Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for the summer – there’s no prep, other than throwing the ingredients together and a couple of smashes – no chopping.  So put that cutting board and knife away, you won’t need them!

Any meat can be cooked alla Cacciatora.  Originally, this cooking method was reserved for wild “caught” meats, but today it can be used with any meat you catch at the butcher. In America, “alla cacciatora” (the way of the hunter) was abbreviated to the simpler “cacciatore” (hunter) but it still means to cook meat in tomatoes, a splash of  wine with seasonal vegetables and a sprinkle of olives.  What you do with the rest is up to the cook, so this is my summery interpretation of this dish..

My mediterranean cooking is very rustic – the fewer things to peel or chop, the better. To make it even easier, I forego the usual natural release for meats, and use the accelerated evaporation of “Normally Released” foods to reduce the cooking liquid a bit (this is ok for stew-type meat recipes).  There will still be a bit of cooking liquid left, and you can use it in place of water to make an accompaniment of steamed rice or mashed potatoes.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger  none 12-14 min. High(2) Normal

5.0 from 4 reviews
Cherry Tomato Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 4 to 6 people
  • Serving size: 1½ pieces
  • Calories: 81.3
  • TOTAL Fat: 6.4g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 6.6g
  • Sugar Carbs: 2.8g
  • Sodium: 588.3mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 0.6g
  • Protein: 4.3g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Make this recipe with bone-in chicken drumsticks, too. If you want to use chicken breasts you should use bone-in, skin-on breasts only to follow recommended cooking time in the recipe. If using frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts use only 1½ pounds (750g) and pressure cook for only 5 minutes.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds (1.5 kilos) bone-in chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 pound (500g) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed.
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes (or one fresh hot pepper, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (use 2 teaspoons if your chicken has not been previously salt-brined)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup (60ml) tart red table wine (such as Merlot)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 sprig fresh basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup (70g) pitted green olives, rinsed
  1. In the heated pressure cooker, add the olive oil and brown the chicken thighs on all sides.
  2. In the meantime, remove the stems from the cherry tomatoes and put them in a large ziploc bag so they are in a single layer. Close the bag almost completely - leave a tiny hole at the end. Or loosely knot a common plastic bag.
  3. With a meat pounder, or heavy pot, lightly crush all of the cherry tomatoes - the goal is to burst them open, not flatten them.
  4. Set the chicken aside and pour the crushed cherry tomato mixture and all of its juice into the pressure cooker base.
  5. Add the garlic, hot pepper, salt , oregano, wine and water and mix well, scraping up the brown bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the cooker.
  6. Place the chicken back into the pressure cooker and mix to coat the chicken with the contents of the cooker. Then, "smooth" out the chicken pieces into an even layer.
  7. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  8. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 13-14 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 12 minutes pressure cooking time.
  9. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure through the valve.
  10. Stir the contents and let the cooker stand uncovered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to reduce some of the cooking liquid using the pressure cooker's residual heat.
  11. Using a slotted spoon, lift into a serving casserole and sprinkle with green olives and basil before serving.
  12. Reserve the broth left in the base of the pressure cooker to use in place of stock in a risotto or rice recipe.

magefesa practika plus pressure cooker

EASY & Quick Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore


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  1. Looks lovely.
    Coincidentally I am browning chicken for chicken fricassee right now.
    My chicken never browns nicely like yours in the Instant Pot. I am lucky to get a few brownish spots with the skin remaining soft. Usually I do it in a frying pan because it is much easier to brown a larger batch and to clean up the frying pan after. Takes half the time and the chicken browns perfectly but someone borrowed my frying pan.

    So what is your secret to the lovely browned chicken. I have tried different heat settings, more oil, less oil etc..

    1. Helen, I wait until IP says “hot” add a splash of oil, do the chicken in batches and wait a long time per side (5 min?) and I don’t touch it. Realistically, I only brown the “presentation” side – even when I’m not doing photos – as I’ve found that if you brown all around the caramelization that is in the cooking liquid “washes off” the meat during cooking.



  2. Basically what I did today. The chicken has dark brown spots where it stuck to the pan. Rest is pasty white or vaguely yellow. I know it will be delicious despite this but one wants things to look as attractive as possible too. Oh well in a month I will return home where I have way too many frying pans..

  3. This dish is lovely, and now on my regular rotation. I first made it when my friend’s garden was bursting with cherry tomatoes! I don’t “bash” the tomatoes anymore, but simply pierce each with a sharp knife. (I’m retired, so I don’t need a good therapeutic bash at the end of the day!) I also use all wine and it’s not overpowering in the least. All in all a delightful “keeper”! Highly recommended.

  4. The chicken turned out great but the tomatoes were gone, only some skinsand seeds remained. Did you really cook those for 13 minutes?

  5. What do you think about making this with 2 little Cornish game hens side by side? I think it would turn out nicely, but I have no idea how much time for those little birds, as opposed to adapting for a whole chicken (which I wouldn’t do anyway). Anyone have an idea for a ballpark time?

