Chicken Marsala features lightly breaded pan fried chicken cutlets and sautéed mushrooms in a delicious rich and creamy Marsala wine sauce. It's a favorite in Italian restaurants, but this easy homemade version takes only 30 minutes to prepare and is better than any restaurant!
What is Chicken Marsala?
Chicken Marsala is a version of the Italian dish scaloppine, which consists if thin cuts of meat, usually chicken, beef, or veal, that are quickly pan fried and served with a flavorful sauce.
The key ingredient in Chicken Marsala is dry Marsala wine, which is a fortified Sicilian wine with a rich complex flavor. Don't be afraid of cooking with wine, the alcohol will burn off and evaporate in the cooking process and it lends a very distinct flavor to the delicious sauce.
The dish is a classic in Italian restaurants thanks to the rich and flavorful sauce. But homemade chicken marsala is easy to make right in your own kitchen at home!
- Chicken Cutlets - You can buy cutlets in most grocery stores to save time, or if you want to save a little money you can buy boneless skinless breasts. To make the cutlets place your palm flat on the chicken breast and slice horizontally through to create two thin pieces. Alternatively you can pound the chicken breast with a mallet to around ¼ to ½ inch thick.
- Marsala Wine - You'll want to use a dry Marsala wine for this chicken marsala recipe, not the sweet version. It is available in most grocery stores that carry wine. It is usually inexpensive and keeps for several months stored in the pantry.
- Chicken Broth - Use low sodium to control the salt level.
- Heavy Cream - You can leave out the cream to make dairy free chicken marsala if you prefer.
How to Make Creamy Chicken Marsala
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. While the butter melts, season your chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour to lightly coat.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for around four minutes on each side until it's golden brown and cooked through. Then remove from the pan and set aside. Tent it with foil to keep warm. Do not wipe out the pan!
- In the same pan melt the remaining tablespoon of butter then add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook for around 4-5 minutes until the liquid is cooked off and they begin sizzling. Next, add the garlic and cook it for around 30 to 45 seconds, stirring it constantly so it doesn't burn.
- Add the Marsala wine and the chicken broth and bring it to a simmer. Then cook for around 5-6 minutes until it's reduced and slightly thickened.
- Next, stir in the heavy cream then add the chicken back to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. The flour from the chicken will help the sauce finish thickening up.
What to Serve with Chicken Marsala
One of my favorite sides for chicken marsala is mashed potatoes. They're perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce. A simple green veggie like sautéed asparagus or green beans is great too to offset some of the richness.
Chicken marsala pasta is another great option. Serve the chicken with marsala sauce over a bed of cooked pasta like fettuccine and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Check out my post on making fresh homemade pasta for details on making our own fettuccine!
Tips and FAQs
The wine adds a distinct flavor, but if you must leave it out, you can sub ¼ cup of white grape juice, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar for a similar flavor.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Reheat in a baking dish in a 350ºF oven or in a pan over medium-low heat. This dish does not reheat well in the microwave.
More weeknight meal ideas
- Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole (Without Soup!)
- Sheet Pan Soy Ginger Salmon
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Instant Pot London Broil
- Enchiladas with Green Sauce
Easy Creamy Chicken Marsala
- 4 4-6 oz chicken breast cutlets
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 8 oz baby bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup marsala wine
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Add olive oil and 1 tbsp butter to a large skillet on medium high heat.
- While the butter melts, season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper then dredge in the flour and shake off any excess.
- Add cutlets to the pan and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Then remove from pan and tent with foil.
- In the same pan melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, then add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and sizzling. Add the garlic and cook for around 30-45 seconds, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
- Add the Marsala wine and chicken broth and simmer for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back to the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, angel hair pasta, mashed cauliflower, or zucchini noodles.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.