Let’s talk about this way-too-easy and super healthy Easy Chicken Cacciatore. This is such an incredible dinner recipe that is full of flavor and that kind of meal that will leave you in awe. It’s absolutely crave-worthy, and get this, just toss the ingredients in the instant pot and walk away.
A weeknight dinner must have that is quick, easy, and a true set-it-and-forget-it meal. This is one of those recipes that you’ll feel proud to serve to guests and your family as it is a true winner of texture and flavor.
Double the batch for meal prep and a fantastic freezer meal. Stock the freezer with this cacciatore and other recipes that are perfect for the cooler months like Vegan Swedish meatballs and Instant Pot Minestrone Soup.
What is Cacciatore
This is a “hunter” style food preparation that uses meat like chicken and vegetables consisting of tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers, plus the addition of wine and herbs. Cacciatore is a long-lasting recipe that originated from hunters as far back as 14th Century Italy!
For an extra nutritious and hearty dish, I love the added mushrooms. They’re earthy and a perfect match for this hunter and gatherer style cuisine.
Easy Chicken Cacciatore
This is one of those lazy day recipes that come together so easily and taste amazing with meat and veggies. A family meal that is stress-free and requires little clean-up, you’ll want to have it again and again!
Why I Love Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
- It’s a quick and easy dinner built for the busy family.
- This recipe is full of rich flavor with hearty veggies and juicy shredded chicken in every bite.
- A perfect freezer meal to get you through those cool winter months.
- Can serve a crowd and a tasty dish to bring to a pot luck.
- Easy clean-up with this one-pot chicken recipe.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For as delicious and rich as this cacciatore with chicken and mushrooms is, you only need basic ingredients. Made with fresh veggies, canned tomatoes, herbs and aromatics, and juicy chicken, this easy instant pot recipe comes together quickly and cooks basically hands-off.
- Chicken thighs - boneless skinless thighs are juicy and have a rich flavor, and you can substitute chicken breasts or tenders as well. For this instant pot recipe, you want to be sure not to use the chicken skin. It will become rubbery and unappetizing.
- Vegetables - I love the classic combination of fresh bell peppers and onions and love adding mushrooms for more depth.
- Tomato paste - adds rich flavor and thickens the sauce.
- Tomatoes - use canned diced tomatoes that are low in sodium to better control your salt intake.
- Mozzarella cheese - you can use regular or dairy-free cheese.
- Dry white wine - this is a subtle flavor addition that adds a little acidity. You can make this easy chicken cacciatore recipe without wine by simply leaving it out.
- Olive oil and Seasonings - smoked paprika, dried basil, salt, black pepper.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Chicken Cacciatore
Making Chicken Cacciatore in the Instant Pot is an easy 3-step process! Simply add the ingredients to the instant pot, cook at high pressure, add the cheese, and enjoy!
Fill the Instant Pot: To the pot add all the ingredients minus chicken and cheese and stir to combine. Then tuck the chicken thighs into the mixture.
Cook: Secure the lid and cook at high pressure. When finished, release the steam and remove the lid once the pressure is fully released.
Finishing Touches: Shred the chicken with two forks and then stir in the cheese.
Serve warm on its own, with pasta, or with rice. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if you like.
Hint: Add in some of your other favorite vegetables like potatoes, green beans, or snap peas. You can't go wrong with a plethora of tasty, healthy ingredients!
What to Serve with Chicken Cacciatore
- Gluten-free pasta - Make chicken cacciatore with pasta for a wholesome meal. Toss in cooked pasta at the end to allow the flavors to combine.
- Rice - this recipe also tastes amazing served over or beside freshly cooked rice.
- Crispy Roasted Potatoes
- Gluten-Free French Baguette
- Special Occasion Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore - This is an elevated version of this recipe I wrote for Mashed.com. If looking to wow dinner guests, this is your recipe! However, it is more involved than this quick and easy chicken cacciatore with mushrooms recipe that requires much less effort and time.
- Beef Cacciatore - This is an easy exchange of protein. Simply swap the chicken thighs for beef stew meat. For more flavor, sautee the beef in oil for a few minutes before adding in the remaining ingredients.
- Switch up the vegetables - Try a different combination of vegetables in this hunter-style cuisine. Hearty potatoes, carrots, celery, and cauliflower would be a tasty and healthy variety.
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Instant pot
Store leftovers in a sealable airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For meal prep, divide into individual storage prep containers.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
Saute tomato paste. For a richer, deeper flavor, sauté the tomato paste in olive oil for a few minutes until it turns a darker shade of red.
Add chopped potatoes. For a heartier meal, add uncooked chunks of potatoes into the pot.
Use boneless skinless chicken thighs. For the juiciest and full flavor chicken, thighs are the best cut to use. If you decide to use skin-on thighs, just remember to remove the skin from the pot before serving. It will be too rubbery to enjoy but can make a flavorful base.
Thicken the sauce. If you'd like a thicker sauce, add a mix of 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or 2 tablespoons tapioca starch) and a couple tablespoons of cold water to the instant pot once it has finished cooking and the pressure is released. Stir in the mixture and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If thickening does not occur, turn the pot to a simmer and bring to a boil for 1 minute while stirring constantly. It should thicken quickly and easily. Do this step after adding the cheese, since cheese also thickens the sauce.
Frequently asked questions
Follow this recipe but place in the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or until chicken is tender and shreds easily with two forks.
To freeze this recipe, allow it to cool completely. Then, ladle it into freezer-safe containers. Once frozen, you can easily store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Making chicken cacciatore on the stove is super easy to do. You don't have to change the steps, simply add the ingredients to a pot on the stove, cover, and simmer. It will take a little longer than a pressure cooker, closer to an hour. Check the chicken at about 40 minutes. If it is easy to shred with two forks then the rest should be ready, too.
More One Pot Recipes we love:
- Northwest Beef Stew in the Instant Pot
- Savory Pumpkin Stew
- Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana
- Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- One Pot Lentil Pasta