Chicken Instant Pot Recipes Recipes

Last updated on May 30th, 2024 at 04:56 pm

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Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore [Video]

Instant Pot chicken cacciatore is a saucy dish with tender chicken thighs drenched in a flavorful and slightly tangy tomato sauce. It is seasoned with garlic, sweet onion, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, and capers, giving it a full-bodied fragrance and flavor. Chunks of bell pepper are mixed with tomatoes for a more textured sauce. The best part is that it takes just 30 minutes to make.

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore is such an impressive dish that it only takes minutes to put together. I perfected this recipe to the point that it’s foolproof. What I like most is that you basically dump all the ingredients into the Pressure Cooker and let it do its magic. For the perfect finish, I highly recommend broiling the chicken for a few minutes right before serving it. The sauce is perfectly sweet and tangy and delicious served on top of a bed of pasta.

When I visited Tuscany years ago with my husband, we came across a tiny Italian restaurant tucked away in the hills. The only reason we found it was that we smelled a delicious aroma and followed it. Others already did that because it was crowded for a place off the beaten path, so to speak. And we found out why when they brought our food.

The chicken cacciatore was rich and tomatoey, the chicken tender and juicy, and the vegetables perfect. After eating that dish, I decided to make my own at home. Most of the ingredients were obvious, but it took me a while to figure out that it had red pepper flakes. They do not make it spicy, so I first missed it. Then, after I tried a little bit in the mixture, I realized that was precisely what was missing.

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore is such an impressive dish that it only takes minutes to put together. I perfected this recipe to the point that it’s foolproof. What I like most is that you basically dump all the ingredients into the Pressure Cooker and let it do its magic. For the perfect finish, I highly recommend broiling the chicken for a few minutes right before serving it. 

Being so full of tomato flavor, this dish goes great on top of pasta for a hearty meal. The sauce is perfectly sweet and tangy, add some chunks of French bread to soak up that goodness.

Why you will love this recipe

  • It is full of flavor: The rich tomato sauce, herbs and spices, vegetables, and broth allow the chicken to soak up many flavors.
  • It cooks fast: Making it in the instant pot brings the cooking time from about an hour to just 10 minutes.
  • Minor cleanup: Since you are making it all in the instant pot, you do not have a ton of dishes to clean afterward.
  • Everyone loves it: I have not found anyone who did not enjoy this dish. Unless you do not like the flavor of tomatoes, you have to love it. 

What you’ll need to make this instant pot chicken cacciatore

Special items:

  • Instant pot – Whatever kind you have is fine.
  • Tongs – For removing the chicken to broil.
  • Baking pan – For broiling the chicken. 


  • Chicken – I make my cacciatore with thighs that still have bones and skin for the most intense flavor and juiciness.
  • Chicken broth – I recommend using organic low-sodium chicken broth for the best taste with less salt. The capers add enough saltiness.
  • Tomatoes – Diced tomatoes in a 14 to 15-ounce can is what I prefer.
  • Tomato sauce – My favorite for this recipe is Monte’s, but you can use whatever you like.
  • Bell pepper – Any color is fine, it needs to be cleaned, deseeded, and diced.
  • Sweet onion – Also diced; I prefer using Vidalia sweet onions.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic gives you the best flavor without bitter aftertaste.
  • Capers – These salty little flower buds add depth and intense briny flavor.
  • Italian seasoning – Try my easy recipe for homemade Italian seasoning.
  • Basil – Even though it is already in the seasoning, I like to double up because it adds a sweet and spicy flavor.
  • Thyme – Also in the seasoning, thyme is another one I love to add more of because of its spicy sweetness.
  • Oregano—It would be hard to find an Italian dish without oregano. This herb gives your sauce a wonderful aroma and savory earthiness.
  • Red pepper flakes – Just a tiny bit for a hint of spiciness.
  • Salt – Kosher salt is best for a clean taste and no additives.
  • Pepper – For the most refreshing and peppery taste, grind your pepper from black peppercorns.
  • Cornstarch – To make the slurry to thicken the sauce.
  • Water – To dissolve the cornstarch.

