One-Skillet Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Cacciatore is Italian for hunter, a well-known translation that offers insight to the dish's long history. Traditionally, the ingredients would be turned into a stew using traditional Italian staples such as olives, garlic, tomatoes, and wine. Simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce, gamey meats became impossibly tender and warming, perfect for feeding a tired family. Somewhere along the way, chicken became the protein of choice for cacciatore, but the recipe always remained the same as a hearty, tomato-based stew.

In our recipe developed by Michelle McGlinn, chicken thighs are first browned to get crispy skin, then stewed in crushed tomatoes and white wine until fork-tender. The cacciatore is filled with rustic vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and olives, which give it its robust and traditional flavor. The best part is that the whole dish is made in one skillet in less than 40 minutes. Tender chicken stew on a weeknight? Sign us up.

Gather all the chicken cacciatore ingredients

First, you'll need chicken. In this recipe, we are using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for the best, juiciest meat. You can also use boneless, skinless thighs, chicken breasts or even legs. This stew is pretty rustic in nature, so use any combination of chicken you love.

To get a crispy, browned skin on the chicken, dredge the pieces in all-purpose flour and cook in a drizzling of olive oil. After that, you'll need onion, plenty of garlic, red bell pepper, a few mushrooms, and carrots. To make the sauce, you'll need white wine, crushed tomatoes, and black olives. The white wine is traditional for this Northern Italian dish, but can be swapped with red wine or omitted as needed. From there, you'll just need salt and pepper, parsley, and basil.

Brown the chicken

Lightly coat each thigh in the flour, and heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a deep skillet with a lid. To make this dish gluten-free, skip the flour dredge, or swap with gluten-free flour. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. If you cook it for a little too long and the chicken is deeply golden brown, don't worry —it all gets stewed together for so long, that the flavor won't be affected. If your chicken is sticking to the bottom of the skillet, add more oil before flipping. 

Sautée the veggies

If you are using a large skillet, push the chicken to the side and add the diced peppers, sliced mushrooms, diced carrots, and diced onions. Cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. If you're working with a smaller skillet, remove the chicken before cooking the vegetables, then add the chicken back to the skillet later. Add in the minced garlic once the vegetables have softened, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmer with the tomatoes

Add the tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper to taste, and chicken (if you removed it previously), and bring to a simmer. This version of cacciatore is thick and heavy with tomatoes, but for a lighter, less-saucy version, use half the amount of crushed tomatoes. You can also use tomato purée, tomato sauce, or even whole peeled tomatoes here with minimal difference in taste.

Nestle the chicken into the tomato mixture and, once simmering, cover and turn the heat down. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until fork-tender, stirring every 5 minutes or so to avoid sticking or burning. The tomato will thicken a bit while it cooks; if the tomato gets too thick, just add a splash of water.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs, and serve

Stewing everything together deepens the flavor, so season the cacciatore toward the end of the cooking process to avoid over-salting. If the stew tastes too acidic for your liking, add a pinch of sugar to balance it out. Sprinkle the chopped parsley in, then garnish with chopped basil.

You can serve chicken cacciatore on its own, but we love chicken cacciatore with rice for a lighter side, creamy mashed potatoes, crusty bread, or even pasta. This dish has it all, but pairs well with fresh green salads, garlic breads, and Italian classics like zucchini blossoms.

One-Skillet Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
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Enjoy the traditional flavors of Italy any night of the week with this one-skillet chicken cacciatore recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken cacciatore in bowl with rice
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can whole black olives, drained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup basil, for topping
  1. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, coating completely on each side. Shake off any excess.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken, and cook until each side is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Add the remaining oil, onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and carrots and cook until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the white wine and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the wine has reduced and thickened slightly, add the diced and crushed tomatoes. Stir in the drained olives, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low, and cover. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is fork-tender, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching the tomato sauce. Once chicken is very tender, stir in the parsley. To serve, top with basil.
Calories per Serving 775
Total Fat 51.3 g
Saturated Fat 11.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 189.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.5 g
Dietary Fiber 10.1 g
Total Sugars 15.9 g
Sodium 1,613.9 mg
Protein 38.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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