Sunday Dinner: Turkey Cacciatore

As I alluded to in Friday’s post, it’s been a rough week for my family. We had a health scare that left us rattled, and it disrupted our normal routine. There’s been a lot of take out and convenience meals while we dealt with everything, and today, I wanted nothing more than to cook a delicious Sunday dinner and to sit down to a healthy meal with my family.

That said, I didn’t have a ton of extra energy kicking around – whatever I made needed to be relatively quick to pull together. I decided on my old standby, Turkey Cacciatore.

You have probably seen cacciatore on your favorite Italian restaurant’s menu — it’s more commonly made with chicken. For my version, I use turkey, because the turkey tips available from my local butcher are the perfect serving size for this meal. Turkey also has fewer calories per serving than chicken, and it has more protein per gram than chicken (and than pork and beef, too, if you’re interested).

Turkey Cacciatore
Six servings

2 lbs turkey breast (I like turkey tips, which are precut in 3-4 oz portions)
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, cut into strips
4 green bell peppers, cut into strips
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
15 oz can crushed tomatoes
28 oz can diced tomatoes
32 oz chicken stock (or turkey stock, if you can find it – my grocery store only stocks it around Thanksgiving)
Olive oil

Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil. Turn the heat to high so that the oil gets nice and hot.

Mix together the flour, salt, and pepper. Cut the turkey into 3 oz portions. Lightly coat the turkey in this mixture. Once the oil is hot, brown the turkey for about one minute per side in the pan, then remove it to a plate. Don’t crowd the pan, as this will prevent even browning. You don’t want to cook the turkey all the way through, just get a nice browning on the outside.

Once all the turkey is browned, set it aside. Lower the heat to medium. Add the garlic and onions, and cook for 30-60 seconds. Add the peppers and allow to cook for about two minutes. Add the tomatoes, both diced and crushed, and stir well.

Add the turkey back into the pan, and then add the chicken stock. Carefully stir all ingredients, and ensure that all the turkey pieces are fully submerged so that they cook the rest of the way through.

Bring the cacciatore to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Allow the cacciatore to simmer for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your turkey pieces. Check after 45 minutes to see if the turkey is cooked through.

This can be served over pasta, with polenta or mashed potatoes, with a side of roasted potatoes, or with crusty bread and a green salad. We went with mashed potatoes tonight – I kept my serving on the small side, but hey, everyone needs a comfort food indulgence now and then am I right?

I wish I had photos to share, but it honestly didn’t occur to me that this recipe should be shared until the meal was half eaten! To be honest, this is a pretty rustic meal and likely wouldn’t photograph too well. The sauce of peppers, onions, and tomatoes isn’t anything special to look at, but it’s warm and comforting – exactly what my family needed after this crazy week.

What are some of your favorite comfort foods? Have you ever tried replacing chicken with turkey in your favorite recipes?


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