Chicken Marsala is an incredibly easy Italian-American recipe made with tender, pan-fried chicken, and a rich, creamy, mushroom sauce.
Serve this Creamy Chicken Marsala with roasted asparagus and creamy mashed potatoes for an impressive, yet simple-to-make 30-minute dinner recipe.
One of my all-time favorite recipes to order when dining at Italian restaurants is Chicken Marsala.
From the tender chicken to the rich, earthy sauce that is kissed with marsala wine, it is a little bit of heaven.
And while you may think this restaurant favorite is complicated to make at home. Think again!
This recipe for chicken marsala, just like my recipe for Chicken Florentine and Chicken Piccata, comes together in less than 30 minutes, to deliver an insanely impressive and flavorful chicken dinner. It is a meal that feels rich, and elegant, yet it is easy enough for any night of the week.
Notes on Ingredients
- Chicken: This recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut and pounded into thin cutlets. If you do not want to slice the chicken yourself, you can opt to purchase thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets.
- Marsala Wine: Marsala is a fortified wine that adds nutty, rich, caramelized notes to the sauce. For best results, use dry Marsala wine, not a sweet Marsala, which is used in desserts, or cooking marsala, which does not create an authentic tasting Marsala sauce.
- Mushrooms: For this recipe, you want to use cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, not button mushrooms, for a rich earthy taste. You can use fresh mushrooms or reconstituted dried mushrooms.
- Flour: To help thicken the sauce and create a crispy exterior on the chicken, you want to coat your chicken in all-purpose flour before pan-frying.
- Shallot: Instead of using onion or garlic, which can overwhelm the sauce, I suggest using a shallot which will add just a mild onion and garlic flavor to the dish without overpowering the chicken marsala. If you don't happen to have a shallot on hand, simply omit it.
- Broth: Use either low-sodium beef broth or mushroom broth, not chicken stock, as both beef and mushroom pair really well with the earthy flavors in the sauce. Using chicken broth or stock can result in a dish that is lacking in restaurant-quality flavor.
- Cream: Finishing the marsala sauce with heavy cream creates a rich, luscious sauce, but it is not classic in chicken marsala. If you don't want to use cream, use additional broth, for a lighter version.
- Thyme: A bit of fresh thyme leaves elevates this dish by adding a bit of floral, earthy notes to the sauce. While fresh thyme leaves are best, you can use dried thyme leaves in their place. Just don't use ground thyme as the flavor will quickly overwhelm the sauce.
How to Make Chicken Marsala
- Trim off any fat from the chicken breasts. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner pieces.
- Place the cutlets between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until the cutlets are even in thickness. Pay dry with a paper towel.
- Combine the flour with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a small shallow dish.
- Dredge each chicken cutlet in the flour mixture to coat, shaking off excess flour.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. The butter adds nice caramelized notes to the chicken and sauce, while the oil helps to prevent the butter from burning.
- Once the butter has fully melted, add the chicken to the pan in a single layer. It is better to work in batches than to overcrowd your skillet. This will ensure a nice golden sear on the chicken which gives Chicken Marsala a nice contrasting texture.
- Cook the chicken until golden brown on each side and just barely cooked through, then transfer the chicken to a clean plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into the skillet, and once melted add in the mushrooms and minced shallot and saute for 2-3 minutes to begin to soften and brown the mushrooms.
- Once the shallot has softened, carefully add the Marsala wine to the skillet. Remember alcohol is flammable, so use caution when cooking on a gas stovetop. Allow the wine to come to a simmer while scraping off the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Once the wine has reduced slightly, add in the broth, heavy cream, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about half, stirring frequently.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, and simmer for 2-3 minutes just to warm through the chicken and to ensure it reaches 165 degrees F.
- Top with fresh parsley if desired.
What to Serve with Chicken Marsala
I recommend serving Chicken Marsala with something to soak up the creamy, rich sauce, like cooked pasta, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, or Instant Pot Rice.
I also love adding a vegetable side dish like Air Fryer Asparagus, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Broccoli, or a side salad tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
FAQs about Chicken Marsala
While marsala is best, you can use Madiera wine or sherry.
Yes! Replace the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend and ensure your broth is gluten-free.
Yes! In place of the butter, use additional olive oil and instead of finishing the sauce with heavy cream, use additional beef or mushroom broth.
Leftover, cooled chicken marsala can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I don't recommend freezing leftovers, due to the heavy cream in the sauce.
More Easy Italian-American Recipes
- Chicken Piccata
- Pasta Puttanesca
- Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo
- Italian Stuffed Shells
If you tried this recipe for Chicken Marsala, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ cup flour
- 1 small shallot minced
- 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms see notes for substitutions
- ½ cup DRY Marsala wine
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Trim off any fat from the chicken breasts. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner pieces. Place the cutlets between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until the cutlets are even in thickness. Pay dry.
- Combine the flour with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a small shallow dish. Dredge each chicken cutlet in the flour mixture to coat, shaking off excess flour.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Once melted, add the chicken to the pan, working in batches to prevent overcrowding your skillet. Cook the chicken cutlets for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on each side and just barely cooked through. Transfer chicken to a clean plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into the skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add in the mushrooms and minced shallot and saute for 2-3 minutes to begin to soften and brown the mushrooms.
- Add the Marsala wine to the skillet and allow it to simmer and reduce for 1-2 minutes while scraping off the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the broth, heavy cream, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and thyme to the skillet, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about half, stirring frequently.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, and simmer for 2-3 minutes just to warm through the chicken and to ensure it reaches 165 degrees F. Serve immediately.
Delicious recipe! Huge fan of chicken marsala!
So happy to hear you enjoyed Nellie!
This is one of those recipes that make it feel like you're having a fancy dinner in your own home! So delicious.
That is one of the reasons we absolutely love it Katie! I am glad to hear you enjoyed as well.
I love your recipes and website. Lots of beautiful and healthy recipes. Can you please tell me if you sweet or dry marsala in your chicken marsala recipe? Thank you.
Thank you so much for your kind words Susan. I recommend dry marsala.
I love your website Kristen. It's so informative. Thanks for sharing your time and talents with us!
You are so welcome Gail! Happy to help!
This sounds really good! We are not big mushroom fans (my wife usually puts them on my plate). Any alternative suggestions to enjoy this without the mushrooms? I know we can just drink the wine! 😉 I love your comments and your photos also!
Hi John! Thank you for the compliment on photos! I am going to let you in on a BIG secret--I make this sauce all the time and often put my mushrooms on my husband's plate. They add flavor, but I am not a huge fan of the texture. You can certainly omit the mushrooms altogether, but the sauce would not be as rich. However, if you both do not like mushroom flavor, I suggest giving that a try. You may want to add in 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire or Soy sauce for some earthy flavor.
LOL!!! Well, maybe once your kids get a bit older the date night in can happen! It does get easier. And chocolate for dinner is not such a bad thing.
It is crazy flavorful Stacy--hope you give it a try.
I love that you used dried mushrooms! I never thought to do that; I always use fresh. However, dried mushrooms really punch up the flavor and using the soaking water in the sauce is a great idea!
Carol, I hope you try the dried mushrooms--it really does punch up the flavor!
Lauren Kelly Nutrition
This looks AMAZING! I love these pictures too! This one of those recipes that my whole family will eat 🙂
Thank you Lauren! My whole family love this too--and that is ALWAYS a winning dish in my book 🙂
Kristen, this looks fantastic! Thanks for the time saving tip on using dehydrated mushrooms!