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

Video Tutorial

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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

  • 1½ 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
  • ⅔ cup chicken broth
  • ⅔ cup dry Marsala wine
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ 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 ¼ teaspoon of salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the broth, Marsala, heavy cream, thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ 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 ¾ lb. each), it’s best to first cut them horizontally to form four flat fillets, then pound them to an even ¼-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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Comments

  • I’ve been a chef for over 30 years and just came across this recipe. I turned your 5 star recipe into a 6 star and here’s the adds.

    I added Sofrita to the chicken stock and added 1/3 cup of sherry.

    Really nice work on this simple classic. Bravo..

    • — Josh Boxer on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent recipe perfectly proportioned. I have made chicken marsala a few times but never this good. Not a hard recipe for a beginner cook, as directions are well explained. I will look for more from this site.

    • — Mark G. on September 19, 2022
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  • Hi Jen, I’ve used many of your recipes and have been happy with the results. Your recipes are good for 6. I need a recipe for 8. Do you have recommendations? Thank you

    • — Barbara aRiddle on September 15, 2022
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    • Hi Barbara, So glad you’ve had success with the recipes! For 8, you’d just need to double all the ingredients. (You’ll likely need to brown the chicken in two batches.)

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2022
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      • How can I make this recipe ahead?

        • — IRINA on September 22, 2022
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        • Hi Irina, this is best right after it’s prepared but if you’d like to give it a try, a few readers have commented that they’ve made this ahead, stored the sauce & chicken separately, and reheated it briefly before serving. Please LMK how it goes if you try it!

          • — Jenn on September 23, 2022
          • Reply
  • Wow! You must make awesome recipes because you have a ton of comments. I was going to scroll through because someone has probably asked already, but is your Marsala the dry wine type that isn’t too sweet or the after dinner with dessert wine that is sweeter. I would purchase your brand, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in Texas…big state who would have thought?

    • — S. Smith on September 7, 2022
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    • Hi, You’ll need dry Marsala. Hope you enjoy the chicken if you make it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 8, 2022
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  • Wow Jenn, you have outdone yourself! I’ve cooked a lot of your recipes and have your cookbook but this recipe is just in a league of its own. I have never tasted chicken marsala as good as this. My husband wants to know when I’m going to make it again. I used chicken tenders instead of breasts and only used 1 lb. I also didn’t have any Marsala wine and I’m glad I did some research about it. Don’t try to sub it with another wine. I think the Marsala wine took this recipe up another notch. It came out perfect! Thank you for your masterpiece recipe!

    • — Huong on September 4, 2022
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  • This is delicious! Definitely a keeper and one I’ll serve again! Angel Hair pasta and creamed spinach accompaniment made the perfect meal!!

    • — Jeanine C on September 2, 2022
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  • Could you make this with boneless skinless chicken thighs?

    • — Julie E on September 2, 2022
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    • Hi Julie, I wouldn’t recommend chicken thighs; I think they would make the sauce too rich/greasy. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
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      • I’ve made this several times, always following your recipe since the first time I tried it we all loved it, why change anything! It’s easy yet elegant, and very delicious! I typically serve it with some variation of smashed potatoes. Definitely a hit!

        • — Dyan on September 6, 2022
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  • Best Chicken Marsala evah! I have always loved Chicken Marsala and have tried a zillion different recipes. This one is simple yet amazing! I decided to serve with spaghetti squash instead of pasta, which I loved but my hubby … not so much. Oh well, the chicken was so delicious he was still happy. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — E Johnsen on September 1, 2022
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  • Great recipe – instead of using a bag I dusted gluten free flour with a fine strainer to bread the cutlets from the cutting board to the pan, this worked great. I worked in batches as the recipe was doubled, kept the cutlets in a 200 degree oven under foil, before returning it all to the pan. A crowd favorite!

    • — Jim on September 1, 2022
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  • I love this recipe I just made it for my future husband and he loved it and committed that he could have it every night.

