Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half or 1 thigh and 1 drumstick, 1/2 cup sauce, and 1 cup pasta)

For this classic Italian chicken dish, simmer chicken pieces in a hearty mixture of onion, tomato, and celery flavored with capers, olives and fresh herbs and serve over pasta.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken breasts to pan, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until the chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken breasts from pan. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add celery, and sauté 5 minutes. Add basil and next 8 ingredients (basil through bay leaves). Return chicken to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaves. Serve with pasta, and garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Chef's Notes

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Ratings & Reviews

purplem0nkey's Review

March 27, 2011
Overall this is a delicious recipe. I do like it better with modification by cutting down to 1/2 cup of celery and add 1 cup of carrots, 1 tbp of tomato paste, 1/2 cup of red wine instead of vinegar, 1/2 tsp sugar and adding 8oz of mushroom when cooking un covered.

user's Review

October 21, 2010
I've made this dish quite a few times now. While I am happy with the ingredients and outcome as is, when I have time, especially when serving this to guests, I like to pump it up a bit by adding 1 cup diced carrots and 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms. I agree with others that a cup of red wine enhances the flavor, and I also add a half a can of tomato paste to thicken it up a bit. Like others, I prefer to use all chicken thighs (skinless), and when I have it on hand, I add a 1/4 cup of minced, fresh thyme and cup back to 1/4 cup of fresh basil. Either way, it always gets rave reviews!

EricaT's Review

January 25, 2009
I used much less chicken that it called for. That was just too much meat. I used black olives because that's what my family likes best and I don't like capers, so I left those out. But I loved the recipe and have added it to my permanant file.

flowerpot916's Review

October 08, 2010
Wow! This was delicious! I used kalamata olives and added extra tomatoes and a cup of red wine. I definitely recommend using the chicken combination of breasts, legs and thighs. Wonderful flavor! Will make often!

kellienoel's Review

September 19, 2010
This is my favorite chicken dish! I follow the recipe exactly except that I only use dark meat. You can find boneless wings and thighs in the chicken section at your grocery store. The dark meat gives a much better chicken flavor. Absolutely amazing cacciatore recipe!

ReganDeHaven's Review

September 01, 2010
This was delicious - I used red bell peppers and mushrooms in place of the celery and really enjoyed. I used penne pasta and next time will use vermicelli or angel hair and possibly cook the pasta with the sauce before serving to let them absorb the sauce. I will definietly add it to my regular dishes.

StaceyS4's Review

July 20, 2010

jef9up's Review

August 16, 2012
Way too salty for my taste with the vinegar, olives & capers. Cook time was too long for the final reward. I won't bother making it again and will stick to other cacciatore recipes.