Chicken Marsala

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Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish of golden pan-fried chicken cutlets and mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce.

how to make chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish of golden pan-fried chicken cutlets and mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce. Though it’s a classic restaurant dish, it’s really easy to make at home. With just one pan, you can have it on the dinner table in 45 minutes. The recipe makes a lovely sauce that is delicious over pasta, polenta, rice, or mashed potatoes.

What You’ll Need To Make Chicken Marsala

how to make chicken marsalaMarsala is a brandy-fortified wine from Sicily that is 100% worth adding to your pantry, if only to make this dish time and again. It will keep in a cool, dry spot for months.

I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts and pound them thin myself, as opposed to using the ultra-thin sliced cutlets sold at the supermarket, since pounding tenderizes the meat. This adds an extra step but you can save time by using pre-sliced mushrooms. (And you can skip all this hassle by using chicken tenderloins.)

How To Make Chicken Marsala

how to make chicken marsalaIf your chicken breasts are large, like the ones in the photo above, it’s best to first cut them in half horizontally. (If you pound them without first halving them, they’ll be ginormous and oddly shaped.)

how to make chicken marsala

Once you’ve got four flat filets,  pound them each to an even 1/4-inch thickness.

how to make chicken marsala

Place the flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a ziplock bag.

how to make chicken marsala

Add the chicken to the bag; seal the bag tightly and shake to coat chicken evenly. Set aside.

how to make chicken marsala

Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Use a stainless steel pan for the best browning. Nonstick will work too, but you won’t get that nice golden color on the chicken.) Place the flour-dusted chicken in the pan, shaking off any excess first.

how to make chicken marsala

Cook, turning once, until the chicken is golden and just barely cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

how to make chicken marsala

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

how to make chicken marsala

Add the shallots, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

how to make chicken marsala

Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.

how to make chicken marsala

Add the broth, wine, heavy cream, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper; use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the pan into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.

how to make chicken marsala

Gently boil, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by about half, slightly thickened, and darkened in color, 10 to 15 minutes (you’re going for a thin cream sauce; it won’t start to thicken until the very end of the cooking time).

how to make chicken marsala

Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce thickens a bit more, 2 to 3 minutes.

how to make chicken marsala

Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve.

how to make chicken marsala

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Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish of golden pan-fried chicken cutlets and mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded ¼-inch thick (see note), or chicken tenderloins
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 (8-oz) package pre-sliced bella or button mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from 1 medium shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a ziplock bag. Add the chicken to the bag; seal bag tightly and shake to coat chicken evenly. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Use a stainless steel pan for the best browning. Nonstick will work too, but you won’t get that nice golden color on the chicken.) Place the flour-dusted chicken in the pan, shaking off any excess first, and cook, turning once, until the chicken is golden and just barely cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the broth, Marsala, heavy cream, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper; use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the pan into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by about half, slightly thickened, and darkened in color, 10 to 15 minutes (you’re going for a thin cream sauce; it won’t start to thicken until the very end of the cooking time). Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce thickens a bit more, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve.
  4. Note: If your chicken breasts are large (like the ones in the photos that are about 3/4 lb. each), it’s best to first cut them horizontally to form four flat fillets, then pound them to an even 1/4-inch thickness. If you pound large chicken breasts without first halving them, they’ll be huge. Of course, you could also pound them thin first and then cut them in half vertically; the only drawback is that they’ll lose their natural shape (which, admittedly, is not a big deal!).

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 537
  • Fat: 32 g
  • Saturated fat: 16 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 43 g
  • Sodium: 877 mg
  • Cholesterol: 203 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • This was delicious! The chicken was so tender. The recipe was very easy to follow and came together quickly. I served it with smashed potatoes and little peas. Husband loved it!

    • — Carol D on April 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Loved it. I only switched the heavy cream with half and half. And it still came out great. Better than restaurant quality.

    • — Robin on April 4, 2021
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  • I made the chicken marsala for a special family dinner, and it was restaurant standard! Thank you for such easy to follow instructions. Can’t wait to try more recipes from your fabulous website.

    • — Marilyn on April 4, 2021
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  • Made this dish for two very fussy sons. Served it with pasta and had two empty plates and two happy men! It was delicious and very rich, just not something you would serve too often. We loved it, will definitely have this again.

    • — Dorothy Mills on April 3, 2021
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  • I hope this isn’t a stupid question, but I have a bottle of leftover sweet marsala wine from making tiramisu. Could I make this recipe with that or would it ruin it?

    • — Melissa on April 1, 2021
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    • Hi Melissa, sweet marsala will work here. You may find you need to add a squeeze of lemon before serving to balance the sweetness though. (And that’s not a stupid question!)