    • — Sharon on August 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Dear Jenn,
    I had so much success with your baked ziti recipe for a large group that I now plan to try this recipe for a family get together this weekend. I will need to cook for 14 people. What is the best way to manage this recipe on a larger scale? Would I be able to brown all the breasts and then finish cooking the chicken in the oven while I make the sauce on the stovetop? Or is it necessary to cook the breasts in the sauce for the best flavor?

    • — Ali on August 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ali, I think what you’re proposing will work. I’d just add the chicken back into the pan with the sauce for a minute or two before serving. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on September 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe and just doubled the sauce and mushrooms. it was amazing with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. plates were clean, no leftovers.

    • — mickie on August 23, 2022
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  • I am new to the website and this was the first main course dish I cooked. This dish turned out terrific as is. My son, who loves Chicken Marsala, said it’s better than the restaurant. The only thing I would change/add is to double the sauce and add more mushrooms (personal preference).

    • — Jereamy on August 21, 2022
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  • I’ve made this recipe 4 times and love it!!! Thank you!

    • — Deb on August 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this tonight and wow! Rave reviews, definitely will make again. Thank you!

    • — Caryn on August 17, 2022
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  • This is probably the best food that I have ever made for myself! I do not have good instincts in the kitchen and have a really hard time following directions, but this recipe was simple and easy to follow and this dish tasted very sophisticated. Everyone in my family of 4 (including a picky 10 yo who typically refuses any type of sauce) gobbled it up. Thank you for a great recipe!

    • — CJ on August 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Perfection. The only deviation I made was, after chicken coated in flour, putting chicken in scrambled raw egg bath and making sure all the excess egg drips off and immediately sautéing.

    • — Amy on August 11, 2022
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  • I tried so many different variations chicken marsala, and this one is 10000% the best! We’re a family of 10, kids 2yo-18yo. So few picky eaters. I TRIPLED this recipe and it was all gone, zero left overs!!

    • — Irina on August 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe on the nose, minus the shallots because I’m not an onion fan. I’m very much a beginner in the kitchen, but this recipe was easy to follow and came out with more flavor than I could have imagined. Better than my favorite restaurant’s chicken marsala recipe! Also appreciated the tips for preparing the chicken (I used breast tenderloins which I flattened). For sides I had vermicelli noodles and steamed broccoli. Such a great meal and I will definitely be sharing this recipe!

    • — Josie on August 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious! I made this in a cast iron pan on our Big Green Egg. It can just as easily be made in the kitchen in a regular pan.

    Instead of pounding the chicken breasts (I never get them pounded thin enough), I chose to cut them horizontally in thirds (instead of halves). Then, I didn’t have to pound them at all!

    • — Joe on July 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Easy to make and delicious! Even my kids enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing.

      • — Jeremy D. on July 25, 2022
      • Reply
  • THE BEST Chicken Marsala I’ve ever had in my life, and it’s this recipe! I substituted chicken broth with chicken bone broth; otherwise, I followed the recipe as written. Easy and better than any Chicken Marsala we’ve had at Italian restaurants. I love the fresh thyme (it’s absolutely worth getting fresh thyme) and heavy cream. I used pre-sliced mini bella mushrooms. Served with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans.

    • — Faith on July 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • OMG this is so good!
    I used baby Bella mushrooms and didn’t have fresh thyme so I used dried thyme (much less than if I had fresh), but it was still so so good! I don’t consider myself a good cook, but this recipe is kind of fail proof!

    • — Jenny on July 16, 2022
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  • Garlic is a no no in this dish and so is cream. A pan sauce should just be a reduction of the marsala and a nut of cold butter.

    • — John Civitello on July 13, 2022
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  • I did some substitution but it was still good. The polenta was mushy and hard to brown. The recipe on the package of polenta only had 3 cups though and this one has more liquid so I’ll make that adjustment next time. Thanks for the best Marsala recipe I’ve tried.

    • — Rosi on July 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Really delicious! Restaurant worthy recipe. I will definitely be making this again

    • — Susan D. on July 9, 2022
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  • This is outstanding. I make it all the time. I halved the recipe since there is just 2 of us, but it is the bomb. Highly recommend it.

    • — Jennifer Jordan on July 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe! Thanks so much.

