This Chicken Cacciatore, or Hunter-style chicken, is a delicious and healthy one-pot meal, with golden braised chicken thighs, mushrooms, sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, and green olives.
This recipe proves that you can do cozy AND healthy at the same time.
Chicken Cacciatore is a well-loved recipe for many cooks, but this version manages to be completely delicious and satisfying, while being friendly to all the main eating styles that I can think of.
Why I Love This Recipe
Chicken is juicy, not dry – There’s something particularly luscious about the bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs here and how it becomes flavored in the stew. The chicken is so moist.
Healthy and low carb – This was one of my staple recipes during Whole30, as it is low carb, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free.
Well-suited for substitutions – There’s a lot you can change around here. For the chicken, you could also use drumsticks, or you could even use chicken cutlets and cut down on the cooking time. You can also add wine if you’d like, and other kinds of herbs.
I adapted this recipe from the Whole30 cookbook, but I changed the cut of chicken, added green olives and a little bit more bell pepper, and omit the basil.
While this rendition of chicken cacciatore is made without wine because it’s not allowed during Whole30, honestly I don’t think this dish needs it anyway. The sauce is plenty flavorful, aromatic, and balanced without it.
How to Make It Step by Step:
To get started, sear some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in a braiser pan.
First, skin side down for about 5 minutes, then skin side up for a few more:
While the chicken is searing, prep your vegetables, which are diced sweet bell pepper, red onion, sliced baby bella mushrooms, and minced garlic:
Remove the chicken from the pan, which should leave a couple tablespoons of fat, plus lots of golden brown bits from the seared chicken.
Immediately add all the vegetables:
Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until everything is softened:
Add canned tomatoes and capers to the pan:
As well as a drained can of pitted green olives:
Stir that all around, add the chicken back to the pan, as well as some chicken broth:
Simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through, and the liquid has reduced down.
I usually enjoy this dish for dinner as the entire meal, or sometimes I will add this Zucchini Arugula Salad or White Bean Salad as a side.
This Asiago Black Pepper Bread is absolutely delicious as a vessel to soak up the sauce. Enjoy!
Yes, this freezes beautifully. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Yes, you can cook the entire dish ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator, then heat in the oven to rewarm. Because it’s a “saucy” dish and the chicken thighs are not meant to be crispy, you don’t have to worry about making this ahead of time. If you want to crisp the skin, pop the chicken only under the broiler for a few minutes, or use a torch.
Some great side dishes to serve with it would be Rice Pilaf, Saffron Rice, or Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
To re-warm, microwave the chicken cacciatore, or bake in the oven until warm (try 350F for 10 minutes).
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
For the Chicken Cacciatore:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp capers
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 can pitted green olives drained (6-ounces drained weight)
- 1 cup chicken broth
Ideas for What to Serve with the Chicken (optional)
- Heat a large skillet or braising pan over medium heat, then add the olive oil.
- Season the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper, then place skin side down into the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, until golden.
- Flip the chicken thighs and cook for 5 more minutes, then remove to a plate.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, until softened.
- Add the capers, tomatoes, green olives, and chicken broth, and stir.
- Arrange the partially cooked chicken thighs back in the pan, and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 170F.
- Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in December 2018. Originally published November 2017.
7 Comments on “Chicken Cacciatore”
The best caciotore recipe! This is the closest to my husband’s Italian grandmother’s! It’s even better the next day! I serve mine over spaghetti because the flavor is that good!!!
This is a great one pot recipe for a large family. My Mother used to make an almost identical recipe for a family of six and served it over a bed of rice. She knew to just put a few olives in as it cooked for a bit of the olive flavor. My siblings and I weren’t big on olives if we saw them and we didn’t realize the rich flavor was from the olives, chicken, tomatoes, etc. She also only put in a couple of capers. But just before she served it she would add more olives to heat them and put them on my her and my father’s plate. Now I love olives but lol, my son doesn’t, so I’m sneaking in the flavor in just the same way. I also put in extra chicken broth and garlic to stretch it a bit.
This was delicious. I left out the capers and olives, as I am not a fan, added some cayenne pepper and fennel seed. Apart from that, all was the same. Was great. Served it with a small mesculin lettuce side salad. Highly recommend.
I enjoyed this far more than I expected, since I didn’t know what to expect from a Whole30 recipe. Thanks!
Are the capers and olives essential to the recipe?
I love chicken cacciatore but always thought it was too time consuming to prepare. Thanks for the great photos and step by step instructions!
Hi Susan, you can leave them out if you’d like. Enjoy!