Chicken Cacciatore

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Chicken Cacciatore is a rustic Italian chicken dish made with bell peppers and mushrooms simmered in tomato sauce.

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

It’s great over pasta, polenta or mashed potatoes. This is the version my Mom always made for us when I was a child, which I’ve always loved. I modified Mom’s recipe to make it a bit leaner by removing the chicken skin and fat and using less oil. For more ways to cook this delicious dish, try my Instant Pot and slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipes.

Chicken Cacciatore over pasta

What does cacciatore mean?

“Cacciatore” means hunter in Italian, and alla cacciatora translates to a  ‘hunter-style’ meal. It’s a hearty tomato-based stew with chicken (sometimes rabbit), onion, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

How to Cook Chicken Cacciatore

This easy chicken recipe can be broken down into a few steps. It does take some time to cook, but most of the time is hands-off while the sauce simmers.

  • Chicken: Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown in the pan for a few minutes.
  • Vegetables: Add in the bell pepper, onion, and garlic and sauté until the onions are tender. Then add in the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes. Season the veggies with salt and pepper.
  • Sauce: Pour in the crushed tomatoes, broth, and oregano, cover the pan, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Herbs: Sprinkle in the fresh basil five minutes before the sauce is done.

What goes good with chicken cacciatore?

You can serve chicken cacciatore over your favorite type of pasta, rice, or polenta. For a low-carb alternative, try it over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

I like to top my cacciatore with some good grated cheese like pecorino romano and eat it with a hearty piece of bread to soak up the sauce. You could also serve it with a salad or roasted veggies on the side.


  • If you don’t like mushrooms, use extra bell pepper.
  • Use baby bellas or white button mushrooms.
  • Swap the chicken broth for dry white wine.
  • If you prefer white meat, you can use boneless chicken breasts instead of thighs.

A Pot of Chicken CacciatorePasta with chicken sauce.

More Italian Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

Chicken Cacciatore
Print WW Personal Points
4.67 from 12 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Chicken Cacciatore

288 Cals 22.5 Protein 43 Carbs 4.5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
Chicken Cacciatore is a rustic Italian chicken dish made with bell peppers and mushrooms simmered in tomato sauce.


  • 6 chicken thighs, (or on the bone) skinned and trimmed
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fat free chicken broth, more if needed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups cooked whole wheat pasta


  • Season chicken with kosher salt and pepper.
  • In a large heavy saute pan, heat the pan over a medium-high flame and spray with cooking oil.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside.
  • Add the peppers, onion and garlic to the pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the tomatoes, chicken, broth, and oregano. Cover the bring the sauce to a simmer.
  • Continue simmering over low heat until the chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Add the chopped basil 5 minutes before sauce is done.
  • Serve over 1 cup pasta.


Chicken Cacciatore Variations:
  • If you don’t like mushrooms, use extra bell pepper.
  • Use baby bellas or white button mushrooms.
  • Swap the chicken broth for dry white wine.
  • If you prefer white meat, you can use boneless chicken breasts instead of thighs.


Serving: 1thigh, 3/4 cup sauce, 1 cup pasta, Calories: 288kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 22.5g, Fat: 4.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 379mg, Fiber: 7.5g, Sugar: 7.5g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: Chicken Cacciatore, chicken dinner, Freezer Meals

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  1. This was really delicious.  I used bone-in, skin-on thighs and breasts (halved).  The only change I might make in the future would be to add some tomato paste to thicken the sauce a bit.  Will definitely make again.

  2. I’m sad to say that this recipe was just flat, despite all the great vegetables and seasoning (I added an extra clove of garlic), it just lacked flavor.  I should mention that I am salt free, maybe that was the problem.

    • It can be quite difficult to make food flavorful without at least some amount of salt. Common options are to add something acidic, such as vinegar, citrus or tomato, or to add sweetness in the form of sugar, honey, fruit, etc. As this recipe is already in a tomato based sauce and does not lend itself well to adding sweetness, the best remaining option is to add salt until the flavors taste balanced but not salty.

  3. Delicious!! I made it with polenta that I air fried instead of pasta. My very picky Italian husband loved it!!

  4. I made this last night using only chicken breasts, delish!
    I entered the recipe into my WW and with the new point system it was only 3 – THREE points. 
    Best compliments from non-WW family members who hate hearing about points, so I didn’t tell them. 😉    
    Thanks for sharing your recipe 

  5. Delicious!!!!

  6. Thank you. I love your recipes! I put this in the WW app and it comes in as 5Sp blue, not 7. Maybe pay attention to how you track the chicken thighs?

  7. Made this last night -it was delicious! I used fresh crushed tomatoes i had made earlier this month  and had frozen in place of canned and served over 1 cup cooked farro as I didn’t have any whole wheat pasta.  

  8. Can you make this in a slow cooker?

  9. I had thawed chicken breasts in preparation for tonight’s dinner, but didn’t know what to do with them, AND I had a craving for mashed potatoes, so this recipe was a life saver. I cut the chicken breasts into pretty big pieces and cooked this on the stove. I replaced the onion with 1/2 a red onion, since that was what I had at home, and I used canned mushrooms. I love it when the dinner cooks itself and this dish didn’t disappoint. It was really tasty and I will put this recipe into my rotation of tasty, fast, easy dishes that cook themselves.

  10. make it even skinnier and substitute pasta for riced cauliflower

  11. Easy and something that my whole family will eat (including my 5 year old!). I added chopped carrots to the sauce to up the veggies. The sauce was a little watery, so I simply bumped up the heat and let it simmer longer – simple fix! This will go into the rotation for a weeknight meal.

  12. First, this is 8 Blue WW points, not 4.

    The dish was bland and the sauce was watery. Would not make again for 8 WW points.

    • The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

    • Any time you find a sauce is too watery, add a flour/water or or cornstarch/water paste to thicken. It won’t change the taste and will thicken nicely. Add a little bit at a time. Too bland? Spice it up any way you like; add more of what is called for, add Herb de Provence, Cajun spices or whatever to your taste!

    • In addition to the corn starch trick, you can reduce the sauce by letting it simmer uncovered until more of the water has evaporated as well. Many recipes on this blog tend to be more conservative with the salt and spices so I always add more!

  13. Neither my son or husband like cooked tomatoes….would you have a suggestion for a substitution?
    Thank you. ….and major thank you for your posts!

  14. Are the chicken thighs boneless?

  15. I cannot wait to make this tomorrow night for my family, We love chicken thighs and I am always looking for new recipes. We LOVE your recipes!:) Since we are gluten free I am going to serve over zucchini noodles. I am sure this will be another 5 star meal! My kids think I am an awesome chef…Thanks 🙂

  16. I made this on the stove. Used boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds.
    I am really pleased with the way this dish turned out , Chicken was moist and very tasty.

  17. Excellent recipe! I added a few more thighs, 1/2 cup broth, only 14.5 oz can of tomatoes, and subbed carrots for mushrooms. I let it simmer for an hour and served with rice. Amazing! Thanks Gina!

    • Are the points accurate? I thought a cup of pasta was 4 points and a chicken thigh was 4 points too. Making it 8. 

  18. Excellent and super healthy

  19. Fantastic. Easy quick and delicious. Very hardy.

  20. Love your recipes!! My only question is whether the chicken thighs should be cooked whole or cut into pieces first.

  21. Hi Gina … just want you to know I often make your recipes and they never disappoint. Thank you for allowing them to be out there for everyone. And for sending to our inboxes each week! Your chicken Parmesan is so delicious and easy to make and I’m sure this chicken cacciatore is too. Just wanted to send a giant “THANK YOU” your way! Much appreciated, Patrice

  22. This looks awesome, but I am confused by the point value. You have a slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe that is 5 points per serving, EXCLUDING the pasta. How can this one be 4 points INCLUDING the pasta? (But either way, I can’t wait to make it!)

  23. Can you please tell us if the Freestyle Points should be 8 instead of 4? Like previously mentioned, the pasta alone is 4 SP’s. Thank you, Gina. I love your recipes! I have all 3 cookbooks!!

  24. I used the recipe builder and it comes out as 8 points once you add the pasta….this is not 4 points. 

  25. Excellent, next time I will try with chicken breasts to lower the points, I make your recipes all the time , they are all so tasty & my husband loves them ! Thank you 

  26. This was DELICIOUS! Only thing I changed was that I don’t like mushrooms so I left those out and added more bell pepper.

    Will definitely be adding this to my rotation.

    I put mine over asparagus and a little bit of pasta.

  27. HI Gina if I make this recipe with white meat….will it be 0points on the new WW Freestyle?

  28. Anyone know the Freestyle Points? I can put the recipe in the app, but just wondered.

  29. How is this 4 SP when the pasta alone is 4 points???  Am I missing something?

    • I would like to know the same thing! Chicken thighs are not 0 points. I got 13 points when I put this in the recipe builder. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong here…

      • (Okay, now I got 9 points upon recalculating with uncooked, bone-in thighs. I didn’t realize that makes such a difference!)

  30. This looks delicious but I have a question about the Smart Points.  From my calculation, 1 chicken thigh without skin is 5 points and 1 cup of whole wheat pasta is 5 points, so how do you calculate 4 points for a serving of both with sauce? Thanks for clarifying.

  31. My husband is type 2 diabetic. Can you help me with the type of plan to follow?

  32. Gina, another winner! My son gave me the “stink eye” when he asked what I was making with the mushrooms. He liked it, as did my 3 1/2 year old grandson. Only change I made was to use baby bellas instead of shiitake mushrooms. We had pasta last night so I served it with mashed potatoes. Delicious! Will definitely make again. Thanks!

  33. Do you cook the thighs whole? Or cut them into pieces?

  34. I doubled the recipe so I had to brown the meat in batches. Once the chicken was brown on all sides I took it out of the pan. I added all of the chicken back in after the broth and tomato sauce were mixed in. I also added some red pepper flake for depth of flavor. This was delicious and my kids enjoyed it as well. 

