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Chicken Marsala: the classic recipe for a sensational Italian-American dish

Total time: 35 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Chicken Marsala is a mouthwatering dish made with succulent pan-cooked chicken in a rich, creamy Marsala wine and mushroom sauce.

It's the Italian-American version of the classic Italian dish scaloppine, and it's a fantastic, comforting, cozy meal that tastes even better than the chicken Marsala you get at restaurants like Olive Garden.

Chicken is cooked with Marsala wine alongside mushroom slices. This gives a delicious, slightly tangy flavor to the dish, while the sauce cooks until thick and creamy.

Chicken Marsala only takes about half an hour to make, so it's ideal for those busy weeknights when you want a hearty, warming dish but find yourself short on time. Serve this creamy chicken Marsala with a side of fresh bread – you'll definitely want to use it to mop your bowl!

What is Chicken Marsala?


Chicken Marsala is the Italian-American version of the Italian scaloppine dish. Scaloppine are made by cooking thinly sliced pieces of meat such as chicken or veal and cooking it in a sauce.


Chicken Marsala vs. Chicken Piccata

While both chicken piccata and chicken Marsala are cooked in the same way, there are a few key differences between the two dishes.

Chicken piccata isn't creamy. It's cooked with white wine, chicken broth, capers, and lemon juice. It's tangy and bright instead of rich and creamy.

Chicken Marsala Ingredients

Chicken Marsala isn't particularly difficult to make, but you need a few key ingredients. To start, you'll need some boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

To season the chicken, you'll combine garlic powder, salt, pepper, and flour and use that to form a light crust on the chicken when it's cooking.

For the sauce, you'll need mushrooms like Cremini or chestnut mushrooms, garlic, and chicken broth.

Of course, dry Marsala is essential for making chicken Marsala, and you'll also need some heavy cream to give the sauce its rich texture.


How to Make Chicken Marsala

Making chicken Marsala from scratch is a cinch. Grab your skillet, arrange your ingredients, and let's get cooking.

Making the Chicken

To make the perfect chicken Marsala, start by whisking the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl and dredging each piece of chicken through the mixture – this will give it a lovely crust. Saute the chicken over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place the chicken on a plate and cover with foil to keep it warm.

Making the Marsala Sauce

Saute the mushrooms for a few minutes or until they begin to brown. Add the garlic, and cook until it becomes fragrant.

Add the Marsala wine and deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Simmer the mixture until the liquid reduces by half. Once the wine reduces, stir in the cream.

Assembling the Chicken Marsala

Put the chicken into the sauce and cook everything together for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice, potatoes, or pasta, and enjoy.


What to Serve with Chicken Marsala

Serve your chicken Marsala over pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, or if you're looking for a keto-friendly option, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.

Enjoy it with a side salad, some roasted vegetables, and some freshly baked bread or garlic bread so you can mop up the Marsala sauce.

Can You Replace Marsala Wine?

No Marsala wine? No problem! You can substitute dry Marsala with dry Madeira, ½ cup Port, ½ cup red vermouth, or ¾ cup white wine mixed with 3 tablespoons of brandy.


Tips for Creamy Chicken Marsala

You can use evaporated milk, half and half, or a plant-based alternative if you don't have heavy cream.

Make sure you're using dry Marsala and not sweet Marsala for this dish.

Once you add the wine to the skillet, be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom – they'll add loads of flavor to the sauce.

You can use chicken thighs if you prefer a richer flavor, however, they'll take a little longer to cook.

For a little extra tanginess, you can add a teaspoon or two of sherry vinegar or dry white wine.

Using a combination of butter and oil will give your chicken Marsala the best flavor.

How to Store Chicken Marsala

Keep leftover chicken Marsala in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

for the chicken
All-purpose flour
1/2 cup
Garlic powder
1 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
large boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally
olive oil, divided
2 tbsp
butter, divided
4 tbsp
for the sauce
1 tbsp
cremini mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces
Garlic, minced
4 to 5 cloves
Dry marsala wine
3/4 cup
low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1 1/4 cups
Heavy Cream
3/4 cup
fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp


Combine flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Coat the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet.

Fry two of the chicken over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Cook the remaining chicken breasts in the same fashion.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Sauté the mushrooms for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned.

Stir in the garlic, and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Stir in the Marsala wine. Deglaze the pan then simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the cream. Place the chicken in the sauce.

Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Use a large skillet to make your chicken Marsala.

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