This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

In case you were wondering if my affection can be bought with Italian food, the answer is absolutely. Suggested form of bribery: Crock Pot Chicken Marsala.

Delicious crock pot chicken Marsala recipe in a slow cooker with mushrooms

Traditional stovetop Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish that has numerous iterations throughout Italy and the U.S. It consists of juicy seared chicken breasts in a creamy Marsala wine sauce made with garlic, shallots, and mushrooms.

As that ingredient line up might lead you to suspect, it tastes heavenly.

{FYI: Marsala is a fortified wine made in Sicily, often used for cooking. It’s rich and nutty, and you can find it at almost any grocery store that sells alcohol or at liquor stores.}

My first taste of chicken Marsala was in high school, when my mom’s then-boyfriend (now husband of 12+ years) offered to cook dinner for her and her three angsty teenage daughters. I still feel for him. We were not a cordial bunch.

What I lacked in warmth, I made up for in appetite. It turns out that no matter how skeptical you might be of the guy dating your mom, if he feeds you chicken Marsala, it’s going to be impossible not to give him at least one more chance, if for no other reason than the hope he’ll cook you chicken Marsala again.

Today’s crock pot chicken Marsala is in memory of that night (and in honor of my step-dad, who I now happen to adore very much).

It has the classic Italian flavors I remember falling in love with, but it’s lightened up with healthy ingredients (just like my regular Chicken Cacciatore and Chicken Piccata).

Instead of heavy cream, the thickness of the Marsala sauce results from the slow simmering in the crockpot. The slow cooking method also means that this chicken Marsala is easy to make and the clean up is minimal.

I’ve been a fan of using the crockpot to make Italian chicken favorites ever since this Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore became a regular on our menu. I love that once I have the ingredients added, the crockpot does the rest of the cooking for me.

A slow cooker with meat, mushrooms, and a thick, savory sauce

More points for ease: Whereas most traditional chicken Marsala recipes dredge the chicken breasts in flour and then pan fry them, this crock pot version uses only a cornstarch slurry and skips the flour entirely.

The slurry helps thicken the sauce further, and it keeps the crock pot chicken Marsala gluten free.

Not only does the slurry approach mean that more people can enjoy this recipe—it saves you the mess of coating the chicken with flour and the extra dredging bowl to wash.

Three chicken breasts in a slow cooker with mushrooms and a Marsala wine sauce

How to Make Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

The secret to the best crock pot chicken Marsala you will ever make is to sear the outsides of the the chicken breasts before adding them to the slow cooker. It’s a small step and the flavor payoff is 100% worth it.

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts. The chicken becomes deliciously tender and juicy in the slow cooker. Every piece will be coated in the thick, savory sauce. You could also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe if you prefer. If using chicken thighs, they’ll need a little extra time in the slow cooker. Cook them on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Aromatics. Shallot and garlic add deep, complex flavors to the sauce.
  • Mushrooms. The flavor of the Marsala wine is a perfect complement to the mushrooms. They’ll soak up the sauce, become incredibly flavorful, and give the dish more complexity.
  • Marsala Wine. Deeply-flavored and exceptional when paired with the other ingredients in this recipe. Use a dry Marsala wine here (the kind that contains alcohol), not a cooking wine, which will not have the same flavorful results.
  • Cornstarch. Used to create a cornstarch slurry that will help thicken the sauce.

The Directions

Three chicken breasts being seared in a skillet
  1. Season and sear both sides of the chicken breasts until browned. Add chicken to the slow cooker.
  2. Saute the shallot and garlic.
    A Marsala wine sauce in a saute pan with shallots and garlic
  3. Add the Marsala wine, and let it simmer for a few minutes.
    Mushrooms on top of chicken breasts in a slow cooker
  4. Place the mushrooms on top of the chicken.Ingredients in a slow cooker for making healthy chicken Marsala
  5. Add the Marsala sauce, then cover and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the chicken once it’s done.
  6. Prepare the cornstarch slurry, and add it to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until the sauce is thickened. Add the chicken back to the sauce. Serve with fresh herbs and an extra spoonful of sauce. ENJOY!

