Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern Recipes, Rice

Authentic Saudi Chicken Kabsa

Pieces of perfectly broiled chicken served on a bed of yellow fragrant rice

If you want to explore the diverse flavors of Saudi Arabian cuisine, then look no further than the Authentic Saudi Chicken Kabsa. This traditional dish will transport you to the roots of the Middle East by indulging your senses in a symphony of flavorful spices, savory rice, and juicy chicken.

The rice is cooked to fluffy perfection, absorbing all of the delicious flavors from the spices and chicken broth, creating a one-of-a-kind dish that is ideal for hosting a family gathering or special event and is sure to surprise everyone.

So grab your ingredients and prepare to embark on an unforgettable culinary experience. Allow the delicious aroma to spread throughout your kitchen as you cook this unique Saudi Kabsa!


Kabsa is an amazingly flavored rice dish that is a classic Middle Eastern dish that appears on many holidays. an aromatic rice pilaf, a one-pot meal from the Arabian peninsula.
A picture with a spicy smell!


Let’s Discover More About the Authentic Delight of Saudi Kabsa

Let’s dive into the delicious world of Kabsa, a treasured culinary delicacy that steals hearts and taste buds alike. Kabsa; the pride of Saudi Arabia, is a star at local celebrations and it holds a special place on dining tables. However, its popularity does not end there; it is a Middle Eastern staple that brings people together with its delectable flavors.

With a few exceptions, the dish’s characteristics are consistent across most countries. This delightful dish is available almost everywhere, from humble hawker centers to high-end restaurants. While there are numerous versions of Saudi chicken Kabsa, the best version includes succulent chicken and spiced rice.

In a one-pot rice dish, the ingredients are piled one on top of the other. The end result is a dish with a mouthwatering scent and a spicy, lemony flavor. It is typically served when it is sizzling hot.


A traditional Saudi Arabian dish of golden-brown cooked chicken pieces over flavorful kabsa rice and served with nuts and almonds.
How captivating!

Tips and Notes

To achieve rice perfection, use the ideal water ratio of 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Avoid using too much water, which can result in a mushy texture.

If you feel your rice is undercooked, a simple trick is to add a touch of water and allow it to steam on medium heat. This gentle process can perform wonders.

Retain the juiciness of your chicken by cooking it with the skin intact. Before steaming the rice, you can opt to remove the skin. For those leaning towards grilling or frying, the skin adds a wonderful crispy layer.

While short-grain rice is used in many Middle Eastern cuisines, this recipe offers a distinctive twist. Long-grain basmati flourishes in this recipe, producing outstanding results in cooking while remaining less sticky.


Deliciously broiled Saudi chicken Kabsa with fluffy rice
Enjoy the burst of flavors!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between Kabsa and Biryani?

These baked Middle Eastern chicken and rice recipes are very similar, including their preparation. The only significant difference is that Biryani has a bolder, somewhat spicier flavor.

What is the difference between Kabsa and Chicken Mandi?

One of the main differences is the cooking method. Yemeni Chicken Mandi is traditionally prepared in a vessel that is partially buried in the ground, much like an earthen oven, however, Saudi Chicken Kabsa is prepared on a stove in the kitchen.

Is it necessary to wash the rice before cooking it?

Washing the rice gets rid of the excess starch. So by doing that, you prevent the rice grains from sticking together and you avoid mushy rice.

Can I freeze chicken Kabsa leftovers?

Yes, you can easily freeze your Kabsa. All you have to do is place your leftovers in a freezer-safe container and you can freeze for up to 3 months.


Ingredients will magically blend together to produce the fluffiest, most colorful Kabsa. Basmati rice, tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped onions, chicken and other earthy components to create the best saudi kabsa.
The different ingredients needed to create the heavenly pot.

Ingredients

Kabsa, a beloved Middle Eastern dish of spiced rice and chicken, is easy to prepare when using the following ingredients:

Chicken

Yellow onion

Garlic cloves

Dry lemon

Cinnamon sticks

Dried bay leaf

Cardamom pods

Whole cloves

Tomato

Olive oil

Tomato sauce

Tomato paste

Water

Salt

Kabsa spices

For Kabsa Spice Mix:

Cinnamon

Black pepper

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Curry powder

Turmeric

Ground cardamom

7 spice

Coriander powder

For the Rice:

Basmati rice

Salt

Chicken broth


During the holidays or any festive season, serve this exotic Chicken rice dish with raisins and almonds.
An edible piece of art.

Easy Steps to Make this Saudi Chicken Kabsa

With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, the Middle Eastern Saudi Chicken Kabsa is the perfect recipe for every family.

First, to a pot, add olive oil and your finely diced onions. Brown on medium-high heat.

Then, add the garlic cloves and sauté until fragrant, you can add a spicy pepper here if you like.

Next, add the chicken, whole spices and mix together, then sauté for 2-3 minutes, and add the ground spices and mix again.

Now, add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, pureed tomato, and water. Mix well, cover, and let it come to a rolling boil for 5 minutes before lowering the heat to medium and letting it simmer for half an hour or until cooked.

After that, remove the whole spices from the broth and save the remaining broth. Then remove the chicken and add it to a pan or air fryer to crisp up. I broiled for a few minutes.

