Chicken pilaf: cook from scratch or prepare using leftover chicken

This easy chicken pilaf is packed full of flavour and only requires a handful of ingredients – cook from scratch or prepare using leftover chicken

chicken pilaf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This easy chicken pilaf is just as tasty whether cooked from scratch or prepared using leftover chicken, which is why it's one of our favourite post-roast dinners.

Packed full of flavour thanks to the addition of a few simple spices, it takes just 20 minutes to prepare and will provide you with a healthy, hearty dinner. Plus, it only calls for a handful ingredients, most of which you'll likely already have hanging around. Quick, easy and totally delicious, this recipe s everything we look for in a mid-week meal.

Find the full recipe below, then head over to our food hub for more ideas and inspiration.

Chicken pilaf


  • Leftover chicken
  • Basmati rice, 100–125 grams per person
  • Oil, for frying
  • Onion, diced
  • Spinach, a few handfuls
  • Garam masala, one tablespoon
  • Ground turmeric, one teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon, one teaspoon
  • Chilli flakes, one teaspoon
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Chopped coriander


1. Place your rice in a pan of boiling water and cook for the time recommended on the packaging. When ready, remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Dice your onion before transferring to a pan heated with a good glug of oil. Roughly fry for a few minutes, or until it begins to soften.

3. Add your spices to the pan and continue to fry until everything is really soft with a rich fragrance.

4. Add your chicken leftover and cooked rice to the mix and ensure everything is coated with the spice mixture. Cook for around five minutes before adding a few handfuls of spinach to the pan.

5. Once your spinach has wilted considerably, remove your pilaf from the pan and serve with a few scoops of natural yoghurt and a good handful of coriander.

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