What Can I Substitute for Marsala Wine

  • I do not recommend substituting anything for the Marsala wine if at all possible. The flavors are unique, and it’s well worth it to use the real thing. The name, afterall, is chicken Marsala!
  • For those who really need a substitute, I did find a homemade option online **not tested** that says you can use 1/4 cup grape juice and 1 teaspoon brandy for every 1/4 cup Marsala wine. If you’ve tried this substitution (or any others), please let me know how it went in the comments below.
  • While the flavor will be different than Marsala wine, a reader also reported good results with using Sauvignon Blanc instead.

What to Serve with Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Chop your vegetables up to 1 day in advance, and store them in the refrigerator.
  • To Store. Place leftover chicken in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store the sauce separately.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm chicken in a large skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave. When I reheat chicken, I like to shred or cut it into smaller pieces first to help it heat evenly. Reheat the sauce gently on the stove.
  • To Freeze. Store chicken Marsala in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months, either with or separate from the sauce. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

More Healthy Crock Pot Chicken Recipes

Crock pot chicken Marsala on a plate with mushrooms and herbs

Cozy Italian flavors. Healthy ingredients. Minimal dishes. This is what I call the way to my heart!

Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

4.63 from 86 votes
An easy, healthy recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Marsala filled with rich Italian flavor. Juicy chicken breasts slow simmered in a creamy mushroom wine sauce.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 25 minutes
Total: 3 hours 35 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts about 3 breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot or 1/2 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine not cooking wine
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water to create a slurry
  • For serving: chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • For serving: whole wheat pasta zucchini noodles, or simply a big loaf of crusty bread

Instructions
 

  • Lightly coat a large slow cooker with nonstick spray. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken in a single layer. Cook on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned, moving the chicken as little as possible so that it gets a nice sear. Flip and brown on the other side, about 2 additional minutes. It does not need to be cooked all the way through. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Reduce the skillet heat to medium low. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
  • While the skillet is still warm, pour in the Marsala. Increase the heat to medium and let simmer 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Scatter the mushrooms over the top of the chicken. Pour in the Marsala reduction. Cover and let cook on LOW, until the chicken is cooked through and reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours on low (timing will vary based on your slow cooker model and the size of your chicken breasts). Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Pour into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and let heat over high for 5 additional minutes to warm through. Serve hot with desired accompaniments, with the sauce spooned over the top and a sprinkle of fresh parsley as desired.

Video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Place leftover chicken in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store the sauce separately.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chicken in a large skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave. When I reheat chicken, I like to shred or cut it into smaller pieces first to help it heat evenly. Reheat the sauce gently on the stove.
  • TO FREEZE: Store chicken Marsala in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months, either with or separate from the sauce. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Photography note: the photos of this recipe show the sauce cooked down for a far more extended period than is necessary (the cooking time got away from me while photographing!). Your sauce might not look as thick as in the photos, but don’t fear; it will still be delicious and is actually closer to how an authentic chicken marsala sauce is meant to be.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 384kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 50gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 145mgPotassium: 1169mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 68IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.

Sign Me Up

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
Sign Up for FREE Weekly Meal Plans
Each includes a grocery list, budget, and 5 healthy dinners, helping you save time, save money, and live better!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




74 Comments

Leave a comment

    1. Hi Elizabeth, not sure if you saw my note in the recipe card, where I said “not cooking wine”? The reason being is it will not have the same flavorful results. Hope this helps!

  1. Excellent! However, I did make a few changes. I used 1.5 cups of Marsala and added .75 cups of heavy cream at the end in addition to the cornstarch. It made a rich gravy and added great flavor.5 stars

  2. Do not make this recipe. Chicken came out tasteless. Sauce did not reduce/thicken. Ended up shredding the chicken breasts and repurposing into chicken tacos but still needed to add a ton of seasoning and extra sauce because the chicken was dry. There’s just not enough sauce in the original recipe to keep the chicken moist during cooking and not enough seasoning to make it tasty. Find another recipe.1 star

    1. I’m sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Jeannette. I (and many other readers) have really enjoyed the flavors in this dish, so I wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

        1. Hi Elayne, we have the reheat instructions in the recipe but maybe you could do it in the crockpot. I’m not sure, because I haven’t tried it but make sure you are only easy the warm function and not the cook function. Let us know how it goes!

