You won’t believe how incredibly easy this chicken marsala recipe is!
Tender chicken breasts are simmered in a creamy mushroom marsala wine sauce that’s easy enough for every day, but also elegant enough to impress guests!
No need to go out to a fancy expensive Italian restaurant when you can make chicken Marsala at home that’s every bit as good!
What is Chicken Marsala?
Chicken Marsala is a Sicilian dish made of thinly sliced chicken filets (AKA escalopes) cooked in a Marsala wine sauce. The wine tenderizes the chicken as it simmers and creates a savory mushroom sauce that’s great served over pasta or rice.
Why We Love This Recipe
- One of the more popular menu items at Olive Garden, but like most dishes, we love the homemade version!
- Chicken Marsala can be made at home in 30 minutes or less!
- It is actually easy to make using a few ingredients and a few short steps.
- Replace the pasta with cauliflower rice for a low-carb entrée!
What’s in Chicken Marsala?
Marsala – Marsala is a fortified wine made in Sicily and it’s available in most liquor stores. For this recipe, choose a dry marsala wine, not a sweet marsala. These wines have full-bodied flavors, as well as acids that tenderize the chicken as they reduce into a savory sauce. See below for substitutions.
Chicken – I use smaller 5 oz chicken breasts for this recipe as they thin out quite a bit when pounded with a tenderizer. If you’d prefer, use 8 pre-sliced chicken filets or chicken cutlets. Chicken thighs work well in this recipe too.
Mushrooms – Basic white or brown mushrooms are the perfect addition to this sauce and add robust flavor. Morels, shiitakes, or a combination of mushrooms give a more rustic look and woodsy tones to this dish.
Substitutions for Marsala Wine
Marsala is the main ingredient in this dish so swapping it out will change the flavor.
Try a dry Madeira or sherry, or even a dry white wine. As with any dish calling for wine, choose a wine you’d drink instead of a ‘cooking wine’.
If you’d like to skip the wine, I would suggest a dish that doesn’t rely on it for so much of the flavor. Try creamy chicken and mushrooms.
How to Make Chicken Marsala
- Pound chicken with a rolling pin. Dip the chicken breasts in flour and shake off any excess.
- Brown the chicken in a large skillet (per the recipe below) and set aside.
- Cook the onion and mushrooms in butter until tender. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer until thickened.
- Return chicken to the pan and cook through. Serve over pasta.
Cream is not traditional in a marsala sauce but it can be added if you’d like. Swap out ⅓ cup of chicken broth for the same amount of heavy cream or half and half.
What to Serve with Chicken Marsala
Chicken Marsala tastes fantastic on spaghetti or sturdy pasta shapes like penne, rotini, or bowtie. Feeling adventurous? Try it on homemade egg noodles!
It’s also great on mushroom rice or mashed potatoes.
For sides, add an Italian-inspired salad like this Caprese, and a thick slice of garlic bread for soaking up the sauce.
Keep leftover chicken marsala in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop. Chicken marsala can be frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and reheat the chicken and sauce on the stovetop before combining them again over freshly made pasta.
Other Savory Chicken Main Dishes
Did you make this Chicken Marsala Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and comment below!
Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts 5-6 oz each
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste to taste
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- 1 small shallot diced (or onion)
- 8 ounces mushrooms white or brown
- 1 ½ tablespoons flour
- ½ cup dry Marsala wine
- 2 tablespoons parsley or chives for garnish
- Pound chicken to ¼" thick (you can cut them in half if they're very large). Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
- Preheat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook chicken in batches, 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove chicken and place on a plate.
- In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons butter, thyme and shallot. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until juices are released, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour 1 ½ tablespoons flour and cook 1 minute more.
- Add Marsala wine and broth and simmer about 3 minutes, until thickened and bubbly.
- Place chicken back into the pan and simmer 2-3 minutes or until hot.
- Garnish and serve over pasta.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This was delicious even having to use sweet Marsale. Dry Marsala is not available where I live (ugh!!) so I’m wondering if I can cut some of the sweetness for the next round by mixing in a bit of Chardonnay. It’s change the flavor some, of course, but do you think it would work?
I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Vicki, but that sounds delicious. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!
Holly, made your Chicken Marsala last night with heavy cream and got great complements from my family, especially my wife. Thanks so much for another great recipe!!
very nice recipe
Easy and delicious!
Forget the broth…use Marsala….why would anyone want to delete the flavor of the Marsala
We will find it has great Marsala flavor without being too sweet.
Trying to make a mandala sauce
I made this tonight and it was amazing! I made it exactly as written, and tripled the recipe. The only change I made was I cut the chicken into strips after it was cooked and before I added it to the sauce so it would be easier to eat with pasta. So yummy! At first, I thought the sauce was too liquidy, but it thickened up to the perfect consistency after all the chicken was added and it simmered for a bit. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!
This recipe sounds delicious. Can it be made ahead and reheated the next day
Hi Kathleen, I have made tried reheating this recipe and it works great. The sauce does end up a little thicker than intended but I just added a little extra broth to thin it out again.
Looks yummy! I can’t wait to try it.
Very pleasantly surprised at how good this was for minimal effort!! I have another marsala recipe that is much more involved, and I think this recipe was almost as good. I will definitely make this again!
This was delicious ! I made double the sauce amount including double mushrooms to serve it over angel hair. This will be my go to chicken marsala moving foward.
Easy to make but it lacks something. Can I add some more spices.
Sure you can Delores. You can increase the spices or even try lightly toasting them in a dry non-stick pan until fragrant.
I was wondering which brand of wine you recommend. I don’t know wines but I was told not to use a cheep one but rather one I’d enjoy drinking.
For this recipe Sandy, we use a dry marsala wine. You may want to ask the person at the wine shop about the brands to pick one you’d like to drink as well.
Love this dish!!
Very easy and above all delicious !! Thx for sharing these incredible recipes, Holly. This is my go to site now !
Holly, this chicken Marsala recipe was outstanding! I made it in the crockpot, the smell was intoxicating! I could not wait to try it! I did add cream to thicken the sauce and served it over mashed potatoes. I have never made this before but I will definitely be making it again and again! Thank you, Sue
Oh boy Sue, that sounds so delicious!
I would love to join i love too cook
We’d love to have you Joy! To receive our newsletters, you can sign up here or scroll down to the bottom of the post and you will see a signup box.
Made this tonight and everyone loved! Easy! And perhaps healthier bc no heavy cream in the recipe.