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2021
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  • Hands down the easiest and BEST!. Last week my Husband and I took a trip to the coast, I ordered chicken marsala at two different restraints only to be disappointed! I have made it before but never this recipe so when I ran across this recipe I had to give it a try. I followed exactly as written and it was restaurant quality if not better! I read thru the reviews and for this that have problem finding marsala wine you can find it where they sell red wine vinegar. Where I live, holland house brand has all your cooking wine in that section of the store.

    • — phyllis clark on April 1, 2021
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  • I just made this tonight. I followed the directions exactly, except I doubled it. We served this with wide egg noodles and veggies, and it was excellent! Great recipe! I’ll be putting this one in the rotation for sure. Thank you

    • — Debra Hill on March 30, 2021
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  • I have made this a few times now. It is a delicious recipe Jenn just like all your other recipes I have tried. Shame I cannot give more than 5 stars
    Thank-you so much

    • — Kim-Marie on March 29, 2021
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  • Delicious! Will definitely be in our rotation.

    • — Jacqueline McCloskey on March 27, 2021
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  • This recipe was absolutely delicious just as written!!!! I had more chicken so I doubled the flour! I will definitely be making this again!!! 10 stars!

    • — Danelle on March 26, 2021
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  • Made the Chicken Marsala & paired with French Green Bean recipe, as suggested…..oooh…laa..laa….DELICIOUS!
    Dinner party worthy but, until then, a lovely dinner with my partner!
    Thank- you for so many wonderful recipes.
    Middle Eastern Kebabs with Basmati Rice Pilaf for tonight……I love to cook…..what was your 1st clue? 😄

    • — Louise on March 24, 2021
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  • Unfortunately I couldnt find Marsala so I went with pinot noir but regardless, it came out absolutely perfect. This was a wonderful recipe!

    • — Olivia on March 23, 2021
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  • Ran across this recipe and made for dinner with the Parmesan Smashed Potatoes. WOW! I did use gluten-free flour as I have Celiac disease. My husband and mother-in-law couldn’t tell the difference. One of our best meals and now will be on the menu as a repeat. First recipe from your website, looking forward to trying more. Thank you!

    • — Lynn on March 22, 2021
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  • Wow! Perfect flavors and so easy to make. This is one of my Italian husband’s favorite dishes to order at a restaurant so he was a tough customer to please…….
    He LOVED it!!
    I served it with angel hair pasta. So delicious! ❤️

    • — Lisa on March 20, 2021
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  • If I triple the recipe, would I need to triple the time to reduce the sauce?

    • — Angela N on March 19, 2021
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    • Hi Angela, it will definitely take longer to reduce, but shouldn’t take triple the amount of time. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely amazing recipe! I make it all the time! Even my husband who hates mushrooms love it!

    • — Em on March 18, 2021
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  • Delicious and easy to make. Make it!

    • — Brian Swarthout on March 16, 2021
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  • So I made this last night for a celebratory dinner….it was perfect!
    Uncomplicated to make and after every bite we put done our forks and said
    “SO GOOD!” We had it with sheet pan potatoes and asparagus which both complimented it.

    • — Jane on March 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. Easy to put together and the taste is authentic.

    • — Gary R. on March 13, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn- I made it exactly as your recipe is written, and it was aammaaaazing😍. I could not wait for leftovers for lunch the following day! Thank you for all your delicious recipes!

    • — SHERRY R CUMMINS on March 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen-
    I’m planning to make this for dinner. Can I substitute the heavy cream for a low saturated fat alternative, like evaporated milk?

    • — Sherry on March 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Sherry, for the best results and to get the sauce to the right consistency, I’d stick with heavy cream — sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Yes, it’s THAT GOOD! If you want a thicker sauce, make a slurry of cream and a little cornstarch….use a whisk to mix. If the cornstarch doesn’t totally blend into the cream, put it through a fine mesh strainer to avoid lumps. Problem solved. It tastes divine!

    • — Gayann on March 9, 2021
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  • This chicken marsala is the BEST recipe! You could not buy a better main course in a restaurant. It was outstanding! Totally will be making this again!

    • — Sherrie Stewart on March 6, 2021
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  • This is the best recipe for Marsala that I’ve ever made! Coming from an Italian family, I have made chicken Marsala for years. So glad I switched it up. This is my new go-to!!

    • — Ellen De Huff on March 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was unbelievably AMAZING. I tripled the sauce recipe so I could serve it over noodles. My husband and 7 year old devoured it!

    • — Cori on March 3, 2021
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  • This is my go to chicken marsala. My family requests it all the time! They prefer the chicken cut into small, bite-size pieces. I also increase the recipe (they all want leftovers) so never follow the measurements exactly but it’s a delicious recipe!

