My ground chicken stuffed peppers recipe is healthy and full of flavor with Greek-inspired flavors, tomatoes, and brown rice. This easy dinner recipe is a weeknight staple in my house and is so delicious it will become a staple in your house too!
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This go-to dinner recipe is perfect for using up leftover rice and all the components can be made in advance making a great recipe for meal prep. And if you are here for meal prep and healthy recipes definitely check out our cranberry chicken salad and our turkey kale soup; both are fantastic meal prep lunches.
📖Why This Recipe Works
Roasting the sweet bell peppers while making the filling cuts down on the total time and prevents the rice from drying out. We swap store-bought grated cheddar found in most stuffed pepper recipes and instead use a mix of feta and cream cheese. This gives the filling the perfect balance of creaminess and flavor.
Finally, for ease, we opted for dried herbs and canned diced tomatoes. Using fresh was just as good in my recipe testing during the summer but I typically make this recipe in the colder months.
Bell peppers are obviously the main ingredient in this recipe. You want to select peppers on the larger size or increase the number of peppers. You can use yellow, orange, or red bell peppers.
You can also use green bell peppers but note that some people find them to be astringent.
You will also need:
- Ground Chicken- You can also use other types of ground meat, ground turkey would be my recommendation.
- Rice- Use brown rice or white rice just be sure to cook it ahead of time.
- Tomatoes- Canned diced tomatoes or peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes.
- Lemon- We use the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Kalamata Olives- Not an olive fan? You can skip them.
- Cream Cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Garlic- In a pinch, you can substitute garlic powder but fresh garlic has more flavor.
- Olive Oil
- Oregano and Basil
- Salt and Pepper
- Chicken Stock or Broth
- Fresh Parsley
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Stuffed Peppers
Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into your baking dish. Swirl around to coat the bottom.
Step 1- Cut the Peppers
Making a VERY tiny cut off the bottom of your peppers will help them stand up in the pan. Then cut off ⅓ inch of the top of the pepper and set it aside. Hollow out the pepper, i.e., remove the seeds and veins.
Add the peppers, but not the caps, to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered.
Step 2- Make the Chicken and Rice Filling
Add olive oil to a large saute pan and place over medium-high heat. Add your ground chicken, breaking it up with a large spoon or spatula. Season with salt and pepper.
Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes and continue to break it into small pieces. Move the chicken to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add additional olive oil, but don't rinse the pan. Add the diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Use your spatula to scrape up any tasty brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Add the garlic and herbs. Cook for 30 seconds before adding the diced tomatoes, along with the juice, the zest ad juice of 1 lemon, and the cooked chicken. Give it a good stir and then turn off the heat.
Stir in the rice, olives, cream cheese, and feta cheese to the pan. Stir until the cream cheese has melted. Taste for salt and pepper, add more as needed. You can even add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Step 3- Fill and Bake
Divide the filling evenly between the peppers, and push the rice mixture down as needed. The peppers should be very full. Add on the pepper caps. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the extra feta and fresh parsley and serve.
🥗What to Serve with Stuffed Bell Peppers
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
Cook your rice in chicken stock or chicken broth, instead of water, for maximum flavor.
There are so many flavor variations for this stuffed pepper recipe.
- Make this dish meatless by increasing the rice and skipping the chicken.
- Add chopped frozen spinach for more veggies.
- Make it low carb by swapping cauliflower rice for cooked rice. Cook the cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes before adding it to the chicken.
- Swap our quinoa for rice to increase the protein.
🌡️Make Ahead and Storage
Make the filling, but do not add the cooked rice, ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. While the peppers are cooking heat up the chicken mixture and add the rice. I prefer not to add the rice because it soaks up all the juices and dries out the ground chicken.
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days in the fridge.
Clean your spatula that touched the raw chicken before cooking the onions. And when reheating the peppers ensure the internal temperature reaches 165 F degrees.
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💬Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can freeze the cooked stuff peppers. Place in a freezer-safe container and cool completely before moving to the freezer. Freeze for up to 2 months. Completely thaw before baking at 350 F degrees until warmed through. Adding a little chicken stock to each pepper will help rehydrate the rice.
Yes, cooking the peppers before you stuff them ensures the filling doesn't dry out. And the peppers have a soft, but not mushy, texture.
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Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- 6 bell peppers any color
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion. finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 can diced tomatoes 14 ounces
- 1 lemon
- 1½ cups cooked rice
- ½ cup kalamata olives chopped
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup feta crumbles divided
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- fresh parsley minced
- Preheat oven to 350F. Slice off the top of the bell peppers to create a cup. Remove the seeds from the cap and stem of the pepper and set aside the cap. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom of a baking pan and arrange the hollowed peppers inside. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered.6 bell peppers, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- While the peppers are baking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in and swirl the pan to coat. Add the ground chicken to the pan, breaking it into pieces with a spoon. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Cook through completely, continue to break up the chunks with the spatula until the meat is nicely browned and has given off its juices, about 8 to10 minutes. Transfer the cooked meat to a plate and set aside.3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 pound ground chicken, 2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low heat and add the onion. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Stir in the garlic and dried herbs, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 large onion. finely diced, 4 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried basil
- Return the ground chicken and any accumulated pan juices to the pan along with the tomatoes and the zest and juice of the lemon. Toss until evenly distributed and hot through. Turn off the heat and add the cooked rice, olives, cream cheese, and ¾ cup of feta to the pan and stir to distribute all of the ingredients evenly. The cream cheese should melt.1 can diced tomatoes, 1 lemon, 1½ cups cooked rice, ½ cup kalamata olives, 2 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup feta crumbles
- Divide the filling between the partially cooked peppers, gently packing the filling into them. Place a pepper cap on each stuffed pepper. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cover tightly with foil. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until the peppers are tender.¼ cup chicken stock
- Sprinkle with the remaining feta and parsley before serving.1 cup feta crumbles, fresh parsley
- Cutting a small slice off the bottom before roasting will help the peppers stand upright.
- Cook your rice in chicken stock instead of water for extra flavor.
- For extra saucy peppers pair with san marzano sauce.