For the Rice:

Add the rice to a pot along with the salt and the broth. If not enough broth is left, top the remaining amount with water.

Let it come to a rolling boil for 5 minutes before covering and simmering on low for 15-20 minutes.

For Assembly:

Transfer the cooked rice to a large serving platter and place the chicken on top of it. You can also garnish with freshly chopped parsley, toasted almonds, or pine nuts if you want to add some crunchy texture.

Serve with fresh salad, hot sauce, or yogurt, and enjoy!


An aromatic rice pilaf, a one-pot meal of Saudi origin made of chicken and flavored rice.
Another way to describe luxury.

Must-Try Recipes:

Middle Eastern Spiced Baked Chicken

Ouzi Rice With Ground Beef

Middle Eastern Vermicelli Rice (Ruz Bil Shi’iriya)

Authentic Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Chicken Musakhan Sliders

Authentic Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

Kung Pao Chicken

Chicken Shawarma Rice Bowls

Dawood Basha (Kufta and Potato Stew)

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This beloved national dish has a balance of spices, rice and tender meat

Saudi Chicken Kabsa

Fatimah
With this Authentic Saudi Chicken Kabsa, you can turn your next lunch into a feast. Because of the combination of spicy grilled chicken and tasty rice, this dish is ideal for any special event. So, what are you waiting for? Try it right now!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern

Ingredients
  

  • 4 whole leg quarters or 1 chicken cut into 4
  • large yellow onions finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 dry lemon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large tomato pureed
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons kabsa spices

Kabsa Spices Mix

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoons 7 spice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder

For the Rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked for 20 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • To a pot, add olive oil and your finely diced onions. Brown on medium high heat.
  • Add the garlic cloves and sauté until fragrant; you can add a spicy pepper here if you like.
  • Add the chicken and whole spices and mix together, then sauté for 2–3 minutes, and add the ground spices and mix again.
  • Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, pureed tomato, and water.
  • Mix well, cover, and let it come to a rolling boil for 5 minutes before lowering the heat to medium and letting it simmer for half an hour or until cooked.
  • Remove the whole spices from the broth and save the remaining broth. Then remove the chicken and add it to a pan or air fryer to crisp up. I broiled for a few minutes.

For the Rice

  • Add it to a pot along with the salt and the broth. If not enough broth is left, top the remaining amount with water.
  • Let it come to a rolling boil for 5 minutes before covering and simmering on low for 15-20 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a large serving platter and place the chicken on top of it. You can also garnish with freshly chopped parsley, toasted almonds, or pine nuts if you want to add some crunchy texture.

Notes

  • To achieve rice perfection, use the ideal water ratio of 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Avoid using too much water, which can result in a mushy texture.
  • If you feel your rice is under-cooked, a simple trick is to add a touch of water and allow it to steam on medium heat. This gentle process can perform wonders.
  • Retain the juiciness of your chicken by cooking it with the skin intact. Before steaming the rice, you can opt to remove the skin. For those leaning towards grilling or frying, the skin adds a wonderful crispy layer.
Keyword chicken kabsa, kabsa, Kabsa chicken, Kabsa rice chicken, kabseh, Middle Eastern Kabsa
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

14 thoughts on “Authentic Saudi Chicken Kabsa

  1. Mary Beth Welland says:

    When do you add the kabsa spice mixture?

    1. Fatimah says:

      in Step 3! when I add the whole spices.

  2. Husna Ahmed says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner! And it was SO DELICIOUS! mashallah! Recipe is extremely easy to follow! For some reason whenever I broil the chicken the oven gets Smokey? Not sure if I’m doing something wrong. But I airfried it and it was perfection!

  3. Malaak says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is SO good. I doubled the amount of chicken and rice to make it work for my family, and they went nuts for it.

  4. Mehreen says:

    If i wanna make two cup rice, do I simple x2 the spices?

    1. Fatimah says:

      Just two cups instead of 1? Add about 1 tbsp of the ground spices and 2 extra cups of broth.

  5. Candice says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS !!!! Authentic Saudi kabsa, full of flavor 😋😋😋 made it with a spicy salsa and it was the perfect combo

  6. maya says:

    5 stars
    made it yesterday and we loved it. amazing recipe, and so easy. thank you so much

  7. Somaya says:

    5 stars
    I made this today and it was delicious and quite simple to follow. I often adjust recipes, but stuck to this and I’m so glad. The whole family enjoyed it.

  8. Serene says:

    5 stars
    Made this for an iftar 3azooma Friday, it turned out so well! Everyone was coming back for seconds!

  9. Jenni says:

    5 stars
    I have made this before and it was amazing like all of your recipes! I always go first to your page!

  10. N Abdelhady Hussain says:

    5 stars
    I made it last night for my Egyptian husband who lived in Jeddah for several years and he loved it! He took the leftovers to work today and said he couldn’t wait for lunch. His colleagues and friends are always so wowed by all of the food I make. This is all thanks to you!
    Your recipes are always my “go to” Middle Eastern recipes on weekends when I have time to cook delicious, beautiful meals for our family. I look forward to making each dish.

    You are an amazing chef and a beautiful soul! We love you!

  11. Sid says:

    5 stars
    In the kabsa spice mix, it says ground cardamom. Is it green cardamom or black cardamom?

    1. Fatimah says:

      Green!

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