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Chicken and Rice with Lime Chimichurri, & Greek Yoghurt

Spicy, smoky, and creamy—explore a world of flavours with my Spiced Baked Chicken and Rice, Lime Chimichurri, and Garlic Yoghurt. Prepared in an Air Fryer or oven this is a weeknight winner. 

Hearty Chicken and Rice Casserole

Looking for an effortless weeknight meal that’s bursting with flavour? Our Spiced Baked Chicken and Rice is your answer! This easy one-pan dish is a lifesaver for busy evenings, offering the convenience of both air frying and oven baking. With its aromatic spices and tender chicken, it’s the perfect recipe for a quick and delicious midweek dinner

What makes our Spiced Chicken and Rice Bake So Good?

Our Spiced Chicken and Rice Bake is a winner for several reasons! First, the chipotle-infused chicken adds a delightful smoky kick, elevating the flavours and a lovely smokiness to the rice. It’s a super easy and weeknight-friendly recipe, perfect for those busy evenings. Plus, it’s a one-pan wonder, so minimal cleanup required. If you’ve got an air fryer, it’s a cost-saving option with equally fantastic results, but don’t worry if you don’t, as oven instructions are available. So, whether you’re looking for bold flavours, convenience, or even saving a bit on energy bills, this dish ticks all the boxes for a satisfying meal

Yoghurt It Right: Creaminess in Every Bite!

Yoghurt in our Spiced Chicken and Rice Bake? It’s like the secret sauce that takes this dish to the next level! It brings in that creamy goodness that we all love, and the hint of garlic gives it that cool, tangy zing that pairs perfectly with the warm, comforting rice and crispy air fried chicken. But here’s the magic – it’s not just any sauce. It’s the yin to the lime chimichurri’s yang, striking a delicious balance. 

If you loved the yoghurt sauce in this recipe why not try a few of our other popular recipes. Start with the Courgette & Herb Salad with Lemon, where a spoonful of yoghurt introduces a creamy element that complements the freshness of zucchini and the zesty tang of lemon. My Yoghurt Dip with Chilli Oil & Crispy Herbs features yoghurt as a rich base, harmonising with the heat of chilli oil and the satisfying crunch of crispy herbs. In my Aubergine Sandwich, yoghurt subtly balances the smoky richness of grilled eggplant. From vibrant salads to zesty dips and savoury sandwiches, I love how yoghurt sauces a dish’s texture and flavour.

Air-Fried Chicken with Rice Casserole

What is Lime Chimichurri?

Lime Chimichurri, is a vibrant, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce, that has the power to elevate any meal with its bold flavours. This Argentinian-inspired sauce, which can be whipped up in just a few minutes, is a cheat code in the kitchen that makes everything taste bright and fresh. Our version deviates from tradition, using chilli flakes, and lime in place of the red wine vinegar and fresh chili. As fresh oregano can be hard to find, we have omitted it in this recipe. Here are some tips and tricks to perfecting your Lime Chimichurri:

    1. Always use the freshest ingredients – the freshness of your parsley, and cilantro can significantly impact the overall flavour of your sauce.
    2. Finely chop your herbs before you start, ensuring their robust flavours are evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
    3. Steeping the garlic in lime juice? It’s like a kitchen hack that turns garlic from raw and sharp to this mellow, zesty goodness. The lime’s acidity works its charm, making the garlic way less intense and adding a citrusy twist. It’s like a secret trick that makes everything taste even better – you’ll see what I mean when you try it in our Spiced Chicken and Rice Bake!
    4. After washing your herbs, dry them thoroughly to prevent a watery sauce.
    5. Don’t substitute dried herbs for fresh ones. The fresh herbs give chimichurri its distinct flavour.

Pairing Lime Chimichurri with spicy chicken and yoghurt? It’s all about finding that perfect balance. The chimichurri brings in those herby, zesty notes that keep things fresh, blending effortlessly with the boldness of spicy chicken. Balance the acidity with a pinch of sugar, and add more chilli flakes, if you feel it needs more heat. It’s like a flavour tag team where the chimichurri’s lively kick plays perfectly off the chicken’s heat, making each bite a tasty adventure. The cool yoghurt? It’s like a refreshing sidekick, keeping things just right.

Enter Greek yoghurt—a creamy maestro that adds a velvety, cooling dimension to the mix. Its soothing texture not only tames the chicken’s spice but also offers a delightful contrast to the chimichurri’s liveliness.

Have you tried my Chicken and Rice Bake?

As always, if you try this recipe let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

Chimichurri-Infused Dish
Savoury Chicken on a Bed of Rice

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use boneless chicken instead of bone-in chicken thighs?

