This Chicken Puttanesca is perfect for weeknight dinner. The crisp pan seared chicken is smothered in a rich sauce packed with pantry staples including juicy tomatoes, salty olives, garlic, onion and anchovies. This Paleo Chicken Puttanesca is also Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Dairy Free. 

Paleo Chicken Puttanesca



  • The majority of the ingredients in this Paleo Chicken Puttanesca dish (other than the chicken) are pantry staples so this is a perfect meal to make on those nights when your fridge is looking empty.
  • If you are a fan of olives than you will LOVE this dish. The sauce is salty, briney and so tasty!
  • This is an easy enough dish to throw together for weeknight dinner, while also being impressive enough to make for guests. 
  • Although the total preparation time for this dish is just short of an hour, half of that time requires hands on cooking and for the other half its baking in the oven so you can go about doing other things. 
  • It’s Paleo, Whole30, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal, but you would have no idea as traditional chicken puttanesca is naturally compliant to all of these diets. 


Paleo Chicken Puttanesca



Puttanesca is a traditional Italian dish that originated in Naples. Puttanesca actually translates to “in the style of the whore” (please excuse my language!) but there are conflicting opinions on why it was given this name. One explanation is that the delicious smell of the dish would draw men from the streets into the kitchen while another explanation is that because it is a quick and easy dish to prepare, prostitutes would make it for a quick meal to ensure minimal interruption to their business. No matter which explanation is actually true, the ingredients used to make Puttanesca are undisputed and include tomatoes, anchovies, olives, capers, onions and garlic. 




  • Chicken: I prefer skin-on bone-in thighs for the best flavour. If you don’t eat chicken it can be substituted for a fish such as salmon, cod or halibut. 
  • Tomatoes: for ease I use canned tomatoes but halved cherry tomatoes would also work well. A great tip is to always use canned whole tomatoes because they save the best quality tomatoes for this vs canned chopped tomatoes. Roughly chop the whole tomatoes or you can even simply place scissors in the can and roughly cut them up. 
  • Olives: My hands down absolute favourite olives are castelvetrano olives which are slightly sweet and buttery in flavour. I prefer using a mix of kalamata olive and castelvetrano olives in this dish, but feel free to use only one, a mix of both, or any other type of olives that you like. 
  • Capers: jarred capers add a delicious saltiness
  • Anchovies: You can use anchovy paste or anchovies which have been finely chopped. I know that a lot of people dislike anchovies, but they add a wonderful saltiness to this dish and are otherwise completely undetectable. 
  • Onions & Shallots:  I like using a combination of yellow onions and shallots, but feel free to use only one or the other. 
  • Garlic: For the best flavour only use fresh, not jarred. 



I prefer using bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. If you are short on time you can use boneless and skinless (or skin-on) thighs which will cut the cook time down by 10 minutes. For a slightly healthier option chicken breasts are also a good option and cook quickly. That being said, without skin, you lose that crispiness and flavour. 




Traditionally Puttanesca is served with pasta or crusty bread. If you have a paleo or grain free pasta that you like then you can definitely serve this chicken and sauce overtop. Alternatively if you prefer to skip the carbs then you can serve it over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or mash.  



You absolutely can, the flavours only get better as the sauce sits. You can make this dish a day in advance and simply reheat it in the oven proof pan in the oven. 



Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It can be quickly reheated in the microwave, or in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes until warmed through. This Paleo Chicken Puttanesca also freezes well and can be frozen in a ziploc bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. 


Paleo Chicken Puttanesca


Here are a few more comforting chicken dishes that you might enjoy:


If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Chicken Puttanesca

Every Last Bite
This Chicken Puttanesca is perfect for weeknight dinner. The crisp pan seared chicken is smothered in a rich sauce packed with pantry staples including juicy tomatoes, salty olives, garlic, onion and anchovies.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal, Whole30
Servings 4
Calories 564 kcal


  • 6 bone-in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp anchovy paste or 3 anchovy fillets finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup green olives roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof pan on medium high heat. Generously season the thighs on both sides with salt and pepper and place them skin side down in the pan. Leave the chicken to cook for 6-7 minutes until golden in colour and then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Set the chicken aside.
  • Drain all but 1 tbsp of the oil from the pan. Add in the garlic, onion and shallot and saute for 3 minutes before stirring in the anchovy paste, tomato paste and chili flakes. Leave to cook for 1 minute and then add in the canned tomatoes, oregano, olives and capers and stir until well mixed.
  • Arrange the chicken in the sauce skin side up and transfer the pan to the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through (a thermometer inserted into the chicken should read 165F). Garnish the pan with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
Calories: 564kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 38gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 1169mgPotassium: 660mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gCalcium: 75mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!