5 from 9 votes
A close up of a bowl of yellow leftover lamb biryani with green spinach and parsley.
Leftover Roast Lamb Biryani
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins

This leftover roast lamb biryani is a quick, easy and delicious one-pot meal. Cook spiced rice and lamb together in about 30 minutes.

Course: Main
Cuisine: British, Indian
Keyword: Lamb biryani, Lamb leftovers
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 307 kcal
Author: Helen Best-Shaw
  • 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
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / GM 4.

  2. Pour the oil into a flame-proof casserole dish and fry the onion for a few minutes.

  3. Crush and add the garlic and spices. Cook for a further few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove from the heat.

  4. Stir the lamb and rice into the onion and spices. Pour over the stock.

  5. 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.

  6. 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
  1. Use the sauté function to cook the onion, garlic and spices.

  2. 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.

  3. Let the pressure release naturally for 18 minutes on the keep warm setting.

  4. 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.

Recipe Notes

This is a very forgiving dish as long as you get the rice to liquid ratio right.


Rice We've made this dish using basmati and American long grain rice. I prefer the fragrant basmati rice, but long grain is fine. If you use long grain rice, you will need to cook the dish in the oven for about another 5 minutes.

Leftover roast chicken, pork or turkey – We used leftover roast lamb but you could use leftover roast chicken, turkey or pork.

Leftover gravy? Great! – Add it to the dish with the stock for a really rich, meaty flavour.

No pre-cooked meat? If you are using uncooked meat, cut it into 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 use vegetable stock for a vegan version.

Add extra veg This leftover roast lamb 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. Garnish with toasted flaked almonds, cashews or pine nuts for some texture and crunch.

Cooking Times
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 515 minutes. I'd check after 25 minutes and then adjust the cooking time as required.

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Leftover Roast Lamb Biryani
Amount Per Serving (4 servings)
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 130mg 5%
Potassium 307mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 18.8%
Vitamin C 10.5%
Calcium 3.6%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.