Want to head to an Italian restaurant (or better yet, an Italian grandmother’s kitchen) for dinner tonight? Try this Chicken Cacciatore!

Healthy chicken cacciatore in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

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This easy recipe has the hearty robustness and juicy tenderness of traditional chicken cacciatore, but is far faster to make.

It uses simple, healthy swaps too.

Cacciatore (pronounced Kah-Chuh-Taw-Ree) means “hunter” in Italian.

  • Thus, chicken cacciatore means chicken that is prepared alla cacciatore or “hunter-style.”
  • It’s a rustic stew-like dish (like France’s Beef Bourguignon) made with slow-simmered chicken (or rabbit), tomatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a splash of wine or vinegar.

You’ll find as many recipes for chicken cacciatore on the internet these days as there are Italian grandmothers who make them.

What they all share in common, however, is a richly flavored sauce, tender chicken, and copious amounts of love and care cooked into every recipe.

A Dutch oven with fast chicken cacciatore sauce and chicken thighs

5 Star Review

“This recipe has become one of my family’s most favorite. It is easy to prepare, serves well, freezes easily and is great over rice, roasted, or mashed potatoes. And of course pasta.”

— Peter —

How to Make Chicken Cacciatore

You don’t need to be an experienced chef to make this simple chicken cacciatore recipe.

Even if you’ve never made a single chicken recipe before, you can cook this easy recipe with success and transport yourself to Italy!

To make this recipe as streamlined as possible, I skip dredging in flour—it’s really not needed.


Baked Chicken Parmesan and Crock Pot Chicken Marsala are two more excellent easy recipes that offer restaurant-worthy flavor.

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs. Chicken thighs are a wonderful choice for chicken stews like this (see also Spanish Chicken Stew). Dark meat is especially tender, juicy, and flavorful, and I promise you won’t regret giving it a try. Plus, chicken thighs are lean, and they contain oodles of beneficial protein, vitamins, and nutrients.

Substitution Tip

If you prefer white meat, you can swap for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They tend to cook faster than thighs (depending on their size) so watch closely and use an Instant-read thermometer to check for doneness.

This Lemon Butter Chicken is another chicken dish that can be made with either breasts or thighs.

  • Onion + Green Bell Pepper + Garlic. A flavorful trio to kick off our cacciatore sauce.

A Briny Note

Olives are a common ingredient in cacciatore. If you enjoy them, feel free to toss in 1/4 cup of chopped green olives to add a lovely layer of briny olive flavor to the dish.

Or, for a different salty, briny nuance, add 2 tablespoons of drained capers.

  • Dry White Wine. The addition of wine enhances the other flavors in this recipe (as it does in my Chicken Piccata and these Braised Short Ribs). You’ll want to use a dry white wine so that it doesn’t add any unnecessary sweetness. In the “Wine Pairing” section below, you can find some suggested varieties.
  • Crushed Tomatoes. I used the crushed tomatoes and their juices to build a rich tomato flavor for the sauce.
  • Mushrooms. As the mushrooms cook, they add a scrumptious, earthy flavor to the sauce.

Market Swap

When making chicken cacciatore with mushrooms, use crimini mushrooms (also called baby bellas). Chopped portobello mushrooms would work too. I do not recommend white button mushrooms, as they are more bland.

  • Italian Seasoning. Ties everything together with a tasty Italian-inspired bouquet of flavors. Typically consist of a combination of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, sage, or coriander.


Want to add a little kick to your dish? Add 1 tsp or more of red pepper flakes.

  • Balsamic Vinegar. For deep flavor that makes the sauce taste like it’s been simmering all day.

Dietary Note

If you’re looking for a gluten free chicken cacciatore recipe, you’ve found it. The recipe, as it is written, is gluten free. Simply pair with your favorite gluten free pasta, rice, or potatoes and enjoy!

