Chicken Marsala Recipe (VIDEO)
Chicken Marsala is an Italian classic with juicy pan-seared chicken in a creamy and savory marsala wine sauce. You can easily re-create this restaurant-quality Chicken Marsala from the comfort of your own kitchen. You will only hope for leftovers after making this dish.
We love recreating our favorite restaurant recipes. Some of our best copycat recipes include Chicken Madeira inspired by Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s-inspired Cajun Chicken Pasta, and Shrimp Pasta from Olive Garden. They can be made at a fraction of the price, are often healthier, and are great crowd-pleasers. This Olive Garden-inspired Chicken Marsala recipe is no exception.
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Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe
It’s easier than you think to re-create this classic Italian-American Chicken Marsala. It’s such a special dish for Valentine’s Day or a date night in, but it’s also a dish the whole family loves.
This chicken marsala is great served up with some Creamy Mashed Potatoes or even pasta with a side of Roasted Asparagus or Caesar Salad. Serve this to your dinner guests and they will always be impressed. P.S. This recipe is easy to scale and can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd. Watch the video tutorial below and you will be a pro in no time.
Chicken Marsala Video
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What is Chicken Marsala?
Chicken Marsala is essentially thin chicken cutlets that are pan-seared and served in a creamy and flavorful mushroom wine sauce. Marsala wine originated in western Sicily, Italy back in the 1700s. While chicken marsala itself might not be found in many restaurants in Italy, it is an Italian-inspired dish and can be found in many Italian restaurants here in the US.
Marsala Chicken Ingredients
This Italian-American dish is made with simple ingredients, just be sure to source the right Marsala wine (see tips below):
- Chicken breast – 2 large chicken breasts cut in half will make 4 cutlets (you can also substitute with 1 1/4 lbs of chicken tenders).
- Flour, salt, and pepper – for dredging the chicken
- Olive oil and butter – combining olive oil and butter adds rich flavor to the sauce and prevents the butter from burning since the oil has a higher smoke point.
- Mushrooms – give depth and flavor to the creamy sauce.
- Onion powder and garlic – add great flavor while keeping the sauce smooth.
- Marsala wine sauce – is made up of dry marsala wine, chicken stock, and heavy whipping cream.
Use dry marsala wine, NOT sweet marsala. Sweet Marsala is meant to be used for dessert recipes and won’t work well. If your grocery store doesn’t sell liquors, you can find marsala at your local liquor store. The first time I made Chicken Marsala with sweet wine and I took a long pause from the dish after that only to discover I was using the wrong wine!
If you are not able to find Marsala wine, a Madeira wine would also work, as we used in our Chicken Madeira. If alcohol is a concern, most of the alcohol is cooked out in the pan so you just get the added flavor and the sauce ends up with an insignificant amount of alcohol. If you are looking to make it wine-free, you could just use more broth and boil that down, but the flavor profile wouldn’t be quite the same.
I would argue that mushrooms are a key ingredient, but you will still have a tasty chicken Marsala without mushrooms. You might sautee/ caramelize some sliced fresh onion instead to compensate for some of that lost flavor.
How to Make Even Chicken Cutlets
Cut both of your chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make 4 even cutlets. Place between plastic wrap and pound to even 1/3″ thick cutlets. By pounding your chicken to even thicknesses ensures they will get cooked evenly. You can save yourself some prep by using chicken tenders instead.
Pro Tip: To test for doneness and prevent overcooking, use an instant-read thermometer and cook just until the chicken breast has reached a safe internal temperature of 165˚F.
Tips for a Perfect Creamy Marsala Sauce
When cooking with wine, the acidity and alcohol combined with cream may cause the sauce to clump or separate if you change the recipe or process. Follow these tips to help prevent that from happening to your sauce:
- Avoid light cream or “half & half” which doesn’t play well with wine and can curdle.
- Older cream can curdle easier, purchase within a few days of use.
- Stir the sauce while slowly adding the cream
- Keep the sauce at a simmer after adding the cream and avoid a rapid boil.
- Patience is important – don’t rush the process of thickening the sauce.
Leftovers of Chicken Marsala keep really well and in general, anytime you have chicken in a creamy sauce, it reheats well without having that ‘reheated chicken flavor.’ The chicken will taste even better after absorbing the flavors for a day or two.
- To Store – Once the dish is made, let it cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate. According to the USDA, cooked chicken should be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- Reheating – As a rule of thumb, you should reheat food using the same method it was cooked. Transfer the chicken to a skillet and reheat on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Do not boil or the chicken will overcook and the sauce may separate.
More Chicken Dinner Recipes
If you loved this Chicken Marsala recipe, you should check out some of our other delicious chicken dinners:
- Chicken Parmesan
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Spatchcock Chicken
- Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Marsala Recipe
- 1 1/4 lbs chicken breast, (2 large), or chicken tenders
- 1/2 tsp salt , or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 oz brown button mushrooms, halved or thickly sliced if very large
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup dry marsala wine, (not sweet)
- 3/4 cup chicken stock, reduced-sodium
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make 4 even cutlets. Place between plastic wrap and pound until 1/3" thick. Season chicken all over with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, dredge in flour (shaking off the excess) and then set aside.
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Once butter and oil are hot, add dredged chicken and saute until golden and cooked through; about 3-4 minutes per side (don't over-cook). Set chicken aside and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Add more oil to the pan if needed along with mushrooms and saute until excess liquid from mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms are golden brown (5 min). Stir in 1/2 tsp onion powder and 2 minced garlic cloves and saute another 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add 3/4 cup marsala wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat and cook until mostly reduced down (4-5 min) then add 3/4 cup chicken stock and while stirring add 1/2 cup heavy cream in a steady stream. Lower the heat to keep at a simmer and continue to simmer and reduce sauce another 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Season sauce with 1/4 tsp salt or season to taste.
- Return chicken to pan and sprinkle the tops with 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and keep on the heat until heated through and the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency (2 minutes). Keep in mind, the sauce will thicken more as it cools.