Chicken Marsala

6 Reviews / 4.7 Average
This Chicken Marsala recipe is classic, hearty, savory, and so flavorful! This family friendly dinner is great for busy weeknights or weekends. The chicken is tender and juicy, while the sauce is creamy and delicious!
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This classic Chicken Marsala combines tender chicken, earthy mushrooms, and a rich Marsala wine sauce!  This traditional Italian dish has a delicious marriage of flavors that will leave you craving more.  This one skillet family-friendly dinner is great for busy weeknights, meal prep, hosting friends and family, and leftovers.

Chicken Marsala.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Chicken Marsala has rich and comforting flavors.
  • The chicken is so tender and juicy.
  • The creamy Marsala wine sauce is loaded with flavor.
  • These classic Italian flavors taste restaurant-quality.
  • This classic dish is always a big hit with family and friends!
  • This recipe has been loved by my family and friends for years and years. I have made it so many times!
  • Make it on busy weeknights or weekends.
  • Serve over whole wheat noodles, brown rice, mashed potatoes, or spaghetti squash.
  • This recipe can be made gluten-free if needed. Simply use gluten-free 1 to 1 flour.
  • Check out this Chicken Marsala Pasta for another easy family dinner!

What is Chicken Marsala?

Chicken Marsala is a traditional Italian dish that features pan-fried chicken cutlets smothered in a savory sauce made from Marsala wine and mushrooms.

The dish originated in Sicily and has since become a beloved staple of Italian cuisine.

Its distinctive flavors and aromatic sauce make it a true delight for casual family dinners and special occasions.

Ingredients & Substitutes

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full Chicken Marsala recipe.

First, use Italian seasoning. This gives the chicken a distinct Italian flavor.

Both salt and pepper add even more flavor.

Both chicken thighs and chicken breasts work well. Use boneless and skinless. Pound the meat to ½ inch thickness to ensure even cooking.

Dredge the chicken in whole wheat flour. This gives it a delicious breaded texture.

Butter helps cook everything. It adds a cozy buttery flavor!

Heavy cream adds the creaminess factor.

This classic recipe uses mushrooms in the sauce. Baby Bella mushrooms are great for this recipe. If needed, omit the mushrooms for picky eaters. Or, cook this recipe as is but do not serve with mushrooms. I always serve this without the mushrooms when serving for children.

Lastly, Marsala wine adds the classic flavor. Use a dry, fine-aged wine for this recipe.

Ingredients for chicken Marsala.

Taste & Texture

The taste of Chicken Marsala is a beautiful balance of savory, sweet, and umami flavors.

The Marsala wine adds depth and complexity to the sauce. The sautéed mushrooms provide a delightful earthiness.

The chicken thighs or breasts are tender and succulent, soaking up the flavors of the sauce. =

The sauce itself has a velvety texture that coats the chicken, creating a harmonious blend of taste and texture.

How to Make

Step 1

First, mix together the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of the chicken until evenly coated. It helps to push on it with your fingers to make sure it really sticks.  Use a meat mallet to pound out the chicken to ½ inch thickness. Sprinkle the flour on top of the seasonings, turn the chicken over, and coat all sides. 

Dredged chicken.

Step 2

In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the chicken and mushrooms to the pan and sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Step 3

Turn the heat up to high, pour the Marsala wine into the sauté pan, and boil until reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, put the chicken and mushrooms back in the pan, add in the heavy cream, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Mushrooms, sauce and cream.

Step 4

Remove the lid from the pan, add the remaining tablespoon of butter, turn the heat up to medium, and cook for just a minute or two to thicken the sauce. Remove from heat and serve warm over whole-grain noodles with a green veggie or salad on the side. 

Expert Tips for Success

Choose thin chicken cutlets or pound regular chicken breasts to an even thickness for quick and even cooking.

Use dry Marsala wine for a more pronounced and authentic flavor. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can opt for sweet Marsala wine.

Dredge the chicken cutlets in flour before pan-frying to create a golden crust and help thicken the sauce.

Sauté the mushrooms separately to ensure they develop a deep, rich flavor before combining them with the sauce.

Finish the dish with a touch of butter for added richness and shine.

