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

  • Love making this recipe turns out great every time I serve it with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans😋

    • — Lisa Achatz on January 24, 2021
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  • Awesome! Definitely worthy of a meal for company!

    • — Tracy on January 24, 2021
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  • Made this recipe last weekend. Delicious! I substituted the Marsala with White Wine, but added a splash of Marsala to give just a touch of sweetness. Served with Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic & Parsley, and green beans. Everyone loved it.

    • — Kelley Smith on January 24, 2021
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  • What can I substitute for Marsala wine?

    • — Dave on January 23, 2021
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    • Hi Dave, You can use white wine here – it won’t be chicken Marsala but it should still be delicious. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
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  • I have made this recipe so many times this month – it’s quick and killer! I serve over rigatoni or tagliatelle and it never disappoints.

    • — elle on January 22, 2021
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  • Can I use whole white mushrooms sliced instead ?

    • — Brienn on January 21, 2021
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    • Sure, hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 22, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn! I made this and it was delicious! But is there an alternative to the wine?

    • — Jess on January 21, 2021
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    • Unfortunately, there’s no great substitute for the wine here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2021
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  • Perfect recipe. I served it with parmesan risotto. WOW. Rave reviews by every one. It was my first time making chicken marsala and it was a hit. Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe!

    • — Lejla Marusic on January 20, 2021
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  • I only have 1/2’&1/2. What should I adjust???

    • — Laura on January 19, 2021
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    • Hi Laura, I don’t recommend using half & half here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2021
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      • All I have is half and half. Should I still use the same amount as I would heavy cream?

        • — Jessica on January 25, 2021
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        • Hi Jessica, I’d use the same amount; just keep in mind that the sauce won’t thicken up quite as much.

          • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
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  • Delicious! My husband said it’s the best Chicken Marsala he’s ever had.

    • — Kathryn on January 17, 2021
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  • Delicious! I didn’t have thyme on hand in any form so substituted a few dashes of poultry seasoning, which leads with thyme and it was very good. Next time I make this I will plan ahead and have the fresh herbs. I think I’ll also pound out my chicken ahead, too. We had this over linguine with a simple lettuce salad. Scrumptious!

    • — Molly B on January 14, 2021
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  • Hands down the best recipe I’ve ever had for chicken Marsala. Absolutely phenomenal. I added more mushrooms though. ☺️

    • — Rita on January 12, 2021
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  • Thought I’d follow instructions for once since Marsala and I have always butted head. Thanks Jenn, it was dead-on! Like the suggestion of serving immediately from stove to table. Plan on tuning in to “once upon. ..” again in near future.

    • — Dan Earnhart on January 12, 2021
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  • The best Marsala dish I’ve ever had. I do use organic chicken and all other ingredients are very fresh or top grade. Whether that makes a difference I don’t know but it’s a no fail recipe. Perfect for entertaining or an easy any night dinner.

    • — Kym on January 12, 2021
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  • If I could give this recipe more stars I WOULD! Outstanding – this will be on our menu for years to come!

    • — Mike S. on January 11, 2021
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  • This recipe is delicious and have made it many times.

    • — Helen on January 11, 2021
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  • I have made it more than once and my family loves it.

    • — Mary Anne Chmura on January 10, 2021
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    • Super easy and so delicious!

      • — Marilyn on January 19, 2021
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  • Just wanted to say the taste was awesome and the directions were easy to follow. I will definitely be making this a lot. I am trying to think other ways to use that wonderful sauce/gravy.

    • — Carolyn Russell on January 10, 2021
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  • Easy to follow and turned out delicious!!

    • — Catherine on January 9, 2021
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  • This is no doubt the best chicken marsala recipe. Followed the directions exactly and it turned out excellent. Made it tonight and everyone raved.

    • — Kirsten on January 9, 2021
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  • Thanks, Jenn, this is fabulous! And I want to share that I used Silk Non-Dairy Heavy Whipping Cream in place of the dairy cream. I admit I was a bit apprehensive to do so, because the dairy cream is a bit sweeter than the Silk non-dairy, but it is thick and creamy and you could not tell the difference once it was stirred in the sauce. That Silk heavy cream is pretty impressive. I will definitely make this again!

    • — JANE SCHLAMOWITZ on January 9, 2021
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  • The recipe was delicious. Not too sweet not to stout. Perfect. Thank you.

    • — Betsy on January 9, 2021
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  • I made this Chicken Marsala recipe the other day and it was the best I have ever had. I never knew that heavy cream went into it. No wonder it was so tasty. Can’t wait to try another recipe. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    • — Teri on January 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • I just made this for dinner and it was *fantastic*. I made 2 tweaks. Instead of adding butter between cooking the chicken and the mushrooms, I rendered 2 strips of thick-cut pepper bacon. I pulled the bacon itself, and added it back to the sauce at the same time as the chicken. Additionally, I used shiitakes in as well as baby bellas for another texture. I served it over mashed red potatoes. It was so good, I’m going to make the sauce again tomorrow night for some steaks!

