These chicken stuffed peppers are a delicious and vibrant meal bursting with bold Mediterranean flavours. Succulent roasted bell peppers are generously stuffed with tender chicken pieces, fragrant spices, juicy tomatoes and tangy feta cheese after which they are finished off in the oven. This satisfying, wholesome and light stuffed pepper recipe is a great choice to make ahead for a weeknight dinner or family party.
Stuffed bell peppers offer a great range of preparation options allowing you to exercise your inner creative spirit, and even more so if you make use of the different coloured bell peppers. You can also opt to make them fully vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and using quinoa, rice or other vegetables.
While the most common recipe for stuffed bell peppers is without doubt those filled with ground beef, with this recipe I have created an even healthier twist by replacing the beef with juicy chicken breast, adding feta cheese for that bold Mediterranean flavour, and seasoning with extra fragrant spices.
Which colour bell peppers to use
With a few different colours available, which ones do you choose for this recipe? Well, each colour has its own flavour profile because both colour and flavour depend on where they are in the ripening process.
All peppers start off green after which they turn yellow, then orange and eventually red. As green bell peppers are early in the ripening process they have a slightly bitter flavour profile where red peppers have a much sweeter taste. So the further into the ripening process, the sweeter the flavour and the higher the nutritional value.
Bell peppers are also filled with health benefits. They are high in fibre, nutrients and vitamin C but are low in carbs and calories. Did you know that red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as green peppers?
While you can create a vibrant and visually appealing meal with the various colours of bell peppers available (after all, we also eat with our eyes), the different colours also contribute to a delicious flavour profile variation, both in taste and sweetness.
Which ingredients to use
- Chicken: Both boneless / skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs will work for this recipe as they will be cut into bite-size pieces.
- Bell peppers: Use a variation of colours of medium to large sized bell peppers. For this recipe I have used green, yellow and red bell peppers.
- Onion: Either a white or yellow onion for some extra depth of flavour.
- Garlic: Use at least 2 cloves of garlic for the best flavour. Garlic powder will do the trick as well if you don’t have garlic cloves at home.
- Tomatoes: Small cherry tomatoes are bursting with a lovely sweet, tart flavour.
- Feta cheese: Use a block of feta cheese in brine to crumble on top of the chicken and peppers.
- Olive oil: To provide the best Mediterranean flavour to this dish. The oil is used for roasting the peppers as well as for browning the chicken.
- Spices: The chicken will be sautéd in a mix of salt, pepper, ground cumin and paprika.
- Herbs: Mediterranean herbs like oregano and basil combine great with chicken and feta. I have used dried herbs, but you can also use a mix of dried and fresh herbs for some extra aroma.
How to make stuffed bell peppers
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
While the peppers are slowly roasting in the oven we can prepare the filling. Once the filling is ready the oven will do the rest of the work.
- Preheat the oven: To 400℉ or 200℃
- Prepare the bell peppers: Wash well and cut in half. Remove the stem, seeds and white membranes. Brush the olive oil generously all over the peppers and arrange them with the cut side up in an oven dish. Place in the pre-heated oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Prepare the filling: Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces of about 2/3 inches or 1.5 cm. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside for later.
- Cook the chicken: Heat some olive oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the chicken pieces with the seasoning (cumin, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and pepper) in the pan and sauté until all the pieces are nicely browned. No need to properly cook the chicken through in the pan as it will continue cooking in the oven.
- Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the browned chicken and onion with the halved cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese. Keep some of the feta cheese for later. Add extra seasoning to taste and mix well.
- Fill the peppers: Take the peppers from the oven after 15 to 20 minutes. They will have started to soften and begun roasting but not completely yet. If there is any moisture in the inside of the pepper tip it out and place it back in the oven dish. Stuff each pepper generously with the filling. Add the extra feta cheese on top.
- Roast the stuffed peppers: Place the oven dish back in the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes until the peppers are soft and tender.
As already mentioned, this chicken stuffed bell pepper recipe lends itself perfectly to customisation according to your own taste and preferences. Here are some recipe variations and substitution examples you can try:
- Rotisserie chicken: Leftover rotisserie chicken can also be used. Mix the shredded chicken directly with the sautéd onion, spices, herbs, tomatoes and feta cheese in the bowl.
- Turkey: Turkey breast instead of chicken can also perfectly be used. Just follow the same recipe as described.
- Olives: Add some black olives for that extra Mediterranean aroma.
- Pesto: When frying the chicken, add a few tablespoons of pesto for some Italian flare. Have you ever tried this roasted chestnut pesto?
- Grains: Add grains, like cooked quinoa or rice with the filling. Just be careful not to overcook the grains as they will continue to cook with the filling in the oven.
- Cheese: Instead of feta, use other cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar or gouda. Or mix different cheeses together.
- Dairy-free: Omit the feta or any other cheese to make it dairy-free.
How to store
Allow the peppers to cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave oven until warm. Or reheat in the oven, covered with foil, at 300℉ or 150℃ for 15 minutes or until warm.
If you decide to freeze the stuffed peppers, leave out the feta cheese as freezing will change the texture of the feta. Freeze in smaller portions, leave to defrost overnight in the fridge and re-heat in the microwave or oven.
Pasta or rice is a perfect side dish for these stuffed peppers with chicken. Examples are a bowl of orzo, Greek lemon rice, spicy rice with sweet peppers and tomatoes, cauliflower rice or any other type of plain rice.
They can also be served with a side salad. I also love to serve them with peperonata, sautéd green beans, garlic mushrooms, shaved fennel salad or Italian green beans. Or serve with crusty baguette, farm loaf or ciabatta.
More recipes with bell peppers to try
- Peperonata or Italian stewed peppers
- Stuffed peppers with ground beef
- Tuna stuffed mini peppers
- Bell pepper and chicken with flat beans
- Yellow pepper soup with coconut and curry
- Creamy yellow pepper soup
Chicken stuffed peppers with feta
- 1 pound (or 450 grams) boneless skinless chicken breast
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup (or 100 grams) cherry tomatoes halved
- 7 ounces (or 200 grams) feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400℉ / 200℃.
- Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the stem, seeds and membranes. Brush the peppers with olive oil and arrange in an oven dish with the cut side up. Place the dish in the oven and bake the peppers uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until half soft and tender.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces of approximately ⅔ inch or 1.5 cm. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.
- Heat some olive oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano and basil and sauté for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked yet, just browned. Take the pan from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese.
- Take the dish from the oven and tip over the peppers to remove any excess moisture from the inside. Fill each bell pepper half with the chicken mixture. Cover with foil and place back in the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes until completely cooked.
- Bell peppers: Use either one colour or mix various colours of bell peppers for a variation in colour and in taste.
- Cooking time: The total cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of the bell peppers.
- Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven on low temperature.