Turkish Chicken with Bulgur and Feta

5 from 2 votes

This one-pot Turkish chicken is a 30-minute meal full of protein, vegetables, and everything you need to fuel your body. It’s a simple recipe that’s seasoned with warm Turkish spices, baked golden brown with tender, chewy bulgur wheat, and finally topped with tangy feta and fresh herbs!

overhead: Turkish chicken cooking in a skillet

My Turkish chicken recipe takes something we’re all familiar with — juicy, mouthwatering baked chicken — and hopefully introduces a few new Middle Eastern flavors and ingredients!

To start, chicken thighs are quickly seared and then baked. With this method, and with a bit of broth, the meat stays succulent and moist.

I finish off this recipe by baking the spinach, bulgur wheat, and juicy thighs in chicken stock into a sort of soft, golden pilaf. I chose bulgur specifically because it’s pleasantly chewy, like quinoa or couscous, and because it does a great job of picking up other seasonings.

closeup: Turkish chicken recipe with feta and red onion on top

I usually use it in salads, like fresh Turkish kisir or Mediterranean tabouli, but it’s also great for frying and baking like with this Turkish chicken — or even in crispy croquettes!

overhead: ingredients needed for Turkish chicken

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chicken My first cut of choice for this Turkish chicken recipe is the thigh. But as long as it’s boneless and skinless, you can choose any cut without making any changes to the recipe.
  • Bulgur Wheat This is a fiber-rich, whole-grain wheat. It’s easy to cook and versatile, but it can be tricky to find. Try couscous, brown rice, or orzo if you need a substitute.
  • Feta Cheese – A smooth, tangy cheese is the best topping for Turkish chicken. In addition to feta, you could try goat cheese or — to remain traditionally Turkish — Kars Gruyere.
  • Turkish Spice Blend – This warm, earthy combination of common spices is perfect for meat recipes. I always prefer freshly grinding and blending my own, but you can also find it in the grocery store.
  • Red Onion – White onion, yellow onion, and shallots are the best alternatives. Whichever you choose, slice it very thin.
  • Spinach If using frozen, first thaw and squeeze out the excess water. 
  • Cherry Tomatoes There’s nothing like baking whole tomatoes for mouthfuls of warm, juicy flavor. If you can’t find cherry, use grape tomatoes instead.
overhead: Turkish chicken recipe in a pot

Tip From Kevin

What is Turkish Spice?

Turkish spice blend is a warm and earthy seasoning mix rich with cumin and Middle Eastern Spices. It’s great on roasted meats or as a dry rub. I make my own blend which is made of cumin, black pepper, oregano, bay leaves, sumac, paprika, cayenne and sesame seeds. You can find the recipe here on the site!

overhead: Turkish chicken on a plate with feta and red onion on top

How to Make Turkish Chicken

  1. Preheat. Set your oven to 400°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté Chicken. Season the meat with the Turkish spices and add to the skillet. Brown for 3 minutes on each side and then set aside — it will finish baking in the oven. 
  3. Sweat Onion & Garlic. Pour the rest of the olive oil into the same skillet. Now, add the onion and garlic and stir, sautéeing for 5 minutes until aromatic. 
  4. Add Bulgar & Season. Stir bulgur and oregano into the skillet and cook for a few minutes. Follow with the spinach and tomatoes, again stirring to mix. Cook for another 2 minutes until the spinach wilts and the tomatoes begin to soften and break down. 
  5. Add Stock & Bake. Pour the stock into the skillet and stir. Return the Turkish chicken to the skillet, then press it gently into the spinach and bulgur mixture. Cover the skillet, transfer it to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F.
  6. Garnish & Serve. Let the cooked chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before plating and topping with the feta cheese and parsley.
  • Cast Iron Skillet A good, oven-proof skillet is the key to a whole world of one-skillet recipes — you can go right from the stovetop to the oven to the kitchen table with no problem!

Storing and Reheating

Place all leftover chicken, spinach, and sauce in the same airtight container for storage — it’s the best way to keep the meat moist. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Reheat in the skillet or a baking dish, veggies and all, in an oven around 350°F. Add a little more stock to keep it moist, and cook only until warmed through. Add fresh cheese and parsley to serve.

closeup: Turkish chicken recipe with cheese, tomatoes, and onion

Frequently Asked Questions

Should bulgur be soaked before cooking? Is bulgur cooked?


No. Bulgur is actually pre-cooked and is a quick-cooking grain. 

As a result, there is no need for soaking or any preparation prior to cooking. Using it in fresh recipes, like salads, is another story — but as long as it will be baked or sauteed before serving, you can throw it into the pan as-is.

Is it better to bake chicken thighs or breast?


I prefer baking thighs. Thighs are fattier and remain moist and juicy, even after prolonged baking. They also contain dark meat, which is so flavorful!

Breast meat is also good for baking because of its consistent size, meaning you’re less likely to experience inconsistent cooking throughout the cut. However, it will both cook and dry out faster than thighs. Start checking its internal temperature closer to 10 or 12 minutes to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

Do you need to marinate Turkish chicken?


No marinating is necessary for this Turkish chicken recipe. The spice blend is applied as a sort of dry rub, and it can be applied right before baking. You can season the chicken beforehand with no repercussions, but it won’t really increase the flavor or moisture.

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Turkish Chicken with Bulgur and Feta

5 from 2 votes
Turkish chicken is baked with spinach and herbs, fluffy bulgur, tomatoes, and onions for a delicious aroma and savory Middle Eastern flavors!
Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Season both sides of the chicken and saute in deep ovenproof skillet with one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook for 3 minutes per side and golden brown. Set aside (chicken will finish cooking when baked).
  • Add remaining olive oil to skillet and saute the red onion and garlic until golden and wilted, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the bulgar and oregano to skillet, stir to mix, cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes, stirring to mix thoroughly, and cook another 2 minutes. Spinach should have wilted and tomatoes start to break down.
  • Add the chicken stock and stir. Nestle the chicken on top of the bulgar spinach mixture and press down gently.
  • Cover with lid and transfer skillet to oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Check to be sure chicken internal temp should be 165°F.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with feta cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 1467mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 11143IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 341mg | Iron: 9mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Turkish
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): Turkish chicken with bulgur and feta

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Kevin!!
    This looks amazing!! I live in Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean surrounded by countries like Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt and those influences are well absorbed in the cyprus cuisine! Keep up the good work!! Liz