These Greek stuffed peppers have a filling of chicken, spinach, rice and cheese. Make this recipe for dinner tonight or freeze for later!
Mediterranean cuisine relies heavily on the use of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Colorful bell peppers are the base for healthy dishes like gemista (Greek stuffed vegetables) and biber salcasi, a flavorful Turkish roasted red bell pepper paste.
Greek stuffed peppers
Generally speaking, stuffed bell pepper recipes aren't exclusively Greek. However, in this stuffed peppers recipe, the Mediterranean seasonings, lean ground chicken, and feta cheese add plenty of Greek flair.
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Ground chicken stuffed peppers with spinach, Mediterranean seasoning, Mozzarella, and feta cheese.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Bell peppers – The color of a bell pepper is largely based on how long it’s been left on the vine to ripen. Green peppers are the least ripe, so they have a slight bitter flavor, while the ripest red peppers have the sweetest flavor. Orange and yellow are somewhere in the middle. Use whatever color you prefer; they all work with this recipe.
- Ground chicken – My recipe is for ground chicken stuffed peppers, but you could easily substitute ground turkey, lamb, pork, or lean ground beef if desired.
Or, you could make vegetarian stuffed peppers, by using chickpeas, tofu, or vegan crumbles in place of the meat.
- Cheese – In addition to crumbled feta cheese, I also include shredded Mozzarella for its good meltability. Feel free to substitute these cheeses for your favorite variety.
I recommend shredding fresh blocks of cheese rather than using pre-shredded cheeses. Blocks are a better value for the money, and bagged shreds have an anti-caking preservative that prevents the cheese from melting well.
- Spinach – I recommend using frozen spinach for convenience. Fresh spinach could be used, but you would need to cook and drain it first, to eliminate its water content.
Tips for making Greek stuffed peppers
- Par bake or blanch and shock the bell peppers.
I prefer stuffed peppers that are completely soft, so I bake them unfilled for 25 minutes, and then bake again after the filling is added.
If you’re short on time, a quick 2-minute cook in boiling water will par-cook the vegetable, which shortens the cooking time.
After blanching, place the peppers under cold running tap water, or into an ice bath. Doing this immediately stops the cooking process.
- Cut the bell peppers in half.
Although it’s possible to make Greek stuffed peppers using whole bell peppers, cutting them in half is another way to reduce the cooking time. Plus, it allows you to serve more people, as half of a stuffed pepper is generally perfect for most people.
- Storage – Transfer the Greek stuffed peppers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheating – Place them on a baking sheet and reheat in a 350°F. oven for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is warmed through.
- Freezing – The peppers can be frozen, partially baked and stuffed with the filling, for 1-2 months. Wrap each stuffed pepper in foil or plastic wrap and add to a storage container. Thaw in the refrigerator, then top with cheese and bake.
- Make ahead – You can easily make the filling and clean out the peppers up to a day in advance. Store everything in the refrigerator until you’re ready, then follow the recipe as directed.
- Leftover filling – If you happen to have any extra filling, you can save it for later or to use in another recipe. It will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
What to serve with ground chicken stuffed peppers
The Greek stuffed peppers are quite filling on their own, but a whole grain Mediterranean barley salad would round the meal out nicely.
Or, for something a bit lighter, make a fattoush salad, or serve with fresh fruit.
Greek Stuffed Peppers with Chicken
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground chicken
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 8 oz frozen spinach thawed and drained
- ¼ cup Feta cheese crumbles
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Slice each bell pepper in half top to bottom through stem. Remove seeds and membranes. Place in a rectangle 9×13″ casserole dish (or two 8×8″ to accommodate) that has been sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes uncovered.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt and oregano. Cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add ground chicken to hot skillet, break up with spoon.
- Cook until no longer pink. Remove from heat and add to large bowl.
- Add the mozzarella cheese, drained spinach and cooked rice to seasoned chicken in bowl. Stir to incorporate and heat through. Divide and spoon mixture into each baked pepper, reserving any leftover filling for other use or freeze.
- Place in oven to bake 15 minutes to melt cheese and heat through. Serve with squeeze of lemon, parsley crumbled feta cheese if desired.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.