How to make instant pot chicken cacciatore?

  1. Pressure cook: Add all ingredients except the chicken to the pot and stir well. Then, add the chicken and close the lid. Set it for 10 minutes on high. When it is done, let it naturally release for 10 minutes before allowing the rest of the pressure out.
  2. Make it crispy: After, use your tongs to remove the chicken to a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Brush it with melted butter or oil and some of the cooking sauce. Then, broil it for five to nine minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Thicken the sauce: While the chicken crisps, mix the cornstarch in water until it dissolves and add it to the pot. Saute for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is thick.
  4. Let it rest: After, put the chicken back into the pot and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

How to make Chicken Cacciatore in the Slow Cooker?

If you don’t own a Pressure Cooker, or simply if you want to make this dish in the Slow Cooker, just follow the directions below.

  1. The ingredient list stays the same, except these two: use 1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes and do not use the broth.
  2. Sear the meat before adding it to the slow cooker, or you can broil it after it’s done cooking.
  3. Then, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, except the chicken. Stir to combine and add the chicken on top.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. If the sauce is too watery, you can always thicken it by stirring in a cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water) and let it cook for another 20-30 minutes.

Expert tip

Choosing the best tomato sauce

When making a tomato dish with canned tomato sauce, you must know which one you like best. This is a matter of opinion, so there is no right or wrong answer. It is just what you enjoy. I prefer Monte’s, but there are many popular varieties that I have used, like Carmine’s, Marzano, and Lucini. Monte’s is best overall because it is smooth but not too smooth, seasoned well, and has a complex flavor profile. It is also thick enough to stick.

Carmine’s is a more old-fashioned tomato sauce with fresh basil leaves, yellow onions, and plum tomatoes. It is a traditional red sauce at its finest. Marzano is a marinara sauce that comes from San Marzano, Italy. The ingredients are all from Italy and it has a beautiful tomato taste. Lucini has visible basil leaves in it straight from the garden in Tuscany with carrots, onions, and olive oil.

This recipe also calls for diced tomatoes. I tested these on taste, texture, and appearance. I like Del Monte tomatoes the best, but Red Gold is a close second. They both have excellent juicy tomatoes with fresh tomato flavor. Del Monte only beat this one because of its appearance. The tomatoes in the Del Monte can be more attractive. Other good choices include Bianco DiNapoli, San Merican, and Pastene.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Different cuts: You could use chicken breasts instead of thighs for a change. I recommend keeping the bones and skin, though.
  • Other meats: If you would like to try other meats in this dish, pork and turkey are two excellent choices.
  • Add more veggies: To make your dish heartier, add extra vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, peas, corn, and whatever else you like.
  • Add fruit: To give your chicken a sweeter flavor, toss in some chunks of pineapple or mandarin oranges.
  • Hot and spicy: Turn this into a spicy cacciatore with hot sauce, jalapenos, and cayenne pepper.

Serving suggestions:

Instant pot chicken cacciatore goes great with all sorts of side dishes. Try some of these ideas.

  • Garlic bread always goes well with red sauce. Or you can try my easy homemade bread sticks.
  • A salad is another perfect accompaniment for chicken cacciatore, I love this easy onion and tomato Italian salad.
  • Don’t forget dessert. A slice of limoncello tiramisu or some cannoli would be fantastic. 
  • This dish is traditionally served on pasta but would also be perfect on top of white or brown rice.
  • Other side dishes that would be nicely served with this are roasted asparagus, baked potatoes, or corn on the cob.

Frequently asked questions

What is chicken cacciatore sauce made of?

