How many calories does a Chicken Cacciatore have?

Chicken Cacciatore is a classic Italian chicken dish that is full of flavor but can also be high in calories. The exact calorie count of Chicken Cacciatore depends on the specific ingredients and portion size. However, in general, a serving of Chicken Cacciatore contains around 500-800 calories.

What is Chicken Cacciatore?

Chicken Cacciatore, which translates to “Chicken Hunter Style”, is an Italian chicken dish that typically contains pieces of chicken braised in a tomato-based sauce with onions, garlic, mushrooms, herbs, and often wine or broth. Some variations also include bell peppers, olives, or capers.

It’s a rustic, comfort food type of dish that is meant to use up ingredients on hand. So recipes can vary quite a bit based on what you have available in your pantry. But the basic components are chicken, tomato sauce, onions/garlic, and Italian herbs.

Calories in Chicken

The main source of calories in Chicken Cacciatore comes from the chicken itself. The calorie count of chicken can vary depending on the cut of chicken used:

Chicken Cut Calories per 3 oz cooked (85g)
Chicken breast 140
Chicken thigh 170
Chicken drumstick 180

As you can see, chicken thigh and drumstick contain a bit more calories per ounce than chicken breast due to their higher fat content. A typical Chicken Cacciatore recipe calls for 8-12 ounces of boneless chicken pieces. So the chicken alone contributes 200-400 calories to the dish.

Calories in Tomato Sauce

The tomato-based sauce is the other primary contributor of calories in Chicken Cacciatore. Tomato sauce is made up of tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, and often oil or butter. Here are the calorie counts for typical tomato sauce ingredients:

Ingredient Calories per 1/2 cup
Canned tomatoes 55
Onion, chopped 30
Garlic, minced 13
Olive oil 120
Butter 400
Red wine 125

Most Chicken Cacciatore recipes call for 1-2 cups of tomato/sauce. So the sauce can contribute 200-500 calories to the dish depending on ingredients used.

Calories from Additional Ingredients

In addition to chicken and tomato sauce, Chicken Cacciatore also typically contains:

  • Onions – 30 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Bell peppers – 15 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Mushrooms – 15 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Olives – 80 calories per 1/4 cup
  • Capers – 20 calories per tablespoon

When added up, these additional ingredients normally add around 100-200 extra calories to a Chicken Cacciatore recipe.

Putting It All Together

Based on standard ingredients and portions, a typical serving of Chicken Cacciatore would contain:

  • Chicken (8 oz) – 280 calories
  • Tomato sauce (1.5 cups) – 300 calories
  • Onions, peppers, mushrooms (1 cup) – 100 calories
  • Total: Around 680 calories per serving

However, recipes can vary quite a bit. Using more oil or butter in the sauce or adding higher calorie ingredients like olives or capers would increase the total. Using more chicken or making a larger portion would also add more calories.

Here is a rough estimate for calorie ranges of Chicken Cacciatore based on portion size:

Serving Size Estimated Calories
1 cup 500-600
1.5 cups 650-750
2 cups 800-900

Ways to Make Chicken Cacciatore Lower Calorie

Here are some tips for reducing the calorie count in Chicken Cacciatore:

  • Use chicken breast instead of thighs/drumsticks
  • Cook with tomato sauce instead of cream-based sauce
  • Use minimal added oil or butter
  • Increase vegetables to chicken ratio
  • Use reduced sodium tomato products
  • Omit higher calorie add-ins like olives or capers
  • Portion into single servings instead of family-style
  • Serve over a bed of salad greens instead of pasta or polenta

With some simple substitutions and adjustments, you can enjoy Chicken Cacciatore as a flavorful main dish that doesn’t break the calorie bank.

Healthy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Here is a recipe for a healthier version of Chicken Cacciatore with around 500 calories per serving:


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8 oz mushroom, sliced
  • 1 (28 oz) can no salt added crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned on the outside. Remove chicken to a plate.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Return the chicken to the skillet along with any juices. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce reduces slightly.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve chicken and sauce over zucchini noodles or a salad for a lower carb option.

This version uses lean chicken breast, minimal oil, and bumps up the veggies. With approximately 500 calories per serving, it provides you the delicious flavors of Chicken Cacciatore in a lighter, healthier meal.

Nutrition Information

Based on 6 servings, each around 1.5 cups. The nutrition facts can vary based on specific brands of ingredients used.

Amount per serving Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Sodium Total Carbs Protein
1.5 cups 500 5g 1g 400mg 15g 50g

The Bottom Line

Chicken Cacciatore can range widely in its calorie content based on ingredients used and serving size. On average, a serving provides 500-800 calories. By using lean chicken, cooking with tomato sauce instead of cream, and upping the vegetable ratio, you can make a delicious chicken cacciatore with around 500 calories per serving.

With some adjustments, Chicken Cacciatore can be a filling and savory main dish that doesn’t need to break your daily calorie allotment. As with any dish, be mindful of your portion size and ingredients used to keep the calorie count reasonable.

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