Pressure Cooker Rabbit - cacciatora recipe

If I told you that there is a meat that is good for the environment, tastes good and is even good for you… would you try rabbit?

Healthy eaters know that rabbit meat has the highest protein (21% compared to Beef 16% and Pork 11%) and least fat (4.5% compared to Beef 28% and Pork 45%) than any other commonly eaten meat.  Environmental stewards will like that a Rabbit can produce six pounds of meat on the same amount of feed and water it takes a cow to produce just one pound.  Backyard city and sub-urban homesteaders are adding rabbits to their chicken coops because they reproduce often, grow quickly, eat table scraps and their waste can be used to fertilize the garden!


Finding rabbit meat can be a little challenging but not impossible! Your local gourmet or foodie stores should carry it- they may have it frozen or be able to order it for you fresh.  If you don’t have one of these stores nearby, ask your supermarket butcher – he may be able to order it or suggest where to go.  You can also purchase one online from any of the family farms on the Green People list.

It is common practice to marinate rabbit meat in vinegar and water before cooking. If you caught your rabbit at the super market, you will only need to marinate it for about 4 hours.  If you caught your rabbit in the wild a 24 hour marinate is best. You can add aromas to the marinate, as I did for the recipe, below.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 14 min. High(2) Natural

4.0 from 3 reviews
Pressure Cooker Rabbit Cacciatora - Coniglio alla Cacciatora
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe only requires a pinch of salt because the rest of the saltiness will come from the salted olive brine. If you substitute the olives for another type, adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  • 1 Rabbit about 2lbs or 1kg, legs separated and body cut into 3 or 4 slices
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1 Celery Stalk, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, smashed
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 1 sprig Sage
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (250ml) Red wine
  • 1 28oz (400g) Can of whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup of black salted olives
  • Olive Oil
For Marinade:
  • 3 Bay Laurel Leaves
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley
  • 1 Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of White wine
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • enough water to cover
  1. Marinate the rabbit meat for a minimum of four hours prior to cooking by placing the rabbit pieces in a large bowl with parsley, bay leaf, roughly sliced onion, one cup of vinegar and one cup of white wine and enough water to cover the rabbit.
  2. When 4 - 24 hours have passed, discard the marinate, strain and dry the rabbit meat pieces before cooking.
  3. Fill a measuring cup with salted black olives, then add water to the 1 cup mark - set aside and do not discard the water.
  4. In your open pressure cooker, with the top off, on a medium flame add olive oil. When the oil is hot, lightly flour the meat pieces and place in the pressure cooker to sear.
  5. Turn over once and when browned on both sides pull out of the pan and set aside.
  6. Turn off the flame and add a splash of wine in the hot pan and scrub all of those delicious bits of seared rabbit stuck to the bottom of the cooker and set aside to use later.
  7. Add a tablespoon of fresh olive oil and soften the chopped onion, carrot, celery with the sage and rosemary sprigs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. When the vegetables have softened add the meat back in the pan with one cup of red wine.
  8. Let everything simmer in the wine in the uncovered pressure cooker for about 10 minutes, swooshing the contents around occasionally.
  9. Give the contents one last stir and then add the olives with their liquid, brown bits you set aside from browning the meat, tomatoes and close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  10. Turn the heat to high and when the pressure cooker reaches pressure lower the flame and begin counting 14 minutes cooking time.
  11. When the time has passed, open the pressure cooker using Natural Release- turn off the heat and wait for it the pressure to come down naturally.
  12. If the tomatoes are still whole, give them a light squeeze with the tongs - and don't forget to remove the remaining stems of the rosemary and sage springs!

Pressure Cooker Rabbit Game Recipe

So… would you like more rabbit recipes?


  1. I love rabbit and haven’t made it in several years. You have inspired me to get back to it!

  2. like the recipe!
    thanks for visiting my blog and for answering my questions about pressure cooker :D

  3. Hi,

    Thanks a lot for this recipe – I’ve just tried it out at home and it was delicious. You can see my version at:

    (With acknowledgements, of course!)

  4. We used to have rabbit when I was a kid. It’s very good. If I thought I could get my family to eat it, I’d get some. Maybe I will anyway. I see them in the store once in a while but not all the time.

    As for raising them in my backyard … I’m afraid I would become overrun with bunnies because I wouldn’t be able to kill one to eat. I’d have to have someone else do the dirty work and then I’d be happy to eat them.

