Right now, in late summer, when Bell Peppers and Tomatoes are abundant (Can you have too many? I think not!) is the perfect time to use them with wild abandon! This Spanish-leaning Easy Chicken & Peppers Bake fits the bill!
And speaking of bills, my frugal friends, I’m gonna show you how to bring this sizzlin’ casserole to the table and maybe have money left in your budget for both for your bills and for a little accompaniment: A bottle of Spanish wine or two. Spanish wines seem to always be a little underrated – bad for them but good for us because they can often be picked up for a song.
About Easy Chicken & Peppers Bake:
I saw a woman on TicTok toss this dish together on a video; she said five-minute prep and gave very few specifics. It looked so good, though, so easy, fresh, and elegant, I had to give it a go and see what I could come up with.
I have a love/hate relationship with “recipes” like that! How about you? I love that it feels like you’ve got all the freedom in the world to “make it your own” but I’m also a fan of tried and true – ain’t nobody got time to be tossing together dishes willy nilly that might or might not be fabulous when dinner time rolls around! Not to mention, when grocery prices are skyrocketing! No worries, here, though; I’ve gotcha covered!
I am all about keeping this dish simple and easy and if I hafta borrow (or steal) some flavor from here or there to get dinner on the table I’m all for it! This dish has lots of garlic, a smidge of red wine vinegar, the all-important Smoked Paprika, along with a fab mixture of herbs from homemade Italian Seasoning.
Making Chicken Bell Pepper & Casserole:
Talk about easy to make – pour a few glugs of olive oil in a casserole, throw in garlic, spices, and herbs (and of course, salt and pepper) then the roughly chopped bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and chicken. Toss together (clean hands are best) then add in the beans and give it another quick toss, gently this time. You have to be careful with those beans or they’ll turn to mush.
Do pay attention to the size of the chicken chunks – too small and they will be overcooked and dry; too large and they might not get cooked through. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, give it a stir, and bake with the cover off for another 20. Finish off with a few shakes of vinegar along with any dark or black olive and a little parsley.
I highly recommend serving this dish with rice and/or a soft, crusty bread to soak up all the juices that form!
Options for This Casserole:
This is four servings, generous, depending on who’s eating and maybe just how much they like it! Now, it can easily be increased. Just note that as is, there is not a huge amount of chicken in my recipe and that’s because the beans add protein as well. If you want more, add more.
Choose a mix of bell peppers, and keeping budget in mind, include some green ones; they’re your least expensive option. But maybe budget isn’t a concern; maybe you would like to add some Spanish flair and use all red bells, Spanish peppers if they’re available, or toss a few piquillo peppers to the mix.
I also had the thought that if you wish, instead of chicken or maybe in addition, some type of smoked sausage could be sliced, browned up, and added to the dish. That’s a bit more work and time, though. I haven’t tried it but I can taste it in my head!
Storing and Reheating:
This dish will keep well for several days but the leftover peppers have a tendency to be a little softer after storing and reheating. All the flavor is there but you might want to keep in mind, for that reason, I don’t recommend making it ahead if you wish it to look stellar.
I served my leftovers over rice and while not as pretty as it was when it first came out of the oven was still delish! Because of possible textural changes, I’d recommend not freezing leftovers.
Saving Money on Chicken Bell Pepper & Tomato Casserole:
Now, you know I’m all about the savvy savings, and this casserole is the poster child. We’re taking basic, easily found ingredients and turning them into a culinary masterpiece, all without breaking the bank. So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into ways to save!
- Chicken: Chicken regularly goes on sale, so make it a habit to know the lowest price it drops to and what’s a good buy in your area. Break it down into packages that suit your family size and freeze. There’s no need to ever pay full price for chicken!
- Bell Pepper: Bell peppers can be super pricey! Know both When (in season or on sale) and Where (discount stores like Aldi or Lydl or maybe your buyer’s club) to buy them. If you’re budget-minded and aren’t concerned about the bright red color, use what is cheapest like I did, you’ll notice it in the photos. If budget is no concern, by all means, use red bells or some of the suggestions above if you want.
- Tomatoes: Any tomato will do in this dish but if you’re wallet-watching, nix the more costly cherry tomatoes or the smaller perfect grocery ones. This is a great recipe to use imperfect farmer’s market or garden tomatoes since they are cut into chunks, and therefore any less-than-perfect areas are easily worked around and discarded. At the very least, buy your tomatoes on sale!
- Beans: A simple can of beans is perfect for this recipe. If you can’t find the larger butter beans, try another white bean, and bonus that beans like cannellini are going to be on sale more often. You can always save a little by stocking up on cans of pantry items on deep sale (usually items drop to a low about once a quarter) or by cooking your own dried beans. A pound of dried makes around the equivalent of 3 cans.
- Onions: I happened to use a red onion since I had a partial one to use up. Whatever onion is in season and inexpensive will be fine here. Usually, onions by the bag are the most inexpensive. Do make sure that there are no bad onions lurking in a bag. Keep onions in a well-ventilated dark place (paper bag?) away from where your potatoes are stored.
- Olives: You’ll only need a few, so raid your fridge door for whatever you have. It’s all good from basic to fancy. As far as sales on olives? They are few and far between with no seeming rhyme or reason; look for them at a discount at Aldi or Lydl or look for better quality olives in a larger jar than you’ll find at the grocer from our buyers club.
easy chicken & peppers bake
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- good pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
- 3 bell peppers (any color) in large chunks, about 2 to 2 1/2″
- 4 medium tomatoes, deseeded and cut into about 2” chunks
- 1 large onion, cut into about 1/2 inch wedges, separated
- 1 large chicken breast (about 12 to 14 ounces, cut into about 1” by 2″ chunks (or equivalent of dark meat
- 1 15-ounce can butter beans, drained
- 1 or 2 teaspoons red wine or sherry vinegar, optional
- about 1/3 cup black olives (your choice of what kind) pitted and sliced for garnish
- chopped parsley as garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add olive oil to a 9 x 13″ or equivalent casserole pan. Sprinkle in the Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes if using, salt and garlic.
Add the peppers, tomatoes, onion, and chicken breast and toss together so items are well coated. Add in the butter beans and gently mix.
Bake for a total of 40 minutes, 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered. Check chicken for doneness and give a few more minutes if needed. When finished, sprinkle with red wine vinegar, parsley, and olives.