Kofta Style Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Yogurt Mint Sauce
Kofta Style Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Yogurt Mint Sauce

These stuffed peppers are festive, flavorful and good for you. The filling is a combination of chicken, garlic, onions and light, fresh herbs – a nod to Middle Eastern kofta. Slide them in the oven to bake, then serve with a mint yogurt sauce on the side.

Serving each type of food in its own edible vessel always feels a bit celebratory to me. Winter squash stuffed with wild rice and sausage, clams stuffed with breadcrumbs, jacket potatoes with spring onions and cheddar, and these peppers.

The fact that they’re healthy (and easy to make) is the icing on the cake.

What is kofta?

The inspiration for these peppers is koftaseasoned ground beef that appears in the cuisines of the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean regions.

The specific ingredients and spices in kofta vary by region, but what stands out is the flavor. And lots of it.

In Afghanistan, for example, you can find kofta made from green onions, cilantro, and cilantro. In Iran, you can find large kofta meatballs made with beef, dill, and broad beans. And in Greece, minced lamb with a yoghurt sauce could be on the menu.

Kofta comes in the form of patties, meatballs of various sizes, and kebabs, in which the meat is shaped around long skewers before being grilled.

Swaps and Substitutions

The combination of flavors in this particular blend is delicious, but feel free to switch if needed.

  • Substitute ground lamb for all or half of the chicken and you get delicious results. Ditto with beef, pork, bison or turkey.
  • When it comes to yogurtthe only swap I recommend is using regular instead of Greek yogurt if you have that on hand.
  • I would not use sour cream or labneh for this recipe. Labneh is strained yogurt, and it’s too thick to make a sauce for this recipe, so I’d recommend saving your labneh for another day.

As for the spices, tinker away.

  • Poke the chili flakes by 1/4 teaspoon or more.
  • Scale the amount of garlic up or down depending on your affinity for it, although I wouldn’t omit it entirely.
  • Adjust the amount of mint or cilantro to your personal preference.

How to make vegetarian or gluten free stuffed peppers

  • To make it vegetarian: Instead of ground beef, use a vegetarian ground beef substitute like Beyond Meat.
  • To make it gluten free: Substitute about 1 1/3 cups of cooked quinoa in place of the bulgur and you’re good to go.

Tips and tricks for preparing stuffed peppers

I tested and found several approaches in developing this recipe For best results, cook the chicken on the stovetop before stuffing the peppers. Then all you have to do is stuff raw peppers and put them in the oven to cook them until tender, which takes about 30 to 35 minutes.

Stuffed peppers are a good make-ahead recipe

These peppers work well assembled and cooked in one go. Aside from that, this is also a great make-ahead recipe:

  1. Prepare the chicken mixture; stuff peppers; arrange in the casserole dish
  2. Cover with cling film and refrigerate up to a day in advance.
  3. Remove the plastic and transfer directly from the refrigerator to the oven and bake as directed.

How to serve stuffed peppers

There are many ways to enjoy these peppers. Here are some options:

  • For an easy family meal, serve a simple green salad and a side of warm flatbread, lavash, or crusty bread for the main course.
  • Serve them as part of a larger buffet for larger gatherings. Remember to choose dishes with complementary Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flavors, like tomato and feta salad, baba ganoush, small grilled lamb chops, or a generous platter of mezze.
  • Double the recipe and bring it to your next potluck.

Store and reheat stuffed peppers

These stuffed peppers are great a day or two after they’re made. Cover peppers you won’t eat with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

Heat in an oven at 350°F until heated through, or microwave on high for a minute or two.

More Stuffed Vegetable Recipes!

  • Pressure Cooker Stuffed Peppers
  • Stuffed Peppers with Cheesy Quinoa and Black Beans
  • Mama’s stuffed peppers
  • Zucchini stuffed with pesto
  • Stuffed delicata squash with pancetta and goat cheese
  • Sausage stuffed zucchini

Kofta-style stuffed peppers with yogurt mint sauce

preparation time
35 minutes

cooking time
35 minutes

total time
70 minutes

6 stuffed peppers


  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bulgur

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium chopped yellow onion

  • 4 large cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 3/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 2 medium diced tomatoes (or 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained well)

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

  • 6 medium red, yellow or green peppers

  • For the yoghurt sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free or low-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Cook the bulgur

    In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Add the bulgur and stir. Reduce the heat to medium so it simmers. Cover the pan and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Put aside.

  3. Make the filling

    In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.

    Add cumin, coriander, chilli flakes, salt, chicken and tomatoes. Cook until chicken is tender, about 7 minutes, shredding like taco meat. Stir in the cilantro, mint, and cooked bulgur. Remove from stove.

  4. Prepare peppers

    Cut the peppers and pull out the seeds and membranes. Place the peppers upright in a baking pan large enough to hold them.

    Spread the filling over the peppers. Place the tops on the peppers. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the peppers are soft and slightly shriveled but still firm.

  5. Prepare yoghurt sauce

    In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, and kosher salt.

  6. surcharge

    Serve the peppers warm with yoghurt sauce.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!