The Directions

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper in pan.
Chicken thighs in a Dutch oven
  1. Brown the chicken on both sides, then remove it to a plate.
Peppers and onions being sauteed in a Dutch oven
  1. Sauté the onion and pepper. Add the garlic. Pour in the wine, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, and let it simmer over medium heat.
Mushrooms being added to a Dutch oven with red sauce
  1. Stir in the tomatoes, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, and vinegar. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Chicken thighs in a red sauce in a Dutch oven
  1. Lay the chicken thighs in the sauce. Simmer partially covered until the chicken is cooked through. Dice or shred the chicken (if desired), or keep the thighs whole. Serve with herbs like parsley or fresh basil leaves, Parmesan, and any desired sides. DIG IN!
An easy chicken cacciatore recipe in a Dutch oven

How to Serve Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore is traditionally served with some kind of starch such as pasta. There’s really no wrong way to do it, but here are a few of my favorite options.

Wine Pairing

  • For white wine, a dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay would pair nicely with this dish.
  • If you prefer red wine, try a Chianti or Sangiovese. Since this recipe calls for 3/4 cup of wine, I like to cook with a white wine that’s good enough to drink. Add a little to the dish, and drink the rest of the bottle with dinner.
  • Not a wine person? Pair an Italian Margarita with your chicken cacciatore instead.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Place leftovers in fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm this dish in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also microwave, until steaming, if desired.
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What to Serve with Chicken Cacciatore

Stovetop Chicken cacciatore in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

Recommended Tools to Make Chicken Cacciatore

  • Skillet. An essential tool in my kitchen for making delicious recipes like this chicken cacciatore.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife. Easily chop vegetables, meat, fruit, and more with a high-quality knife like this one.
  • Instant Read Thermometer. If you cook meat often, I highly recommend adding one of these to your kitchen.

The Best Braiser

This 3.5-quart Le Creuset braiser is a perfect for sautéing and for stovetop-to-oven dishes. Its smooth enamel finish promotes caramelization, prevents sticking, and resists stains.

Healthy chicken cacciatore in a Dutch oven

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

I hope this quicker, healthier version of chicken cacciatore brings the same warmth and satisfaction to your kitchen as it did to ours.

As always, if you try this recipe, please leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out. Your comments and ratings are so important to this site, and I love hearing from you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Bone-in Chicken for Cacciatore?

Sure! Note that the chicken will take longer to cook, however. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken as it cooks. When it hits 165 degrees F it is fully cooked. For bone-in thighs, estimate about 45 minutes.

Can I Use Skin-On Chicken Thighs?

Certainly. Sear the chicken on both sides in batches. Remove the skin (it will get soggy anyway), then simmer the thighs in the sauce, until cooked through, about 40 to 45 minutes for bone-in.

Could Fresh Tomatoes be Used Instead of Canned?

Readers have reported success swapping the canned tomatoes for fresh tomatoes. If you do this swap, I would suggest tasting the sauce and seasoning with additional salt, to taste, since fresh tomatoes do contain less sodium than canned.

Can I Make Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore With This Recipe?

For the crock pot yes! See this Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore. I have not tested this stovetop chicken cacciatore recipe in a pressure cooker so the Instant Pot would be an experiment.

Chicken Cacciatore

4.99 from 61 votes
This easy chicken cacciatore recipe with boneless chicken thighs, mushrooms, and wine is made on the stovetop and ready in under an hour.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 50 mins

Servings: 6 servings



  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine or low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella (cremini) mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • Whole wheat pasta or brown rice, polenta, rice, zucchini noodles, or baked and shredded spaghetti squash
  • Chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or similar deep, sturdy pot over medium-high. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Once the oil is hot and shimmering (but not so hot it starts smoking), add the chicken in a single layer. Cook on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned, moving the chicken as little as possible so that it gets a nice sear. Flip and brown on the other side, about 2 additional minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large, clean plate. The chicken does not need to be cooked through.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the white wine. Stir and let simmer until the wine is reduced by approximately half, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes with their juices, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, and balsamic vinegar, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • Nestle the chicken thighs into the tomato sauce, along with any drippings that have collected on the plate. The chicken should be mostly submerged, though some may peek through.
  • Partially cover the pot and let simmer 15 to 20 additional minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, the sauce is thickened, and the mushrooms are tender.
  • If you’d like to dice or shred the chicken, remove it to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, dice or shred it, then return it to the pot. You also can serve the chicken thighs whole.
  • Taste and season the sauce with additional salt and pepper as desired. If you've chopped or shredded the chicken, return it to the sauce and toss to combine and warm through. Otherwise, serve the chicken pieces whole with a generous amount of sauce on top.
  • Serve hot over pasta, rice, polenta, or veggie noodles, with a big extra spoonful of sauce and a sprinkle of parsley and Parmesan.