    1. Hi Mary, that sounds great! You don’t have to ballpark the cooking time – we have the Quail Cooking time listed in the Pressure Cooking Time Chart!



  6. I made this today but still had 2 cups of liquid left after letting it sit for 5 minutes with stirring. I ended up scooping out the chicken and tomatoes but don’t have much of a sauce. Should I have had that much liquid left? The taste was delicious however!

  7. Kelly, I’ve never had a surplus of juice. Was your chicken/tomato/liquid ratio correct? (I have a stovetop pressure cooker.)

    1. Now that I look at the pictures more closely (not on a cell phone), I had about the same quantity of juice as is in the last picture (after cooking). My tomatoes were more broken down, but everything else looks right. Thanks!

      1. I forgot to mention in the recipe to reserve the broth to use a stock for making rice or risotto – I hope you did! I have added this, now.

        The liquid that the chicken contributes can vary quite a bit – almost all chicken meat in the U.S. is both brined and injected with extra liquid so it all has to go somewhere – in our case it just stays in the pot!



  8. Hello, ladies! I am just receive the InstaPot as a present and now looking for the recipes. This site appears to be awesome. My question tonight is when you brown the chicken, do you do this with the open lid or closed. I’m sorry if I sound stupid. I have never used this thing before.

    1. Without the lid. : )




  9. Hi, I am trying to make this recipe with frozen chicken breast. The first time I made it, I cut the breasts in half to lay them evenly in the IP, and after 5 minutes, they were a little overdone. This time, I used 3 whole breasts, but they were smaller so I could arrange them in the pot, 5 minutes at HP again, and quick release. Again, slightly overdone.

    The sauce etc is really nice, and I am using the leftover to make brown rice, but I’d like to nail the cooking time on the chicken as well. Any thoughts? Would it be better if they were thawed? Cooked a shorter amount of time? I’m really trying to work on my meat-cooking skills, so any hints would be great!

    Thanks so much and also for your other great recipes!

    1. Christine, unfortunately, as you’ve found out chicken breasts don’t do that well in the pressure cooker. They usually cook all the way through before the cooker even reaches pressure. I only recommend using boneless-skinless breasts if you DO want to over-cook them (as in the burrito bowl recipe) or as rolle’s.

      Give bone-in chicken pieces a shot – you’ll find that besides pressure cooking perfectly they will also have more flavor, too!



  10. Would it be possible to use frozen chicken thighs, and not thaw them?

    1. If you add a little extra water and tomatoes, to cover the chicken thinghs, you can do it. You also need to increase the pressure cooking time. Here are the details on how to do it:



  11. Is this really only 81 calories per serving?

  12. I cooked it for 12 mins and my tomatoes are destroyed. I so wish I wouldn’t have used my garden cherry tomatoes. What a waste :(
    Any idea what went wrong? I only cook my chicken breast 8 minutes so 13 seems like too much time.

    1. I’m sorry you’re not happy with the results- but the recipe called for bone-in chicken pieces and crushed cherry tomatoes. Chicken breasts require much less time to pressure cook and by crushing the cherry tomatoes first, they actually keep most of their shape through cooking whereas when you put them in whole – they kind of break-up where they want to which is usually everywhere.

      My recipes are written to produce no-fail results and I think if you try it as written, you will be really happy with what comes out of the pressure cooker. Actually, it will look just like the picture on this page.

      Promise. : )



      P.S. Don’t forget to watch my Pressure Cooking School video series – especially the lesson on pressure cooking meats! ; )

  13. I’m sorry my post wasn’t clear, but they were bone-in, and I did crush the tomatoes. I followed the recipe exactly, except for adding a few chicken thighs I had to cook up before they spoiled. I was just surprised a thick chicken breast, cooks less time. The meat was fine. It was the tomatoes I was disappointed in. They evaporated during cooking and all I had left for skins. I’ve been cooking with a pressure cooker for over two years, and I’m not one for changing recipes. I follow them as written. Normally I don’t make comments on posts, but after using all my Garden tomatoes that I waited weeks to harvest, I was disappointed enough to try to find out what happened.

  14. Nailed it! We use chopped up tomatoes from the garden and fresh herbs because we had them. This recipe seems pretty foolproof!

  15. I am no expert in this, LC, but my experience is that store-bought cherry tomatoes are tougher than garden raised. They likely are picked green and hard and then artificially ripened using a gas method. They can be just as sweet and red, but they are still harder than my garden raised. Hope this helps.

  16. What can be used instead of wine? I haven’t used my IP yet (it was a gift) & I wanted to try this recipe first because it looks really simple. Thank you!!!!

    1. The wine can be replaced with chicken stock.



  17. Made this last night – perfect! I saved the leftover liquid and will follow your recommendation and use in risotto. Thanks for another great recipe!

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