Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

This Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe is a hearty, veggie-packed meal ready in just 20 minutes! It features tender chicken, onion, carrot, bell pepper, and mushroom doused in a savory tomato sauce.

above image of a plate filled with chicken cacciatore over rice with a gold fork.

Easy Recipe for Chicken Cacciatore

This Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe is one of my go-to easy dinners when I’m craving something quick and easy but still hearty and delicious!

This recipe yields tender chicken that is truly the kind that will fall right off the bone and tons of veggies, all cooked in the most mouthwatering tomato sauce. It’s savory, sweet, spicy, tangy, salty…there isn’t a flavor you’re missing in this dish, yet it all works together perfectly!

Whip this up for a crowd (it makes a ton) OR pack up the leftovers and enjoy it for dinner all week long!

What is Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore, sometimes referred to as “hunter-style chicken,” is a traditional Italian dish made up of braised chicken simmered in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. It often features hearty veggies such as onion, carrot, pepper, and mushroom and sometimes includes briny flavors such as capers, olives, and vinegar!

This recipe is just like your traditional chicken cacciatore but made more quickly in the instant pot!

above image of instant pot chicken cacciatore topped with fresh herbs.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chicken – Chicken legs or thighs will work.
  • Salt and Pepper – You’ll use salt and pepper to season the chicken before cooking. You’ll also add it at the end to round out all the flavors of the sauce.
  • Oil – A little bit of avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil is used to sear the chicken and to sauté the veggies.
  • Veggies – Our colorful veggie blend is a combination of onion, carrots, red pepper, and mushrooms.
  • Aromatics and Seasonings – We’re creating the most delicious savory flavor with a combination of garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, fresh basil, and bay leaf.
  • Chicken Broth – Chicken broth creates the most flavorful base for the tomato sauce.
  • Tomatoes – You’ll need two cans of Tuttorosso diced tomatoes in juice. One you’ll blend up for the sauce and the other you’ll leave as-is for texture.
  • Fresh Herbs – A sprinkle of fresh parsley and thyme adds the perfect freshness to the dish.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar adds a sweet, tangy, briny flavor that really takes the sauce to the next level.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

  1. Sear the chicken: Pat the chicken dry, season it well with salt and pepper, then set the pressure cooker to the sauté setting at high heat. Drizzle in the oil, then sear the chicken on each side until golden-brown. Work in batches and add oil as needed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Combine and cook: To the instant pot, add onion, carrot, pepper, and mushroom. Sauté until softened; stir in garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, followed by the bay leaf, chicken broth, tomatoes, thyme, parsley, and balsamic. Add the chicken back into the pot, cover it with the lid, and cook it on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  3. Finish and serve: Once cooked, release the pressure using the quick-release valve. Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, then remove the bay leaf from the mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley, then serve as desired.

Alternative Method: Stovetop Chicken CacciatoreTitle

No pressure cooker? No problem! You can easily make this recipe on the stove instead. Simply follow steps 1 and 2 as directed using a large braising pan or Dutch oven, cover, lower the heat to medium-low, then simmer until the chicken is tender (90-100 minutes).

closeup image of chicken pieces in a tomato sauce topped with fresh herbs.

How Much Liquid Do I Add to the Instant Pot for Chicken?

That usually depends on the recipe, the size of your instant pot, and the amount of chicken you’re cooking. For this recipe, we’re adding 1 cup of broth plus the liquid from both cans of tomatoes. This ensures that the chicken cooks properly but also provides a flavorful base for the sauce!

Why Does My Instant Pot Chicken Come Out Rubbery?

Rubbery instant pot chicken usually means under cooked chicken. I recommend sticking to the cooking times listed to be sure you’re producing chicken that tenderly falls apart.

To verify that your chicken is definitely done cooking, you can check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should be 165ºF!

a large bowl filled with chicken in a tomato-based sauce.

Tips and Notes

  • Pat the chicken dry. Removing excess moisture from the chicken allows it to take on that nice crispy exterior when you sear it.
  • Work in batches to sear. In order to sear properly, you’ll need to work in batches—just do as many as will fit comfortably in your instant pot. Be sure to add extra oil as needed so that every piece of chicken is getting the perfect sear.
  • Scrape up the brown bits as you cook. As the veggies sauté, use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits that might be sticking to the bottom of the instant pot. Instant pots tend to be sensitive to that and you might get a burn notice if you don’t keep up with it.
  • If you like a thicker sauce, remove the chicken once it’s done cooking, then simmer the sauce on the sauté setting until your desired texture is reached.

Variations

  • Try another protein. Try swapping the chicken out for pork or beef if preferred. Keep in mind that the cooking time for different meats will vary.
  • Add cheese. Try sprinkling your chicken cacciatore with some fresh parmesan to finish it off.
  • Add some briny flavors. A lot of traditional chicken cacciatore recipes include olives and/or capers. Feel free to stir in a scoop of capers or a handful of sliced black, green, or kalamata olives to tap into that salty, briny flavor.

What Pairs Well with Chicken Cacciatore?

Chicken cacciatore is a versatile entree that can be served a number of different ways!

Enjoy it spooned over:

Serve it with a side of:

chicken cacciatore served over a pile of white rice.

How to Store

Leftover chicken cacciatore will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To freeze properly, let it cool completely, portion it out into freezer-safe bags or containers, then store. When you’re ready to serve it again, let only the amount you need thaw overnight in the fridge.

To reheat, warm on low on the stove with a splash of broth or water to thin if needed until heated through.

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

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above image of a plate filled with chicken cacciatore over rice with a gold fork.
  • 8 chicken legs and/or thighs
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt use more as necessary for coating chicken and seasoning at the end
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper use more as necessary for coating chicken and seasoning at the end
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced into thin strips
  • 3 carrots minced
  • 1 red pepper diced medium
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms trimmed and sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 14.5 oz can Tuttorosso diced tomatoes in juice
  • 14.5 oz can Tuttorosso diced tomatoes in juice pulsed in a food processor or blender
  • 2 tablespoons freshly parsley plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Pat chicken dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Set the pressure cooker to the saute setting at high heat. Add in oil. Working in batches sear chicken until golden brown, about five minutes on each side, adding more oil as necessary. The chicken should not be fully cooked at this stage but the skin should be nicely browned. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

  • Add onion, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms to the pressure cooker and saute until vegetables are soft, scrapping up browned bits, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, chicken broth, tomatoes, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, and balsamic vinegar. Return chicken to pressure cooker and press into tomatoes until they are mostly covered.

  • Place lid on pressure cooker and lock in place. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Release pressure using quick release valve and remove lid. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If a thicker sauce is desired, you can remove the chicken to a plate and simmer sauce until it is the desired thickness. Do this before seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.)

  • Garnish with parsley and serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or gluten-free pasta.

* Don’t have a pressure cooker, cook this on the stovetop as well using Nanny’s Potted Chicken on page 160 of the Lexi’s Clean Kitchen Cookbook as a reference! In a large braising pan or Dutch oven, follow steps 1-2 as directed, cover, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 90-100 minutes.

Calories: 410kcalCarbohydrates: 9.8gProtein: 42.6gFat: 21.6gSaturated Fat: 5.9gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 950mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 4.8g



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