How to make classic Chicken Marsala (with double the mushrooms!) in a rich, earthy, complex Marsala Sauce. Serve over creamy polenta, mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or roasted spaghetti Squash! (Vegetarian Adaptable-see recipe notes!

A classic recipe for Chicken Marsala (w/ double the mushrooms!) bathed in a creamy flavorful Marsala Sauce. An Italian-inspired dinner, perfect for weeknights or Sunday Supper! #chickenmarsala #chickenrecipes

Chicken Marsala is an Italian-inspired meal that is believed to originate from Sicily in the town of Marsala where the wine was created. It has become a classic on Italian-American restaurant menus, and a dish that was often requested in our catering business.

So often in fact, I needed a break from it, so it has been a long time coming here to the blog. 😉 It takes about 45 minutes to make and we love this best served over a bowl of creamy polenta, which can be made in the Instant Pot while you are cooking the chicken. You can also serve this with pasta, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower or roasted spaghetti squash!

A very doable weeknight dinner, or special enough for Sunday Super. Looking for more ways to cook chicken breast? Take a peek at our 35+Best Chicken Breast Recipes on the blog!

Chicken Marsala Recipe | 60-second video

how to make classic Chicken Marsala- an Italian-inspired chicken recipe served over creamy polenta. A delicious weeknight dinner idea! #chickenmarsala #chickenrecipes

Sweet Marsala or Dry Marsala? 

  • The key ingredient in Marsala Chicken is Marsala Wine. While there two kinds -sweet Marsala and dry Marsala, either can be used.  I personally prefer the taste of dry Marsala, which keep in mind, is still sweet, just a little less sweet.
  • If sweet Marsala is what you have, just use it. Sweet Marsala works fine too.
  • Regular red wine, will not work the same here.

Ingredients in Chicken Marsala

How to make chicken marsala (in a nutshell):

  1. Cut or pound chicken into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
  2. Coat the chicken in flour salt and pepper.
  3. Pan sear the chicken until each side is golden,and set aside.
  4. Saute the mushrooms until caramelized.
  5. Make the Marsala Sauce and nestle the chicken into the sauce and continue cooking through.
  6. Garnish with Italian parsley.

Can this be made vegetarian? 

Yes. In our catering business, for vegetarians, we would substitute tofu “filets”  dredged in the flour mixture, pan-seared the same way. Instead of chicken broth substitute veggie broth. A decadent vegetarian dinner!


In a bowl or zip lock bag, mix flour with salt and pepper- see recipe card for exact measurements.

bowl of flour, salt, pepper

Cut the chicken in half widthwise. You want pieces that are no thicker than 1/2 inch.

If they are smaller pieces of chicken to begin with, you can alternatively pound the chicken into 1/3 inch thin cutlets.

 

cutting the chicken into ½ inch thick pieces

Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake them off.

dredging the chicken in flour mixture

In an extra-large skillet, begin searing each side until golden. Don’t worry about cooking them through here- just focus on getting the crust, beautifully golden.

browning the chicken

While the chicken is searing, slice the mushrooms, dice the shallots, garlic and herbs.

chopping herbs and garlic

dicing the shallot

Once the chicken is golden, set it aside and cover.

Saute the mushrooms in the same pan.

sautéing the mushrooms

Here we are doubling the mushrooms so it will take a bit more time. Add the shallots, thyme and season with salt and pepper.

After the mushrooms release their liquid, be sure to let this cook-off and they will begin to caramelize. Be patient and wait for this… this is where the flavor is!

cartelizing the mushrooms

Then add the Marsala wine, the broth and the cream.

add the Marsala Wine, broth and cream

Reduce this down, letting it simmer and thicken a little, about 12 minutes.

cook down he sauce

Nestle the chicken back into the pan, and gently simmer 5-6 minutes uncovered until the chicken is heated and cooked all the way through.

nestle the chicken and simmer

Sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley and serve over a bowl of creamy polenta.

The leftovers can be easily reheated and actually taste even better.

More recipes you may like: 

 

A classic recipe for Chicken Marsala- an Italian-inspired dinner served over creamy polenta. A delicious weeknight dinner idea! #chickenmarsala #chickenrecipes

Hope you enjoy this take on Chicken Marsala- and be sure to look to the recipe notes for a yummy vegetarian version! 

Hope you are having a great week.

xoxo

Sylvia

 

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How to make classic Chicken Marsala (with double the mushrooms!) in a rich, earthy, complex Marsala Sauce. Serve over creamy polenta, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower or roasted spaghetti Squash! #chickenmarsala #chickenrecipes

Chicken Marsala Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: main, chicken, poultry, easy dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

A classic recipe for Chicken Marsala with double the mushrooms! An Italian-inspired dinner served over creamy polenta. A delicious weeknight dinner idea! Vegetarian Adaptable- see notes. 😉


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup flour (or sub GF flour) 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 3/4  pounds chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, more as needed
  • 1 lb mushrooms- cremini, portobello, shiitake, button – sliced
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced (or sub 1/2 a red onion) 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or use both)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half) 
  • Flat-leaf parsley for garnishing

Serve over creamy polenta, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower or roasted spaghetti Squash!


