Chicken Biryani

6 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Chicken Biryani is a bold and flavorful Indian dish with tender bites of chicken with bell peppers in a deliciously spiced and fragrant rice.

Vegetable Biryani was the first Indian rice dish on the website and now you can make all your favorite Indian recipes including Indian Butter Chicken and Easy Chicken Tikka Masala.

Chicken Biryani on plate

This easy Chicken Biryani recipe is a dish full of flavor, with the mixture of chicken that’s been browned in the skillet before cooking down with the liquids until it is meltingly soft. You’ll find your rice is fluffy and soft with tender bites of chicken throughout.

This biryani is easier than most, no whole spices being toasted and ground. No red curry paste or ginger garlic pastes are needed. The resulting flavors are incredibly delicious and addicting.

We love serving this with Indian Raita, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, naan and Easy Tandoori Chicken.

Chicken Biryani collage of prep steps

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of rice is used in Chicken Biryani?

A classic biryani is made using Basmati Rice. This rice is thinner and longer than a traditional long grain rice.

How do you make Chicken Biryani?

First you brown the chicken and onions. Then some grated tomato is added to the chicken and liquids before cooking down until soft and fluffy. The rice is traditionally made using ghee (clarified butter) along with onions, garlic and ginger.

Why is biryani rice yellow?

The yellow coloring in the rice comes from the use of turmeric along with other spices. These spices are added into the dish before the uncooked rice is mixed in.

What is the best way to reheat chicken and rice dishes?

Add the mixture to a microwave safe bowl and cover with an almost dripping wet paper towel draped over the bowl or plate.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.

Chicken Biryani collage of cooking steps

Tools Used in the Making of Chicken Biryani

Basmati Rice: The perfect rice for the biryani, do not substitute long grain rice.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven: In addition to frying in a cast iron skillet, this dutch oven is perfect for cooking the vegetables and rice, maintaining heat without any hot spots that may burn the food.

How to Store Chicken Biryani

  • Serve: Do not leave Chicken Biryani at room temperature longer than two hours.
  • Store: Chicken Biryani will keep in a tightly covered container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: Freeze Chicken Biryani, well wrapped, for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating to serve.
Chicken Biryani in bowl with fork

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Chicken Biryani Recipe

Chicken Biryani is a bold and flavorful Indian dish with tender bites of chicken with bell peppers in a deliciously spiced and fragrant rice.
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil , or ghee if available
  • 4 chicken thighs , boneless and skinless, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion , cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
  • 2 roma tomatoes , grated
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 green bell pepper , sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups basmati rice , rinsed and drained


  • Add olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides.
  • Add in the onion, and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and ½ cup water.
  • Bring to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  • Add in the bell pepper, salt, cayenne, black pepper, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon, stirring well.
  • Add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add in the basmati rice, reduce to low heat and cook (covered) for 18-20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for five minutes before opening and serving.



Serving: 1g | Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1414mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 31.5mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Chicken Biryani Collage
Chicken Biryani on plate
easy chicken biryani
the best biryani with chicken
Quick chicken biryani
authentic chicken biryani

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I just made this dish and wow! I had everything except chicken thighs so I substituted with salmon. This dish is not only aromatic but it explodes with flavor. I taste the sweetness from the cinnamon to the spicy cayenne. I am very impressed and will make it again for sure but with chicken. I’m eating it as I type and each bite has a new flavor. Just delicious!!! I wouldn’t change a thing unless you can’t handle a little spice. Otherwise perfect as is!

    1. Wow! Salmon, who would have thought?! So glad you enjoyed every bite and thank you for the five star review!

  2. Perfectly spiced! Took this to an International Food Tasting event! Everyone loved it!

  3. Family loved it! Making it a staple in our household. How long does brown basmati rice have to be cooked in the Dutch oven ? Thanks

  4. This was absolutely delicious! First time making it and my 5 year old had seconds, my 3 year old had seconds, I had seconds and my boyfriend scarfed it right down, no complaints from him! Thank you very much! 10/10 will make again!!!!

  5. Hi,

    The photo shows cooked rice being added to the chicken whereas the recipe says rinse and add raw rice.
    Please clarify. Hope to hear from you as soon as possible. DS

    1. I’m sorry for the confusion. That picture actually is raw rice! I probably wasn’t able to answer you in time. Hope you enjoyed the recipe.

  6. I do not consider myself a talented cook but this was so easy and my entire family absolutely loved it. This is a new favorite at our home. Thank you!

  7. This was absolutely delicious! I never thought that i would be able to make Indian food at home but this recipe made it very easy. Thank you!

  8. Hi Sabrina,
    We’ve downloaded your chicken biryani recipe because it looks so good and we’re going to try it out later this week. As we looked through the list of ingredients one item raised question marks. What is (ie: how do you) grated tomato? The illustration looks a bit like it’s pureed lightly but it’s a term we’ve never come across before. Thanks for your great site.

  9. I love Indian food by biryani has always been my favorite. For whatever reason I have too nervous to make biryani until I came upon Sabrina’s recipe and decided to make it and it absolutely fantastic! I now make it all the time and it is great for taking to work the next for lunch or dinner the following night. Thank you Sabrina.

  10. I have made this recipe several times for my husband and I and we love it. Lots for leftovers. Making it for guests and want to cook it mid afternoon and then reheat a few hours later. Should I save some of the chicken stock to add when reheating? Just don’t want it to be dry. Would appreciate your advice. Thanks, Heather

    1. I would cook the recipe with the recommended amount of chicken broth. Have some extra chicken broth on hand in case you need it when reheating.

  11. I made this dish for seniors and they LOVED IT!! I used chicken breast instead of thighs, I had to sub five spice as I couldn’t find the other one and I had to back off on the cayenne pepper as it would have been to spicy for them, I used yellow rice instead. They absolutely loved it!!! The only thing is there are a lot of ingredients and its time consuming, but well worth it!!! We are doing an “Olympic theme” for two weeks, and this is one of the best!!! Thank you!!! I adjusted the recipe for 30 servings, and it came out great.

  12. I make this recipe at least once a month love the flavors I have made a few of your Indian style recipes and they have all been winners thanks for the great recipes

  13. Just found your recipe n so excited, we had biryani at restaurant and liked it. My hubby says your recipe is perfect! It was delicious!!

  14. Thank you, Sabrina, for all your hard work. Please ignore the negative comments,
    we all cook differently. We are all different. People forget sometimes it cost nothing just to say thank you.

    We are all unique in our own way. Your recipes are great!!

    Thank you.


  15. For someone who has grown up eating biryani almost every week, this is not a biryani. Whole concept of biryani is wrong here.
    Biryani is not supposed to be all yellow its mixture of 60% brown colored spicy rice, 30% Plain white rice, and 10% yellow rice (traditionally colored with saffron).
    Also plenty of ingredients are missing like black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, nutmeg, mace, and kewra essence.
    And please use potato for vegetables instead of bell pepper.

    1. Hi Aatir I read your comment here. And after reading it decided to ask you to share your chicken Biryani recipe , I have been looking for an authentic proper one for ages and Just cannot find one I seam to connect with ! I would be very grateful thank you ??