Chicken Puttanesca

Chicken Puttanesca is a healthy family favorite! Juicy chicken thighs are simmered in a rich tomato broth with olives and capers. This easy chicken recipe can be made on the stovetop, oven or in the slow cooker. It’s naturally gluten-free and low carb, and can easily be adapted to make a delicious paleo or whole30 dinner.

Chicken Puttanesca in a white casserole dish

I have always been a huge olive lover and Puttanesca sauce is one of my absolute favorites. Puttanesca sauce is a super easy Italian tomato-based sauce with olives, capers, onions, and garlic. The olives and capers add a nice saltiness and brininess to the sauce.

Why you will love this Chicken Puttanesca:

  1. It uses up a lot of pantry staples: crushed tomatoes, garlic fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, jarred olives, capers and chicken broth.
  2. You can make it 3 ways! You can cook it on the stovetop or bake it in the oven – both take about 30 minutes, or you can cook it in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low.
  3. This recipe is also gluten-free and low carb! You can even adapt this recipe to accommodate paleo or whole30 lifestyle. This recipe is so versatile!

What ingredients will I need?

  • Tomatoes – 3 kinds: A can of garlic fire-roasted tomatoes, a can of crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  • Olive oil: I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil for the flavor but virgin olive oil would work well too.
  • Olives: I used a mixture of black and green olives. Kalamata olives would taste amazing in this dish.
  • Capers: they really bring out the salty, brininess, and add an extra level of crunch.
  • Red wine: this adds a deep, bold flavor, with a hint of fruitiness.
  • Chicken thighs: I like to use bone-in and skin on chicken thighs. They are able to stand up to longer cooking and come out juicy and tender.
  • Herbs & seasonings: Italian seasoning plus onions and garlic just takes the flavor to another level.

Chicken Puttanesca in casserole dish with wooden spoon

How do I make this Puttanesca Chicken recipe?

You can make this recipe on the stove top, in the oven or in the slow cooker! 

  • Start by browning the chicken in a hot pan to crisp up the skin. Remove from the pan and set aside.

searing chicken thighs in dutch oven

  • Next I add in onions and cook for a few minutes until they are caramelized and golden brown. Next add in the garlic.

sautéing onions in dutch oven

  • Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom.

deglazing pan with red wine

  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients: chicken broth, fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, capers, and olives. Adjust seasoning if needed. Add the chicken thighs back into the pan.

adding in chicken thighs back into dutch oven with puttanesca sauce

Next choose one of the following 3 ways to finish the dish off:

Stovetop: Cover and simmer chicken puttanesca for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

simmering chicken thighs in puttanesca sauce

Oven-baked: Place everything in a baking tray or casserole dish, cover, and roast in a 400°F/205°C oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked.

Slow Cooker: Cook for 4-6 hours on low.

Serve this dish with a heavy sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh herbs!

How do I make this dish paleo or whole30 compliant?

It’s pretty easy – just skip the wine and add 1/4 cup more chicken broth, and 1 tbsp more of tomato paste. Double-check the labels to make sure your ingredients are paleo/whole30. I love to serve it over cauliflower rice or with a side of roasted veggies.

How do I store this easy Italian chicken dish?

Fridge: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat place it in a 400 oven to rewarm or reheat in the microwave.
Freezer: Store in an airtight, freezer-friendly container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Allow the food to thaw completely before reheating it in the microwave or in the oven.

What to serve with Chicken Puttanesca

puttanesca sauce with bone in chicken thighs

Here are more juicy chicken thigh recipes to enjoy!

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Chicken Puttanesca

4.5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
30 Minute Chicken Puttanesca. Juicy chicken thighs simmered in a rich tomato broth with olives and capers.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs bone in and skin on
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can garlic fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 cup olives pitted and sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste if needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley or basil for serving if desired
  • parmesan cheese for serving if desired


  • Add oil to a large pot or dutch oven. Heat over high heat and add in chicken thighs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    Brown the chicken on both sides (about 2-3 minutes on each side). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Add in the onion to the same pot and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes.
    Add in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in wine and deglaze the pan. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom.
  • Stir in chicken broth, fire roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, capers and olives.
    Add chicken thighs back to the pan.
  • Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. (Or use either method below) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • If you want a thicker sauce add in 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste or as needed.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Closet Cooking

* For Slow Cooker Method: Cook for 4-6 hours on low.

** For Baking Method: Cover and roast in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Puttanesca
Amount Per Serving
Calories 380 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 733mg32%
Potassium 532mg15%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 794IU16%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Capers, Chicken Puttanesca, Chicken Thighs, Olives, Red Wine

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


  • This looks like the perfect warm, hearty, perfectly rich weeknight dinner recipe. Perfect over pasta or with a side of rice and veggies! The whole fam is going to looooove this!

  • Love the combination. I sauteed some chopped up anchovies along with the garlic for an extra kick. Thanks for the idea!

    • Nathan

      Hi Judi,

      It certainly could. The reasoning for the thighs is that searing the skin imparts a lot of flavor as well as rendering in some of the fat which makes a nice rich sauce at the end, and the bone in keeps them juicy. That richer mouth feel can be mimicked by lightly dusting the breasts with flour and pan searing. You will want to keep an eye on the temperature of the chicken and pull them when they reach 165. that will keep them nice and moist.

      I hope this is helpful, thank you for trying out this recipe!


  • Christi

    Loved it. Easy and indeed perfect for a weeknight with pasta and a salad… thank you., for another great dish that works with my diet and lifestyle.

    • Nathan

      Hi Christi,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for trying it out and for commenting!


  • Michael Fitzgerald

    Delicious and hearty! Served with pasta and everyone loved it. Only tweak was to add some anchovy filets while cooking garlic to impart a little nutty flavor to mimic a traditional Italian puttanesca sauce. Going into favorites file. Thanks!

    • Nathan

      Hi Michael,

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank you so much for trying it out!

      Have a great day!


  • Danielle

    This is a great recipe!!! But I have had problems with the cooking time. 15 minutes at 400 degrees is not enough to fully cook the chicken even when I brown it for much longer than you suggest. It’s baffling and frustrating. But I have noticed that boneless and skinless chicken is quicker and easier. Do you have any suggestions? I have a gas stove if that helps.

    • Hi Danielle,

      Yes you are right I would add extra time for bone in chicken thighs. The size of the chicken thighs also makes a huge difference. I usually just keep a thermometer in the chicken when cooking and when it reaches 165 I take it out. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs and they should take a lot less time to cook.



  • Laure

    The recipe was good, but I felt like I was fighting ninjas to get to it! Far too many adds and pop ups. I will tell everyone to stay away. Clear up the crap and let us know. We’ll come back.

  • Hi Kelley!

    Every time I try read this recipe I got interrupted with some type of pop-ups or ads!! I am sure it is a great recipe if you are luck enough to finish reading 🙁

  • Carol Swannell

    Made it with boneless skinless breasts and served it with rice. Easy and delicious!!



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