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Paleo Baked Chicken Puttanesca Recipe

Louise | July 23
Paleo Baked Chicken Puttanesca Recipe #paleo

If you enjoy tomatoes and chicken, this is the dish for you. Whip up this Paleo baked chicken puttanesca recipe any night of the week!

A Saucy History

Puttanesca is quite the name, and it has an interesting origin story. It roughly translates into “lady of the night,” and there are some theories behind that. 

One version claims that the flavorful sauce was designed as a fast meal that could be quickly prepared in between clients. 

Another version says the sauce was made to be pungent to lure in customers with the aroma. 

Still another theory is that it was so named because it’s like throwing everything in the pot without discretion. 

Whatever story you want to go with, the sauce retained its salty flavor and easy prep through the years. Fortunately, it spread far beyond Italy and graces us with its presence in America. 

What’s in Puttanesca

Tomatoes are the base here in this spaghetti-like sauce. It might also include olives, olive oil, anchovies, onions, capers, and garlic. 

So no, this is not a low-sodium meal!

Often it is served on top of pasta such as spaghetti. 

How I Made Paleo Puttanesca

The first substitution I made was to cut out the noodles. If you would prefer this sauce over “pasta,” however, you can do that using Paleo-safe noodles. 

Paleo noodle options include zucchini noodles (use a spiralizer or get them pre-spiralized), butternut or spaghetti squash noodles, or shiratake noodles to name a few. 

Personally, I love this sauce over chicken so I left out the pasta component and just created a lovely and unique chicken dish. 

With the noodle bit sorted, this is actually a pretty Paleo-safe dish. Onion and garlic amplify your flavor, black olives make it taste authentic, and olive oil is a solid choice and big improvement over vegetable oil. 

Keep Calm and Paleo On

I know it’s hard sometimes. It seems like the world is out to throw every non-Paleo creation in existence in your face. 

When your friends aren’t Paleo, your family isn’t Paleo, and your co-workers and acquaintances aren’t Paleo, it can be hard not to give into temptation. 

But you can do it. 

Stay true to your goals. You started Paleo for a reason, and you will continue to see benefits all the time. 

Maybe you wanted to lose some weight, or shake troublesome health symptoms. Whatever your reason, it never hurts to check back in every once and awhile and remember why you’re doing it. 

Doing a quick refresher read of the comprehensive guide to the Paleo lifestyle is another smart strategy. 

Paleo Baked Chicken Puttanesca Recipe #paleo
Paleo Baked Chicken Puttanesca Recipe #paleo

Paleo Baked Chicken Puttanesca Recipe

  • Author: Louise Hendon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Entree
  • Cuisine: Italian


This easy Italian dish will soon become a firm family favorite.


  • 5 chicken drumsticks (with skin on) (625 g)
  • Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion (55 g), peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves (6 g) of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of red wine (or water)
  • 20 black olives (60 g), pitted and sliced
  • 1 can (400 g) of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Season the chicken with salt on all sides. 
  2. Add the olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to pan and brown on all sides until the skins are golden and crispy. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the same pan and saute until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the red wine (or water) and continue to saute until all the wine cooks out. 
  4. Add the sliced olives, diced tomatoes and ¼ cup water to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Place the chicken into an oven-friendly casserole dish and cover completely with the hot tomato mixture. 
  6. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
  7. Season the dish with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with shredded basil before serving.


All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.


  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 15 g