This recipe for chicken cacciatore is a classic dish made with braised chicken and an assortment of vegetables, all cooked together in a flavorful tomato sauce. It’s an easy dinner that the whole family will love!
These days, I’m totally in comfort food mode, and there’s no better way to do comfort food than a classic like Italian chicken cacciatore. This dish contains tender braised chicken and hearty vegetables in a savory tomato sauce. Add some pasta on the side and dinner is served!
What is chicken cacciatore?
The word cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian, which refers to a dish being prepared in a hunter style. Hunter style dishes typically contain onions, herbs, bell peppers, tomatoes and wine. Chicken cacciatore contain all of these ingredients, plus other flavors such as olives and mushrooms.
How do you make chicken cacciatore?
This dish starts with bone in chicken thighs, which are seared to golden brown perfection. The thighs are removed from the pan, and a combination of onions, peppers, mushrooms and olives get cooked until tender. The chicken goes back into the pan with the vegetables, along with tomatoes, white wine and tomato sauce. Everything cooks together in the oven until the chicken is tender. The finishing touch is a sprinkle of fresh parsley, then you’ll be ready to eat.
Tips for Cacciatore
- I use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs here because I think they have the most flavor, but you could substitute boneless skinless thighs or even breasts if you prefer.
- This dish makes great leftovers and can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge. It’s also a great meal prep option!
- While I typically serve my cacciatore over spaghetti, it’s also great served over polenta or a short pasta such as orzo.
There are so many different ways to customize this dish to your family’s tastes.
- Vegetables: Try orange or yellow peppers instead of the red and green, or cremini mushrooms instead of button mushrooms. You can also add other veggies such as carrots or zucchini to the mix.
- Cheese: Try adding a sprinkling of parmesan over the finished dish, or melt some fresh mozzarella over the top.
- Olives: Instead of kalamata olives, you can use ripe black olives or any variety of green olives.
- Spicy: Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes if you prefer a little heat in your food.
Whether it’s bright and sunny outside or cold and dreary, this Italian chicken cacciatore always hits the spot. What’s your favorite comfort food? This cacciatore is definitely at the top of my list!
More easy dinner ideas
- Beef Noodle Casserole
- Shrimp Alfredo
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken
- Sausage and Pepper Pasta
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil , divided use
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (can substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts)
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced bell peppers (I used both red and green)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes do not drain
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees,
- In a large deep pan heat 2 teaspoons of olive over medium high heat. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes or until deep golden brown.
- Flip the chicken and cook on the other side until browned, 5-6 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate.
- Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onions, peppers and mushrooms.
- Cook for 7-9 minutes or until vegetables have softened and are starting to brown. Add the garlic and olives and cook for 30 seconds. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
- Add the wine to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until wine has reduced by half.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined.
- Place the chicken back in the pan on top of the tomato-vegetable mixture. Spoon some of the tomato mixture over the chicken.
- Cover the pan and put it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, then serve.
This post was originally published on March 15, 2016 and was updated on July 3, 2019 with new content.