Aside from the chicken, the essential ingredients of classic chicken cacciatore are onions, herbs, bell peppers, white (or red) wine, broth, capers, tomatoes, and sometimes mushrooms. Other original recipes include black olives, chopped carrots, diced celery, and tomato paste instead of tomato sauce. I have also seen recipes that call for chicken thighs and breasts, along with all other ingredients, for a larger meal.

What cut of chicken is best for this recipe?

I prefer bone-in chicken thighs with the skin still on them. This gives them the meatiest flavor, and the bones keep the chicken incredibly juicy and tender. The skin can be removed if you are worried about fat or cholesterol. Sometimes, I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a lighter dish. The white meat is milder and soaks up more sauce for a more flavorful chicken without the extra meaty taste. Either way, it is delicious.

Why is my chicken chewy and tough?

Cooking chicken in an instant pot is a science because you have to follow the recipe exactly to prevent overcooking. When cooking chicken thighs with the bones in, you will cook them longer than if you were making them skinless and boneless. After 10 minutes and a 10-minute natural release, check the internal temperature. If it is over 163 degrees F, you do not need to cook it any longer. 

What are some good substitutes for capers?

This Mediterranean spice is a flower bud that has not bloomed. It is pickled and dried to give it a salty and rich taste with a hint of lemon and floral notes. Since it is so rich and salty, it can be replaced with chopped green olives if you have to. Although it is not the same, it does have a meaty and salty taste. Other good substitutes include chopped pickles, green peppercorns, caper berries, or artichoke hearts.

How to store:

  • Refrigerate: This dish can be saved for several days in the fridge. Just make sure you put it in a sealed container.   
  • Freezing: It is also easy to freeze. Put it in a freezer bag or another freezer-safe container, and you can keep it for three months.   
  • Defrost: For the best taste and texture, thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the microwave for one to two minutes or in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

More Instant Pot recipes:

Recipe tips:

  • Drain and rinse your capers well before using them, or they will overpower all the other flavors.
  • Also, do not cook your chicken too long; it will be chewy and rubbery, or just fall apart if pressure cooked for too long.
  • You can separate your leftovers into single-serve containers for easier reheating.
  • Although you do not have to broil your chicken afterward, it gives it a nice golden brown crispy skin.
  • If your sauce is still too thin after letting it sit for 10 minutes, dissolve another tablespoon of cornstarch in water and add it to the pot. Sauté for one to two minutes.

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Instant Pot chicken cacciatore is a saucy dish with tender chicken thighs drenched in a flavorful and slightly tangy tomato sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes!

  • Prep Time10 MIN
  • Cook Time30 MIN
  • Servings 4 servings


Chicken Cacciatore:

  • 4 chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cornstarch Slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Add all the ingredients from the "Chicken Cacciatore" list, except chicken, to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken on top and lock the lid. Make sure the valve points are sealed.
  • Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure, and once the IP beeps, do a 10-minute natural pressure release. Carefully release the remaining pressure and open the lid.
  • Preheat oven Broil.
  • Using kitchen tongs, gently transfer the chicken to a baking pan that has been sprayed with olive oil or lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush the chicken with olive oil or melted butter. You can also use some of the cooking sauce.
  • Broil for 5-10 minutes under the hot broil or until the chicken is golden-brown. Watch it closely so as not to burn it.
  • In the meantime, if the tomato sauce is too thin, you can cook it on Sauté for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reduces.
  • Or mix two tablespoons of water with two tablespoons of cornstarch until thoroughly combined, and add the slurry to the sauce in the Instant Pot on Sauté. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  • Serve over pasta with the chicken. Garnish with parsley or green onions if desired.

Nutrition Facts

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If I wanted to add vegetables to this dish, what would you suggest? Thanks

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini!

Mangalagiri Sarees and Dress Materials

Mangalagiri Sarees and Dress Materials

Oh, this looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it!

Rosemary Scott

Rosemary Scott

Can you leave out the capers

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

yes, it will still be delicious



What if I wanted to double the recipe? Can I just double all the ingredient amounts?

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

yes, it should work.

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