    • — Nathan on January 8, 2021
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  • Wow, this recipe was a huge hit! Please don’t change anything when making this dish. The recipe works wonderfully as is!

    • — Damayra on January 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this for New Year’s eve dinner and it was great and so easy I will certainly do it more often.

    My only comment is that since I served it with mashed potatoes it would have been nice to have more sauce for chicken and potatoes both. I will do half again or maybe double the sauce with a few more veggies next time.

    • — Claudia Chester on January 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • I don’t have Marsala. Can I use red wine?

    • — Katie R. on January 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Katie, While technically it will work, it won’t taste quite like chicken Marsala. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • Excellent dish; great flavor in sauce – be patient in letting it reduce. Made as written; used sliced baby bellas. Served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and baby peas. Will try broccoli next time.

    • — CathyP on January 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness- made last night for my family and it was fantastic! I didn’t change a thing except use sweet marsala as that was all my store had. I think I actually preferred it to dry. My boyfriend just raved about this after every bite as did I! Thank you for a new favorite!

    • — Laura on January 5, 2021
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    • What can I substitute for butter….more olive oil ?

      • — Ginger on January 10, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Ginger, I wouldn’t use olive oil, but coconut oil will work. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on January 11, 2021
        • Reply
    • Hi I could only find sweet Marsala too, hope it’s ok… made for neighbors as a little care package, they’re going thru hard times. Glad to see you liked the sweet version a lot.

      • — Mary on January 14, 2021
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  • By far the best Chicken Marsala I’ve ever had! I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. The only complaint I received was that I didn’t make enough sauce. I’ll definitely be making this one again…and again…and again. Thank you Jenn Segal for sharing your recipes. I’m not a very good cook, but your recipes always make me look like a kitchen rock star.

    • — Cara on January 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have been making this for years, but when we made your version it became a ‘wow’. The cream took it up a notch. Many thanks. Excellent.

    • — Patticakes on January 4, 2021
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    • Can I substitute chicken broth for anything? I do not have on hand!

      • — Brienn on January 21, 2021
      • Reply
      • Do you have beef or vegetable broth?

        • — Jenn on January 22, 2021
        • Reply
  • This was top-notch! Thank you for sharing.😋

    • — Yvette on January 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this last night for dinner. Absolutely delicious!! Thank you for another great recipe. Any suggestions on how to make this ahead of time?

    • — Lenore on January 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it, Lenore! This is definitely 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 January 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this. I like to adjust it to my taste. It’s a good recipe.

    • — Susan on January 1, 2021
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  • Wow! By far the best chicken Marsala we’ve ever had. We always use skinless boneless thighs when we eat chicken. They were awesome.

    • — Andrew on January 1, 2021
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  • My bride and I loved he Chicken Marsala recipe. I just made half of he recipe. I got one large skinless boneless breast, sliced in half , and pounded each of he halves and cooked in a cast iron frying pan. Yummy!

    • — Michael Thoma on December 31, 2020
    • Reply
    • Forgo to mention that I paired it with the Parmesan Smashed Potatoes (my bride scraped the bowl) and frozen green beans with sautéed shallots. The Chicken Marsala holds nicely while you synch up the other two sides.

      • — Michael Thoma on December 31, 2020
      • Reply
      • Absolutely delicious. Added a tiny bit of cornstarch at the end to thicken. Soooo good!

        • — Peggy Burrows on January 6, 2021
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  • Hi, amazing work that you’re doing. I’ve made many of your recipes. I’d like to tweak your chicken marsala recipe to make it a Filet marsala recipe for my dad’s 70th (it’s his favorite dish). Clearly, I’ll swap the protein out but would you also suggest I use beef broth instead of chicken broth or just keep the rest of the recipe the same? Also, would you recommend mashed potatoes or risotto with the dish? Thanks so much!

    • — Jeff on December 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! I think you could go either way broth-wise, but I think beef broth would be a good idea. And personally, I’d go with mashed potatoes as a starch. Hope your dad enjoys!

      • — Jenn on December 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • This recipe was good but light on the sauce. Next time, I will add another 4 oz. of mushrooms and double the liquids.

    • — Loretta on December 29, 2020
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    • I’ve made this many times in the past year or so. My husband loves it as much as I do! Easy to make and I don’t change anything with the exception of dried Thyme instead of fresh. It makes enough for two meals for the two of us.

      • — Sandi on January 3, 2021
      • Reply

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