Instructions

  1. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl (or place in a large zip lock bag).
  2. Cut the chicken in half widthwise, so each piece is no thicker than 1/2 inch thick. You can also pound the chicken down to under 1/2 thick, then cut in half. (see photo)
  3. Heat oil and butter in an extra-large skillet over medium-high heat. Cast-iron works great here. Dredge each piece of chicken, shaking off excess, and carefully place in the hot skillet, searing each side until beautifully golden, 3 minutes on each side. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through, just focus on getting a nice golden crust. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Lower heat to medium. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the pan. Add the mushrooms and saute 5-6 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, oregano, thyme and season with a five-finger pinch of salt and pepper. Keep sauteing until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown slightly.
  5. Add the chicken broth, Marsala wine and heavy cream, scraping up any browned bit. Simmer gently uncovered for 12-15 minutes, over med or medium-low heat, letting it thicken and reduce, deepen in color. It won’t be thick sauce- just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Add more salt and pepper to taste- about another 5-finger pinch of each. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. For extra richness, add more cream, or for a looser sauce, add more broth.
  7. Nestle in the chicken to the Marsala sauce and simmer another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  8. Sprinkle with flat-leave parsley and serve over a bowl of creamy polenta.

Notes

The key ingredient in Marsala Chicken is Marsala Wine. While there two kinds -sweet Marsala and dry Marsala, either can be used.  I personally prefer the taste of dry Marsala, which keep in mind,  is still sweet, just a little less sweet. If sweet Marsala is what you have, just use it. Sweet Marsala works fine too. Regular red wine, will not work the same here.

VEGETARIAN OPTION: In our catering business, for vegetarians, we would substitute tofu “filets”  dredged in the flour mixture, pan-seared the same way. Instead of chicken broth substitute veggie broth. A decadent vegetarian dinner!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 469
  • Sugar: 4.1 g
  • Sodium: 677.6 mg
  • Fat: 20.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.1 g
  • Fiber: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 49.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 169.4 mg

Keywords: chicken marsala, classic Chicken Marsala, how to make Chicken Marsala, what is Chicken Marsala

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  1. I made this exactly like the recipe except I used dried herbs rather than fresh. I served it with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and herbed asparagus. When I tasted the first bite of chicken, I couldn’t believe how delicious it was, and I couldn’t believe that I had prepared this wonderful dish. The chicken was so tender it just melted in my mouth. I had 3 friends to share this dinner with and they were blown away at how delicious it was. Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to serve it to other friends.

  2. Husband said this should be a regular in the house. Thank you for this delicious dinner!

  3. … Forgot to mention that I used Pinto Grigio as I didn’t have Marsala wine and it was to die for!!! Can’t imagine it tasting better than it did! LOL

  4. SOOOO DELICIOUS!!!! Company worthy!!! Served with cauliflower mashed potatoes, garlic sautéed rapini and baguette for moping up that incredible sauce! Will definitely make this again and again. Thank you Sylvie! 😀

  5. Served this with spaghetti noodles. My whole family loved it. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow.

  6. Hello! Would this be enough sauce for 4 large stuffed chicken breasts (that will be finished off in the oven)…or should I double it to be safe?

    THANK YOU!!!!

    1. I think it should just be enough- unless you like extra saucy, then double. 🙂

  7. This was a huge hit with the family. The ‘best chicken dish’ I have made.
    I substituted orzo with parmesan as the carb.

  8. Hi!! Can’t wait to make this recipe! Any suggestions on making this for a crowd? Also possibly making it ahead and finish cooking it the next day?

    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Theresa, You could make the Marsala Sauce ahead then reheat. The chicken is BEST made the same day. I’ve also made the chicken on the grill for big parties (just seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper) then added to the sauce in a big hotel pan or baking dish and finishing in the oven.

  9. I am overly thrilled to find your site! My college son is bringing home a Vegan friend and I am branching out to try new recipes, thanks to you! This Marsala is fabulous. I used coconut milk inside of dairy.
    I prefer my sauce a little thicker (probably due to the coconut milk replacement), I just added some corn starch to thicken it at the end. It tasted fine but I wondered if you have a more approprite suggestion.
    Also, I live in Rathdrum and work in Spokane, would you recommend a butcher to order veal from? That is my favorite Marsala, lots of East Coast Italian restaurants serve it! THANKS AGAIN!!!

  10. This is so so good. Every recipe I make of yours is amazing. I use your recipes for inspiration when I am not feeling like cooking dinner. Thank you!

  11. Delicous outcome in easy to follow recipe. I so appreciate the abundance of mushrooms in your version. Absent chicken this is also really good as a marsala mushrooms to use over polenta dish.

  12. Stellar recipe Sylvia! I use your recipes for most of my cooking and whenever I go to another site for some reason or other, I immediately remember why I almost exclusively use your site! You are hands down the best. One last thing—your recipe ingredients and instructions are so clear, it is obvious that you are a professional and respect your users. Thank you for all you offer us

  13. I have to say, hands down, this is the best Chicken Marsala I’ve had.
    Made it for my husband tonight and he went back for seconds. I’ve passed the recipe on to my daughter and son.
    Thanks Sylvia.
    I love to cook and every recipe I have made from your site is excellent. Keep them coming. Also enjoyed your Moroccan chicken soup recipe.

  14. Made this last week and absolutely loved it! I didn’t have Marsala, so I used a dry Gewurztraminer (sp?!!) and it was delish. I served it over mashed potatoes, and my husband was very happy! Pretty darn easy too especially if you buy the sliced mushrooms. Yum!

  15. Yum! This will be my go-to chicken marsala recipe from now on; perfect for mushroom lovers and anyone who wants a dish that warms the soul. Not too labor-intensive but requires a bit of patience, which was no big deal for me since I enjoyed standing over the pan taking in all the delicious aromas.

    Instructions are easy to follow and the photos are very helpful. Well done, Sylvia — and thank you!

  16. We made this last night. My husband and I agreed this was better than any chicken marsala we’ve had in a restaurant! Thank-you!

  17. This was excellent. Used sweet Marsala wine because that is what we had and it still was delicious. Served it over your creamy polenta and happy there are leftovers.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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