  • TO STORE: Refrigerator leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chicken cacciatore in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 33gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 144mgPotassium: 1032mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 416IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Made this for dinner yesterday.   Huge hit!!!! Keep these fantastic recipes coming… can’t wait for your cookbook!    You’re amazing~~5 stars

  2. This was delicious! I did tweak it based on what I ended up with in the pantry. For crushed tomatoes I subbed 1 can diced and some leftover marinara I had in the fridge. Used a red onion and red bell pepper because that’s all I had. Added olives because my grandmother used to throw them in and omitted the mushrooms. But this was still great! I just ate and I’m ready for seconds. Thank you!5 stars

  3. I received nothing but compliments from my Italian family.  Just like my mom used to make. I used Torreseela  Pinot Grigio  Venezia. 2018 and I am telling you it was devine.   Followed recipe exactly as you wrote it.  It will be my specialty going forward.  Especially since I cannot find my mom’s original recipe.  When I read this one  I knew this was the one to make.  Thank you very very much. – 5 Starts for sure!!!!!5 stars

  4. This looks DELICIOUS! You think there’s anyway this could be done in a slow cooker/crock pot? If so, for how long on low/medium or high? Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Ashlyn! I suggest checking out my Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore recipe, which was developed for the crockpot. I hope you enjoy it if you try it!

  5. Made this last evening, it was amazing! Plus, it was fun filling the home with the homey aromas!!! A keeper, go to!!

    Thank you!!!5 stars

  6. This was sooo good! I used boneless chicken breasts and shredded to add back into the sauce. They were tender and delicious. I used a Chardonnay instead of chicken broth. Excellent recipe!5 stars

  7. Every single picky eater ate this dish. Omitted the mushrooms as only I like them and used chicken cutlets. Kids had seconds and thirds.5 stars

    1. Hi Crystal! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so it would be a complete experiment. However, another reader has reported success with adapting my Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore for the Instant Pot. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  8. Love this recipe! I used my home canned tomatoes & Chardonnay also I added black olives & julienned carrots. The sauce is delicious! This is one recipe I will make again and again!5 stars

  9. I make this recipe in winter 1x a week it’s absolutely delish… post more easy to do recipes, I feel like a chef5 stars

  10. I added red pepper flake and a little ground oregano it is a good quick cacciatorie will make again thanks for the recipe5 stars

  11. Hi Erin! I’m planning to make this tomorrow, however, I just realized I bought chicken thighs with bones. Will it be good by using that as well?

    1. Hi Dorothy! That should work fine, but the chicken may take a little longer to cook through. I’d recommend checking it with an instant read thermometer to see when it’s done. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  12. Made this last night and the whole family loved it, even the picky eater. ;-) The only thing I did extra for him was smooth out the sauce with my immersion blender before adding the chicken back in. Thanks for the easy, delicious and healthy recipe!5 stars

  13. Delicious and so easy to make! What is the herb shown in the photo though- it doesn’t look like parsley.5 stars

  14. WOW!! What an awesome recipe! I haven’t had cacciatore since I was a kid and I’m really not sure why. Even as a picky eating kid, it was one of my favorites! When I saw this recipe I knew that I had to make it! Between the use of boneless chicken and the simplification from some of the other recipes I’ve seen, I knew that it was time! I certainly wasn’t disappointed!! Who would have thought they your recipe could guide me to making restaurant quality food…… and ring back a great childhood memory. Thank you so much!!5 stars

  15. Fantastic dish! Made it as directed except subbed red wine for the white as that is what I had on hand, but my GOODness!!! This is soooo delicious and very easy to prepare. My husband loved it and though he never complains about anything I make, he told me to definitely make this dish again! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  16. I’ve tried many Chicken Cacciatore recipes over the years. This was, by far, the easiest and most flavorful of them all! My husband mentioned how great it smelled, when he came home from work and found it delicious, as well. I use red bell pepper additionally and served it over linguini with a salad and garlic rolls. My leftovers today for lunch were so yummy! Thanks for this keeper!5 stars

