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One-Pot Dinner: Chicken Macaroni Kabsa

One-pot dinners are a lifesaver for busy cooks seeking simplicity without sacrificing flavor. In this article, we’ll delve into the delectable world of Chicken Macaroni Kabsa, a Saudi-style dinner that promises a fusion of taste and ease.

History and Origins

Originating from Saudi Arabia, Macaroni Kabsa holds a special place in the hearts of many, especially for those who grew up in the 90s. Its cultural significance goes beyond just a meal; it’s a nostalgic dish that evokes memories of childhood and family gatherings.


The magic of Chicken Macaroni Kabsa lies in its ingredients. From the earthy aroma of turmeric to the tangy kick of dried lemons (lomi), each component plays a crucial role in creating the dish’s rich flavor profile. Optional substitutions and additions allow for personalization, making it adaptable to various tastes and dietary preferences.

  • ½ chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 dash of black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dried lemons (lomi)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 200g tomato paste (approximately ¾ cup)
  • 1 peeled potato, cubed
  • 400g pasta (any kind)


Preparing Chicken Macaroni Kabsa is a straightforward process that starts with sautéing aromatics like onions and tomatoes in ghee. The addition of spices and chicken infuses the dish with layers of flavor, while tomato paste and water create a luscious sauce. Here’s a step-by-step guide to mastering this culinary delight:

  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
  • Sauté the chopped onion until translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until softened.
  • Incorporate the spices listed in the ingredients, ensuring they are well combined.
  • Add the cubed chicken breasts and sauté until lightly browned.
  • Stir in the tomato paste until evenly distributed.
  • Pour in enough water to cover all the ingredients.
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook for 12 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add the cubed potato and pasta.
  • Add additional water if necessary to cover all the ingredients.
  • Close the pressure cooker again and cook for an additional 25 minutes.
  • Serve hot and enjoy the flavorsome feast!

Cooking Process

Cooking Chicken Macaroni Kabsa in a pressure cooker ensures that the flavors meld together perfectly while minimizing cooking time. Timing and temperature are crucial, so follow the instructions carefully to achieve tender chicken and al dente pasta.


While Chicken Macaroni Kabsa is delightful on its own, there are endless possibilities for customization. Spice up the dish by adding peppers for an extra kick, or opt for a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken and replacing ghee with olive oil. Get creative and experiment with different flavor combinations to suit your palate.

Serving Suggestions

Enhance the dining experience by garnishing Chicken Macaroni Kabsa with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. Pair it with a crisp salad or warm bread to round out the meal. Presentation is key, so take the time to arrange the dish beautifully for an inviting presentation.

Storage and Reheating

To preserve leftovers, store Chicken Macaroni Kabsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When reheating, add a splash of water to prevent dryness and maintain the dish’s moisture and flavor. Follow these tips to ensure that every bite is as delicious as the first.


In conclusion, Chicken Macaroni Kabsa is more than just a meal—it’s a culinary experience that tantalizes the taste buds and warms the soul. Embrace its simplicity and flavor, and invite others to join in the feast. Whether enjoyed alone or with loved ones, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression. So go ahead, whip up a batch, and savor the magic of this Saudi-style dinner. Bon appétit!

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