Baked Chicken Cacciatore is a tasty easy weeknight dinner with chicken thighs baked in a thick homemade tomato sauce with garlic, bell peppers and celery.
BAKED CHICKEN CACCIATORE
The only thing better than traditional Italian food is when you can make those delicious recipes a little easier on yourself. This easy Baked Chicken Cacciatore is made in just a pan and a baking dish, starting on the stove top and then finishing in the oven. You still get all the lovely flavor from braising the chicken with less clean up and time.
Baked Chicken Cacciatore has all the authentic ingredients you normally find in this classic Italian dish. A hearty well seasoned homemade marinara, or thick tomato sauce, braises the bone-in chicken thighs so they are tender and flavorful. Quickly searing the chicken before gives this dish an even richer flavor.
The tomato sauce for Baked Chicken Cacciatore is super easy thanks to canned tomatoes. These inexpensive pantry staples are great to have on hand whenever you are craving Italian food. With a little bit of extra seasoning, olive oil, and garlic, you have a rich sauce without all the preservatives in a jar of pasta sauce.
EASY SIDE DISH RECIPES TO SERVE WITH BAKED CHICKEN CACCIATORE
Traditional Baked Chicken Cacciatore uses wine in the sauce, either a dry red or white wine. If you would rather not cook with wine, you can substitute chicken stock or beef stock. If you want to use red wine, go with Pinot Noir or Merlot. For dry white wine, use Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
This delicious Italian dish goes best with starchy sides, aka grains or pasta, that can soak up that extra sauce. Serve your Baked Chicken Cacciatore with White Rice, Mashed Potatoes, Creamy Polenta, or a lightly buttered pasta. For an easy side that brings out the mushroom flavors of this dish, try it with Slow Cooker Mushroom Rice!
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VARIATIONS ON BAKED CHICKEN CACCIATORE
- Chicken: If you want to use a whole fryer chicken (cut into pieces), increase the ingredients by another third so there is enough sauce. Bone-in, skin-on chicken is best for this recipe. Chicken Breasts take longer to cook, so make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Meat: Try this dish with beef roast or pork loin. Just make sure the meat has a higher fat content so it stays juicy when searing.
- Veggies: Use your favorite fresh veggies in Baked Chicken Cacciatore. Try chopped zucchini, carrots, summer squash, eggplant, or mushrooms.
- Olives: Try adding kalamata olives, green olives, or ripe black olives when you add in the tomatoes. If you like them, add 1 tablespoon of capers when you add the olives.
- Pasta Sauce: To make this recipe even easier, simply use 2 cups pasta sauce or this Easy Marinara instead of the canned tomato ingredients and the Italian seasoning.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
To make Chicken Cacciatore in the crockpot, place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. You can brown them if you want in the slow cooker with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot, covering the chicken thighs. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
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HOW TO STORE BAKED CHICKEN CACCIATORE
- Serve: Baked Chicken Cacciatore can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be refrigerated.
- Store: Cool chicken and then place in an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: You can freeze Baked Chicken Cacciatore for up to 3 months in a sealed container.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 6 chicken thighs , bone in skin on
- 1/2 green bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery , thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion , thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan skin-side down, for 5-6 minutes.
- Flip chicken and cook an additional 5-6 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pan and place into a 9x13 baking dish.
- Scatter the bell peppers, celery, onion and garlic around the chicken.
- In a large bowl mix the wine, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until combined.
- Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes.