Ina Garten Chicken Cacciatore (Recipe, Tips & Video)

An Ina Garten chicken cacciatore is a simple one pot dish, filled with deliciously moist chicken pieces cooked in a rich tomato sauce.

The sauce is flavoured with robust and nutty mushrooms, sweet peppers, onions and fresh spices. The chicken cacciatore sauce is packed with flavor and perfect for dipping with bread or enjoying with creamy mash.

Chicken cacciatore is an American twist on classic Italian cooking and is one of our favorite Ina Garten chicken recipes.

Adding capers and olives to chicken cacciatore adds a saltiness that makes the sauce perfect to eat on its own!

Why You Should Try Chicken Cacciatore Ina Garten Style

1. Common and inexpensive ingredients.

The most basic chicken cacciatore only needs chicken pieces, canned tomatoes and mushrooms.

Ina Garten’s chicken cacciatore recipe includes a few more common items, like onions, bell peppers, chicken stock and dry white wine, but these can be left out or changed if you prefer.

2. Quick & simple one pot cooking.

All of the cooking happens in one pot.

You brown the chicken in a large pan.

The chicken comes out and you add the sauce ingredients to the same pan – without even washing it.

The chicken gets added back to the pan and once it has simmered for a little you’re done.

Serve by putting the pan in the middle of the table – use a chopping board or other heat resistant material if its still hot.

The sauce adds a beautiful color and will make it a talking point at the table.

3. The sauce is delicious in its own right!

Eat it the next day on bread or mix it through pasta for a quick and delicious meal.

Ina Garten's Chicken Cacciatore

How To Make Ina Garten’s Chicken Cacciatore Recipe 

The full recipe and instructions for this Barefoot Contessa chicken cacciatore recipe are listed below.

Take a minute to skim through my 3 top tips before you get to the recipe.

The tips are relevant for this Ina Garten chicken cacciatore recipe, or any other chicken cacciatore recipe.

It will only take you a minute and my tips don’t repeat the instructions.

If you prefer to watch how to make Ina’s chicken cacciatore, I have a short video below which goes through the whole process.

Its only 2 minutes long and includes the ingredients and instructions.

I also have some pairing suggestions and variation ideas below the main recipe if you are interested.

A serving of Chicken Cacciatore on a white plate

3 Top Tips For Chicken Cacciatore

1. Brown both sides of the chicken

Start with the skin side down on a medium to high heat until the skin is crispy.

Turn the chicken as needed to brown all over.

This ensures your dish gets the maximum flavor from the skin and chicken.

Be very careful of hot oil splatters especially while turning or removing the chicken!

2. Discard the fat before cooking the sauce

The chicken will release lots of fat into the pan.

Discard the fat but don’t wash the pan.

Use the same pan for the sauce so you keep the chicken flavours.

Removing the fat prevents you from having an overly oily chicken cacciatore.

3. Don’t overcook the chicken or dry out the sauce

Simmering for too long can overcook your chicken and dry out the sauce.

The finished sauce will be thick but should have enough liquid to start running on your plate.

If it is looking dry, you can add a touch of water and mix it into the sauce.

Ina Garten Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Savor Ina Garten’s Chicken Cacciatore recipe – a rich and savory dish with tender chicken, sweet peppers, and nutty mushrooms. A culinary delight!


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 8-10 pieces of chicken (drum sticks, thighs etc)

  • 2 onions, sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced or cut into small pieces)

  • 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced or cut into small pieces)

  • 1 Ib of mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 cup of chicken stock

  • 1 cup of dry white wine (I like pinot grigio)

  • 2 x 14oz cans of tomatoes

  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme

  • 1-2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 2 bay leaves


  • Step 1 of 3 – Prepare and brown the chicken
  • Season the chicken with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides – in batches if needed.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and discard the excess fat from the pan. Do not wash the pan.Browning chicken in a hot pan
  • Step 2 of 3 – Make the sauce
  • Sauté the onions over low heat.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the bell peppers and cook until soft.
  • Incorporate the mushrooms. Cover and cook until reduced in size, stirring occasionally.
  • Add chicken stock and white wine. Simmer until reduced by half.Cooking chicken cacciatore sauce ingredients
  • Step 3 of 3 – Combine, simmer and serve
  • Return the chicken to the pan. Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. (If using, add the capers and olives).
  • Cover and bring to the boil. Remove lid and simmer until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool slightly (5 minutes). Serve directly from the pan or use a large serving platter. Remove the chicken and pour generous amounts of sauce and vegetables on top.Ina Garten's Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Ina Garten CHICKEN CACCIATORE by WomenChefs (


