Whether you have an appreciation for the Mediterranean diet, or you’re just a fan of easy one pot chicken dinners, you’re going to love this Mediterranean chicken casserole. Its tomato base is delicious, but it’s packed with so many other goodies including yummy bacon, peppers, and red wine. Sprinkle your chicken stew with capers, olives and feta for some Mediterranean healthy comfort food that the whole family will love!
Have you ever tried a traditional Italian chicken cacciatore – or Hunter’s chicken? This is a bit like these traditional chicken stews, but with a Greek twist!
An easy midweek meal for any time of year
You might look at this simple and yet colourful and flavourful stove top casserole and think that it would make a great winter warmer.
It would. But I first made it in the spring – in Greece, actually!
It’s also a great option when it’s too warm to turn on the oven.
It’s actually a perfect crowd pleasing midweek meal for any time of year.
What ingredients do you need?
- skinless boneless chicken thighs
- chopped bacon or pancetta
- sliced onion and crushed garlic
- canned cherry tomatoes (these can be more expensive than normal tinned tomatoes, but they’re so sweet and tasty)
- chicken stock/broth and red wine
- loads of tasty herbs and spices: bay leaves, paprika, dried thyme, an optional sprig of rosemary and a cinnamon stick
- chopped red peppers/capsicum
- to serve: capers, olives and feta cheese (just in case you were still doubting this is a Mediterranean casserole)
How to make your stove top casserole
- Grab a big pan.
- Brown chicken. Remove from the pot and cover.
- Saute the bacon, then the onion, garlic, and paprika.
- Add all the liquid, the herbs and spices and the chunks of red peppers/capsicum.
- Put the chicken back in the pot and SIMMER!
- Serve either over mashed potatoes or pasta for a delicious winter warmer. Or with toasted bread with olive oil and salt (a life changing 2 minute side dish) for a meal with more of a spring in its step 😉
- Don’t forget to sprinkle with the capers, olives and feta. Yum!
Pro tip: Not sure about adding olives and capers? Be brave and try it anyway! The salty tangy-ness they add really does bring out and complement all the other delicious Mediterranean flavours.
How to serve it
My favourite ways to serve this Greek style casserole are:
- over posh mashed potatoes for some classic winter comfort food
- with these Greek smashed potatoes if you want to stick to the Mediterranean vibe (this recipe is especially easy if you have an air fryer)
- with these olive oil toasts (2 minute side dish!) if it’s been a warmer day or if you don’t want to mess around with a time consuming side dish
- over tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta
Can you make this in a slow cooker or pressure cooker?
Yes, you can! If you have time to brown/saute the chicken, bacon and onions first, you don’t lose too much depth of flavour by making this in your slow cooker or pressure cooker instead.
You can even make it in a slow cooker or pressure cooker without browning first, but this isn’t quite as flavourful as the stove top version!
To make your casserole in a slow cooker: Brown or saute the chicken, bacon and onions first. Reduce the amount of liquid you add by about two thirds.
Cook on low for 6 hours minimum (longer is fine if you’re out at work!), or high for 3 hours.
To thicken and reduce slightly just before serving: Use your slow cooker’s saute function. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a saute function, just remove the lid and cook on ‘high’ for a few minutes.
To make your casserole in your electric pressure cooker / Instant Pot: Saute the chicken, bacon and onions for a few minutes on the ‘saute’ function on your electric pressure cooker. Then dump all the other ingredients into the pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
Then do a quick release of the pressure. I use the ‘auto quick’ pressure release setting on my Breville pressure cooker.
If you’re cooking from frozen, which is completely fine in a pressure cooker, simply increase the cooking time to 20 minutes. In this case you won’t saute the chicken first, of course!
Prep your meal ahead
If you’re a fan of meal prep, you can throw all the ingredients into a large freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
After defrosting, you can still grab the chicken out of the bag of goodies with some tongs and brown it if you like. Then throw all the other ingredients on top and turn on your slow cooker or pressure cooker.
Protip: You may want to defrost in the fridge for about 24 hours before you want to cook your casserole. It isn’t generally recommended to cook chicken in a slow cooker straight from frozen. People have different opinions on this though so feel free to do your own research. I found this a helpful article on this topic.
Make a Mediterranean chicken pie as well
The wonderful bonus of this casserole is that you can turn your leftovers into a delicious pie! Here’s how:
- Shred up the remaining chicken.
- Tip the casserole into a baking dish, put a pastry lid on top (use ready made if you like) and brush with a little whisked egg.
- Bake for around 25 minutes at 200C / 390F.
2 MEALS IN ONE!
More crowd pleasing one pot chicken meals
- You can make this easy crockpot chicken gnocchi soup in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
- This baked chicken and chorizo casserole has been one of our favourite recipes for YEARS. Try it to find out why! Or try this 25-minute Italian chicken pizzaiola – it’s a perfect midweek family meal.
- This 30-minute stove top chicken and rice is simple and comforting – a perfect family meal option for a busy weeknight.
- For a chicken casserole recipe with a twist, try this slow cooker Korean chicken!
- Or check out ALL OUR EASY CHICKEN RECIPES HERE.
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Mediterranean stove top chicken casserole
Equipment (affiliate links)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 chicken thighs
- 3 ounces bacon this is about 3 large rashers / slices (use pancetta if you prefer)
- 1 onion sliced into rounds
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 can cherry tomatoes (14 ounces)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 red peppers chopped into medium-sized pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ teaspoons dried thyme (or use oregano or mixed Italian herbs)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
- 1 stick cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon corn flour /corn starch (for thickening)
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 10 black olives pitted (approximate number)
- feta cheese crumbled (amount to taste)
- Heat the oil in a large stove top casserole dish or pot. Brown the chicken on both sides. Then transfer it to a plate and cover to keep warm and moist.
