These rice stuffed chicken thighs have a crisp outside and a juicy veggie and rice filling. It’s crazy easy to make and is always a crowd favorite!
If you are a bit short on time, try making my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Thighs instead.
What Are Rice Stuffed Chicken Thighs?
Chicken thighs with rice stuffing, also known by Slavs as “Solomon Golubtsi” is a main entree dish consisting of skin-on thighs stuffed with rice and veggies. As the dish bakes, the chicken produces a deliciously flavorful sauce that seeps into the rice. It is out-of-this-world tasty! Plus, the crispy chicken skin that forms on top is a huge bonus. There’s no wonder why this dish is frequently found at Slavic weddings, receptions, and family get-togethers!
How To Make Slavic Rice Stuffed Chicken
These Slavic stuffed thighs with rice require 30 minutes to prep and 45 minutes to cook. The thighs make a great make-ahead dish and the delicious flavor is made with only eight ingredients that are guaranteed to be in your pantry and fridge. Let’s get cookin’!
- Cook the rice: In a pot of salted water, cook the rice. Once cooked, set it aside to cool.
- Sauté the veggies: Meanwhile, sauté the onion and carrots in a large pan until they’re soft and translucent.
- Prepare the chicken: Remove the bone (if present) from the chicken. Then, pound the meat with a tenderizer until it’s flat and thin.
- Combine the rice and veggies: In a medium bowl, stir the rice and veggies together and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the chicken with rice: Place a handful of the rice mixture into a pounded chicken thigh and fold over the loose sides toward the middle. Assemble the rolled thighs seam side down in a baking dish.
- Bake the thighs: Sprinkle the chicken with extra seasoning, then cook the thighs uncovered in the oven at 350°F for 45 minutes.
Hot tip: Save the leftover chicken bones! Use them to make a delicious homemade chicken broth.
5 Pro Tips for Making Stuffed Rice Chicken Thighs
From our kitchen to yours, here are a handful (or two handfuls) of tips to help you nail this recipe.
- Use leftover rice: To save on time, use leftover or precooked brown rice, basmati rice, or jasmine rice in this recipe. Both short or long grain rice varieties work equally well.
- Opt for a garlicky seasoning blend: For the best flavor, use a tasty seasoning with lots of garlic. This seasoning is our go-to to sprinkle on top of stuffed chicken, but feel free to play around here!
- Tenderize the thighs: Tenderizing the thighs ensures that the chicken pieces are uniform and bake evenly. It also makes the meat so much more decadent and easy to chew. Tenderize the inside of the meat instead of the outside (skin-side, which allows the skin to be left intact.
- Drain the excess grease: At around 30-40 minutes of baking, drain a portion of the liquid out of the baking dish so the rice is not fully flooded with fat.
- Use a meat thermometer: To avoid having a chicken that’s too dry or undercooked, skip the guesswork and use a meat thermometer. The inner temperature of the thighs should reach 165°F.
Ideas for Serving
Since this recipe is a popular Slavic recipe, continue the theme with more Slavic options. Serve the 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. If you want to go super simple, make this oven roasted broccoli or roast any of your favorite veggies in the oven (such as green beans, or carrots and parsnips).
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
Stuffed chicken thighs are an amazing protein entreé that keeps wonderfully — so use the leftovers for your meal prepping this week! Follow these tips on how to best store and reheat your cooked thighs.
- Refrigerator: To store for 3-4 days, place the cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. The container keeps the rice and chicken from drying out.
- Freezer: To store for a couple of weeks, allow the thighs to completely cool, then wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place into an airtight container in the freezer.
- Reheating: To reheat the thighs, pop them in a casserole dish covered with foil and bake them at 350°F until warmed through. If frozen, this may take up to 20 minutes.
Hot tip: If you’re looking to freeze this dish for longer than a few weeks, consider freezing it before the meat is cooked. Cooked chicken is more prone to freezer burn, so it doesn’t last as long as uncooked chicken.
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, there is no need to flip stuffed chicken thighs over halfway through baking. Keep them seam side down so that they don’t fall apart.
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!
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
- Cook the rice in salted water per package instructions. Set aside to cool. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and carrots together until they soften and the onion turns translucent. Set aside to 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 cooled rice and veggies together and season them to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place a piece of chicken on a flat working surface, then put a handful of the rice mixture in the middle of each pounded thigh. Fold each side into the middle, securing the filling inside.
- One by one, assemble the stuffed chicken thighs seam side down in a baking dish. Make sure they are flush against one another. Sprinkle the chicken with garlic parsley salt.
- Bake the thighs at 350°F for 45 minutes. Enjoy immediately!