This leftover lamb biryani is a quick, easy and delicious one-pot meal for all the family to enjoy. The recipe includes instructions for Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) and detailed notes on ingredient substitutions and additions.
Easy Leftover Lamb Biryani
I think that when cooking a chicken or a joint of meat, buying a larger bird or joint is really worth it; the flavour is simply so much better and it is far better value for money. A bigger joint also means more lovely leftovers and here’s a great easy leftover lamb biryani recipe.
This recipe is great for a delicious, quick and easy one-pot after-work meal. It’s simple to scale up the quantities to feed more. The spicing is easy to adjust. If you like a hotter dish, use chilli instead of paprika and increase the quantity to taste.
A traditional biryani has layers of rice and meat. I’ve simplified things here by mixing everything together. You can cook this dish using chicken or lamb stock, either ready made (cube or packet), or your own. I make chicken stock frequently, but rarely beef or lamb.
I love making this dish with white basmati rice but other long-grain rices will also work. If you use brown rice, the cooking times will need to be adjusted as it takes longer to cook.
How To Make Lamb Biryani – Step by Step
Step 1 – Measure out all the ingredients. Heat your oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / GM 4.
Step 2 – Heat a large casserole dish on the stove top over a medium heat and add the oil. Fry the diced onion for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. When it starts to turn translucent, crush the garlic and add it to the onion, and add the spices too.
Step 3 – Stir everything together and continue to cook. When the spices release their delicious fragrance, add the rice and lamb.
Step 4 – Stir everything together to coat the meat and rice with the spice mixture.
Step 5 – Add the stock, and allow to heat until just boiling. Turn down the heat until the liquid is simmering, cover with the lid and put the dish in the oven.
Step 6 – Cook for about 25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the liquid. While the rice is cooking, boil the kettle. Put the frozen peas in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to defrost them.
Step 7 – Strain the peas and add to the pot along with the spinach. Stir again and return the dish to the oven to cook for a further 5 minutes.
Step 8 – It’s ready to serve! Garnish with some fresh herbs, serve and enjoy!
Leftover Roast Lamb Biryani Recipe Notes & Substitutions
This is a very forgiving dish, providing you get the rice to liquid ratio right.
Rice – We’ve made this dish using basmati and American long grain rice. I prefer the version made with deliciously fragrant basmati rice, but if long grain is what you have, then use that. If you do use long grain rice, you will need to cook the dish in the oven for about 5 minutes longer.
Leftover roast chicken, pork or turkey – We used leftover roast lamb but you could use leftover roast chicken, turkey or pork.
Got some leftover gravy? Great! – Add it to the dish at the same time as the stock for a really rich, meaty flavour.
No leftover meat? – If you are using meat that has not been precooked, cut it into about 1 cm / ½” cubes and fry with the onion at the start of cooking.
Make it vegetarian or vegan – Use chickpeas or other beans and vegetable stock for a vegan version.
Add extra veg – This is the perfect dish for adding extra veg. Chopped leftover roast vegetables (potatoes, parsnip and carrots) work well, or stir in florets of cauliflower and broccoli 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. You can also use any leafy greens instead of spinach.
Garnishes – Use what you have. I love fresh coriander (cilantro) but any fresh herbs are delicious. Top with toasted flaked almonds, cashews or pine nuts for some texture and crunch.
Leftover beer? Drinking some beer with your biryani, and there’s some leftover? Use it up in my leftover beer bread.
Oven cooking time will be about 25 minutes for basmati rice. With less delicate varieties of rice, allow another 5–15 minutes. I’d check after 25 minutes and then adjust the cooking time as required.
How To Make Leftover Roast Lamb Biryani in an Instant Pot
This dish is perfect for the Instant Pot or any other electric pressure cooker. Use the sauté function to cook the onion, garlic and spices as above.
Add the rice and an equal volume of hot stock. Stir in the lamb, and set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for three minutes. Let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 18 minutes with the keep warm setting.
Add in the defrosted peas with the spinach and mango chutney. Stir, replace the lid and leave on warm for 5 minutes.
Leftover Roast Lamb Biryani
- 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp paprika (or mild chilli)
- 3 cardamom pods
- 150 g leftover roast lamb (cut into chunks)
- 150 g basmati rice
- 50 g frozen peas
- 275 ml chicken or lamb stock
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves ((a good handful))
- coriander or other fresh herbs
- almonds or other nuts to garnish ((optional))
- salt and pepper to taste
Conventional instructions – oven cooking
- Preheat your oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / GM 4.
- Pour the oil into a flame-proof casserole dish and fry the onion for a few minutes.
- Crush and add the garlic and spices. Cook for a further few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove from the heat.
- Stir the lamb and rice into the onion and spices. Pour over the stock.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the stock. Add a little more water if the rice is slightly chalky to bite.
- Add spinach and defrosted peas, and stir in. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, garnished with fresh herbs.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Use the sauté function to cook the onion, garlic and spices.
- Add the rice and an equal volume of boiling hot stock. Stir in the lamb, and set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 18 minutes on the keep warm setting.
- Add the defrosted peas and spinach. Stir, replace the lid and leave on warm for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, garnished with fresh herbs.
Oven cooking time will be about 25 minutes for basmati rice. With less delicate types of rice or if you use cold stock, allow another 5–15 minutes. I'd check after 25 minutes and then adjust the cooking time as required. Nutritional Information
- This recipe is 10 Weight Watchers Smart Points
For more leftover lamb recipes, try our Leftover Lamb Tagine with Apricots Recipe