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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. It’s the most popular chicken recipe on this website, and 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 Parmesan smashed potatoes.

If your family loves Italian food like mine does, once you master chicken Marsala, try your hand at other Italian restaurant favorites, such as chicken cacciatore, pasta e fagioli, eggplant parmesan, penne alla vodka, and lasagna.

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. (Or 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

  • Made this last night for dinner along with her mashed potato and green bean recipe . And OMG it was so good. I am saving these recipes and definitely making again.

    • — Cindy on February 27, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, this recipe is absolutely amazing! Better than my mom’s! (Don’t tell her).

    I love it so much that I’d like to make it for company, but I will need more than four servings. If I make 8 servings (4 chicken breasts cut in half), do I just double all of the ingredients in the recipe? Is it as simple as that? I definitely do not want to mess up this recipe.

    • — Michael on February 27, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Michael, So glad you enjoyed it (and I won’t tell your mom)! 😉 Yes, to double the recipe, you’d simply double all the ingredients.

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2024
      • Reply
  • The best recipe and dish! Better than a restaurant version.

    • — John Smith on February 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • We loved it. Can’t wait to try more of your yummy recipes!

    • — Dr. Diannne Lalena Sandberg on February 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • Oh my. This was so yummy. Wish I could figure out how to make it for a group of 6 or 8. Thanks for all of your consistently great recipes.

    • — Ann on February 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • We love this recipe. I made it again for company yesterday and it turned out delicious as always.

    One thing I’ve learned from experience is the quality of the dish is highly dependent on the quality of the Marsala wine. My favorite is 1833 Cantine Florio Vecchioflorio Marsala Superiore Secco.

    Yesterday, since I was making a double batch, I changed how I prepped the breasts by slicing them diagonally on the bias a half-inch thick, beginning at the thickest part of each breast. When I got to the thin end, I just cut it to produce about the same size “tournedos” as the rest of the pieces. I didn’t need to pound the chicken for it to be perfectly cooked and tender and the smaller pieces were easier to arrange in the skillet, requiring fewer batches to brown.

    • — Mark Jacobson on February 19, 2024
    • Reply
  • I tried this recipe the other night and even though it didn’t come out perfectly, the flavor was delicious. The chicken was so tender. The cream adds such a nice balance to the wine. I think I cooked it a little too long. Did 15 minutes rather than 10 because the sauce didn’t thicken right away and I was worried it wouldn’t. However our electric stove takes a while once you lower the temp so I probably should have turned it down all the way to low after 10 minutes. Even with a thicker and less sauce it was delicious. The other glitch I had was I put the chicken aside in the ziploc after flouring and when I went back to saute it, some of the flour had come off the breasts so I added a little and may have had too much on them (which maybe added to the thickness of the sauce?)

    I have a question though about leftovers. I know this is the kind of dish you want to serve right away but I made four pieces for two people and I was wondering the best way to reheat considering thanks to my mistake there’s not too much sauce.

    • — Jane Rupert on February 17, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, glad that overall, it came out okay. I’d reheat it covered (so the sauce won’t thicken more, briefly on the stove until just heated through.

      • — Jenn on February 18, 2024
      • Reply
  • 100% making this again! And will definitely be doubling that sauce next time. Thanks, Jenn.

    • — RCB on February 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • I just made this for my husband and I tonight and it was AMAZING! I followed the directions to a tee, with the exception of the chopped fresh thyme. I didn’t have any, so I used dried thyme leaves instead. I’ve never used Marsala wine before and my local grocery store only had one brand and it didn’t say ‘dry’ and looked like colored water but I bought it and used it in this recipe. I put the chicken/sauce over thin spaghetti and it was outstanding. The only thing I will do differently next time is make more sauce so that the pasta can absorb more of it. Plus, the sauce is so good I wish I had leftover for mashed potatoes tomorrow. I’m already planning to make this again next week. Thank you for sharing such an awesome recipe!

    • — YumYum on February 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • Absolutely Delicious! I made this for a Valentines dinner and it didn’t disappoint! My husband loved it and so did I! Easy to put together, rich, and comforting on a cold February evening. I will be making this again….thank you for a great recipe!

    • — Laurie on February 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • Lovely recipe. Thank you for sharing

    • — Ginny Morrise on February 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • One of my favourite recipes!
    I don’t think I’ve ever used one of your recipes that hasn’t worked well.
    Insert smiley face! TW

    • — TEW on February 12, 2024
    • Reply
  • I don’t normally write comments, but either I’ve missed the ingredient table or the measuring is seriously messed up! The recipe specifies the quantities of salt and pepper up to a hilarious 1/8 of a teaspoon per a PAN of sauce: could anyone really taste the difference?

    • — Martin on February 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • Just wondering if there is a way to do most of this for a dinner party ahead of time? I don’t want the chicken to get tough but wonder if there are steps that can be taken ahead of time.

    • — Ann on February 9, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Ann, this is best if eaten right after it’s cooked, but a few readers have commented that they’ve made this ahead, stored the sauce & chicken separately, and reheated it briefly (on the stove) before serving. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2024
      • Reply
  • This is probably the seventh recipe I’ve made of yours and this one was just delicious. It was very easy to make and I can’t wait to make it again

    • — Heather on February 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • I normally don’t write reviews, but I am so obsessed with the way this came out. Will definitely be making seconds! ❤️

    • — Amanda on February 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • I have made this 4 times since Christmas and it is a family favorite. I double everything but the chicken as my family is in love with the sauce. I usually serve it with whipped potatoes and a green vegetable. I follow the recipe exactly and it is perfect.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    • — Monica on February 5, 2024
    • Reply
  • This was a really good, flavorful dish! I had to hunt to find Marsala wine, but it was worth it. Its flavor made the dish. The browning of the sauce does take 10 – 15 minutes… I was surprised (even though the recipe says it does). But, don’t let that deter you from making this – the richness of the sauce is worth it. I cut my mushrooms a little too thin, since they cook so long in the sauce, they lost a little bit of their texture. I also subbed basil for the thyme (personal preference). I served on a bed of angel hair pasta and a basic green salad with Italian dressing.

    • — Marko on February 4, 2024
    • Reply

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