Skillet Chicken Puttanesca

The anchovy fillets in this recipe are highly recommended. They add a savory, somewhat salty depth and hardly any fishiness.

You can double the recipe easily if you have a larger skillet.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
  • 4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata or other black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Extra sprigs fresh oregano, for garnish
  • Crusty bread, to serve (skip if serving gluten-free)

Special equipment:


1 Prep the tomato sauce: Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and crush with your hands or with a wooden spoon until you have uneven 1-inch pieces (you can also use scissors to snip the tomatoes into small pieces).

Mix in the anchovies, olives, capers, red pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the oregano to the bowl. Set aside.

2 Sear the chicken: Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until hot.

Add the chicken and cook without disturbing for 3 minutes, or until browned. If you are using a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet, do not turn until the chicken moves easily without prodding.

Turn and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Skillet Chicken Puttanesca

3 Make the sauce: In the skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the tomato mixture – be careful since the juices will splutter when you add them to the pan. Cook for 1 minute or until the spluttering stops. Stir well, turn down the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, black pepper, or red pepper, if you like.

4 Add the chicken and finish the sauce: Add the chicken breasts and any juices to the skillet and spoon a little sauce over top.

Cover the pan and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165F.

Skillet Chicken Puttanesca

5 Serve: Serve straight from the skillet or transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon oregano over the top and garnish with oregano sprigs. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.