My chicken marsala recipe features tender sautéed chicken cutlets, savory crimini mushrooms, and an aromatic Marsala wine sauce. It’s a filling main dish that just screams comfort food when served over mashed potatoes and so much better than that Cheesecake Factory version.
Chicken is one of those versatile proteins that seems to go with nearly everything! There are so many ways to prepare and serve it. From Marinated Tahini Chicken, Harissa Chicken and Chinese Steamed Chicken, to Chicken Biryani and Thai Gai Yang Chicken.
Some of my favorite poultry dishes pair chicken with some sort of vegetable. This brings me to today’s dish: Italy’s chicken marsala. It’s a one-skillet meal that comes together in about 30 minutes. Featuring crimini mushrooms, butter, herbs and spices, and rich Marsala wine, it’s just as hearty as it sounds.
Legend has it that this dish originated in Sicily, the birthplace of Marsala wine. Italian immigrants living in the United States brought the recipe over with them, and it soon became an Italian-American classic!
I like to pair my chicken marsala recipe with a side of mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles. A filling meal that takes under an hour to put together? Sounds like the perfect weeknight dinner idea to me!
- Chicken – I typically use boneless skinless chicken breast for this chicken marsala recipe. They should be about 4 oz each, or slice larger pieces horizontally for cutlets.
- Mushrooms – Crimini mushrooms are mild and earthy and boast an almost meaty texture that I just love!
- Marsala Wine – There are many different varieties of Marsala wine, but the most common feature flavors like vanilla, brown sugar, and fruit.
- Chicken Stock – To add even more flavor to the dish. You can also feel free to replace it with plain old water, but the creamy sauce may not be as tasty. Vegetable stock is another good option.
- Flour – Use all-purpose flour (or your preferred variety of flour) to create your mushroom sauce.
- Olive Oil – To sear the chicken!
- Butter – You need butter to brown and sear the chicken, as well as for the sauce.
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper – To season the chicken and to taste.
- Garlic – Mince a few cloves of garlic to add an even more complex savory flavor.
- Fresh Thyme – This earthy seasoning tastes similar to a mix of mint and lemon. It pairs wonderfully with the mushrooms and Marsala wine!
- Prep the Chicken. Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper. If you’re using larger chicken breasts, slice them horizontally to create cutlets before seasoning.
- Sear the Chicken. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown it for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove it from the skillet, cover it with foil, and set aside.
- Sauté the Mushrooms. In the same skillet, add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes over low heat. Incorporate the mushrooms and fresh thyme, then sauté until the mushrooms have browned — it should take about 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir often!
- Create the Sauce. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stir, and allow it to cook for 1 minute. Carefully pour in the Marsala wine and chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir until the sauce has reduced and thickened, or about 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Serve & Enjoy! Place the chicken back in the skillet and coat it in the sauce. Serve your chicken marsala over mashed potatoes, steamed rice, or another side of your choosing!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Marsala Sauce made of?
Marsala sauce is made with Marsala wine, chicken or vegetable stock, garlic, herbs, mushrooms, butter, and a dash of flour. It’s hearty, creamy, and full of complex flavors. In my opinion, the sauce is the star of this chicken marsala recipe!
What Marsala Wine is Best For Chicken Marsala?
As I mentioned, there are several different types of Marsala wine — whites are dry and reds are sweet. I usually use sweet red Marsala for my chicken marsala recipe. The subtle sweetness pairs perfectly with the chicken and mushrooms.
What Can I Use Instead of Marsala Wine In Chicken Marsala?
You can use Madeira wine if you can’t find Marsala. Its flavor (and color) is very similar to Marsala! If you don’t like cooking with wine, you can replace it with white grape juice! If you do, make sure to add a bit of vanilla extract and sherry vinegar to really recreate that Marsala flavor.
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- If using 2 larger chicken breasts, slice horizontally to make cutlets. Pound between plastic wrap to 1/2-inch thickness if uneven on one end. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with the olive oil. Add the chicken and brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from skillet, cover with foil and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes on low. Add the mushrooms and 4 sprigs of thyme. Saute until mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Carefully add the marsala wine and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Stir constantly until reduced and sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes on medium high heat. Remove from heat and stir through the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Season to taste.
- Transfer chicken back to skillet, turning to coat with sauce. Serve over mashed potatoes, steamed rice or side of choice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.