    • — Andrea on February 27, 2021
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  • If I am serving Chicken Marsala for a group of 10, can I make it the morning of and reheat? Do you have suggestions? Thanks.

    • — linda on February 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, this is best right after it’s prepared. That said, if you’d like to give it a try, one reader commented that she made this ahead, stored the sauce & chicken separately, and reheated it briefly before serving. Please LMK how it goes if you make it ahead!

      • — Jenn on February 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely the best Chicken Marsala recipe there is. I am a self-trained chef and food trailer owner. I am going to introduce a knocked-down version of this to serve out of my food trailer. Thank you Jen for sharing this!

    • — Carol on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • I’m flattered that you like it enough to create a version of it for your food trailer! 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 25, 2021
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    • delighted. amazing flavor

      • — Susan delish i awesome thanks on March 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is the best Chicken Marsala I have made or ate dining out.
    It’s full of flavor without being too wine tasting.
    The recipe is easy and excellent.
    A must try…

    • — Kam on February 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • Très bonne recette. Le poulet était très tendre et la sauce délicieuse. Je n’avais pas de vin de Marsala alors j’ai utilisé du vin rouge.

    • — Reg on February 16, 2021
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  • Made it twice already! Best recipe and easy!

    • — Elaine on February 16, 2021
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  • it was great!! I didn’t have any Marsala wine so I used Drambuie liqueur and my family loved it.

    • — Betty on February 15, 2021
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  • Made this for Valentines Day, and it was so tasty! The sauce is outstanding. I may have found the only website I need for great recipes. Thanks for sharing.

    • — John on February 14, 2021
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  • Very tender and flavorful. Recipe had numerous steps requiring multiple equipment; however,it was not a complicated process. Both my husband and I enjoyed it as a special entree for Valentine’s Day.

    • — Paula Williams on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Honestly, the BEST Chicken Marsala I’ve eaten anywhere. So glad we tried it. Thank you. Cant wait to try your other recipes.

    • — George Kohrmann on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • If I’m cooking this for 12 people, can I scale this recipe accordingly? I know it doesn’t quite workout on some recipes.

    • — Brandon on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, I think you can get away with it here. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
      • Reply
      • Awesome! Thanks Jenn! I’m making this tomorrow night…I’ll report back!

        • — Brandon on February 18, 2021
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  • This was delicious. I doubled the sauce portion of the recipe to have enough to pour on the potatoes I served with it and to have leftovers. My cooking time for the chicken and mushrooms was much quicker than the recipe estimated. I have an induction stovetop, and sometimes it’s hard to get the temperature dialed in as suggested in a recipe. Next time, I’ll cook on a bit of a lower setting.

    The only problem I had was that the cream curdled a bit. It didn’t affect the taste, and, fortunately, it didn’t change the texture in an unpleasant way, but it didn’t look great. It was okay for us, but I wouldn’t serve it to someone else. This is definitely a recipe I’ll make again. How could I prevent that from happening next time? Would it help to add the cream later in the process?

    • — M W on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked this but sorry you had a problem with the sauce curdling. Did you use heavy cream?

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
      • Reply
    • I had some curdling as well. I used half and half. Having it at room temperature should help. After simmering and vigorous stirring it was not an issue.

      • — Mindy Edwards on February 22, 2021
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    • Make sure the sauce doesn’t boil after you add the cream…keep it on a gentle simmer

      • — Care on February 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I love your recipes! I don’t have a meat tenderizer on hand. Can I skip this step? Thanks!

    • — Ellen on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, Glad you like the recipes! You can use chicken tenderloins in place of the pounded chicken breasts. Also, it’s not necessary to have a meat tenderizer if you want to use chicken breasts. Here are some other options you can use. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you! I ended up just slicing them I half like you suggested and it worked out fine. Absolutely delicious!!!! Sooo yummy!!

        • — Ellen on February 16, 2021
        • Reply
  • One word for this recipe….yummy! Great Valentines Day dish. Thanks for sharing your talents! Gives the impression I can cook. LoL. Hubby loved the sauce!

    • — K.A.Y on February 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • I only have 2% milk in the house…can that be used in place of heavy cream? If not, are there any other ways to thicken the sauce a little? Flour perhaps? If so, how would ratios change with wine and broth? Thanks!!

    • — Brynn on February 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Brynn, You really need the heavy cream for this — I’m sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2021
      • Reply
      • My latest favorite!! Played with the liquid proportions to increase the amount. A little tricky but delicious outcome. Boyfriend says “restaurant quality”! 😊

        • — Mindy on February 22, 2021
        • Reply
  • Will I be able to achieve that nice golden color if I use a cast iron pan?

    • — Barbara on February 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2021
      • Reply
    • Excellent.

      • — Myra on February 14, 2021
      • Reply

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