Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore on pasta.
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 37 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 22 mins
  • Pressure Build/Release: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

The Instant Pot electric pressure cooker makes chicken cacciatore a snap to fix and cook, and it tastes as if it simmered for hours.

Chicken cacciatore (pollo alla cacciatora) is an Italian dish prepared "hunter-style" with tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. The rustic chicken and pasta dish frequently includes wine, mushrooms, and a variety of herbs as well. The chicken and rich sauce are typically served with hot cooked pasta or rustic, crusty bread.

The Instant Pot makes this version quickly without sacrificing flavor. Serve the chicken and sauce with pasta, garlic bread, and a simple tossed salad for a satisfying, comforting family meal. The bold red sauce calls for red wine, such as Sangiovese or a fine Italian Chianti.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs (about 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (red and green)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or more stock)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Optional: fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup, for garnish and serving)
  • Optional garnish: chopped parsley (or basil, fresh)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot chicken cacciatore.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Select the Instant Pot sauté button. When the display reads hot, add the oil. Arrange the chicken thighs in the pot and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and black pepper — cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. You will probably have to sauté in batches.

    Brown the chicken thighs.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Remove the chicken thighs to a plate and set aside. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the mushrooms are golden brown. Add the garlic, oregano, and basil and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.

    Sauteeing vegetables in the Instant Pot.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Add the chicken stock and wine to the vegetables in the pot, and then add the chicken pieces. Top with the bay leaves.

    Arrange the chicken on the stock and vegetables.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Pour the crushed tomatoes over the chicken.

    Add the crushed tomatoes to the chicken layer.
    Diana Rattray
  6. Secure the lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Choose the manual or pressure cook setting (high pressure) and set the time for 12 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the valve to the venting position to release the remaining pressure. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a plate or pan and set aside.

    Remove the chicken and set aside.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Add the tomato paste to the sauce and choose the sauté function. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until thickened. Stir basil leaves into the sauce, if desired. Add the chicken back to the sauce and heat through.

    Reducing the tomato sauce and adding basil.
    Diana Rattray
  8. Transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving dish.

    Chicken cacciatore in a serving dish.
    Diana Rattray
  9. Serve the chicken and sauce atop hot cooked pasta. Garnish with chiffonade-cut basil or minced parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve extra cheese at the table.

Instant Pot chicken cacciatore with Parmesan cheese.
Diana Rattray