Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

When I wrote my lighter bestselling cookbook, I immediately knew that a classic Chicken Cacciatore had to be on the roster.

This Italian favorite features a tomato-based sauce loaded with onions, peppers, and my favorite touch, olives! It is a the epitome of a flavor-packed, savory dish with just a twang of sweet.

Even better than how simple it is to make? It’s good for you.

Chicken Cacciatore
Sweet onion
Begin with a Vidalia (sweet) onion…
Diced onion
…and dice it up.
two green bell peppers
Since this is a pepper-heavy dish, take two green bells (or one green and one red if you wish)…
Diced peppers
…and dice ’em up as well.
Chicken thighs and legs
As for the chicken, I like bone-in, skin-off thighs and legs (drumsticks). Since bone-in chicken usually comes with the skin on, I simply peel it right off prior to cooking. But you can use boneless, skinless thighs and/or and breasts if you prefer. You can lightly season with salt and pepper or any seasoning you enjoy as well.
Adding some ghee (or butter) and olive oil to the Instant Pot
Add some ghee (or butter) and olive oil to the Instant Pot and heat it up.
Melted ghee
Once the ghee’s melted…
Searing chicken in pot.
…add the chicken in batches and lightly sear on each side for 20 seconds. It shouldn’t be fully cooked at all by this point.
Placing seared chicken on plate
When done, remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Adding veggies to pot.
Now let’s Cacciatore this up! Add the onion, peppers and mushrooms to the pot.
Sautéing veggies
…and sauté until they soften a bit.
Adding garlic to the pot...
Of course, add some garlic…
Adding red wine
…as well as a little dry red wine.
Deglazing pot
Deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot so no browned bits are on it….
Veggies simmering in wine.
…and let simmer for a minute.
Adding crushed tomatoes
Add in some crushed tomatoes…
Adding diced tomatoes
…diced tomatoes…
Adding chicken broth
…some chicken broth…
Adding seasonings to pot.
…and some seasoned salt, pepper, dried thyme and dried sage.
Stirring the pot
Give the pot a good stir, once again scraping the bottom so nothing’s stuck on.
Adding chicken to pot and pressure cooking.
Lay the chicken on top, secure the lid and pressure cook.
Removing cooked chicken from pot
When done, remove the chicken with tongs…
Placing chicken in serving dish.
…and place in a serving dish.
Adding can of tomato paste to pot.
Time to put the finishing touches on the sauce! Add in a can of tomato paste…
Adding olives to pot
…olives that are pitted and sliced (I use green and kalamata)…
Adding honey to pot.
…and just a touch of honey as an optional and soft sweetener.
Ladling sauce
Stir and let rest for 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken and cool slightly as the flavors come together. Use a ladle…
Placing sauce over chicken in serving dish.
…and drape the sauce over the chicken in the serving dish.
Man showing food
It’s showtime!
Man cutting into chicken
As you cut into the chicken, you won’t even need a knife. So tender!
Man tasting food
Taste your creation…
…and let the moment speak for itself. Enjoy this magnificent Chicken Cacciatore served over with some Zoodles!
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

This Italian favorite features a tomato-based sauce loaded with onions, peppers, and my favorite touch, olives! It is a the epitome of a flavor-packed, savory dish with just a twang of sweet. It's also in my bestselling lighter cookbook.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter (optional)
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks, seasoned with a little salt pepper or your favorite seasoning. (See Jeffrey's Tips)
  • 1 Vidalia (sweet) onion, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and dcied
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (like a pinot noir) or additional broth
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce (not the same as pasta sauce)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (see Jeff’s Tips)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Spanish olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced


  1. Add the oil and ghee (if using) to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté, and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. Once the oil’s bubbling and the ghee’s melted (about 3 minutes), add the chicken in batches and flash-sear for 20 seconds on each side. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, peppers, and mushrooms to the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add the wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot and let simmer for 1 minute. Really make sure the bottom of the pot is as smooth as possible with any browned bits scraped up from the deglazing.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, seasoned salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Stir until well combined, then return the chicken to the pot.
  5. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel, and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a serving dish.
  6. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, honey (if using), and olives (if using) to the pot. Stir until well combined. Let sit for 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve. Goes great over zoodles or rice.

Jeffrey's Tips

If using an 8-qt, use 3/4 cup of broth.

As for the chicken, I like bone-in, skin-off thighs and legs (drumsticks). Since bone-in chicken usually comes with the skin on, I simply peel it right off prior to cooking. But you can use boneless, skinless thighs and/or and breasts if you prefer.

If olives aren't your thing, try some roasted red peppers instead.

