You'll love this hearty, rustic chicken cacciatore recipe with mushrooms and bell peppers in a flavorful tomato sauce. Fall apart tender chicken with all the comforting aromtics and Italian flavors the family loves. And you can make it stovetop or in your crockpot!

Be sure to watch the video below for how to make it.

Chicken cacciatore with bell peppers and mushrooms

When my family is in the mood for comfort food, I know it's time for something Italian. It could be anythying from a simple pasta with my homemade spagetti sauce, meatball soup, eggplant lasagna, or something for a lazy night like sheetpan chicken sausage and peppers.

But especially during the cooler months, I love to serve something rustic, extra saucy, stewed to tender perfection, like today's chicken cacciatore recipe! Add a side of crusty bread and call it good.

What is chicken cacciatore?

"Cacciatore" actually translates from Italian to "hunter." And chicken cacciatore is a rustic, hunter-style braised chicken with onions, herbs, tomatoes, and sometimes chopped vegetables.

It is one of those classics my Italian-American friends grew up with. And true to hunter-style cooking, almost every household has their own version of it. This is because you are meant to use what chicken (or rabbit), herbs and other items you have on hand to create this comforting one-pot meal.

Aside from the chicken, the basic ingredients in chicken cacciatore are: onions, herbs, tomatoes and sometimes mushrooms. Some variations will call for carrots and celery, while others call for bell peppers or other vegetables. Some even flavor the tomato sauce with anchovies, which I haven't tried yet.

ingredients for italian chicken cacciatore

Here's what's in this recipe:

I went with a combination of onions, bell peppers and mushrooms in this easy recipe. Here's what I used:

  • Chicken. For the comforting, rustic finish it's best to use bone-in, skin on chicken pieces. I used 6 chicken thighs, but a combination of chicken thighs, legs, or breast will work (I would divide the breast into smaller pieces for even cooking).
  • Extra virgin olive oil for browning the chicken.
  • Vegetables & Aromatics: onions, celery, bell peppers (I used ½ red bell pepper and ½ green bell pepper, but any combination will work), garlic.
  • Mushrooms. I keep things simple here by using either baby bella or white mushrooms (about 8 ounces), nothing fancy.
  • Herbs and Spices. A combination of dry oregno with fresh thyme and parsley. A pinch of red pepper flakes, if you like a little heat (I think it adds something special)
  • Red wine for the sauce. 1 cup of any dry red wine that you like, it does not need to be expensive.
  • Crushed tomatoes from a 28-ounce can.
one pan chicken cacciatore with a small bowl of red peppers

How to make chicken cacciatore

You'll need a big deep pan or braising pot with a lid for this stovetop recipe. Here's the step-by-step tutorial (scroll down for the print-friendly recipe and video):

  • Season and brown the chicken. Give the chicken pieces a good sprinkle of extra virign olive oil (and get underneath the skin). In a large pan or braiser with a lid (I used this All- Clad One<- affiliate link), heat up some extra virgin olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides over medium-high heat (start with skin side down first). You might utlize a splatter screen for this part (affiliate link). Set the chicken aside for now so you can use the pan for the veggies and sauce.
    chicken pieces browned in a braiser pan
  • Cook the vegetables and mushrooms. Return the pan or braiser back to the heat. Now cook the onions, celery, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic, over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and add in the herbs and spices ( 1 teaspoon oregano, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 tabelspoons fresh parsley, a pinch of red pepper flakes). Toss the veggies around until they soften nicely. Add in the garlic and cook a little bit more.
    vegetables and mushrooms cooked in the pan
  • Make the sauce. To the vegetables, now add the red wine and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce. Add the crushed tomatoes and let the sauce bubble gently for a bit (another 10 minutes or so).
    sauce for chicken cacciatore
  • Add the chicken and cook. Nestle the chicken in the sauce and cook over low heat, covered, for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to tender perfection! Add a little garnish of parsley if you like.
    cooked chicken caccaitore in a pan

Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore

If you want to make this chicken cacciatore recipe in your slow cooker, here is what you do:

  • Brown the chicken in the extra virgin olive oil. Once browned, transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, mushroom and garlic on top of the chicken. Season with kosher salt, black pepper and the rest of herbs and spices.
  • Pour the wine and crushed tomatoes all over the chicken and vegetables.
  • Cover and set the slow cooker to LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
cacciatore with a side of red pepper flakes in a bowl

Serve it with

You can serve it on top of plain pasta, polenta, or even rice! Heck, I love it with just a good side of crusty bread to sop up the sauce. Can't go wrong with that!

More Chicken Recipes You'll Love

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4.73 from 105 votes

Easy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh
Chicken cacciatore with bell peppers and mushrooms
You'll love this hearty, rustic chicken caccaitore recipe with mushrooms and bell peppers in a flavorful tomato sauce. Fall apart tender chicken with all the comforting aromtics and Italian flavors the family loves. You can make it stovetop or in your crockpot. Serve it with crusty bread or on top of plain pasta, polenta or rice.
Prep – 15 mins
Cook – 53 mins
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 6
Course:
Dinner

Ingredients
  

  • 6 chicken thighs bone in, skin on, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (white or baby bella) cleaned and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley more for later
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides and underneath the sikn.
  • In a large pan or braiser (with a lid), heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down first. Cook until golden brown, then turn over to brown on the other side (about 8 minutes total). Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
  • In the same braiser, add the onions, celery, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, tossing regularly. Add koserh salt, pepper, oregano, fresh thyme, parsley and red pepper flakes. Allow the vegetables to cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender.
  • Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes until the wine has reduced by about ½, then add the tomatoes. Cook 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Now add the chicken pieces back to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and allow the chicken to cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Garnish with parsley.

