This Chicken Cacciatore recipe is an easy Italian one pot meal with chicken thighs, mushrooms, peppers, onion, and olives, braised in a tomato and wine sauce. Cooked in a skillet on the stovetop, it’s great paired with pasta or mashed potatoes, or keep it low carb and eat it on its own!
Easy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Chicken Cacciatore has pretty much been around forever. And there’s also about a gazillion adaptations of it. So much so, that there’s barely any commonality to them, other than they all have braised chicken, and usually include peppers, onions, and tomatoes. I also include olives, which add a nice salty component. This savory dish is also tangy with a hint of sweetness. Bonus, it’s a full meal all cooked in one pan, so clean up is easy!
What is Chicken Cacciatore?
Chicken Cacciatore is a rustic Italian, stew-like, chicken dish made with vegetables which are simmered in a flavored tomato sauce. Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian, and referred to “hunter-style” in cuisine. It’s hearty, robust, easy, and versatile.
Chicken Cacciatore Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Chicken Cacciatore recipe:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Chicken thighs – Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are used in this recipe.
- Vegetables – Whole cremini mushrooms, yellow bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and frozen pearl onions.
- Olives – Pimiento stuffed olives add a wonderful salty, fruity component to the dish.
- Red wine – Dry red wine adds depth of flavor to the broth. (See note below for an alcohol substitute.)
- Seasoned canned tomatoes – A can of undrained petite diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano.
- Balsamic vinegar – For a tangy, rich flavor.
- Olive oil – To sear the chicken and sauté the vegetables.
- Salt and pepper – For flavor.
- Switch up the vegetables. Use chopped portobello mushrooms instead of cremini mushrooms, or change the color of the bell pepper you use.
- Regular canned tomatoes. If you can’t find Italian seasoned canned tomatoes, regular canned diced tomatoes will work, but you’ll want to add in some dried Italian seasoning for flavor.
- Add a little heat. Stir in a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes as the sauce simmers to give the dish a little heat.
- Replace the red wine. The alcohol completely cooks off leaving only wonderful bold flavor, but if you’re opposed to using it, simply replace it with low-sodium chicken broth. (Keep in mind that the overall dish will not be as flavorful.)
- Use boneless chicken thighs. Boneless thighs can be used instead of bone-in thighs, if preferred, but they won’t need to cook as long. Keep an eye on the temperature and take them out when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
There’s nothing complicated about this simple chicken cacciatore recipe. Here’s a brief summary of how to make it:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details.)
- Sear the chicken. Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, sprinkle chicken with some salt and pepper and add to the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes until golden; flip and cook for 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Cook the vegetables. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic to the pan drippings; sauté until tender.
- Add in the wine, tomatoes, and onions. Pour in the wine and allow to evaporate. Stir in the tomatoes (along with their juices), pearl onions, and some pepper.
- Return chicken to the skillet. Return chicken to the pan (skin side up), nestled in the tomato and vegetable mixture. Cover skillet, reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Finish and serve. Stir in the vinegar and olives; warm through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Sprinkle with a little fresh chopped parsley and serve with your desired side (recommendations below.)
Blot the Raw Chicken Thighs
What to Serve with Chicken Cacciatore
This is a full meal on its own, but is typically served with some type of bread, pasta, or potato to mop up the sauce. Here are some of our favorite options:
- Bread. Nothing soaks up that delicious broth like a slice of Dutch Oven Bread or Focaccia.
- Potatoes. A portion of this dish on top of mashed potatoes or next to roasted potatoes is perfect.
- Pasta or couscous. You can’t go wrong with a side of couscous or cooked pasta. Choose something with ridges to catch the sauce.
- Spaghetti squash. Our roasted spaghetti squash is combined with butter, onion, garlic, and Parmesan that is so delicious. It’s low carb, low calorie, gluten free, and keto friendly.
- Grains or Cauliflower rice. White rice pairs really well with this chicken dish. Or for a low carb alternative, try our cauliflower rice.
- To Store. Any leftovers should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up 4 days.
- How to reheat Chicken Cacciatore. Gently reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat in a Dutch oven or deep skillet. It can also use the microwave until heated through, if you’re in a pinch.
- Can I freeze Chicken Cacciatore? Yes. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Easy Chicken Recipes:
- Chicken Alfredo
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Chicken Piccata
- Chicken Pot Pie Noodles
- Salsa Verde Chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
- salt and pepper
- 8 ounces whole cremini mushrooms , stems removed, quartered
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper , seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium carrot , peeled, cut into thin rounds
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano , undrained
- 1 cup small frozen pearl onions
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 12 pimiento stuffed olives
- chopped fresh parsley , for garnish
- Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, sprinkle chicken with some salt and pepper and add to the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes until golden; flip and cook for 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot, to the pan drippings; sauté for about 4 minutes until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
- Add in the wine and allow to evaporate.
- Stir in the tomatoes (along with their juices), pearl onions, and the pepper.
- Return chicken to the skillet (skin side up), nestled in the tomato and vegetable mixture.
- Cover skillet, reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Stir in the vinegar and olives; warm through. Taste and season with a pinch more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Enjoy hot over rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes. Or serve with a slice of rustic bread to mop of the sauce. Some low carb recommendations are included in the article.