  5. We’re having it for easter!

  6. We’re having it for easter!

  7. I plan to use this recipe when my husband comes back into town next week. I expect he will love it. We have several still in the freezer, left from our last batch of 16 rabbits, raised on home-grown barley fodder, and they have been delicious so far. They averaged 2# 14 oz dressed weight at 10 weeks. Very efficient feed to meat conversion. We have fried them, sauteed them, pressure-cooked them with rabbit stock and served them over rice and alongside potatoes. Wonderful! Ours have been universally tender and did not need marinating, either. Home raised rabbit, along with our home-raised poultry and eggs, greatly supplements our protein requirements. I can recommend these small livestock options for the micro urban farmer. We only have two does and two bucks, but they are great producers! Now, if I could just get the garden to produce as well. Working on it.

  8. I would definitely like more rabbit recipes. I’m one of those homesteaders that’s doing the “sustainable” thing, so rabbits we have, but I didn’t find any pressure cooker recipes for rabbit other than this one. Everything I’ve seen uses the stovetop, oven, but mostly grill. Also, there is one Spanish recipe in particular that I would like to see adapted for pressure cooking. It’s called Conejo al ajillo, or basically Garlic Rabbit. It’s very popular in Spain, the Caribbean, and South America. My husband says the flavor and texture cannot be beat, and he wants me to make it, but my one and only try on our first rabbit came out dry and tough, and the really good recipes I see are on youtube and I don’t understand the languages used. Our rabbits are still maturing, so there’s time for me to go through recipes…but I do nearly all my cooking in the pressure cooker, so if there’s a way I can come up with a variety of dishes that use the pressure cooker…for rabbit, muscovy, goose, and chicken then I’m all for it. Esp dishes that aren’t always a soup or a stew. I’ve saved this recipe to try.

  9. Do you have a recipe to prepare the filling for rabbitpie?

  10. This recipe sounds delicious. I was wondering if I could pull the meat off the bone after the pressure time and add it back? My family don’t like to eat rabbit meat off the bone. Thank you for your time!!

    1. Yes, of course you can pull the meat off the bones – as you may already know rabbit is notorious for very small ribs and other little bones that tend to get stuck between the teeth. I think shredding and adding the meat back is an excellent idea!



  11. I made this last night with the sole modification of replacing half the water with olive brine.

    I should preface by saying that my wife is a big fan of rabbit, so not only have I prepared it many ways , she has also eaten it out whenever possible.

    The rabbit that resulted from this recipe was the best either she or I have ever had. I cannot thank you enough.

    I used the Meat setting on my Instant Pot DUO80. I cooked for 18 minutes (converted from stovetop 14 minutes specified in the recipe). The meat was just barely TOO fall-off-the-bone, but I attribute that to the fact that I made the rookie mistake of leaving Keep Warm on, and as a result Natural pressure release hadn’t occurred 30 minutes after cooking, at which point I released it manually. Next time I’ll give it 10-15 minutes max before I release the pressure manually.

    I’ll probably make it an “angry” rabbit (add hot pepper) and find a way to add a lot of mushrooms, including porcini. Eventually. Right now I’m just ecstatic with it as-is. Thanks again!

    1. Welcome Curtis,

      Keep warm does not trigger until AFTER pressure has released. It maintains a temperature below that needed to pressurize the container.

      What you are seeing is the fact there is a hot electric element under the pot. And the pot is insulated to an extent by the outer casing. All electrics take quite a long time to lose pressure whether “Keep Warm” is enabled or not.

      Laura talks about 10 minute release quite a bit in her later recipes. This is the same conclusion you have come to.

      1. Thanks for the info, Greg.

  12. Are there other recopies for rabbit. I just got my instant pot and have been looking for ways to cook my rabbits in it with out having to make a fancy dish.

    1. Brandy, you can make any “boiled” chicken recipe but use the rabbit pressure cooking time!

      Try this one – it has a completely different flavor profile from the cacciatora:



  13. Would you alter the instructions or cooking time if using an electric pressure cooker?

    1. I would make it pretty much the same the first time. The only changes would be those needed for the Electric (e.g. Put on Sauté rather than “sear the Rabbit on a medium flame”)

      It may need an extra couple of minutes on Step 10, but as it is Natural release and electrics tend to do this slower that stovetops I would try first at the stated time first and if necessary put it back on for an extra couple of minutes and do a “Normal” release this time. Then if it was necessary I would add the extra time from the get go if it was needed the next time I cooked it.

  14. Yes, I need more rabbit recipes . Would o nly let me click 3 stars

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