Video

Notes

  • Crockpot option. If you need to make this in your slow cooker or corckpot, brown the chicken first, then transfer it to the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingrients to the slow cooker. Cover and set the corckpot on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. 
  • Leftovers & Storage. Bring cooked chicken cacciatore to room temprature before then store in tight-lid containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. 
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients inclduing extra virgin olive oils and spices. 

Nutrition

Calories: 348.4kcalCarbohydrates: 15.8gProtein: 22.3gSaturated Fat: 5.2gCholesterol: 110.7mgSodium: 462.5mgPotassium: 868.4mgFiber: 3.7gVitamin A: 850.2IUVitamin C: 37.9mgCalcium: 70.6mgIron: 3.2mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So happy to find a recipe using skin-on, bone-in chicken. Love that I have all of the ingredients in my pantry and/or fridge. I know my family will love this meal. Do you recommend spaghetti or fettuccine, or a short, round pasta to accompany. Thanks for a lovely recipe! Can't wait to try it.

    1. Hi, Beverly! I love this recipe with a pasta with nooks and crannies (like rotini), but really anything would work!

  2. Can you use chicken breast instead of thighs not a fan of dark meat. Is the cooking time more or less?

    Thank you

    Belinda Downes

  3. 5 stars
    As always, this recipe was very well-received by my family! It was hearty, it was flavorful - the mix of flavor makes it the best chicken cacciatore I have ever done! Thank you Suzy for sharing your recipes! Since I didn't have so much parsley, I added a little bit of sugar, haha! I hope I didn't fail you, Suzy, with this added ingredient. Thanks so much and will try the Shawarma next! (IG: _Charm1022)

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent! My husband loved it. He thought it was restaurant quality (so did I) and thanked me 4 times for making such a delicious meal! Thank you!

      1. 5 stars
        As soon as the pandemic is over, I am planning on having lots of company. I’m practicing lots of one pot meals as I want to interact with my guests as much as possible and not spend so much time in the kitchen. This chicken cacciatore is delicious and I can’t wait to share it with my friends and family.

  5. Do you have any advice for making this in a pressure cooker? I have a stovetop cooker and I have this new-fangled Ninja (which can also work as a slow cooker).
    Thanks, Elena

    1. Hi, Elena! Unfortunately I don't at the moment, but I'm sure it would work! What I usually recommend is searching the pressure cooker's recipe manual to see if there is something similar, and start with those settings. Using the slow cooker feature on your Ninja would also work very well here.

  6. 5 stars
    After my (your) success with caponata, I made this chicken cacciatore and it was excellent over a bed of pasta. I have enough in the refrigerator and freezer for a few more meals
    Thank you

  7. 5 stars
    This is the best chicken cacciatore I ever tasted. We all loved it. I am Italian and this is the best recipe for it that I ever made.

  8. 5 stars
    When my husband took the first bite of the chicken cacciatore, he threw up his hands up and said OMG! This chicken dish is the best I've ever had. Please make it again!
    When I served the chicken, I put each thigh on a serving platter and scooped the vegetable and sauce over each piece. I also included a bowl of extra sauce to use as needed.
    There was so much leftover sauce, I served it at a later date with pasta and meatballs on the side. Wow! Thank you, Suzie!

  9. 5 stars
    I wanted to try a new dish for my picky family. I made this dish for dinner tonight and it was delicious. The seasoning was perfect! My family enjoyed the meal.

  10. 5 stars
    Made this fabulous dish and it was AH-mazing. We loved it!!!! I did all the vegetable cutting up on my lunch hour and pulled what I could out so I could jump right in after work. Easy one pan meal....truly a delicious dish!!! More More More!!!

  11. 5 stars
    I gave it 5 stars because I know this is going to be great! I do have a question, can I use skinless, boneless thighs. For health reasons. Love your site.

  12. Can you leave out the wine or is there a substitute? Raised without alchohol for generations. No reason to buy a bottle for 1 cup. Even if alcohol cooks out.

  13. Love your recipes and products. My husband is not a fan of mushrooms so what vege would you suggest as a replacement?

  14. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I did the slow cooker method so it doesn't look as pretty as your photos are 🙂 . Flavors were great.

  15. 5 stars
    Just made this in the crock pot on high and man, I have ever had such a fall-off-the-bone chicken that tastes so good.

    Cant wait to eat it tomorrow as it is too late tonight for me. Thank you for the lovely recipe.

    1. All chicken cooked in crockpot falls off the bone. I make chicken in crockpot every few days for my dogs for that reason. Easy to debone. They eat a couple of chicken a week. Put chicken in crock pot with nothing else few hours later just pull out bones. Not magic, just nature of a crockpot. Pork or beef for BBQ same thing. Put in meat and homemade sauce. Great for making shredded sandwiches.

  16. What can you use instead of the red wine as a family member does not like the taste of red wine in food?

    Thank you for your suggestions!

    1. Hello, Sally. You can use a bit of broth in place of the wine. Not quite the same flavor profile, but still tasty!

  17. This is on my list for next week...but REALLY, I want to know where your All Clad came from!! The link isn't listed, and I can't find it on their site, but OMG what a pan!

  18. 5 stars
    I was just looking at your cilantro lime chicken to use up some chicken thighs and noticed you just posted this one! As an Italian-American, I can tell you this recipe is amazing and I love that you used the bell peppers!

      1. Not a fan of peppers so should I just increase the amount of the other veggies? I’m thinking more mushrooms- I’m a big fan of mushrooms!

      2. Sure! You can use a bit of broth in place of the wine. Not quite the same flavor profile, but still tasty!