Chicken Cacciatore is one of those rustic dishes that turns simple ingredients into a delicious meal!

Juicy pieces of bone-in chicken, bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions are simmered in a rich and zesty tomato sauce. I serve this saucy dish over pasta for a great meal. 

plated Chicken Cacciatore

Why I Love This Dish

  • This hearty and rustic stew is a filling meal, it turns basic ingredients into an amazing meal.
  • It’s easy to prepare, and most of the cooking time is hands-off while it slowly simmers on the stovetop.
  • Since the chicken is bone-in, it comes out extra tender and flavorful.
  • Adding extra veggies or sauce to serve over pasta can stretch this meal to serve a crowd.
  • This chicken cacciatore recipe can be made ahead of time and freezes well.

What is chicken cacciatore?

Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. This dish is traditionally a tomato-based stew made with root vegetables, garlic, red wine, some herbs and spices, and chicken (or rabbit).

Hunter-style recipes often include braising the meat. While this sounds fancy, it is easy and it consists of crisping the skin and then slow cooking in liquid. In this recipe, the chicken is browned and simmered in tomato sauce.

wine , pepper , tomatoes , mushrooms , chicken , oil , sauce , garlic , onion and seasonings with labels to make Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients for Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken – For the best results, use bone-in chicken. Dark meat like chicken thighs or drumsticks won’t dry out so they are my first choice.

Vegetables – Bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic combine to make such a flavorful sauce (and are healthy too)! Add extra veggies to stretch the meal even further.

Sauce – The browned chicken is braised (or simmered) in a tomato based sauce. Italian spices like rosemary, oregano, and red pepper flakes are added with capers (or kalamata olives) to create a classic Chicken Cacciatore flavor.

Wine – Adding red wine to recipes adds a flavor that is hard to beat with other liquids. If you don’t have red, you could try dry white wine. The alcohol is burned off during cooking, but if you prefer to skip the wine, add some low-sodium chicken broth (this will change the flavor of the dish somewhat).

How to Make Chicken Cacciatore

While this traditional Italian recipe takes some time to cook, it is super easy to prep:

  1. Season & brown the chicken (per the recipe below) in a dutch oven or deep skillet.
  2. Soften the veggies. Add the remaining sauce ingredients & simmer, covered.
  3. Add the browned chicken to the pot (skin side up) & simmer until tender and cooked through
  4. Stir in the capers and serve over spaghetti.

Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or parsley and parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Try These Sides with Chicken Cacciatore

Serve this dish over any kind of pasta, polenta, or even with extra veggies. Don’t forget the crusty bread for the sopping up sauce in the bowl.

Did your family love this Chicken Cacciatore? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

plated Chicken Cacciatore
5 from 61 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Chicken Cacciatore

Tender pieces of chicken with fresh veggies are simmered in a rich tomato sauce and served over pasta.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 6 chicken thighs and/or drumsticks bone-in, skin-on, about 2lbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary minced, or ¾ teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano minced, or ¾ teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons capers drained

Instructions 

  • Season chicken with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a 12-inch high skillet and brown over medium-high heat about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • In the same skillet add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in peppers, onion, and mushrooms. Cook for about 7-8 minutes or just until the vegetables start to soften. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or just until fragrant.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes with juices, tomato sauce, red wine, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Bring the mixture up to a boil and then lower the heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add browned chicken, skin side up, and simmer covered for an additional 40 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and if the sauce is not thick let it simmer for a few minutes uncovered or until the sauce is thick. Remove bay leaf, stir in the capers, and serve with pasta.

Video

Notes

To Bake:
  • Prepare recipe up to step 4.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish and bake covered for one hour. 
Olives can be substituted for capers.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave until heated through. 
5 from 61 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 584 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 1268mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1743IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

close up of plated Chicken Cacciatore with writing
plated Chicken Cacciatore with dish full in the back with a title
close up of Chicken Cacciatore on a plate with a title
plated Chicken Cacciatore and close up with writing

Categories:

, ,

Recipes you'll love

About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
See more posts by Holly

Follow Holly on social media:

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Free eBook!

Subscribe to receive weekly recipes and get a FREE Bonus e-book: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals!

You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of emails you receive.

latest & greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. I made this recipe for the first time tonight, Sunday, November 27th, 2022. I bought bone-in, skinless drumsticks and followed the recipe precisely. It was a little time-consuming, but worth every minute of prep and cook time. The flavours were full and the seasoning of the dish was delicious! I would rate this a 9/10 for future and this will be my go-to recipe for Chicken Cacciatore going forward.5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Laura. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

    1. Thanks, Troy! Glad you are enjoying them. As listed in the instructions we stir in the rosemary and oregano in step 4.

  2. We were very happy with this recipe. We cooked on top of the stove. If you choose to cook in the oven, I would use a meat thermometer and test for doneness after 40 minutes. One hour seems long to me. Make sure they are at 180. My goofy husband forgot to add the capers and it still was tasty. No problem, we will add the capers to the leftovers for another meal this week. We served over rice and had steamed broccoli on the side. You might want to add a smidge of salt to the recipe. Dried herbs worked in this dish, just cut the amount in half. We would make this again.5 stars

  3. I’m glad we stayed in tonight because of the snowstorm & a sick dog. But it was well worth making this chicken cacciatore even though it took awhile. I put in a bit more rosemary due to the fact I had just opened a fresh bottle. The spicy richness & combination of vegetables & spices made this an excellent meal in a snowy evening! Also I have leftovers for tomorrow’s supper!5 stars

  4. I didn’t have thighs so I used legs. I followed the instructions and it was wonderful and easy.

  5. I plan on trying this recipe soon. It looks delicious but I do not like dark meat. Can chicken breats be used? Also, what kind of pasta do you recommend? Thank you in advance for your help.

    1. Yes, they can. Chicken breasts can dry out easier so you’ll want to ensure they aren’t overcooked but they will work just fine in this recipe. I usually use spaghetti, but any pasta will work!