If you feel the need for comfort food that is quick and easy to prepare, look no further than this full-of-flavour Mediterranean Chicken Casserole. This one-pot meal is easy enough for a weeknight or ideal for relaxed weekend entertaining. As a bonus, it can be made ahead of time. Be certain, your family and friends will love it.
Why we love this recipe:
This delicious Chicken and Vegetable Casserole is an ideal one-pot meal. It needs little more than some crusty bread served alongside to enjoy with the delicious pan juices.
Some of the reasons that we love this dish are:
- You can make the Mediterranean Chicken Casserole ahead of time. In fact, make it the day before you plan to serve it and the flavours will develop further.
- A meal prepared in one pot means less washing up – always good!
- It is easy to increase the amounts to cater for large numbers.
- You can easily customise the ingredients in this casserole to suit your taste.
- As it cooks away in the oven, you can relax or spend time with your friends and family.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Chicken thighs – we use free-range skinless and boneless thighs – they are ideal for a casserole.
Olive oil – an essential ingredient in the much-acclaimed Mediterranean diet. We use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Brown/yellow onion – a base flavour ingredient.
Garlic – use fresh cloves.
Tinned tomatoes – for ease, use good-quality crushed tomatoes.
Chicken stock – either homemade or good quality commercial stock.
Dried oregano and basil leaves – true Mediterranean flavours that complement the other ingredients of the dish.
Zucchini/courgette – a member of the squash family.
Red capsicum/bell peppers – Red peppers are sweeter than green and add great colour.
Kalamata olives – for ease, buy them pitted or pit them yourself before adding to the dish.
Dried chilli flakes – add gentle spice.
Parsley – for the best flavour, use flat-leaf continental parsley.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste.
Feta cheese – delicious crumbled over the finished dish.
Step by step instructions:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (355 F).
- Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into roughly 3 cm (1 inch cubes). Pat the cubed meat dry with paper towels then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based Dutch Oven or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add half of the chicken to the pan.
- Brown the meat for several minutes on all sides to achieve a golden colour. Remove the meat to a plate and set it aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Turn the heat down to low, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook a further minute and stir again to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Return the cooked chicken, including any juices, to the pan. Add the tomatoes, stock, dried oregano, basil and chilli flakes. Stir well to de-glaze the pan and release the browned pieces into the sauce.
- Bring to a simmer, add the zucchini and capsicum, stir well, cover and place in the pre-heated oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are cooked.
- Remove the Mediterranean Chicken Casserole from the oven. Set aside to cool if you have made the dish in advance. Or, add the olives, chopped parsley and crumbled feta cheese and serve immediately.
Tips for success and FAQs:
Ensure the dish is seasoned to your liking – adjust the salt, pepper, herbs and chilli flakes to your taste.
This is an important step. The caramelisation which occurs by browning the chicken pieces adds a rich flavour to the casserole.
It is simply adding liquid to the pan in which you have browned the chicken to release the browned, crusty pieces on the bottom of the pan. These are huge flavour boosters.
Yes, you can. It is important to store the casserole in the fridge as soon as it cools. Only add the parsley and feta when you are ready to serve.
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge and use them within three days. Refrigerate any leftovers as soon as possible. It is not safe to leave the casserole at room temperature for more than two hours. Re-heat well before serving.
Yes, you can. Put the casserole in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to three months. It is best to defrost in the fridge overnight and heat thoroughly before serving.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
We love an easy dinner recipe! Here are some more of our favourite dishes:
- Cheese and Herb Filo Pie
- Mediterranean Beef Stew
- Chicken and Quinoa Salad
- Tomato Puff Pastry Tart
- Greek Style Chicken and Salsa
If you’re a fan of easy, one-pot meals, you will love this Mediterranean Chicken Casserole. The ingredients in this dish evoke feelings of the Mediterranean way of life. Simple products are combined in such a way that makes them special. Enjoy this healthy, tasty casserole year-round.
Serve simply with a salad and crusty bread to soak up the juices or enjoy with a pasta of your choice. You can be content with the knowledge that you have a complete meal in one dish.
Please let me know in the comments below when you try this recipe!
Mediterranean Chicken Casserole
- 1 kg (2.2 lb) chicken thighs – skinless and boneless See Note 1
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil See Note 2
- 1 large brown/yellow onion – finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 800 g (28 oz) crushed tin tomatoes
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock See Note 3
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried chilli/red pepper flakes – or to taste
- 2 large zucchini/courgette – cut into 1 cm slices (1/3″) wide See Note 4
- 2 large red capsicum/bell pepper – cut into 3 cm (1”) squares
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives – pitted and halved
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley – roughly chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 200 g (7 oz) feta cheese – crumbled on top
- flat-leaf parsley – roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (355 F).
- Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into roughly 3 cm (1-inch cubes).
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This will help to form a brown crust when seared. Season the chicken cubes with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat the olive oil, over high heat, in a large, heavy-based Dutch Oven or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The oil should not smoke. You will notice that the oil is hot and ready to use when it begins to shimmer.
- Add half the chicken to the pan. Brown for several minutes on all sides. See Note 5.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook a further minute and stir again to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Return the cooked chicken, including any juices, to the pan.Add the tomatoes, stock, dried oregano, basil and chilli flakes (if using). Stir well to de-glaze the pan and release the browned pieces into the sauce.
- Bring to a simmer and add the zucchini and capsicum, stir well, cover and place in the preheated oven.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are cooked.
- Remove from the oven, add the olives and chopped parsley. See Note 6.
- Check that the seasoning is to your taste, adding additional salt, pepper or chilli flakes if necessary. If you are topping with feta, it will add saltiness.Turn into a serving dish or serve, family-style, at the table in the pan in which it was cooked.Add some extra chopped parsley and crumbled feta (if using) just before serving.
- Chicken thighs are ideal for casseroles. They are full of flavour, remain tender and hold together well.
- The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust the recipe if necessary.
- You can use homemade or good quality commercial chicken stock. If you don’t have chicken stock, you can use vegetable stock.
- If the zucchini are very large, you could also cut the slices in half.
- It is important to not “play” with the chicken. If you try to turn it too soon it will stick to the pan. It will turn easily when it has formed a brown crust. This is an exercise that requires patience. If moved too much, the chicken will release its juices and steam rather than fry. Browning the chicken gives the meat an appetising colour and adds tremendous depth of flavour.
- To obtain maximum flavour and freshness of the parsley, add it at the end of cooking.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on four serves. It does not include what the casserole is served with. The nutritional information is an estimate only.