delicious though!!
Interesting, thank you for that awesome tip! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂
This is AMAZING! I used boneless thighs and seasoned them lightly on both sides. Also added some Ranch seasoning & Vegeta seasoning to the rice mixture, along with a tbsp of oil, heavy cream, and a bit of spreadable cheese/cream cheese. It’s SO good, I think it will become a new favorite! And love that you can make them ahead, perfect for parties! 5 stars 👌🏼
All of those seasonings sound delicious! I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Can I use boneless chicken breast for this recipe I know it will reduce the flavor but I want to use what's in my freezer
Hey Axel, you can use them but reduce baking them. Chicken breast cooks way quicker.
Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go off of this recipe with uncooked rice. There is absolutely NO way that much rice would fit inside the chicken withOUT the carrots and rice. I’m so frustrated I trusted the word of the woman who posted this and told another person that the recipe was working with uncooked rice. I measured out the number of cups of rice in cooked state and still had a little left after stuffing the chicken. And since I was doing a double recipe, that meant 4 cups of uncooked rice and what I am sure is 6 cups of remaining cooked rice left over! What am I going to do with all of this rice now?!?
Make some rice pudding. Freeze remaining rice and have it with chili. You could also use left over rice for porcupine balls.
So many great ideas!
Minute rice does not expand. 2 cups dried equals 2 cups cooked.
Hey Abby, if it doesn’t expand than you need 2 cups.
Hey Kaley, you are correct. It should be 2 cups of cooked rice. I am sorry about the misunderstanding. Btw, rice freezes well. Hope it helps with meal planning.
Natalya drozhzhin but you alread says in the ingredients 2 cup rice cooked
Yeah, not sure what went wrong.
Nice recipe. Baked without the skin. Sprinkled breadcrumbs over chicken and baked in a prego chunky sauce with some tweaking.
Oh, this sounds so amazing! I like the sauce idea. Thanks for sharing
Can you use breasts rather than thighs?
Hey Virginia, yes but shorten the baking time. Breast cook much quicker. Enjoy!
What is the easiest way to debone chicken thighs??
The best way to cut out bone from chicken thighs is by using a small sharp knife. Cut around the bone and pull it away from the chicken thigh. It will probably take you about 1-2 minutes. 🙂
How much of this can I prepare ahead of time?
They can be prepared be night before.
Can I add an other spice besides Vegeta? I don'thhave vegeta. How would you reheat it? if I had to bring the whole thing to party?
You can replace spices to what ever you like. You can rehet in a microwave, bring it in a crock pot or in a baking dish and place it in a oven to reheat.
I made these for dinner tonight and they turned out delicious. There was a lot of oil after cooking, but thats probably why the chicken and rice turned out moist and tender. At first I covered them with foil, but discovered they turn out a lot better when cooked uncovered- the skin turns out crisp and golden. Make sure the rice is a little over salted because the chicken will soak up some of the salt. Also, there was quite a bit of rice leftover after I stuffed the chicken and I stuffed them really
full, next time ill reduce the amount of rice. Thanks for a good recipe 🙂
Hi Oksana, I am loving all the tips you have shared. Salty rice idea is incredible.
Bake covered or uncovered? 🙂
It doesn't matter, you can cover it to speed up the cooking process and towards the end remove the cover to get some color.
bake them for an 1/2 hour then add mushroom soup on top!
That is an interesting one! Mushrooms and chicken is a wonderful combination 🙂
Can you add cheese in the middle?
Yes you can. That is a wonderful idea. 🙂
You can cook in it a rice cooker but I usually cook it in a pot. Let me know if you need tips on cooking rice.
This looks delicious i want to make it tonight. I have a question though how do you cook the rice?
In rice cooker?
You can cook in it a rice cooker but I usually cook it in a pot. Let me know if you need tips on cooking rice.
This is such a good idea! I've never thought of doing this.
I use white rice.
I would like to know what kind rice you use?
I used Jasmine and thought it was amazing
Glad to hear! 🙂