This Instant Pot Chicken Biryani is a delicious Indian-inspired rice dish filled with spices and frozen veggies then topped with yogurt.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Coconut oil – swap out for a neutral cooking oil like avocado oil or olive oil.
- Yellow onion – white onion or shallots can also be used.
- Chicken breasts – boneless skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts. You could also make this dish with extra-firm tofu, paneer, lentils or chickpeas.
- Garlic – freshly minced garlic provides the best flavour but jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Gingerroot – if you don’t have any fresh ginger on hand, use ground ginger powder instead.
- Garam masala – use a store-bought blend or make your own using ground cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
- Turmeric – saffron would also be a good substitute here.
- Chili powder – use a combination of paprika, cumin and cayenne if you don’t have any chili powder on hand.
- Cumin – coriander is the best substitute for cumin.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Basmati rice – jasmine rice or another white rice of your choice would also work here.
- Chicken broth – swap out for vegetable broth instead.
- Frozen veggies – use any frozen veggie blend of your choice.
How to make chicken biryani in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Add everything to the Instant Pot.
Add everything to the Instant Pot in order except for the frozen veggies and toppings.
Step 2: Cook on high pressure.
Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. While the biryani is cooking, microwave the frozen veggies and prepare any toppings of your choice.
Step 3: Do a quick pressure release.
Step 4: Add in the veggies.
Once the pressure release is done, stir in the defrosted vegetables.
Step 5: Stir to combine.
Step 6: Garnish then serve!
Add to bowls and garnish with toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy!
What to serve with chicken biryani
Here are some ideas on what to serve with your Instant Pot chicken biryani:
Frequently Asked Questions
I used chicken breasts for this biryani Instant Pot recipe, but you can use chicken thighs if preferred. They might also provide a juicier cut of meat.
You should be able to find garam masala in the spice aisle at your grocery store, but if not, you can make a homemade version in a pinch. Mix together 1 tbsp. cumin, 1.5 tsp. coriander, 1.5 tsp. cardamom, 1.5 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. cloves and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg.
If you want to add a bit of kick to your biryani, stir in some cayenne pepper along with the other spices.
The secret to making sure your Instant Pot chicken biryani doesn’t turn out mushy or wet is not to add in too much chicken broth. You only need to add in 1 1/4 cups – if you add more, the biryani will be too watery.
I’d recommend using boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into pieces for this recipe. If you want to use bone-in chicken, you’ll need to sauté the chicken for about 4 minutes first, then add 1 minute to the cooking time so it cooks on high pressure for 6 minutes instead of 5 minutes.
Storing and reheating
Store any leftovers of this biryani Instant Pot recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. If you are storing a large portion or using this recipe for meal prep, divide it up into individual portions to make reheating easier.
To reheat, sprinkle some water over the top to add moisture, then microwave the biryani for 2-3 minutes or until heated all the way through. You may want to stir halfway through to get even heating. You can also reheat in a pan on the stovetop.
Freezing this recipe
Let this Instant Pot biryani cool completely, then transfer to airtight containers or freezer bags. Chicken biryani will last in the freezer for up to 1 month. After that, the rice will lose its moisture and the overall texture of the dish will change. When you’re ready to enjoy your chicken biryani, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat as normal.
More Instant Pot rice dishes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Order some garam masala online if you’re having trouble finding it in stores.
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this rice into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months.
Instant Pot Chicken Biryani
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp gingerroot, minced
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup mixed frozen veggies
- Cilantro, chopped
- Cucumber raita or Greek yogurt
- Crispy shallots/onions
- Lime wedges
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in the order in which they are listed, except for frozen veggies and toppings.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, microwave frozen veggies for 1-2 minutes until defrosted and prepare any toppings of choice.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Once lid is safe to open, stir in veggies, then add to bowls and garnish with toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy!