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.

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.

A Pot of Chicken CacciatorePasta with chicken sauce.

More Italian Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

Chicken Cacciatore
Print WW Personal Points
4.71 from 17 votes
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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

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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102 comments

  1. Great recipe 
    Used a large onion and 6 cloves garlic for 2lbs of boneless chicken thighs . Sprinkled red pepper flakes and black pepper. Fire roasted tomatoes15oz and chicken broth . Was very good !!!
    Thank you for sharing your recipe 

  2. Made this tonight. Used bone in skinless chicken thighs and substituted zucchini zoodles for the pasta, and bought crushed tomatoes with basil already added. 
    It was delicious. My husband agreed!!

  3. Made this delicious recipe last night and the only sub was my homegrown and home frozen basil in olive oil for the fresh basil leaves. I used boneless/skinless thighs and one boneless/skinless breast and I have leftovers…..yay!
    Thank you, Gina!

  4. love this recipe, however dislike mushroom so I substitute with roasted eggplant cubes!! YUMMY!

  5. This is delicious! And so easy to make!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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 

  10. Delicious!!!!

  11. 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?

  12. 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.  

  13. Can you make this in a slow cooker?

  14. 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.

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