Chicken Cacciatore: Bake or Simmer!

Chicken Cacciatore is one of those rustic dishes that turn simple ingredients into a delicious meal!

Juicy pieces of bone-in chicken, bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions are simmered in a rich and zesty tomato sauce.

I serve this saucy dish over pasta for a great meal. 

plated Chicken Cacciatore

What is Cacciatore Anyhow?

In Italian, “Cacciatore” means “hunter,” and it’s the inspiration behind this rustic dish. It’s a tomato-based stew filled with root veggies, garlic, red wine, herbs, spices, and chicken (or rabbit).

Hunter-style recipes often include braising the meat which just means to crisp the skin and then slow cooking in liquid. In this recipe, the chicken is browned and simmered in tomato sauce. Easy peasy!

  • It’s easy to prepare, and most of the cooking time is hands-off.
  • The chicken is tender and flavorful, serve it over pasta to stretch this meal.

Ingredients for Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken – For the best results, choose bone-in chicken pieces, like thighs or drumsticks. Dark meat won’t dry out and has lots of flavor. If using split chicken breasts, be sure not to overcook the chicken.

Vegetables – Bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic are a perfect match to crate a rich and healthy sauce. Feel free to toss in more veggies to make your meal go further.

Sauce – The browned chicken is cooked in tomato based sauce with some Italian inspired herbs like rosemary, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Capers (or kalamata olives) add a salty briny flavor and create a classic Chicken Cacciatore flavor.

Wine – Red wine adds another layer of flavor and is recommended, the alcohol will cook off as it simmers. For a non-alcoholic version, opt for low-sodium chicken broth (though it’ll change the flavor).

wine , pepper , tomatoes , mushrooms , chicken , oil , sauce , garlic , onion and seasonings with labels to make Chicken Cacciatore

How to Make Chicken Cacciatore

While this traditional Italian recipe takes some time to cook, it is super easy to prep:

  1. Season & brown the chicken (per the recipe below).
  2. Soften the veggies and then add the remaining sauce ingredients & simmer.
  3. Add the browned chicken & simmer until tender and cooked through
  4. Stir in the capers and serve over spaghetti.

Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or parsley and parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this chicken cacciatore recipe with any kind of pasta, polenta, or even with extra veggies. Don’t forget the crusty bread for the sopping up sauce in the bowl.

Did your family love this Chicken Cacciatore? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

plated Chicken Cacciatore

4.98 from 67 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Chicken Cacciatore

Tender pieces of chicken with fresh veggies are simmered in a rich tomato sauce and served over pasta.

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Servings 4 servings

  • Generously season the chicken with salt & pepper.

  • In a deep 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate.

  • In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the diced bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms. Cook for until the vegetables have softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • Add the red wine and let simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the canned diced tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.

  • Add the browned chicken, skin side up, to the skillet. Simmer, covered, for an additional 40 minutes.

  • Remove the lid and if the sauce is not thick enough, let it simmer uncovered for a few minutes until it thickens.

  • Remove the bay leaf, stir in the capers, and serve the Chicken Cacciatore with pasta.

To Oven Bake:

  • Prepare the recipe up to step 4.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish and bake covered for one hour. 

Kalamata olives can be substituted for capers.
The sauce will thicken upon standing.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave until heated through. 

4.98 from 67 votes

Calories: 584 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 1268mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1743IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
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close up of hearty Chicken Cacciatore on pasta with a title
plated Chicken Cacciatore with bowl of sauce and writing
close up of Chicken Cacciatore with pasta and writing