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
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 1x
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
- 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.
- In a large bowl, toss chicken with marinade ingredients: 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.]
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Category: Dinner, Casserole
- Method: Oven baked
- Cuisine: Ghanaian
Keywords: one-pot chicken, rice and vegetable casserole baked with mild tomato curry sauce
I am dying to try this recipe but my diet requires long grain brown rice. Have you any recommendations on adjustments to the recipe to accomodate the substitute?
Hi Lisa, based on the Bay leaf and long grain rice, isn't this Nigerian rather than Ghanaian jollof? You don't want to get the two mixed up! 🙂 Love the website by the way!
Hi Ian, I'm not an expert on Jollof rice but this recipe comes from The Ghana Cookbook. Perhaps there are similar variations of this dish that show up in both Nigeria and Ghana? Thanks so much for your comment and kind words about the website 🙂
I was excited when I saw the recipe online, so I clicked on the link, but once the page opened and the picture of the dish was displayed, I was jarred because of the image of a "dirty, messy" pan of food with a garnish on the top. Confused!?! I want to try it, but I can't get past the dirty pot of food with a garnish on top. PLEASE, put the finished food into a CLEAN serving bowl or CLEAN pot and then take a picture of it and garnish it for publication. This will help attract your audience to following you and your recipes instead of repelling them and causing them to stop everything that they were doing to write this review. Wishing you only the best and just being blatantly honest because your picture is blatantly honest, but not with the desired outcome. Good luck!
Wow, I had no idea that photo was offensive. I kind of liked the way the drips of sauce looked on the the side of the green pot. But it was an easy fix in Photoshop. Thanks for letting me know.
This is the rudest comment I've seen on a recipe blog in a long time. How unnecessary! This looks amazing in ALL your pictures. I can't wait to try it tonight!
Truly, a horribly rude comment in its expression, very disappointing.
The same sentiments can be expressed in a suggestion with a positive respectful attitude.
If a "dirty" pot - meaning, one containing food - is so very offensive, how will one ever consider cooking for themselves?!?
I made this tonight & it was fabulous! Thanks for that beautiful picture that grabbed my attention.
So great to hear you enjoyed the Jollof rice Amy! And the photo 🙂 Thanks for your coming back to comment.
Jeanne-Ann J Davis
I dont cook with curry. Is 1 tsp really enough?
hi lisa, thanks for sharing this delicious food, i really like rice , rice ball, fried rice, i think i can try this at home, thanks for sharing a good stuff. Nice to meet you
look soo delicious, hope i can try it at home, please give me more 🙂
thanks for sharing.
so delicious ... great post 🙂
looks like South Korean food.
What a great weeknight dinner. I've heard of jollof rice, but never knew exactly how it was made. It sort of reminds me of arroz con pollo - when rice is baked with chicken and spices, it takes on such a lovely texture and taste. Thanks for opening my eyes to Ghanaian cuisine. Sounds like I should investigate it further.
Lisa, this was so delicious! My 15 year old enjoyed 3 big bowlfulls...A great recipe! Thanks...
I'm so glad to hear that you and the family enjoyed the jollof rice Liz. Thank you for letting me know 🙂
I made this tonight and it was delicious! Everyone loved it... We always love the recipes from your blog!
Leslie, I'm so happy you all enjoyed the Jollof Rice! thank you so much for letting me know 🙂
Wow.. i've never heard about this food, Jollof
Do you have any post related to makloubeh rice from turkish or kebuli rice from arabic ? I love this rice food
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
Hi Lisa, what a great dish. I love learning about different cultures and cuisines, and am never disappointed when I visit your site. What a great cookbook and I loved learning about the authors.
Thanks so much Allie!
Lucy @ Globe Scoffers
I love anything with rice, this looks like the perfect meal for me. Thanks for sharing!