Using bone-in chicken thighs in this recipe is essential for keeping the meat juicy and tender throughout the cooking process. We actually tested boneless chicken, and it ended up dry, while the thighs stayed beautifully moist

Is chipotle paste very spicy?

Chipotle paste does have a smoky and spicy kick. If you prefer less heat, use a red pepper pesto for your chicken, or coat the thighs in a mixture of garlic, oil and paprika

Can I make Lime Chimichurri ahead of time?

Certainly! Lime Chimichurri can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The flavours may even intensify over time. The acid in the sauce will cause the herbs to go a darker colour but don’t worry, it will taste great!

Is there a substitute for air frying if I don’t have an air fryer?

 You can bake the dish in a preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for a similar cooking time until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.

How long does the garlic yoghurt stay fresh in the refrigerator?

The garlic yoghurt can stay fresh for up to a week when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. <

Why do I need to use a stainless roasting dish for this recipe?

Stainless steel roasting trays heat up quickly and evenly. Unfortunately, ceramic and Pyrex dishes take much longer to heat up than a stainless steel roasting dish. Given the variations in thickness and materials, using anything other than a stainless steel roasting dish can affect the timing of this recipe.
I used my Instant Vortex Plus Versazone, and this roasting dish for this recipe. The dish is perfectly sized for this model and I use it often. If you have a square basket air fryer, try either the 8 or 9 inch roaster found here. Measure your basket and choose accordinly. Be sure to leave about a 1,5cm gap between the basket and roasting dish so the heat can circulate. 

Golden Roast Chicken
Creamy Yogurt and Cheats Chimichurri
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Hearty Chicken and Rice Casserole

Spiced Chicken and Rice with Lime Chimichurri and Garlic Yoghurt

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


Spicy, smoky, and creamy—explore a world of flavours with my Spiced Chicken and Rice, Lime Chimichurri, and Garlic Yoghurt. Ready in just 10 simple steps, this dish will have you going back for more. 


  • 46 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cups hot chicken stock
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 12 limes (30ml of juice needed)
  • Small handful of coriander
  • Small handful of parsley
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste


  • A metal roasting dish suitably sized for your air fryer* see FAQs above


  1. Start by preparing the chicken. In a bowl, coat the chicken thighs with chipotle paste, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set them aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Slice the white onion and toss it with whole cumin, a bit of olive oil, the zest of the lime, and one of the garlic cloves (minced). Place the seasoned onions into a dish suitable for your air fryer, mounding them slightly to encourage steaming rather than excessive charring. Air fry for 5 minutes at 190°C (375°F) to soften, or bake in your oven on the convection setting at 190°C for 5 minutes.
  3. While the onions are cooking, make the garlic yoghurt by combining half of the lime juice (15ml), yoghurt, 1 minced garlic clove, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Once the onions are done, remove the dish from the air fryer. Add the rice on top of the onions in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the red chilli flakes over the rice. Pour the hot chicken stock over the rice, ensuring it’s evenly distributed.
  5. Air fry the rice for 10-12 minutes at 165°C (330°F) to allow the rice to par cook slightly.
    Alternatively, place the rice into the oven at 190°C (374°F) for 10-12 minutes. The rice should be starting to soften and absorb the stock but still have quite a bite. All air fryers and ovens vary slightly, so add a little more or less time as needed.
  6. While the rice is cooking, start the lime chimichurri: Finely dice the red onion, grate in the last garlic clove, and toss with the remaining half (15ml) of the lime juice, a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper. Set this mixture aside to pickle.
  7. Remove your baking dish, then place the chicken on top of the rice, skin side up.
  8. Air fry the chicken and rice for 20-30 minutes at 165°C (330°F) or until the chicken skin is crisp, the chicken and rice tender and cooked through. If your chicken thighs were a little bigger than mine, add a few more minutes.
    In the oven: Alternatively, place chicken and rice into the oven at 190°C (374°F) for 20-30 minutes.
  9. About 5 minutes before the chicken and rice are done, finish the lime chimichurri by finely chopping the coriander and parsley. Stir this together with the red onion and lime mixture, the remaining chilli flakes, and a splash of oil to loosen the sauce to a pesto consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Plate up your chicken and rice with a smear of garlic yoghurt, top with a portion of spiced rice, crispy chicken, and finally your lime chimichurri.
  11. Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Oven Bake
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2 Responses

  1. The best ever ever!!! now addicted to this recipe.. at least ones a week when possible … 🙂 we travel a bit!
    And the best part is that if you have ANY questions Culinary cartel is very chop chop to answer even when she is on holiday!!!!! just got to LOVE the girl! and her recipes!

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