Greek Chicken Stew With Cauliflower and Olives Recipe (2024)

By Martha Rose Shulman

Greek Chicken Stew With Cauliflower and Olives Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
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Chicken, cauliflower, olives, tomatoes, feta — this is a stew of extraordinary flavor and complexity, down to its hints of cinnamon and garlic. The recipe uses skinless chicken legs or thighs; you could substitute ones with the skin if you like. (But don’t use chicken breasts, which will dry out.) You can use more or less chicken depending on your needs. And, important to note, you can freeze the finished dish, making it an excellent delivery to new parents or anyone in need of a home-cooked meal.

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Yield:4 to 6 servings

  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1large red onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4garlic cloves (to taste), minced
  • 6 to 8chicken legs and/or thighs, skinned
  • 2tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 128-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice, pulsed in a food processor
  • ½teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1small or ½ large cauliflower, cored, broken into florets, and sliced about ½ inch thick
  • 12kalamata olives (about 45 grams), rinsed, pitted and cut in half (optional)
  • 1 to 2tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 to 2ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

639 calories; 45 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 20 grams monounsaturated fat; 9 grams polyunsaturated fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams sugars; 43 grams protein; 1281 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Greek Chicken Stew With Cauliflower and Olives Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep, heavy lidded skillet or casserole and brown the chicken, in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the pieces to a plate or bowl as they’re browned. Pour off the fat from the pan. Add the vinegar to the pan and scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.

  2. Step


    Add the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan, and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and let the onion cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until it is lightly browned and very soft.

  3. Add the garlic and stir together for a minute or two more, until the garlic is fragrant, then add the tomatoes and their juice, the cinnamon, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is reduced slightly and fragrant.

  4. Step


    Return the chicken pieces to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. If necessary, add enough water to barely cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

  5. Step


    Add the cauliflower and kalamata olives and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and the chicken is just about falling off the bone. Stir in the parsley, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with grains, with the feta sprinkled on top if desired.


  • Advance preparation: The stew keeps for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator and freezes well. With leftovers, make a delicious rice casserole by spreading cooked rice over the bottom of a baking dish and topping with the chicken and sauce. Heat through for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.



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I would really like to see the nutritional info for this recipe, and others on the site.


I roasted cauliflower, browned bone-in chicken thighs with skin, deglazed with balsamic/red wine vinegar, poured vinegar over chicken and put in bottom of oven w/cauliflower on top rack. To sauce, added extra cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, and fresh thyme, tomatoes, little stock, roasted cauliflower, olives, and let sauce reduce a bit then poured sauce over chicken and put it all back into the oven for 30 min. Perfect! Took about 1.5 hrs, with salad prep, table set etc.


Feta is never unnecessary.

John D.

Good but could have used more olives. I also oven roasted the cauliflower in a very hot oven until just done and slightly charred and then added it at the end. Gave it a deeper flavor. I would also suggest using fresh tomatoes (preferably heirloom) when in season as they give a sweeter, less acidic taste than canned. Substituting chickpeas for the chicken would also be a great vegetarian alternative.

Dick P

I used legs and thighs with skin -- a little fattier, maybe, but tasty. Also roasted the cauliflower first (15 mins at about 400). As someone else commented, I used Greek oregano instead of the thyme. What I didn't do, but my Greek wife reminded me of after it was done, is that putting a cinnamon stick in while cooking, instead of the ground cinnamon, would make the cinnamon flavor stronger.

Overall a great recipe, and we will be doing it again.


Good recipe, but it lacked strong Greek flavour. Next time I will add oregano in place of the thyme. I added a chilli for some heat at the garlic stage, but it could have had a bit more.


Delicious! Thank you to whomever suggested roasting the cauliflower before adding it. Otherwise I followed the recipe as written. I will definitely make this again.

Deb Amlen

This makes a very satisfying meal. My daughter is vegetarian and loves cauliflower, so I left out the chicken, roasted the cauliflower before adding it to the tomato sauce and threw in a dash of cayenne pepper to boost the flavor.

Will definitely make this again, and possibly put it over pasta or quinoa.


Experimented with crockpot/slow cooker version, and took less than 15 minutes of work/prep. Seasoned boneless thighs and browned 5 min per side in heavy skillet. Dumped them into crock pot with all other ingredients, plus 1 tsp of allspice and and 1 tsp of oregano and cooked on high for 3 hours. Then added cauliflower and olives for last hour on high. So amazing and so much easier.

Thomas Sherman

I could have sworn I had some chicken when I started preparing this recipe, but I did not, so I quickly cut a pound of firm tofu into 1 inch cubes and baked them at 400° for 30 minutes. Otherwise, I followed the recipe and it tasted wonderfully. Very nice balance of flavors.