  • If the sauce appears overly oily, skim off the excess fat. (Discarding the fat after browning the chicken should prevent this anyway).
  • You can store the chicken cacciatore once the leftovers are fully cooled.
  • Then, transfer it to an air-tight container and refrigerate immediately. Consume the cacciatore within 3 days.

What To Serve Chicken Cacciatore With?

This dish is very versatile, many different sides go well with it.

My personal favorites are:

  1. Buttered bread or garlic bread
  2. Baked/Steamed potatoes/Mashed potatoes
  3. Potato dauphinoise (potato gratin)
  4. Steamed vegetables
  5. Cooked rice
  6. Leafy green salad
  7. Spinach gratin

And many other delicious chicken sides. The bread and gratin recipes are my favorites though, because they are great for soaking up the sauce!

Chicken Cacciatore Recipe Variations

You cannot beat a classic recipe, but when you cook any recipe, it’s always a good idea to add your own touch. After all, you are cooking for yourself or your family, we all have different tastes and preferences, so a little adjustment can just be what you need to achieve the perfect dinner!

Here are some optional variations of this recipe:

  • Baking the chicken cacciatore instead of simmering it as the original recipe suggests. Instead of simmering the sauce with the chicken until it’s fully cooked, pop it in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes. This will infuse a unique and delicious flavor into your cacciatore.
  • Instead of chicken, try a different meat like sausages. You might not call it chicken cacciatore if you dont use chicken but the principle is still the same – a hearty, easy to cook dish made with a filling protein and a rich and aromatic sauce the family will love. Sausages are a great option because they will give your sauce a delicious flavor, cook quickly, are relatively inexpensive and will be popular with almost anyone. If you want a similar recipe designed specifically for sausages, you could check out Ina’s sausage and peppers recipe.
  • Add some olives & capers. Adding olives and capers to this recipe can really enhance the taste. If you are an olive and a capers lover, add a handful to your dish. 
  • Add some carrots. Carrots work very well in this dish, I have personally made this dish with carrots several times, and it works fantastically well. I typically add 1 medium-sized sliced carrot just before I add the chopped tomato cans. 
  • Not a fan of mushrooms? Substitute them for zucchini. Zucchini works really well with tomatoes, and they can absorb flavor very well too. When I substitute the mushrooms for zucchini, I use the same amount as listed in the recipe. 
  • Finish the dish with some fresh herbs. Before you serve, add some chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, it can really elevate the dish and add something aromatic to it and color, of course.

Ina Garten’s Chicken Cacciatore FAQs:

How to Store Chicken Cacciatore?

The best way to store the chicken cacciatore is to cool it fully first when it’s cooked.
Then, transfer it to an air-tight container and refrigerate immediately. Consume the cacciatore within 3 days.

Can I Freeze Chicken Cacciatore?

The chicken cacciatore can absolutely be frozen. However, it’s important that you freeze it using the right containers. I like to use containers that are specifically designed for freezer storage. You can also use freezer-friendly bags, but it can be a bit messy, since the chicken cacciatore is quite liquid. Once the dish is cooled, transfer it to your desired freezer storage bags or container, seal them tightly, and freeze. They can last for up to 2 months.

How To Reheat Chicken Cacciatore?

If you are reheating the dish straight from the fridge, you have several options; microwave the chicken cacciatore for several minutes, put it in the oven for about 10 minutes using an oven-proof dish, or heat the dish in a saucepan.

 Is Ina Garten’s Chicken Cacciatore Healthy?

Chicken cacciatore is quite a healthy dish; it contains chicken, and plenty of vegetables.
On top of that, it’s relatively low in calories, but high in protein.

Barbara Hunt


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