  3. I followed your recipe exactly. I used a real dry Marsala wine. And this was very bland. And the chicken was a little dry but did fall apart. Not sure what I did wrong. But I’ll have to agree with the other reviewer that didn’t care for it. Sorry. I’ll be sure to try another one of your recipes.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Brad. I (and many other readers) have really enjoyed the flavors in this dish, so I wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  4. I made this recipe but it was kind of bland. Any suggestions on making it spicier or more flavorful? We ended up putting hot sauce in it and sour cream3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Alison. I (and many other readers) have really enjoyed the flavors in this dish, so I wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  5. hi! Im new to cooking and a little nervous about the amount of sauce vs chicken/mushroom ratio when first pouring it in. Is it okay if it doesnt fully cover the mushroom/chicken at first? Hope to hear from you soon!

  6. I almost didn’t make this because a couple of reviews said it was very bland. So glad I didn’t listen because I thought it was full of flavor! I tripled the recipe with a big package of chicken (6 lbs.) and a full onion, and made with a cup and a half of marsala cooking wine plus 8 ounces of chicken broth. I also salted and peppered the chicken well on each side (maybe the other reviewers did not)? And added just a splash of heavy cream at the end. The chicken was SO tender! Made a great addition to the Christmas buffet!5 stars

  7. In terms of wholesomeness, it is a very good recipe but it didn’t wow me or family. I used baby Bella mushrooms b/c crimini not available and I think it is important to get crimini for a stronger flavor. I would also use 1/2 & 1/2 instead of starch as sauce thickener. Maybe if I find crimini muchrooms. A good quality dry sweet Marsala from liquor store is important for success with g this recipe.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  8. I forgot to add in my previous comment/review that I halved my chicken breasts and that caused it to cook much quicker. I had it on low for 2.45 hrs and temp was 180. It was edible but overcooked. if I were to make it again, I would half the breasts but cook 1.45 hrs and start checking temp til I got 165.

  9. Hi Erin, my name is Gabby & I am Second generation Italian. I am 1/2 Sicilian & 1/2 Neopolitan. The falvors in this dish are AMAZING. The only issue my family & I had is that there is NOT ENOUGH SAUCE. Erin could you please give me some advice on what I can do to MAKE MORE THAN ENOUGH SAUCE, so that my husband, myself, our daughter & son LOVE THIS MEAL. I do not to compromise the integrity of this dish. I am making this dish tonight, which is March 4th, 2024. What I will do if I don’t see a reply today is, I will increase the Marsala Wine to make it X3. I will keep all the other ingredients x2. I may also cut the chicken breast in half so they are not as thick, in hopes of having enough sauce?- I was thinking possibly asding some chicken broth. I honestly do not want to change anything without your input. In 2019 I suffered a Traumatic brain Injury ( Hit by a car while walking alone & left for dead) & life has been difficult (TO SAY THE LEAST, LOL) since then & I am extremely unsure of myself. Your recipe has been part of my progress. Well Erin you take care & keep doing what you love 👏. ❤️ Thank you from the bottom of me & my family’s ❤️ . May God bless you & family 🙌 girl 😊. You found something you ❤️ Now don’t allow ANYONE to stop you from GETTING BETTER. You are great & I know there is ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT & I would love to tell you any truthor issues I have when I cook your recipes SO YOU CAN IMPROVE & get to a place of perfection. I believe that you sre ON YOUR WAY TO SOMETHING BIGGER 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏

    1. Hi Gabby, you could try to double the ingredients for the sauce, you may have to increase the cornstarch as well depending how thick you’d like it. Glad you enjoyed it, thank you!

Load More Comments