Chicken Cacciatore

This Authentic Chicken Cacciatore recipe is loaded with so much flavor! Chicken thighs get simmered in a red wine tomato sauce until fall apart tender. This dish is also packed with tons of vegetables including mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and garlic! Everything is made in one pot!

Do you love making Italian dinners at home? Try my Authentic Italian Meatballs and my One Pan Cheesy Italian Chicken Skillet recipe. They are so easy and taste amazing!

Chicken Cacciatore in a white bowl over pasta with a fork at the side.

Easy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Italian food is the best comfort food. Whether it’s pasta, pizza, or a healthy Italian soup, Italian food just makes you feel great. This Chicken Cacciatore recipe is no exception to that rule. Plenty of garlic, olives, mushrooms, and bell peppers are paired with juicy, succulent tender chicken thighs, and cooked in a hearty tomato sauce that is laced with red wine. Serve it over pasta, polenta, or mashed potatoes (choose your favorite!) with a side of Focaccia Bread. This recipe is amazing as it sounds, and even better, it’s so easy to make!

One of my favorite things about Chicken Cacciatore is that everything gets made in one pot. One pot means less cleaning up later which, if you’re a busy parent like me, is always appreciated. Leftovers taste even better the next day and can either be refrigerated or frozen for later. The whole family will love digging into this recipe, or make it for a stay-at-home date night. Nothing is more romantic than homemade Italian!

Ingredients

  • Chicken: Juicy chicken thighs are my go-to for this chicken cacciatore recipe because they stay moist and become so tender! You can also use chicken breasts, just take care to not overcook them. Rabbit is also commonly added to cacciatore in Italy.
  • Mushrooms: Brown, cremini, or button mushrooms are all perfect!
  • Bell Peppers: I added yellow and red bell peppers, however, an orange bell pepper would taste great as well.
  • Garlic & Onion: Plenty of flavor is provided by these two ingredients! I added 6 cloves of garlic. Feel free to add less or even more to your taste.
  • Tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes are the base of the sauce.
  • Wine: A full-bodied red like Merlot, Malbec, or Cabernet Sauvignon make the tomato sauce rich and robust.
  • Herbs and spices: For even more aroma I threw in some red pepper flakes for spice, along with fresh thyme, fresh oregano, and bay leaves. The fresh herbs add so much to this recipe. Try to stick with fresh instead of dried if you can! Remember to substitute 1 teaspoon of dried herbs for 1 tablespoon of fresh.
  • Olives: Finally, black olives are tossed in at the end for a nice salty flavor. Kalamata olives are also a great idea if you have them on hand. If you are not an olive fan simply omit them.

How to make Chicken Cacciatore

  • Begin by patting the chicken dry with paper towels. Liberally season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, set aside.
  • Next, heat oil over high heat in a large pot. When the oil is nice and hot add in chicken and sear on both sides (I do this in batches) until the chicken is golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. It is ok if the chicken isn’t fully cooked it will continue to cook in the sauce.

Chicken thighs searing in a white pot.

  • Add mushrooms to the same pot and cook over high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown and tender.

Mushrooms cooking in a white pot.

  • Add the bell peppers and onions to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes or until they start to get tender, and then add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Stir in wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown bits stuck to the bottom. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Bell peppers and wine added to the white pot with a pair of silver tongs.

  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves.

Tomato and herbs added to the other ingredients in a white pot with tongs.

  •  Add in chicken thighs and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked to 165 degrees and is tender. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from the sauce. You can either shred the chicken, dice, slice, or leave it whole.

Chicken added to the red sauce in the white pot.

  •  Add in black olives and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix olives into the red sauce with chicken in a white pot.

  • Serve Chicken Cacciatore immediately over pasta, polenta, or mashed potatoes, and enjoy!

Chicken Cacciatore in a white pot.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

  • Store this Chicken Cacciatore recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat it in the microwave, in a pot on the stove, or in the oven until the chicken is heated through.
  • To freeze this recipe, store it in an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to 4 months. Thaw completely before reheating.

Tips for Success

  • Add extra red pepper flakes for a little more heat!
  • Shred some parmesan over the top before serving.
  • Make a double batch and freeze half for later. This is an excellent recipe for meal prep as it freezes and reheats well.
  • Try making Chicken Cacciatore in a slow cooker or instant pot! I’ll leave the instructions below in case you want to give it a go!

How to turn this into a Chicken Cacciatore Slow Cooker Recipe

It’s really easy to turn this into a slow cooker recipe! Follow the steps as written until you have deglazed the pan by adding red wine. After that, add everything to your slow cooker except the olives, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6 hours, until the chicken is tender. Then you can shred or cut the chicken, add in the black olives, and season to taste!

Can I make this in an Instant Pot?

Sure! Instead of using a pan on the stove, begin by setting your instant pot to the sauté setting, and follow steps 1-5 as written. When you add the seared chicken to the sauce, close the lid of the instant pot (with the valve sealed), press the “manual” or “pressure cook” button, and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before manually releasing the valve. When it’s ready to open, you can either cut or shred the chicken, add in the black olives, and season the chicken cacciatore to taste!

Chicken Cacciatore in a white bowl over pasta with a fork at the side.

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Chicken Cacciatore

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Made in one pot and full of Italian flavor, this Chicken Cacciatore recipe is the best! Packed with healthy vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and olives, and simmered in a robust tomato red wine sauce, this recipe is perfect any time!

Ingredients

  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup black olives
  • parsley, chopped for serving

Instructions

Images:
  • Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Liberaly season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, set aside.
    Heat oil over high heat in a large pot. When the oil is nice and hot add in chicken and sear on both sides (I do this in batches) until the chicken is golden brown.
    Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. It is ok if the chicken isn't fully cooked it will continue to cook in the sauce.
  • Add mushrooms to the same pot and cook over high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown and tender.
  • Add the bell peppers and onions to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes or until they start to get tender.
    Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Stir in wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown bits stuck to the bottom. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano and bay leaves.
  • Add in chicken thighs and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked to 165 degrees and is tender.
    Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from the sauce.
    You can either shred the chicken, dice, slice or leave it whole.
  • Add in black olives and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve immediately over your pasta, polenta or mashed potatoes and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Cacciatore
Amount Per Serving
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 144mg48%
Sodium 668mg29%
Potassium 1087mg31%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 1150IU23%
Vitamin C 78mg95%
Calcium 117mg12%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Thighs, Tomato Sauce
Author: Kelley Simmons

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