  35. This is a fantastic recipe… lot’s of texture and just the right amount of seasoning. Makes being on Weight Watchers easy to adhere to.

  36. I have been making your recipes for three years. I have made many and never once been disappointed. They are now staples in my families eating plan and because I follow weight watchers it's an added bonus. Thank you for your time spent perfecting these recipes. You are amazing!

  37. I put 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes in the blender to substitute for crushed tomatoes. Yummy as always, Gina!!
    You rock & deserve a fan club!
    Susan Pena-Salisbury
    Meadows Place, TX 77477

  38. can I do diced tomatoes

  39. LOVE THIS RECIPE!!! Sooooo tasty, it was hard to keep it to one serving. Only problem is I can't figure out how to add it to my Recipe Box, as it's a DEFINITE keeper. But then again, every recipe I've ever tried from your site is a keeper! 🙂

  40. Delicious! And SOOOO easy!

  41. Are the chicken thighs supposed to be bone-in or boneless?

  42. Gina, what is the calorie count if you use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead? And also, if you have two thighs per person (boneless, skinless)? Thank you.

  43. Would you suggest cooking this in the slow cooker on low or high? For how long?

  44. this was very good and tasted light and healthy!

  45. Hi Gina – Do you use the recipe builder on the WW to calculate the points? I LOVE your recipes and I find when I make them exactly as you have them my pts are always higher. I use the recipe builder… any tips?

    • Points of serving depends on weight of chicken.  Besides pasta, everthing else has zero points unless you use olive oil or too much olive oil spray.

  46. Would the points value change if you use skinless chicken legs instead?

  47. I just made this for my chicken cacciatore-loving husband and he LOVED it! Had seconds even, which he rarely does. This recipe is EXCELLENT! I even used boneless thighs because that's all I had. I added a green pepper and kept out the mushrooms because neither of us like them. I added a splash of olive oil, but not enough to add any point values to it. This recipe will definitely go in the regular rotation!

  48. So yummy! one of my families most favorite dishes made better! 🙂 I too think you can skip the chicken broth, which I did and added 1/4 cup of white wine. YUM!

    • Wine of course is always better, but also increases the points if you are on WW so keep that in mind.

  49. Really yummy Gina! The sauce wasn't as thick as the picture but I think I may have added too much broth but it was still really flavorful and delish!

  50. How many chicken breasts do you think I would need? I'm all out of thighs.

  51. What is the calories for just the chicken and sauce without the pasta?

  52. This was DELICIOUS! I added about a 1/4 C of red wine and a little tomato paste. I don't think it needs the chicken broth. Will certainly make it again and double the mushrooms and peppers! Not sure why people are asking when to remove the chicken – NO NEED to remove the chicken. Brown it and then add everything as directed. One pan cooking! Perfect!

  53. I agree that the directions need to be corrected to reflect that when the chicken needs to go back in.
    I made this tonight and it was delicious and easy, but a couple of thoughts. I see absolutely no reason for the 3/4 cup chicken broth. There was enough juice after browning the chicken, plus more from cooking it in the sauce that I don't think you need to waste a can of broth to take out 3/4 cup. I would adjust to taste and probably add more garlic (we are garlic lovers) and maybe more herbs.

  54. Love Love this recipe. Never made my own sauce before, this was nom nommy goodness

  55. what should you do instead if you accidentally put too much chicken broth and the mix is soupy??

  56. I'm going to make this tonight – Gina your recipes are fantastic and make weight watchers so much easier!

  57. You have once again made my husband think I'm a great cook 😉 I left out the mushrooms and added some red pepper flakes (both modifications to make it husband friendly) and we both loved it! I especially love that it is easy and uses stuff I tend to have on hand, but still has great flavor. Thank you!

  58. I used rice instead of pasta! Wonderful!

  59. The peppers are a must, it won't taste the same without.

  60. Can I make this without peppers and mushrooms? I'm fresh out.

  61. It will be fine without the mushrooms. White meat is great, just don't cook it as long. A chicken breast takes 15 minutes to cook, any longer and it will get rubbery.

  62. Gina, I ran out of mushrooms from making the shepherd's pie. Do you think this would be OK without? Also, chicken breasts ok?

  63. Trying this in the crock pot for tonight…I had chicken thighs left over from making the chicken and wild rice soup last night. It sounds so good! You are the best, Gina!

  64. Yummy!! My husband is asking for it again!

  65. It's one cup of cooked pasta per serving.

    Sure! This would work great in a crock pot.

  66. can you do this in the crock pot?

  67. is this one cup of pasta BEFORE it is cooked? or one cup AFTER cooked? big difference!

  68. No need to remove the chicken from the pan.
    Glad you all liked it, I love it!

  69. Just made this for my roommates… it was a big hit!

  70. when do you REMOVE the chicken from the pan? after you first brown it?