Why We Love This Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
I don’t know about you, but I need easy meals to make on busy weeknights. I often find myself rushing around trying to throw together a healthful and appealing meal before kiddie bath time, stories, and bed. So I have come up with the best strategies to be ready each week with food in the fridge that can be turned into delicious and nutritious meals in no time.
Here are my top 3 time-saving dinner tips for tired parents, or tired people in general…
- Have your butcher prep your meat while you are shopping. After all, that is their job. They will do just about whatever you ask… Take bones out of chicken breasts, but leave the skin on. Remove fat. Butterfly fish or chicken. Slice meat to your desired thickness. Clean shrimp. Even chop a roast into stew chunks for you!
- Make sauces in large batches and freeze for later, or buy good quality jarred sauces.
- Prep your veggies on grocery day before you put them away, or buy pre-cut veggies.
One recipe I make on repeat when I am tired but want a good meal it this Easy Chicken Cacciatore recipe.
Start to finish, my chicken cacciatore recipe takes only about 30 minutes to make fresh at home. The flavors come together quickly using simple ingredients. Perfect for enjoying in the middle of a busy week, this dish is quickly made on the stove and brings the whole family to the table for a comforting meal together.
Ingredients You Need
This homemade chicken cacciatore recipe uses pantry staples that you probably already have on hand! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Dried spaghetti – or your favorite long pasta
- Mushrooms – thinly sliced
- Boneless chicken breasts – you can also use chicken cutlets or chicken thighs if you prefer
- Flour – to dredge the chicken before sautéing
- Olive oil
- Garlic – minced
- White wine – dry white cooking wine
- Marinara sauce – either jarred or homemade
- Fresh basil or parsley – for garnish
Using a quality jarred marinara or pre-made homemade sauce is really the key to making a restaurant-level chicken cacciatore in a fraction of the time. As I mentioned above in my 3 Tips, I highly recommend making a large batch of tomato sauce on a lazy Sunday when you’ve got plenty of time, and freezing portions for enjoying a quick weeknight meal such as this!
How to Make Easy Chicken Cacciatore
First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the dried spaghetti per package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat a very large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet, and sauté the sliced mushrooms until they are soft and brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.
Butterfly and separate chicken breasts. (To skip this step you can buy chicken “cutlets” at the store, which are thinner slices of chicken breast.) Salt and pepper both sides of each piece of chicken, then dredge in flour.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Wait until butter is melted, then add the chicken to the skillet. Sauté the chicken for 1-2 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Add the white wine and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook the chicken in the wine for another 3 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and tightly cover it with foil to keep it warm. Add the mushrooms and 3 cups of marinara to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
To serve, place a heaping pile of cooked spaghetti on each plate and top it with two chicken cutlets and a generous helping of mushroom sauce. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired!
Frequently Asked Questions
Authentic chicken cacciatore is an Italian chicken dish that features pasta, chicken, and a light, herby tomato sauce. The sauce in chicken cacciatore is usually made of herbs, tomatoes, and mushrooms. It sometimes calls for onions, bell peppers, celery, carrots, or other vegetables, too!
Cacciatore literally means “hunter” in English. The name of the dish “cacciatore” caught on because it is often made with rabbit, instead of chicken. Over time, the dish has changed to chicken cacciatore to describe the dish that is made with chicken instead of rabbit, but with the same flavorful sauce!
Chicken cacciatore goes best with a bed of freshly made spaghetti or other long noodles. However, you can also pair it with rice or mashed potatoes. Any starchy side dish that will soak up that sauce is a good option! Don’t forget to pair it with some crusty garlic bread, too!
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through. The chicken and mushroom sauce will also keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months, just serve it up with freshly-cooked pasta!
Looking for More Easy Weeknight Meals? Be sure to also try:
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp Pasta
- Italian Sausages
- Skillet Chicken Puttanesca
- Chicken Sausage Apple Squash Sheet Pan Dinner
- Clam Pasta (Pasta Alle Vongole)
- Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Skillet
- Bruschetta Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
Easy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat your largest skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Sauté the mushrooms until they are soft and brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet.
- Butterfly and separate chicken breasts. (To skip this step you can buy chicken "cutlets" at the store, which are thinner slices of chicken breast.) Salt and pepper both sides of each piece of chicken, then dredge in flour.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Wait until butter is melted, then add the chicken to the skillet. Sauté the chicken 1-2 minutes per side. Add the wine and garlic. Cook the chicken in the wine for another 3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from skillet and tightly cover with foil to keep it warm. Add the mushrooms and 3 cups of marinara to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- To plate, place a heaping pile of spaghetti on each plate and top with 2 chicken cutlets and the mushrooms sauce. Garnish with fresh herbs.