Add red pepper flakes with garlic in Step 3. Add 3/4 cinnamon, 1/4 cumin and 1/2 paprika with spices in Step 3.
Add 1/2 white wine and 1/2 water to cover chicken in Step 4. Simmer stew with chicken deuces for 30 minutes in Step 4.


Ok to use boneless thighsAdd pinch of red pepper flakes to spice mixAdd oregeno to spice mixAdd dash zatar mix to spices Double garlicUse mixture of red wine and chicken broth to cover chickenRoast califlower first


This is delicious, but it takes more time than you think. Plan for two hours on this one. Definitely use fresh thyme if you can. I used boneless chicken thighs. I wonder if it would have been more flavorful with bone-in?


Yummmmy! I've made this a few times now. I use crushed tomatoes rather than putting chopped tomatoes through a food processor. Otherwise I followed the recipe as it and it is a hit with the family. I leave the skin on chicken thighs as that is an option.

Lee Schilling

This was PERFECT! Fresh thyme is better. Just some red pepper flakes to send it into the atmosphere.


As suggested by others, I roasted the cauliflower (and threw in okra and green bell peppers), used more spices (x2 garlic, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano, some smoked paprika, some cumin) and went the slow cooker route: browned the chicken, deglazed with a mix of red wine & red wine vinegar, sauteed the onions, then put all of that with the tomato sauce and spices into the slow cooker, 3 hr on high, added the roasted veggies and cooked for another 1 hr on high. Great over farro!


Good recipe. Added Greek oregano and more cauliflower.


This was SO good. Very flavorful but still light and healthy. Will definitely make again and again.


I use twice as much garlic and also about a teaspoon of Aleppo or some other mild pepper to add to the flavor profile. Unless the browning process burns the oil....which it shouldn't, I don't discard the little bit of oil that remains in the pan after browning the chicken. Some of the remaining oil is rendered chicken fat which flavors the onions and the rest of the meal. Also, whole tomatoes crushed up by hand work great and reduce cleanup. Agree...more olives x2.


Forgot and used the cauliflower for another meal, but we had drooping Swiss chard. Added the stems when the cauliflower should have been added and the leaves 10 minutes later. Also threw in about a cup of chickpeas. Great flavors.

Joan Pachner

Delicious! Tonight added whatever was remaining in a can of chick peas. and 6 shrimp at the very end (3 mins to the end). Roasted the cauliflower. Instead of water added a combination of chicken broth and red wine. Also much more free thyme and oregano. At the end, just a little honey to offset the acidity of the tomato. We have enough sauce and veggies left for another dinner Will add mussels.


Made this tonight with two changes and it was delicious. I made sure to season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper before searing. I took others’ advice and roasted the cauliflower with olive oil and salt/pepper till warm then ran it under the broiler till it browned a bit. I used feta and served it over farro. It was a bit time consuming but it’s a keeper. Has anyone adapted the recipe to the InstantPot?


Leave cover tilted or off; add more seasoning


I had some cooked chicken thighs left from another recipe that I had to use up, so I made the casserole suggested in the tips. I picked the meat off the bones, added a little chicken base to the sauce for extra flavor. Otherwise I followed the recipe as written to make the stew and then added it over about 1 and 1/2 cups cooked brown rice and rewarmed in the oven. It was delicious.

TW in MD

This was excellent and will add it to my regular rotation. I made a couple of changes based on notes from others below. I roasted the cauliflower while browning the chicken. I used boneless, skinless thighs, so about 3 minutes per side vs. 5. The 2 T of red wine vinegar wasn't quite enough to deglaze so I added an additional 2 T of red wine. I substituted oregano for the thyme and included a small cinnamon stick in addition to the 1/2 t. cinnamon. Flavors were amazing!


Will skinless chicken brown when sautéed?

Cheryl McDonald

I roasted the cauliflower and tripled the recipe for a large group. There was a lot of sauce left. A couple of days later I browned chicken breasts that I had split the long way, covered them with the remaining sauce and baked the whole for 30 minutes or so. The chicken was moist and the sauce was still delicious! In future I will make the sauce separately and use it with whatever I like.

Becky F.

This is a great recipe to make the day before you'll eat it. I just keeps getting better. I slightly tweaked the recipe by doubling the cauliflower and roasting it before adding it in. The feta and parsley add a special brightness and I consider them essential, not optional. I have made this dish three times now and it is always a hit.


I used boneless/skinless thighs. Needed more cinnamon and tossed in golden raisins. I loved it— the olives were not a hit with the kids but the broth was divine. I err toward more salt as well…


This was a hit with my husband. I used broth instead of water and next time I’ll double the cauliflower (which I roasted and added at the end). The sauce is great over quinoa, with or without the chicken.

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Greek Chicken Stew With Cauliflower and Olives Recipe (2024)


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