Reader Interactions


  1. Gretchen

    It says 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce (not the same as pasta sauce). Is this a 14.5 oz can?

  2. John Kelley

    Fell in love with my wife 52 years ago at Moliaves Restaurant in Boston, 1968. We both had chicken Cacciatore for dinner. This dish brought back wonderful memories. We both had it again tonight. I believe this version may be better. How sweet it is !! (the honey is a must !) Thanks, Jeffery

  3. Patricia Smith

    I loved it and want to make again is it okay to just use the drumsticks as this is all I have for now I ordered your new book can’t wait to get it

  4. Harry

    Very yummy dish! I used roasted red peppers instead of olives. And, I used thinly sliced chicken breasts instead of thighs. Also was able to further cut down sodium content using salt-free crushed tomatoes and salt-free diced tomatoes. Some really good flavors with this dish. Will make again!

  5. Cheryl

    This is my new favorite IP recipe. It was sooo yummy that we wanted to lick our plates clean – LOL. I used 8 chicken thighs and had plenty of sauce for a side of spaghetti. I don’t care for thyme so I used 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning. So good! And I was lucky enough to find, for the 1st time, a 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Lija

    Hi, I like the style in which you wrote the recipe. It’s very easy to follow. I was glad of the suggestion to use roasted red peppers instead of olives.
    This is my first time on your site, and I like the way it looks. I’m going to get the newsletter. I’ll try this recipe tonight, thank you Jeffrey.

  7. Patrick Farrell

    Jeffery, Amazing as always and easy! Love the sauce and and its amazing on it’s own!
    Can’t wait for your new lighter Cookbook!

  8. Barbara

    When you say “seasoned salt”, what do you mean? I live in Mexico, so if there is a product by that name, we don’t have it here.

  9. Margaret Pargin

    I think the chicken thighs need to cook longer than 6 minutes. Everything else was good bit I like the chicken falling off the bone. Maybe 12 minutes? I had to use a knife.

  10. Joann

    So I tried this today and I received a burn display. I followed all the instructions and made sure there was no stuck food on the bottom. Had to transfer it to a pan to cook. What did I do wrong?

    • Jeffrey

      Perhaps too thick with the tomato products you used? Also not sure of the size pot you used. In any case, just add more broth.

      • Trish

        Same here. Using a 6qt pot. I used a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, no diced. I added a ton of broth, but after 3 burn warnings, I finally gave up and turned the pot to slow cook instead.

  11. Dianne Holzman

    This was delicious! I used some olives and roasted red peppers, that’s what I had, and all thighs. Plenty of sauce to save. I might add a bit of crushed red pepper flakes next time. Love your recipes!

  12. Steve S

    Wow wow wow!
    We categorize recipes we like as “would make again” or “would make for guests”. This falls into the later hands down!
    Thanks Jeffery!

  13. Toni Chapman

    I used skin on thighs, they were pretty big. 10 min. still not done. put in for another 5. Perfect! So good! Thank you for another winner

  14. Gay Thomas

    Made this tonight. It was very tasty and served with rice and garlic toast. I had a lot of sauce left so froze it and will serve with shredded chicken and pasta.

  15. Sally

    No offense Jeffrey… I have all 3 cookbooks, this is absolutely delicious with my modifications, this is definitely not a light recipe if you are watching your intake/Points as I am, I’m on weight watchers… what I did for me was after I had all the oil and butter in the pot I dumped it and used only 1 tablespoon of oil and a little bit of butter… also had to skim the natural oil from the chicken once it was done, as I said if you are not worried about all that oil and butter it’s OK… But truly it’s absolutely delicious, I had to give it 9 minutes using drumsticks only as it did not get tender enough at 6 minutes but that could be my pressure cooker…Thanks again for all your easy delicious recipes ❤️

    • Jeffrey

      Glad you enjoyed but I disagree! This is most definitely a “lighter” recipe compared to a heavy, creamy (or fried) dish. Olive oil is good for you and there is a VERY small amount of butter. Remember – this is to be dispersed between 6-8 people.

  16. Jennifer

    Mr. Eisner, how DO you do it?! This was so deliciously scrumptious! My family was mmm-mmm-mmm-ing and my husband fell in love with me all over again. This is the third recipe I’ve made of yours and all three are keepers to be made often (your beef stew and your minestrone are sooo good, as well). I used bone-in skinless thighs, added the olives and the honey and served it with polenta. We had it last night and I considered having leftovers for breakfast but I can’t be that selfish. I have a couple thighs left over and much sauce so I’m thinking of shredding the chicken into the sauce with gnocchi tonight. So good! You’re awesome! Thank you!


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