The type species Khaan mckennai was in 2001 named by James M. Clark e.a. The genus name is derived from Mongol khaan, "lord" or "ruler". The specific name honours the paleontologist Malcolm Carnegie McKenna.
The holotype IGM 100/1127, consists of an almost complete skeleton found together with another specimen, IGM 100/1002. Together they were informally referred to as "Romeo and Juliet". These individuals are about four feet long. A third, considerably larger, specimen, IGM 100/973, was referred to the species.
Khaan did not differ much from other oviraptorids. At first, its remains were assigned to "Ingenia", but the Khaan manual structure, lacking the expansion of the upper third metacarpal, was considered to differ sufficiently from that of "Ingenia" for it to be assigned to its own genus.
The oviraptorid diet is disputed, with eggs, plants and molluscs having been suggested. Like other oviraptorids, Khaan was probably at least partially a meat eater, feeding on small vertebrates like mammals, lizards and possibly other small dinosaurs. It was also probably feathered.