  17. Oh my goodness!!! This sauce is to die for and SO easy. Chicken is amazingly tender. I served it over gluten free penne. The sauce was hearty enough that it clung to the noodles and tasted amazing! Served sprinkled with grated Parmesan and a side salad!!! A perfect meal in about an hour!5 stars

  18. Outstanding… full flavored, easy w/ minimal prep work and meal complete in an hr 10 mins. Served it over angel hair pasta, freshly shaved Parmesan and Buffalo mozzarella pearls with a side salad and garlic bread.5 stars

    1. Hi! While I haven’t tested this recipe with chicken breast, I have had other readers say they’ve used boneless chicken breast and it worked great for them! Let me know how it turns out! Thank you!

  19. Turned out amazing! I served it over pasta. The only thing I did different was cook it in my Ninja Pressure cooker. When I added the chicken back to the pot, I pressure cooked it on high for 8 minutes. In all, took less than 45 minutes to make.5 stars

  20. Could you use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, during this great tomato season? If so, how many/how much? Thank you!

    1. Hi Judy! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so it would be an experiment if you use fresh tomatoes. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      1. Thank you so much for that prompt answer! I did use heirloom purple Cherokee tomatoes (just guessing at the amount), and it was a success! I recommend it!5 stars

  21. This recipe is a good base. I added carrots,basil, oregano, paprika , bay leafs, a little chicken broth and a bit of Chili peppers. Roped with parm. Chez5 stars

  22. This recipe has become one of my families most favorite. It is easy to prepare, serves well, freezes easily and is great over rice, roasted or mashed potatoes. And of course pasta. The extra sauce, if there’s any left goes over pasta all by its self making this a multiple night enjoyment.5 stars

  23. I just made this tonight!! Delicious!! I made it with both thighs and breast. The sauce was so good! I added a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce and celery! I can’t wait to eat my leftovers for lunch for the next 2 days!! Putting some in the freezer too!! I will definitely make this again!!5 stars

  24. This sounds delicious but I’m not a big fan of mushrooms. Is there another veggie I could swap in? Or are the mushrooms essential to the flavor of the dish? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica! I’ve not tested it out with anything else, but maybe you could use fresh spinach? Other readers have just left them out and still enjoyed the dish. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Susan! It’s the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Braiser, 3.5 qt., Caribbean Link: https://amzn.to/34JZ4uD

    1. I’m confused because I see it on my end. The full recipe with the measurements was right in the recipe card above the area where you commented. There is also a “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page as well to help get you to the recipe card faster. Can you please double check? Thanks!

  25. This was my first time making this dish. I found it easy and turned out outstanding. My husband loved it , he is the cook in our home. So thank you I did look at other ones but I think I found the best.5 stars

  26. My dad requested chicken cacciatore for his birthday dinner and I was unsure of even what this meal was! After reviewing multiple recipes I chose well plated (as I’ve loved other recipes from her blog as well) and this recipe was not only easy to follow but absolutely delicious! My dad was a very happy birthday boy. I used chicken breast and broth instead of wine and it was perfect !5 stars

  27. I made this after a busy day today. I used jarred marinara instead of the tomatoes and Better Than Bullion garlic flavor. That eliminated me having to use fresh garlic. White wine instead of chicken broth and I added some chopped green olives. Oh. My. Word! This will be a staple at our house!! Served over rice. So good!5 stars

  28. This was delicious 😋. I only used four thighs and that was perfect for me. My mistake was My crushed tomatoes had no little pieces of tomato so I added a small amount of diced tomatoes. It kinda watered the flavor down but it was still good. I will look for better quality crushed tomatoes.

    Can I reheat it in the microwave and if not why? Thanks for a terrific recipe!!5 stars

    1. Hi Kerry, so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review! My reheating instructions are for the stovetop because that is how I prefer to reheat my chicken.

