Chicken Marsala is an incredibly easy recipe made with a rich, earthy mushroom sauce. It is an impressive, easy recipe for chicken breast that is perfect for entertaining dinner guests or a family meal at home.
Most people think that Chicken Marsala is a complicated dish to make at home. But that is not the case at all! This easy chicken dinner can be on the table in less than 30 minutes with very little prep work!
Restaurant Quality at Home
Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish made from chicken cutlets, mushrooms, and Marsala wine.
And it happens to be one of my most favorite meals ever.
Most people reserve Chicken Marsala for dining out at Italian restaurants, but it is actually an easy dish to make at home. It is one of my go-to meals for a quick, fuss-free, yet impressive, homemade meal, as it comes together in under 30 minutes, yet delivers restaurant-quality results.
Made with tender chicken cutlets that have been lightly breaded and then served with a rich, decadent mushroom sauce, this is one chicken recipe that is packed with flavor! The chicken is so tender it can be sliced with a fork. The sauce is so good and so rich, you may be tempted to drink it! It is a meal that feels rich, and indulgent, but yet it is easy enough for any night of the week.
Notes on Ingredients
- Chicken Breasts--It is best to use thin chicken cutlets for this recipe, as that will help the chicken to stay super tender and cook up fast. You can purchase chicken cutlets or prepare your own using full chicken breasts.
- Mushrooms--This recipe uses both sliced mushrooms and mushroom stock for the perfect restaurant-quality marsala sauce. For the BEST Chicken Marsala, I highly recommend taking the extra step to use dried mushrooms that can be found in tiny bags in the produce section at the grocery store and rehydrate to create a rich mushroom broth and delicious mushrooms for the sauce. Trust me, using the dried mushrooms is what makes this recipe stand out from all the others! However, there are notes to adapt this recipe using fresh mushrooms below.
- Marsala Wine--Be sure to get real Marsala wine, NOT cooking Marsala wine--there is a HUGE difference in flavor. You also want to select a dry Marsala, not a sweet Marsala, which is typically used for desserts.
- Fresh Thyme--It is really best to use fresh thyme if you have access to it, if not use ½ teaspoon dried thyme.
- Shallot: Adding a minced shallot adds a mild flavor of garlic and onion to the sauce, but can be omitted.
How to Make Chicken Marsala at Home
- If using dried mushrooms, cover dried mushrooms with hot water and let soak anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. An overnight soak creates a much more flavorful mushroom stock, but if you forgot to plan, just soak long enough to soften mushrooms. Reserve the soaking liquid and mushrooms to use in the sauce.
- Once ready to prepare Chicken Marsala, trim the chicken breasts and if needed, cut into thin cutlets by using a very sharp knife to cut widthwise.
- Place flour into a wide shallow dish, such as a pie pan, and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Coat each chicken cutlet in flour and shake off excess flour and then sear in the oil for 3-4 minutes per side, or until evenly browned. Keep in mind you may need to sear the chicken in batches, so you do not overcrowd your skillet.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and place it onto a clean plate.
- To the same pan that chicken was pan-fried in, melt, 1 tablespoon of butter into the skillet, add the minced shallot, and saute for 2-3 minutes to begin to soften.
- Carefully add in Marsala wine and scrape up any browned bits in the skillet. Remember Marsala is alcohol and may flame up--it is fine, but if that makes you nervous, remove the pan from the heat before adding the wine.
- Allow to cook off for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, stock from the hydrated mushrooms, salt, pepper, thyme, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Return the chicken to the same pan and pour in any drippings on the pan to the skillet as well, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in 2 tablespoons of butter to finish the sauce with richness and depth and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve this Chicken Marsala over Mashed Potatoes or Instant Pot Risotto with a side of Oven Roasted Asparagus for a delicious restaurant-quality meal at home.
While I find using dried mushrooms creates a sauce reminiscent of the best restaurants, you certainly can use 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms in place of the dried mushrooms. For the mushroom broth, use store-bought mushroom broth or good-quality beef stock.
If you need Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala, I recommend using a 1:1 gluten-freeall-purpose flour for the dredging of the chicken or try out my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Marsala, which is Gluten-Free.
Do the flour coating, Chicken Marsala is best served immediately after preparing. However, you can store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I do not recommend freezing leftovers.
More Chicken Breast Recipes
- Easy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Chicken Piccata
- Skillet Chicken with Green Beans and Tomatoes
- Oven Roasted Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
Skip the wait and the expensive prices at the restaurant and make your own Chicken Marsala at home! And be sure to leave a comment below telling me how much you enjoyed this meal--I love hearing from you!
- 1 oz wild dried mushrooms see notes for substitutions
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- kosher salt and pepper
- 4 chicken cutlets or 2 chicken breasts, cut crosswise and pounded thin
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 small shallot minced
- ½ cup DRY Marsala wine
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- If using dried mushrooms, submerge the mushrooms in 1 ½ cups of hot water for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Drain and reserve the liquid.
- When ready to prepare the chicken marsala, trim off any fat from the chicken cutlets. If using chicken breast, cut in half crosswise and pound gently to form even ¼ inch thick cutlets. Season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.
- Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Dredge the chicken cutlets into the flour, shaking off the excess.
- Place 2-3 of the chicken cutlets into the heated oil, and sear the chicken on each side for 3-4 minutes, until browned. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place them onto a clean plate.
- Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil and sear the remaining cutlets. Remove them to the plate as well once browned.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter into the skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add in the minced shallot and saute for 2-3 minutes to begin to soften.
- Add the Marsala wine to the skillet and allow to boil off for for 1-2 minutes, while scraping off the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the mushrooms, stock from the hydrated mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and thyme to the skillet, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add in the seared chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in the remaining tablespoon of butter and let melt into the sauce to thicken and richen the sauce. Serve immediately.