How to Serve and Store:

Chicken Marsala is traditionally served with a side of pasta, such as linguine or fettuccine, to soak up the delicious sauce. It pairs well with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, gently warm the chicken and sauce in a skillet over low heat to maintain its flavor and texture.

Chicken Marsala on white plate.

Flavor Variations & Add-Ins

While Chicken Marsala is already a delightful dish, you can experiment with additional ingredients to create exciting flavor variations.

Consider adding sun-dried tomatoes, capers, or even a touch of cream to the sauce for a unique twist.

These additions can elevate the dish and provide a different dimension of taste.

How to Serve & Store

Serve this healthy Chicken Marsala hot and fresh from the pan! Add the chicken to a plate and spoon the Marsala wine sauce on top. Top with some freshly chopped parsley if desired.

Serve over fettuccine pasta, penne pasta, or spaghetti squash.

Alternatively, serve over mashed potatoes.

The richness of the dish pairs well with a light side salad.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat, add leftovers to a skillet over low-medium heat. Heat until warm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you replace the Marsala wine?

If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can substitute Marsala wine with a combination of chicken broth and grape juice or pomegranate juice. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile will differ slightly.

What is Marsala sauce made of?

Marsala sauce is made from Marsala wine. This Italian wine is very flavorful.

What is traditionally served with Chicken Marsala?

Chicken Marsala is traditionally served with pasta. Penne and fettuccine are commonly used. It is sometimes served with rice or mashed potatoes.

What is the difference between Chicken Marsala and chicken piccata?

These two dishes are similar, but chicken piccata is not creamy. Instead, it is cooked with white wine, chicken broth, capers, and lemon juice. It is tangy and bright instead of rich and creamy.

What type of Marsala is best for Chicken Marsala?

Use a dry Marsala wine for this classic dish.

Can you omit the mushrooms?

Sure. Feel free to omit the mushrooms, although they do provide flavor. Perhaps add some caramelized onions instead.

Chicken and potatoes on plate.

Equipment Needed

Large Nonstick Skillet: This large pan is great for cooking!

You May Also Enjoy

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Enjoy this homemade Chicken Marsala!

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23 thoughts on “Chicken Marsala”

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    This is one of the few meals that everyone in my family loves! My husband is a red meat/grease/cheese lover. He normally doesn’t prefer chicken. He has asked me to make this several times. My seven year old calls this five star recipe chicken and he LOVES IT! He has never liked mushrooms until I made this. He said the mushrooms were the best part. I usually serve it over fettuccine noodles. I just wish there was a bit more sauce so I could put it on the noodles.

  2. 4 stars
    Loved it! Misread the amount of flour as tsps off my phone and it still came out really well.
    Had to dice the mushrooms to make the not obvious for one of my picky eaters. He will eat items, knowingly, just prefers to not see the mushrooms.
    Served it with roasted veggies and roasted potatoes since I was out of pasta. Big hit.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night and the taste was fantastic. I used a dry dessert Masala wine and served it with rice. I made this recipe for 6 servings and the time it took to brush clean the mushrooms was a lot longer than anticipated. To speed this recipe up I’d strongly suggest preparing the mushrooms before hand. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    My seven year old helped me make this. It was very easy. We ate it over fettuccine noodles. He said it was the best thing he has ever eaten! He even devoured the mushrooms, which he normally will not touch. We will definitely make this again.

  5. Last time I checked there were several types of Marcela wine. Some were dry like vermouth.
    Recipe makes no mention which wine is best to use.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. Apple cider vinegar is a good sub for cooking wines but the chicken will lack the unique marsala flavor.

  6. I have a recipe that is very similar. It’s definitely a family favorite!! I use rice flour instead of regular flour, to make it gluten free. I think the better the wine, the better the recipe. What brand Marsala did you use, if I can ask that? :)

    Thank you!

    1. I would like to know the brand marsala wine that you use too. I look at marsala wine at a store and most contain. Preservatives.

    2. For cooking, you use a dry Marsala. If you were making a dessert, such as Tiramisu, you would use a sweet Marsala. I didn’t know either, so I looked on the internet, and then not trusting the internet, asked a chef!