  29. Hi Erin, I grew up in an Italian family from New Jersey, and as you likely know, we are quite opinionated about food. My late grandmother didn’t write down any recipes because she cooked by instinct, not measurements. So I scoured the internet for a cacciatore recipe for our family cookbook. I always modify recipes for our taste and health preferences. But yours is the first I’ve come across where I didn’t change a thing, and it is DIVINE, a family favorite! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with the world!5 stars

    1. Hi Tamara! I’m so confused because I see it on my end. It’s in the recipe card right above where you commented. You can even hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page to get there faster. Could you please check again?

  30. This was absolutely delicious! My husband raved! I added zucchini along with the other vegetables. I browned the chicken thighs, put them in the slow cooker, poured what was left in the frying pan over the chicken. I used olive oil to Brown the chicken. Add it all the vegetables and Italian spices. Wonderful!5 stars

    1. Hi Bonnie! Sure! Note that the chicken will take longer to cook, however. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken as it cooks. When it hits 165-170 degrees F it is fully cooked.

  31. Great Recipe, I did use a dry red wine, cause that’s all I had. Also my crushed tomatoes. Were not chunky, so I added a chopped fresh one. And a little extra herbs. Pinch of cayenne. Mmmm5 stars

  32. This is an easy, delicious, one pot recipe..well, ok, a second pot for the pasta! I don’t usually use 28 oz of crushed tomatoes (I use half crushed, half diced) but it really works here. Keep these delicious recipes coming!5 stars

  33. Made this tonight. Delicious! Added chopped zucchini with the vegetables since we have an abundance right now. Used a jar of low carb tomato sauce instead of tomatoes.5 stars

  34. This recipe is absolutely 💯 delish !! The best c. Cacciatore we have ever made.. the olives really make it that much better!!5 stars

  35. I am new to this dish and this the 3rd different recipe I’ve tried. Hands down the best! I added a dozen black olives (personal touch).5 stars

  36. One of my favorite recipes. So hood. Though I separate the chicken thighs in water add spices for about 30 min. Then saute all the vegetables and add balsamic with all the rest of the ingredients. It comes out more moist and can tear chicken apart. It’s wonderful.5 stars

  37. This is an excellent and simple recipe. Instead of adding one large can of crushed tomatoes, I added a 14 ounce can of tomatoes with chilies and a 14 ounce can of tomato sauce.
    I also let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Yummy!5 stars

  38. I had never made Chicken Cacciatore before. Even before serving your recipe, my husband tasted the sauce, then strongly urged me to taste it; he said it would make a great soup just by itself! And the fire-roasted tomatoes were genius! They added so much to the flavor. Thanks for developing the recipe!5 stars

  39. You must think I am whacky with my last comments about your recipe for Chicken Cacciatore. In adding a couple of notes to your recipe, I discovered that my husband had goofed and had also given me four 14.5 ounce cans of fire-roasted tomatoes and one 28 ounce can of tomato sauce, which were purchased for another recipe. I added what was handed to me to your recipe. Despite the goof, the sauce was great! I froze some of the chicken with the sauce, as well as several cups of the sauce alone for other dishes.
    I enjoy your recipes and look forward to trying others!

  40. This was so delicious! I made the recipe exactly and it was so easy. Thank you! I had to nix the mushrooms because my son won’t eat them, but it was perfect nonetheless! I’m going to make all of your recipes. You know food!5 stars

    1. Hi Debbi! I’ve only tested the recipe with crushed tomatoes, but I think tomato sauce might work with this as well. Hope you enjoy it!

  41. I made this about a month ago. It was delicious and so easy. I cook for only one so I AM going to cut the recipe down so I don’t waste any food. I just now signed up for your recipes. Thank you 🙏😊😊5 stars

  42. Loved the recipe. I’ve made chicken cacciatore for years, and I’ve added wine if I had it, but this was the first time I’ve ever added Balsamic Vinegar to it. I thought it was a GREAT addition. Thanks for the tip!5 stars

  43. Thank you for a fantastic chicken cacciatore! Takes a bit to get ready to cook but completely worth it. I added capers and green olives, as you advised could be added, and my son’s couldn’t get enough. Definitely recommend this recipe.5 stars

  44. We thought this dish was fantastic, will definitely add this to our collection. Followed the recipe to a tee and was very easy to put together.5 stars