This classic Italian dish can easily be made in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot for an easy weeknight dinner. Elegant enough to serve to guests, and a dish that everyone will love!
Who says you can’t enjoy fantastic Italian food on Whole30? Our last round of Whole30, I was on a mission all month to prove to my husband just how good Whole30 compliant pasta type dishes can be. He loves Italian food, and was skeptical that any of it could be made Whole30 style. And then BOOM. We enjoyed my Classic Spaghetti with spaghetti squash, my Walnut Crusted Lemon Chicken Piccata, Chicken Alfredo, and now this Chicken Cacciatore.
What I love about Italian food is that you can easily use plenty of fresh herbs and fresh ingredients to get really bold flavor. Chicken Cacciatore is a perfect example. I used a ton of vegetables (some that my kids picked out, but whatevs), and fresh herbs along with chicken braised in a yummy tomato sauce. We served over spiralized zucchini and potatoes, soooooooo delicious!!!
To braise the chicken in this recipe, you will use either the Instant Pot or the Slow Cooker. I have been partial to my Instant Pot lately because of our crazy hectic schedule. For example, when I made this the other day, I had less than a 1 hour window to make the dish, photograph, clean up, and take my kids to a birthday party. And it all got done! We also didn’t eat this meal until 6 hours later. So what did I let it do in the meantime? Sit on the counter in warm mode. The sauce thickened up nicely and I think it tasted even more delicious as time went on. I say all that to let you know, this is a perfect dish to make ahead! I often make dinner early in the day if I’m photographing (better lighting), but also because I usually have more time in the morning then I do in the afternoon or evening. Leftovers tasted even better the next day.
A few other random notes about this recipe. I am very partial to chicken breast, and have a thing against chicken with bones or even other chicken parts. Chicken Cacciatore translates to Chicken hunter, and is generally a combination of different chicken parts. Feel free to swap out breasts for thighs, or use bone-in if that suits your taste. Also, I used a ton of different herbs and flavor in this recipe, don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients. If you don’t have one particular herb on hand, don’t sweat it.
Also, the sauce may seem rather runny at first, but will thicken up. Finally, you can swap out the chicken broth and red wine vinegar for 3/4 cup red wine. I have tried that on a different non-Whole30 occasion and it was so yummy!
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
- 2 lbs chicken breast or thighs, either one is fine
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 medium sized yellow or white onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14 oz can diced or pureed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large green bell pepper diced
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup diced marinated artichoke hearts
- 3/4 cup chicken broth*
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme to serve and garnish optional
- 2 tbsp fresh basil to serve optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the Slow Cooker:
- Salt and Pepper your chicken. Place inside the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl mix together the dried spices: oregano, paprika, thyme, rosemary, & salt.
- Top chicken with onion, garlic, tomatoes, chicken broth, and tomato paste. Sprinkle spices on top.
- Cover chicken with remaining vegetables: bell pepper, mushrooms, artichoke hearts.
Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on low or until chicken is tender and cooked all the way. Stir the sauce, add in additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve over noodles, zoodles, or potatoes. Garnish with basil and thyme.
- For the Instant Pot:
- Select the saute function on your Instant Pot. While waiting to heat, salt and pepper your chicken. Cover the bottom of your Instant pot with oil, and add chicken. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pot. Add in any extra oil if needed, then toss in your onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, add garlic and cook for another minute.
Select the cancel function. Pour chicken broth (or wine if using), in the pot to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits off the bottom that might have stuck (this helps to prevent burning).
In a small bowl, mix together your dry spices: oregano, paprika, rosemary, thyme, and salt. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, and spices over the onion/garlic mixture. Give it a quick stir.
Now top the sauce with chicken, then remaining vegetables: mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and bell pepper.
- Secure the lid. Select manual and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Once cooking is complete, use a quick release. You can use a towel to cover the valve to prevent a mess. Once steam is completely released, open the lid.
- Stir around the mixture. You can let sit for several minutes to thicken up the sauce, or serve immediately. Add any additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over noodles, zoodles, or potatoes and garnish with fresh basil and thyme if using.
*In place of chicken broth you can also use a dry red wine. Just also omit the red wine vinegar if doing this option.