- In the same pan, fry the bacon for a few minutes, then add the onion and cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and paprika and cook for another minute or two.
- Put the chicken back in the pan with the cherry tomatoes, stock, and wine. Then add the peppers, bay leaves, and dried thyme. Add the optional rosemary sprig and cinnamon stick at this point too. Season well.
- When it’s boiling, turn down the heat and let the casserole simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Just before the end of the cooking time, mix the corn flour with a little water, then stir into the pan to thicken the sauce a little.
- Just before serving, sprinkle over the capers, olives and crumbled feta cheese. Serve with mashed potatoes, pasta, or olive oil toasts.
Forgot…….did it in the slow cooker………
Got it all wrong, forgot herbs until half way through, only had Marylands and some old frozen wings………… jammed it all in the slo cooker and voila’ something popped out that even my three teenage boys all commented on how great it was – no seconds left………. oh and I forgot the feta.
Another winner, thank you
Hello Bob! Thank you so much for this great feedback! It’s really helpful to know you can Merry ‘mess everything up’ and a recipe still turns out well. I’m so happy your family enjoyed it. Try it with the feta next time and I think you’ll be blown away!
Very helpful to know it works well in the slow cooker too, Bob. Thanks!
Bob Brown says
I got it all wrong in a hurry…..forgot to add herbs until half way thru, only had marylands and some old frozen wings but !! OMG another all family winner (the three boys all with differing taste buds loved it enough to comment how good it was).
Thank you, chalk up another winner !
Really tasty, I used chicken breast cut into large chunks and a can of chopped tomatoes as no tinned cherry tomatoes in the house, but did add some fresh cherry tomatoes and served with some fresh bread, warmed in the oven.
Thank you so much for your review, Kathy! It’s great to know the recipe worked well with breasts too. You’re making me crave this again now!
I did this in my slow cooker, was too lazy to brown the chicken first, so I just threw it all in and left it on slow all day….very good! Just one tip : use less liquid if doing it in the slow cooker
Hello, Mary! Thanks so much for taking the time to give me a bit of feedback on this. Nothing gives me more pleasure than a reader reporting that they tried a recipe and liked it! Yippee! And thanks for the slow cooker tip, too. I must admit I haven’t tried this in the slow cooker, but I have learnt the hard way over the last few months (got a new slow cooker!) that I need to reduce the liquid. 🙂
Allie | Baking a Moment says
What a fabulous recipe! My hubby is a huge fan of anything with olives and capers, and he also loves chicken thighs! This is so perfect for him, and I love the addition of feta. It must be just epic as a pot pie- I can only imagine! Pinning this for sure and I will definitely be making it soon! Thanks so much!
So nice to ‘meet’ you, Allie, and thanks so much for your enthusiasm about this casserole. It was delicious and the capers, olives and feta really do make it. I hope you give this a try and let me know if you do!
✽. aimée .✽ / WallflowerGirl.co.uk says
I love this kind of food. This is why I want to go to Greece!
You really must get to Greece some time, Aimee! Shame I probably won’t be here to show you around, but the good food is everywhere so you’ll have no problem finding that!
Zainab @ Blahnik Baker says
I’m so sorry to hear of all the hectic times you guys are having. the dentist is the worst. I’m glad you are able to have such comforting meals still. This casserole looks amazing!!
Thanks for the good wishes, Zainab. I should be finally getting the tooth fixed today … hooray! But really I have nothing at all to complain about … life is good!
MMM. I might be stealing this when I get to Greece, or at least asking you for more local favorites that you happen upon. Deelish!
I can’t say this is strictly speaking Greek, Chrissy, but it did use some great local flavours … you will love the food in Greece when you come here!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Wow what a busy week! Sounds very hectic indeed! This is a great dish for when you want flavour but want something you can leave to simmer. I bet it freezes well too! 🙂
My favourite dishes are the ones that pretty much cook themselves … yes, I’m a very lazy girl at heart! I bet it does freeze well if you don’t gobble it all up so fast like we did!
Mariana @ The Candid Kitchen says
Very versatile recipe! But I would never ever omit the pancetta 😉
Hello, Mariana! Yes, you’re right, you could definitely adapt this according to what you have or like, but I have to agree that the pancetta is pretty non-negotiable! 😉
Mediterranean style dishes are my all time favorite. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. Sorry about the dentist and all that traveling, Wow!
Thank you, Cheri! The end is in sight with the dental issue … travelling can be fun but it’s definitely harder to sort out things that would be so simple at home.
Karen @Kama Fitness says
Wow! What a busy week you’ve had! At least you were able to enjoy this lovely home cooked meal, it looks delicious and I looovvveeeee olives! 😉
Thanks, Karen! I didn’t use to like olives, but it’s sort of obligatory to eat them if you live in Greece!
Chris @ Shared Appetite says
Oh man, sorry that you’ve had such a crazy busy week! But this dish looks absolutely amazing! And such stunning photographs! Hopefully you can relax a bit this weekend!
Thanks so much, Chris! I’m definitely going to relax in the sun a little this weekend. That’s probably all I need to get back on track! Glad you liked the photos – I love the vibrant colours in this dish!
Ugh, the dentist. No fun! And hour-long commutes are not fun either! I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore after we moved! But this dish sounds wonderful – perfect for during the week. And I love all the flavors going on in here!
It’s interesting, Ashley – while I was in Australia recently I was moaning about being in all day long while working from home, and now I’m complaining about my commute again … lol! Some people are never happy! Glad you like the dish. It really was tasty, especially with the feta on top!