Ready to try out a new sustainable protein in your kitchen? Culinary nutrition Expert Anne Assassi shares a delicious revamp of this rustic Italian recipe for your weekend dinner table.

Cacciatore may sound fancy, but it’s an incredibly simple Italian dish.  In Italian, alla cacciatora means a meal that is prepared “hunter-style”, usually with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and herbs. As a rustic Italian meal, the meat is braised and served with the tomato-based sauce and can be served over fresh pasta.

Most people have heard of chicken cacciatore, but have you considered venturing into newer meat territory?

Rabbit is a great protein choice because it’s lower in fat and has less calories than chicken, beef, or pork. You may be wondering what rabbit tastes like. Have no fear!

Rabbit is even tastier than chicken in my opinion. It’s not gamey at all, the texture has a smoother mouthfeel than chicken, and it’s packed with flavor that can be compared to the yummiest chicken breast I’ve ever eaten, but even yummier.

Two other great things about rabbit is that it’s inexpensive and is a sustainable protein! I’m guessing there’s a ranch, or a butcher, or farmer’s market vendor out there that sells it near you. And while you will certainly save a few dollars, your impact on the environment will be reduced as well.

This is because rabbits produce more meat per pound of feed consumed compared to cows.

1 pound of rabbit meat = 4 pounds of feed, while 1 pound of beef requires 7 pounds of meat. Enough said!

But aside from the seriousness, this adapted recipe for Rabbit Cacciatore is delicious. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s as delicious as it looks. The tomatoes, bell peppers, and salt-cured olives really come together nice to create something special.

Note: if you buy a bone-in rabbit, be sure to check out some YouTube videos on how to debone it. It’s not hard, but you’re going to want to portion your pieces of rabbit right!

  • 3 lbs whole rabbit, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, chopped
  • 3 large vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 salt-cured olives, black or green, pitted
Click here for the full recipe and instructions.

Anne Assassi, MS, RDN is a private practice dietitian and health coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lover of home-cooked culinary creations, Anne helps individuals discover the art of healthy eating as an enjoyable creative experience in our homes that allows us to be our healthiest selves. Connect with Anne to create your most inspired and healthiest kitchen!

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