Rabbit Cacciatore

Whole rabbit is much more difficult to part out than a whole chicken. If you can, have your butcher cut it for you.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-5


  • One 2 1/4 pound rabbit, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 Tbsp dried)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (Wondra flour works great)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 3 cups of chopped, very ripe tomatoes (or canned plum tomatoes)
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 salt-cured olives, black or green, pitted


Before you start, cut the rabbit into pieces, or have your butcher do it for you. Hank Shaw has an excellent guide here: How to Cut up a Rabbit.

Whole Rabbit, ready to be cut into parts rabbit cut into pieces

1 Brown the rabbit pieces: Sprinkle the rabbit pieces generously with salt and pepper. Rub half of the thyme leaves into the pieces, then sprinkle with flour to lightly coat.

sprinkle rabbit pieces with herbs and flour

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Place the rabbit pieces in the pan in a single layer. Do not stir.

Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side until lightly browned, then turn the pieces and brown on the other side for a minute or two more. Remove the rabbit pieces to a dish to set aside.

brown rabbit pieces for cacciatore

2 Add onions, then garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme: Reduce the heat to medium. Add onions to the pan, cook for 1 minute. Then add garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms, cook for a couple minutes more. Add the rosemary and the remaining thyme.

3 Add the rabbit back into the pan. Cover with chopped tomatoes and bay leaf.

Reduce heat to medium low; cover the pan and cook for 35 minutes.

add tomatoes for the rabbit cacciatore simmer rabbit

4 Uncover the pan, add the olives.

5 Boil off excess liquid: Increase heat to high and cook for several minutes to boil off excess moisture and reduce the sauce.

When the liquid has reduced by half, check the seasoning, add salt or pepper to taste, remove from heat and serve.

Serve with rice, pasta, or potatoes.