Jollof Rice is a popular West African casserole of chicken, rice and vegetables in a mild tomato curry sauce. Full of interesting flavors yet mild enough to please picky palates, this is a great dish for the whole family. Plus it's dairy-free, gluten-free and it all cooks in one pot.
When Jollof rice first landed on our dinner table, my family had never tasted or even heard of Jollof rice, yet it felt familiar. It's that comforting one-pot chicken and rice dish many of us know and love, the kind of dish that is cooked in kitchens across the globe, each slightly different from the next and each wonderful in its own special way.
Rice is a staple food through Ghana and Jollof rice is their most popular rice dish. Now it's popular in my house too!
HOW TO MAKE JOLLOF RICE
This recipe is easily manageable on a weeknight. Dinner will be on the table in about an hour.
- To start, cut boneless chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes and marinate them for ten minutes in a mixture of chopped ginger, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Next, heat oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven, and lightly brown the chicken, in batches. Set the chicken aside and use the same pot to sauté the garlic, ginger, bell peppers and carrots. Add curry powder and let it toast in the pan, as you stir, for a minute or so. Next add tomato paste, chicken broth and raw rice. Mix thoroughly so the rice is well-coated.
- Add the chicken back to the pot and pour in the rest of the broth and tomato puree. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and cook the casserole in a 350º oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven to add the peas. Then continue to cook for another 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender.
So many good things packed into one casserole. And having only pot to wash is a nice perk.
What to serve with Jollof Rice
You don't necessarily need a side dish with Jollof rice, however a cool crisp salad alongside a warm comforting casserole is always nice. This butter lettuce salad with citrus honey dressing is a good choice. Or this green salad. If you want a green vegetable on the side, I suggest sautéed spinach with garlic.
Craving Chicken and Rice Casseroles? Here are a few more of my favorites from around the globe:
- Tachin Joojeh: Persian Layered Chicken and Rice with Yogurt
- Chicken Plov
- Spicy Chicken Jambalaya
- Arroz Con Pollo
- Indian Chicken Biryani
And here's one more wonderful Ghanaian recipe you don't want to miss! Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
A big thank you to Hippocrene Books for sending me The Ghana Cookbook, in which I discovered Jollof Rice. If you're looking for more delicious Ghanaian recipes, I highly recommend The Ghana Cookbook.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the green pot I used for this recipe, it’s The Le Crueset 5-quart Round Braiser. It’s perfect for cooking this type of casserole, plus it looks great on the table, if you’re serving family-style.
Here's the Jollof Rice recipe. As always, I'm hoping you'll cook this and then come back and leave a star rating and comment. I love to hear from you!Print
Jollof Rice with Chicken
A one-pot chicken and rice casserole with a deliciously mild tomato-based curry sauce that's great for the whole family. (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Adapted from a recipe in The Ghana Cookbook
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Dinner, Casserole
- Method: Oven baked
- Cuisine: Ghanaian
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely minced or grated ginger root, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil (such as light olive oil or canola)
- 1 red bell pepper, trimmed of ribs and seeds, chopped (1 ½ cups)
- 4-5 carrots, scraped and sliced into thin rounds (1 ½ cups)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (I use Madras Curry Powder)
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 3-4 cups low-salt chicken broth, divided
- 2 cups long grain raw long-grain white rice, rinsed
- 2 cups tomato puree (I use San Marzano plum tomatoes and puree them in a blender)
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Marinate the Chicken: In a large bowl, toss chicken with garlic (1 teaspoon), ginger (1 teaspoon), salt (½ teaspoon), Aleppo or crushed red pepper (½ teaspoon), and black pepper (½ teaspoon). Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil (2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat in a large heavy oven-ready pot or Dutch oven, with a lid. Add half the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pot and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil, add the rest of the garlic (2 teaspoons) and ginger (2 teaspoons), the bell pepper (1 ½ cups), carrots (1 ½ cups) and onion (1 cup). Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the curry powder (1 teaspoon) and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so. Add tomato paste, 1 cup of chicken broth, the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt and the bay leaf. Stir to combine. Add the raw rice (2 cups) and stir well so all the grains are coated. Add the chicken back to the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Add tomato puree (2 cups) and chicken broth (2 cups). Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Cover the casserole bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven briefly, add the peas and stir through. If rice looks dry, add another half cup of broth. Cover and return the pot to the oven for 15-20 minutes longer, or until the rice is tender.
- Serve hot with a side of sautéed greens or a simple green salad.
[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in April 2016. It was updated in May 2020 with added nutritional information, clarifying details in the written post and clearer instructions in the recipe.]
Keywords: one-pot chicken, rice and vegetable casserole baked with mild tomato curry sauce