Elegant yet easy, this Chicken Marsala Recipe is an Italian-American classic you should make tonight. Savory mushroom wine sauce (no heavy cream!) coats juicy and lightly pan-fried chicken cutlets, ready to top noodles or be scooped up with mashed potatoes.
Lightened up, yet still with rich flavor, this is the absolute best chicken Marsala recipe: a stovetop rendition of my famous Crock Pot Chicken Marsala.
My chicken Marsala sauce is made with no heavy cream.
Mushrooms are sautéed with butter and shallot, then reduced with Marsala wine and chicken broth.
- Like Chicken Piccata, another favorite Italian dish, chicken cutlets are lightly dredged in flour then seared and sauced.
- Like Pan Fried Chicken Breast, this chicken Marsala recipe is quick-cooking and gives moist and mega juicy results.
This simple and healthy chicken Marsala recipe is perfectly seasoned and blows Olive Garden’s out of the water (or shall I say out of the skillet).
This fast and flavorful chicken recipe is perfect for guests or a simple weeknight dinner.
It’s ready in 30 minutes total time (like my Italian-inspired Tuscan Chicken)!
Choosing Marsala Wine for Chicken
You might be wondering what Marsala wine is, and if you should cook with sweet Marsala wine or dry.
- Marsala wine is a fortified wine (like sherry, port, or vermouth) produced near the town of Marsala in Sicily, Italy.
- Marsala wine can be for drinking or cooking! It actually makes a great aperitif or dessert wine, so feel free to have a few sips while you cook.
- For chicken Marsala, I would opt for a dry Marsala wine to stick with the savory flavors of the dish.
Marsala wine does contain alcohol, which cooks out during the cooking process.
How to Make the Best Chicken Marsala Recipe
This chicken Marsala recipe is fairly simple.
Chicken cutlets are dredged in flour, then pan seared.
The sauce comes together in the same pan the chicken cooked in (score for additional flavor and less dishes!).
- Chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my go-to for any simple Italian dish, including Chicken Saltimbocca, and Baked Chicken Parmesan.
- Marsala Wine. Gives the dish its classic flavor. Look for true Marsala wine, not the cooking wine version.
- Flour. For dredging the chicken breasts. This makes for a crispy exterior and locks in the moisture.
- Olive Oil. For pan-frying the chicken.
- Butter. For sautéing the mushrooms and shallots and bringing the flavor.
- Garlic. Essential to my Italian recipes.
- Shallot. Delivers more subtle onion flavor.
- Mushrooms. I like cremini mushrooms, but feel free to use your choice variety, like shiitake or mixed wild mushrooms. I do not recommend white button mushrooms as they are not very flavorful.
- Sherry Vinegar. For a needed pop of acidity to round out the flavors.
- Chicken Broth. This flavorful cooking liquid makes it saucy. Opt for low sodium to control salt level.
- Fresh Herbs. Finish the dish beautifully with fresh thyme or parsley.
- Split chicken breasts, pound evenly, and then season chicken.
- Dredge the sides of the chicken cutlets in flour.
- Working in batches, cook chicken in hot olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, then transfer to a plate.
- Add butter, mushrooms, shallot, garlic, and salt and cook until the mushrooms are soft and brown.
- Pour in the Marsala and sherry vinegar and reduce. Add chicken broth and simmer, then stir in the remaining butter. Add chicken back into the pan and sprinkle with fresh thyme. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken marsala in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze chicken in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
- Buy pre-sliced mushrooms to save on prep time.
- Up to 1 day in advance, split the chicken breasts and slice the shallot.
- Refrigerate each ingredient in a separate airtight storage container until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
Enjoy chicken Marsala with a same dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. You also can serve it with a dry rosé or pinot noir.
What to Serve with Chicken Marsala
Chicken Marsala is traditionally served with rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes. It would also be great paired with green beans or a green salad.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Read Thermometer. Essential for any meat dishes to easily and properly check for doneness.
- Tongs. For flipping the sizzling chicken.
- Chef’s Knife. Perhaps the most important kitchen tool.
An elevated dinner made in one pan and in 30 minutes flat, chicken Marsala is absolutely worth the trip to the store for Marsala wine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the Marsala used to make chicken Marsala is wine and alcoholic, different from the cooking wine. While chicken Marsala gets its namesake and signature flavor from the wine, if you prefer to make this dish without alcohol, you could substitute more chicken broth.
Pounding chicken breast is an easy way to tenderize chicken. While rather satisfying to pound away at a chicken breast, it can be messy. To keep the chicken juices contained, you can put the chicken between layers of plastic wrap before pounding or in a ziptop bag.
I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but if you prefer you could also make it with chicken thighs. You could also get creative and make pork Marsala with thin boneless pork chops.
Chicken Marsala can be made gluten free by swapping a 1:1 gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour.
- 2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter divided
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 8 ounces sliced cremini shiitake, or mixed wild mushrooms (increase to up to 16 ounces if you are a mushroom lover)
- 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine not cooking wine; or more chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Split each chicken breast in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces of chicken (called cutlets). (Carefully place your hand on top to get a feel for whether or not you are slicing the chicken evenly.) Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the chicken, then with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, gently pound it into an even thickness (about 1/4-inch or so thick). Season both sides of the chicken using 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. In a shallow dish (a pie dish works well), place the flour. With tongs, lightly dredge the chicken on both sides.
- In a large, high-sided skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add 2 of the chicken pieces in a single layer (angle the chicken away from you as you set it down). Cook the on both sides until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then repeat with the remaining 2 chicken pieces.
- To the skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter, shallot, garlic, mushrooms, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the mushrooms soften and begin to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Pour in the Marsala and vinegar. Stir, scraping along the bottom of the pan. Let cook until the Marsala is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and let simmer 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Carefully taste and add more salt or pepper as desired, then add the chicken back to the skillet. Let heat through briefly (30 seconds to 1 minute). Sprinkle all over with fresh thyme. Enjoy immediately.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken marsala in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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