A Cozy One-Pan Wonder: Chicken “Picca-Tore” Pasta, For When You Can’t Pick Between Two Faves

Piccata-Cacciatore Penne Pasta

I really love meals that are zesty, and I really love meals that are lemony. But even more, I really, really love meals where the two can be put together to form a unique “one-pan” meal that is easy to prepare and sure to impress. Really, aren’t those the best? I mean, what could be better than rich, deep flavors all tossed together and allowed to bubble, mix and mingle until extremely friendly with each other? The thought of layering flavors and building a dish that is both saucy and vibrant all in one pan is utterly appealing to me; and when the only thing left to do is to toss in some tender pasta, then dinner is definitely ready to be served. Talk about comfort food at its easiest and classiest.

Piccata-Cacciatore Penne Pasta

Piccata-Cacciatore Penne Pasta

The simple and classic flavors of Chicken Piccata are a lemon-lovers dream; cutlets of seared chicken breast paired with wine and salty capers creates a savory-tangy sauce that clings ever-so silkily. And of course, there’s the bold and tomato-y Chicken Cacciatore, with the sweet intensity of bell peppers, onions, garlic and fresh herbs — perfect comfort food that simmers together until it’s reduced down to its richest flavors and most enticing aromas. Both delectable dishes, and both irresistible. And both work wonderfully well when combined into one, easily prepared “one-pan” pasta meal that anyone would be thrilled to dig into, and will be asking for again and again. And guess what? You’ll be happy to oblige, because when it’s a “one-pan” kind of meal, it’s a “no prob” kind of deal.

Piccata-Cacciatore Penne Pasta

Piccata-Cacciatore Penne Pasta

Never having to pick between Chicken Piccata and Chicken Cacciatore because there’s a scrumptious way to bring the two together to create Chicken “Picca-Tore” Pasta, means never having a less-than-truly-divine pasta dinner in your repertoire ever again. It also means joyful faces around the dinner table, and bowls being lifted for second helpings of saucy pasta bliss. Sounds like the best of both worlds, and the tastiest way ever to say “I love you”, doesn’t it?

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


Piccata-Cacciatore Penne Pasta

Lemony Chicken “Picca-Tore” Pasta with Tomatoes, Yellow Bell Peppers, Onions, Garlic and Capers with Wine and Fresh Herbs
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(Serves about 4)


2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press, divided use
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
• Salt
• Black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
• Olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
2 yellow bell peppers, cored and seeded, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ cup sauvignon blanc (or other white wine)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons capers
½ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces cooked penne pasta


-Add the chicken pieces into a large bowl, and add in about 2 cloves worth of the pressed garlic, the lemon zest and juice, and a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, and toss to coat; allow the meat to marinate for about 10 minutes.

-Place a large braising pan or heavy-bottom saute pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil; while the pan heats up, sprinkle the flour over the chicken pieces and toss the pieces to coat; once the pan is hot, add in the coated chicken pieces, and allow them to caramelize and become golden-brown on that first side, then toss them and allow them to become golden-brown on the  other side, about 3-4 minutes total; remove the chicken pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

-Into that same pan, drizzle in a little more oil if needed, and add in the onions and the yellow bell peppers, and allow them to caramelize until a light golden-brown; next, add in the Italian seasoning, about 2 teaspoons of salt, and about ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; add in the remainder of the garlic, and stir it in.

-Once the garlic has become aromatic, add in the Sauvignon Blanc and allow it to quickly reduce for about 30 seconds while you scrape up the good browned bits on the bottom of the pan; next add in the dice tomatoes with their juice, along with the capers and the chicken stock, and stir.

-Simmer the sauce on medium-low/low, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes; once simmered, turn off the heat, and add back into the pan the chicken pieces, the brown sugar and the chopped parsley, plus another good drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt if needed, and stir to combine; finish by adding into the pan the cooked penne pasta, and toss the pasta well to coat it in the sauce.

-Serve garnished with shaved or grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Liz October 10, 2013, 9:31 am

    This recipe sounds so good. Thank you.

  • Lynda October 10, 2013, 5:49 pm

    I simply love Chicken Cacciatore and your idea of blending the two recipe’s looks so tasty. No kidding, the photo’s had my mouth watering!

  • Dale October 11, 2013, 3:20 am


    I don’t like many food blogs, but I do enjoy 2 of them. I really like yours and “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. Between the two of you, I get so many ideas.
    Keep those recipes coming.


    • The Cozy Apron October 11, 2013, 10:56 am

      Hi Dale! That really means a lot to me – thanks so much for sharing that! And I’m so thrilled that you feel you get some recipe ideas worth trying out from The Cozy Apron; I’ll keep ’em coming, and you keep on trying ’em!

  • Andrea October 14, 2013, 8:35 pm

    I spotted this recipe on pinterest. I made it last night and we loved it! I will make this again and again. Thank you so much! And your photos are amazing too. :)

    • The Cozy Apron October 15, 2013, 11:24 am

      Hi Andrea! Thanks so much for coming back to comment on how this recipe turned out for you, and that it was a success! And we really appreciate your kind words in regards to our photos – thank you. So glad you enjoyed this pasta dish – thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Samiyah October 16, 2013, 10:46 am

    Trying this Friday night and I can’t wait!

    • The Cozy Apron October 16, 2013, 5:28 pm

      Now I can’t wait, too, Samiyah! 😉 Love it…hope you really enjoy this!

  • Lila November 16, 2013, 9:20 am

    Would cooking the night before eating it be okay or do you recommend eating right away?

    • The Cozy Apron November 16, 2013, 7:26 pm

      Lila, that’s a great question. You can absolutely prepare the sauce in advance (it actually tastes even richer and more flavorful after a couple of days), just don’t add the pasta to it until you’re ready to serve since the pasta would absorb most of the sauce. You can cook both of ’em, just keep them separate. Hope that helps! Enjoy…

      • Lila November 19, 2013, 5:05 am

        It does help! Thank you!

  • Tam January 1, 2014, 1:59 pm

    Would you recommend freezing this dish?

    • The Cozy Apron January 1, 2014, 4:36 pm

      Hi Tam, I would say “try it”; you certainly can’t go wrong to give it a shot. However, what I’ve found when I can’t bring myself to get rid of leftover pasta that I think I’ll end up using again later on down the road, is that once that crystallization takes place, it tends to get a bit watery. But I’d still freeze any leftovers; you can always doctor them up a little.

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