    • — Cindy on July 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe and it is amazing. The BEST chicken Marsala EVER

    • — Carol Arnold on July 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe and it was phenomenal!

    • — Christine Marciniak on June 29, 2022
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  • Very solid recipe! Flavorful for sure! As I was making this dish for a large crowd, I added a wee bit more Marsala and chicken stock and such to make room for more mushrooms. Very delicious!

    • — Kim H on June 27, 2022
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    • 5 stars!

      • — Kim H on June 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Best chicken marsala recipe I’ve ever used! The family loved it and so did I. Very easy to make — thanks!!

    • — Michele on June 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn, this is the second recipe of yours I made in the past week. This was a really great chicken marsala. I noticed when I read the recipe that you use dry marsala. I have always bought sweet marsala. I was able to find one labeled American Marsala. It is much dryer than the sweet variety and nuttier in flavor. I really liked that you use equal parts marsala, cream and broth. It was perfect. I think it is time to subscribe to your blog. No wonder you show up first on a Google search. Thank you for sharing this and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • — Lou on June 14, 2022
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  • Better than most restaurants. It’s a favorite among my family and friends. Definitely recommend trying and make sure to use the fresh thyme it makes all the difference.

    • — Dayna on June 11, 2022
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  • I have made this dish a few times and it is very tasty. Thank you so much .

    • — Harold on June 5, 2022
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  • I made this for dinner the other night and my husband and guest loved it. I decreased the marsala to 1/3 cup. I did not have any cream so I used 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup sour cream instead. This decreased the fat content without sacrificing mouth feel. Thanks for another great recipe.

    • — DebraB on June 5, 2022
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    • Can you do it on a grill?

      • — Steve on June 8, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Steve, it’s never occurred to me to make this on a grill, but if you have the right size cast iron skillet, I suppose you could do it in that. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on June 9, 2022
        • Reply
  • I really enjoyed making this dish! No heavy cream so we used evaporated milk, we were also short on butter so we used a little more olive oil and it turned out great. I Love chix Marsala

    • — Adam Litt on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • The recipe was easy to follow. My family loved the Marsala sauce

    • — Mary Thompson on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Another great dish that the entire family loved. Once Upon a Chef is the only place I go for new recipes. Everything I’ve made has been delicious. Thank you Jenn for sharing your talent!

    • — Katherine on June 2, 2022
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  • I will not slice the mushrooms, I will quarter them, instead. I like them bigger, and sliced ones get cooked down to be so small! I, too, love the sauce and can easily double it, using the extra for a week of delicious lunches!

    • — glindab on May 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • There is WAY too much cream in this recipe. Other than that, quite good.

    • — Reggie on May 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    My husband is lactose intolerant. Would plain full fat Greek yogurt if used at room temperature work instead of the heavy cream? I want to try this recipe!
    Bethany

    • — Bethany on May 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Bethany, I’m not sure how yogurt would work out. For a non-dairy option, some readers have commented that they’ve used Rich’s non-dairy coffee creamer (frozen) and Trader Joe’s unflavored non-dairy creamer. (Please keep in mind that I haven’t tried either of these.) Please LMK how it turns out if you try one of these!

      • — Jenn on May 23, 2022
      • Reply
      • Coconut cream is a good dairy free alternative. Just the hardened white part at the top of the can.

        • — Lee Ann on July 18, 2022
        • Reply
      • I used Silk® Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative. It worked brilliantly. Will definitely make this again. My wife and son were both very impressed! (I was too!)

        • — Matt C. in Fairfax, VA on September 22, 2022
        • Reply
  • This is the best recipe. It was very easy and quick for a middle of the week dinner. It’s full of flavor. I served it over bow tie noodles. The only thing I changed was that I doubled the sauce. I took the leftovers to work and everyone raved about it.

    • — Jenny on May 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Awesome recipe. Omitted the shallots because I didn’t have any, used salted butter (because that’s what I had) just didn’t set much anything else. Used a pack and a half of chicken breast tenders like the packs from Costco. Will definitely make again!

    • — Ashley on May 18, 2022
    • Reply

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