Authentic Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

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Italian Chicken Cacciatore is a classic chicken dish that is full of flavor. This delicious and easy authentic chicken cacciatore recipe will have you and your family coming back for more.

Cacciatore, or hunter’s style, is a classic Italian dish that’s full of juicy, tender meat and lots of flavor thanks to fresh veggies, white wine and San Marzano tomatoes.

two white square plates of chicken cacciatore with a black fork sticking out of one of the chicken breasts.

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Classic Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

We love this recipe because it is full of delicious flavor and isn’t super complicated to make. I like that it solves the what’s for dinner question when I need something that doesn’t take hours to make! But the results will be sure to wow your family!

This is the perfect easy comfort food recipe for a family-friendly weeknight dinner.

Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. So this recipe translates to pollo alla cacciatora… meaning a meal prepared “hunter-style” typically with onions, herbs, tomatoes, bell peppers, and sometimes wine. Often times it uses mushrooms as well, but we don’t use it in our version.

It is often times made with rabbit, but we go for using chicken as it’s easier to find in the shops.

This is one of our favorite ways to make a quick stew!

chicken cacciatore on two plates with forks and tea towel resting at the side of the plates.

Ingredients

With a few pantry staples, chicken and fresh veggies, you’ll have a delicious and healthy family meal.

Here’s what you’ll need for this authentic chicken cacciatore recipe:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • butter
  • chicken, thighs and breasts, bone in with skin — this gives it all of the flavor! You can use all chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or use a whole chicken and cut into pieces.
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • garlic cloves
  • carrot
  • onion
  • red bell pepper
  • 28-ounce canned San Marzano tomatoes — look for the D.O.P. label (trust me, these tomatoes are so flavorful and really elevate this recipe)
  • tomato paste
  • Kalamata olives – also can use Castelvetrano olives in place of Kalamata if available.
  • dry white wine — you can substitute for red wine if that’s what you have on hand.
  • chicken broth — I like to use my homemade bone broth for this, but use your favorite chicken broth.
  • capers
  • dried oregano — sub for Italian seasoning if that’s what you have available.
  • fresh parsley— replace with fresh basil leaves if desired.
ingredients for the classic chicken cacciatore recipe

Instructions

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and butter over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté just until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, sauté it in batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. 

Now, we will sauté our veggies.

salt and pepper on both sides of the raw chicken.
olive oil and bell peppers in a skillet.
skillet with the veggies and broth.

Add the bell pepper, onion, and carrot to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are tender (add a drizzle of olive oil if more is needed). Add the garlic and heat for just a minute until fragrant. 

If your sauté pan is not large enough, use a stock pot or dutch oven.

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the whole San Marzano tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, broth, capers and oregano, remaining salt & pepper and combine.

San Marzano tomatoes and italian seasoning in a skillet with the veggies.
skillet with chicken pieces and tomato sauce.
white platter with authentic chicken cacciatore with fresh herbs on top.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Check internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. 

Transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the tomato sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the fresh parsley & olives and serve.

Optional: sprinkle with fresh shredded parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, or salt & pepper to taste, if desired.

two white square plates of classic chicken cacciatore with a white platter in the background.

How to store & reheat leftovers

If you have leftovers, store in the fridge in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a large skillet or sauce pan on the stove top over medium heat until warmed through.

What to serve with chicken cacciatore?

You can enjoy this recipe with your favorite sides. Or we usually will serve it with pasta or polenta.

Here are a few more ideas:

  • rice
  • mashed potatoes
  • cauliflower rice
  • roasted potatoes
  • steamed veggies
  • with a fresh salad on the side
  • and a fresh warm bread loaf

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

What is cacciatore sauce made of?

Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. So this recipe translates to pollo alla cacciatora… meaning a meal prepared “hunter-style” typically with onions, herbs, tomatoes, bell peppers, and sometimes wine. It is often times made with rabbit, but we go for using chicken as it’s easier to find in the shops.

Is chicken cacciatore Italian or Italian American?

This is a classic rustic dish found throughout Italy. There are variations to it depending on the region. And it is often Americanized based off of the home cook’s style and taste.

What side dish goes well with chicken cacciatore?

We love to serve ours over polenta or pasta. Other great options are mashed or roasted potatoes, steamed veggies, and rice. We also love to pair it with a fresh salad on the side.

want more recipes?

Check out the recipe index where you can discover more homemade recipes from my homestead!

chicken cacciatore with fresh herbs on top.

Classic Chicken Cacciatore

This Classic Chicken Cacciatore recipe is so flavorful and delicious — cooked in a healthy tomato-based sauce, you’ll want to make it over and over again. Try this simple and easy recipe today!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Mary Woita
Servings 6
Calories: 165kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Sprinkle a pinch of the salt & pepper to both sides of the chicken. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and butter over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté just until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, sauté it in batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. 
  • Add the chopped red bell pepper, onion, and carrot to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until the veggies are tender. You may need to add a drizzle more of olive oil, if the pan is dry. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add the whole San Marzano tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, broth, capers and oregano, remaining salt & pepper and combine. 
  • Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Check internal temperature with an instant read thermometer for doneness. It should read 170° F in the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Transfer the chicken to a platter. Boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the fresh parsley & olives and serve.

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