Tender, juicy chicken breasts in a rich marsala wine and mushroom sauce make this easy Chicken Marsala recipe just as good for entertaining as it is for a weeknight dinner! It's delicious served over pasta or creamy mashed potatoes!
Chicken breasts get a bad rap as being bland and boring, but they are anything but in this wonderfully flavorful marsala sauce. It's perfect served with a crisp salad with our copycat Olive Garden salad dressing!
We love to have friends over and entertain, but I’ve found that it’s important that the menu we choose be fairly effortless. This chicken marsala is one of those recipes that is handy to have in your arsenal because it never fails to impress. Also, it’s so easy to make and you can double or triple the recipe to feed a larger group as long as you have more than one large skillet.
Even people who claim they don’t like mushrooms have gone home extolling the deliciousness of chicken marsala after trying this recipe at our house!
What is Chicken Marsala?
Chicken marsala is an Italian-American recipe that has been popularized by chains like Olive Garden or Carrabbas. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s even more delicious made at home! Plus it costs a lot less and takes less than 30 minutes!
Chicken marsala is similar to another recipe called chicken madeira. Both are restaurant favorites made with chicken and mushrooms in a wine sauce, except the wines used have different flavors and chicken madeira has cheese melted on top. You are definitely going to want to try them both!
How to Make Chicken Marsala
1. Flatten your chicken breasts. If they are large, you may need to slice each chicken breasts in half horizontally and pound thin to about ¼″ thickness. This not only helps tenderize the meat and allows it to cook evenly, but it also gives a better ratio of sauce to chicken when serving. If your chicken breasts are on the smaller side, you can get away with just pounding them and not slicing them in half.
2. Dredge chicken breasts in seasoned flour mixture. Shake off any excess or it will fall off and burn in the pan while the chicken cooks. The flour protects the chicken while sauteing so that it stays tender. It also helps thicken the sauce later.
3. Heat butter and oil in a pan and saute the chicken until browned on both sides and barely cooked through, about 5-6 minutes total. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and set aside.
4. Saute mushrooms and onions until soft and the mushrooms have released their liquid. Be sure to scrape up any leftover browned bits from the bottom of the pan because they add amazing flavor to the sauce!
5. Add marsala wine and cream, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. The cream is optional, as it isn’t included in traditional chicken marsala, but I love the rich flavor and creaminess it adds to the sauce.
6. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the chicken is hot again.
7. Serve over angel hair pasta or homemade mashed potatoes with mushrooms and sauce spooned over the top.
Where can I buy marsala wine?
Most grocery stores that I have been to have marsala wine available, although you may need to go to an actual liquor store for it if you can’t find it where you usually shop. There may be options to purchase dry or sweet marsala wine, in which case I recommend going with the dry option for this savory chicken dish. But if sweet is all you can find, that will work just as well in this recipe.
What kind of mushrooms should I use?
You can use almost any type of mushroom you like in this recipe! Crimini mushrooms (also called baby bella mushrooms) or white button mushrooms work well and they are always available at any grocery store.
But you could also use porcini mushrooms (my favorite!) or chanterelles if you find some at a farmer’s market or grocery store. They tend to have a stronger, earthier flavor than the crimini or button mushrooms.
What is a good side dish for chicken marsala?
I served this chicken marsala with angel hair pasta and an Italian salad, but it’s also wonderful with oven roasted asparagus or oven roasted broccoli. Many people enjoy chicken marsala over rice or potatoes in place of the pasta.
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Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded ¼-inch thickness (or 2 large ones, sliced in half horizontally and pounded ¼-inch thickness)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour for coating
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces crimini or button mushrooms sliced
- ½ onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cup Marsala wine
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- Combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano in a large ziploc bag. Add chicken and shake to coat all over.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When butter has melted and the pan is hot, shake excess flour off the chicken breasts and lay them in the pan. Cook chicken until light brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from pan and set on a plate. Keep warm.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the mushrooms and onion and mushrooms. Saute until soft, about 7-8 minutes, then add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Add the wine, chicken broth, and cream, stirring to combine and using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with the additional salt and pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly.
- Once the sauce has cooked, add the chicken back to the pan and spoon sauce over the top. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.
- Serve over angel hair pasta or mashed potatoes.
This recipe first appeared on The Salty Marshmallow where I am a contributor.
Reader questions and reviews
Is there a good non-alcohol substitute for the Marsala wine?
I've read that you can use a combination of grape juice, vanilla, and sherry vinegar to make a non-alcoholic substitute for marsala wine. I haven't tried it, but the measurements for this recipe would be 1 cup white grape juice, 1/2 cup sherry vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of vanilla. I'll have to make this again soon with the substitutions and let you know how close I think it comes to the original!
This was good but portions are off. The recipe calls for way to much liquid especially for four servings and my sauce did not reduce. Also too much onion. If I make again I would reduce wine and cream and use shallot.
This was PERFECT.......The best Marsala that I have had thus far......reduced nicely and the flavor was too die for....My husband thanks you
I used 6 skinless thighs and used real Marsala wine from a vineyard. I also pulled back the Marsala to 1 cup and put more chicken broth. 1 1/4 cup. I used baby portobellos as well. Was delicious over angel hair pasta
Yummy recipe. Thank you for sharing.