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Chicken Marsala

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Calories: 590
homemade chicken marsala on a serving platter

Simmered in a creamy mushroom and Marsala sauce, this classic chicken Marsala recipe is both restaurant-worthy AND weeknight ready!

Our Favorite Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe

What makes ours the very best chicken Marsala recipe out there? Well, we can’t exactly take full credit for how delicious chicken Marsala is, because the recipe has been around for a long time. But our chicken Marsala recipe is easy, weeknight-friendly and truly next-level delicious! You can serve it over pasta or polenta to really soak up all of the mushroom-y, creamy Marsala sauce, and to round it out into a complete meal. The rich flavors and simplicity of preparation make this dish one that always seems to work its way onto our meal plans. Cozy and comforting and familiar, it’s sure to brighten up those dusky winter weeknights.

olive oil, chicken breast, mushrooms, and herbs for homemade chicken marsala in bowls on the counter

What Is Chicken Marsala?

Chicken Marsala is a classic Italian recipe that likely dates back, in some form, to as far back as the 1800s. The “Marsala” refers to the Marsala wine, which is a Sicilian fortified wine and it’s rich, slightly sweet, nutty flavor is what defines this heady and hearty chicken recipe. Meaty mushrooms and a splash of cream make this classic chicken recipe absolutely a perfect fit for the colder months. Sweet, earthy, rich and easy, this chicken Marsala recipe isn’t just for weeknights—it’s also a fabulous quick hit for your next dinner party. Pair with some wine, a good playlist and some drippy candles and you’ve got yourself a gosh darn dreamy dinner party!

pounded chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper
raw chicken filets dredged in flour

Chicken Marsala Ingredients

If this is your first time making chicken Marsala, tracking down a bottle of Marsala might seem like a chore, but it’s actually super easy to find! While you could go to a fancy wine shop and hunt down a nice bottle of Sicilian Marsala, you can usually find Marsala at the grocery store! Just look wherever you’d buy cooking sherry, or you can always ask in a pinch. As for the mushrooms, it’s OK to use whatever common grocery store mushrooms you prefer—white button or cremini will both work well here. Here’s everything you’ll need to make our easy chicken Marsala recipe:

  • Chicken breasts

  • All-purpose flour

  • Olive oil

  • Unsalted butter

  • Shallot

  • Mushrooms

  • Fresh garlic

  • Fresh thyme

  • Chicken stock

  • Marsala wine

  • Heavy cream

  • Chives

four chicken breast filets being fried in butter and olive oil in a skillet
olive oil, minced shallots and mushrooms in a skillet

How To Make Chicken Marsala

Fileting the chicken breasts is simple enough to do—simply cut them in half horizontally. But! To make your life even easier, one of our favorite tricks for cutting raw meat is giving the meat a little time in the freezer before we cut it. A super sharp knife and a semi-frozen chicken breast will make splitting them in half a total breeze. And remember—a super sharp knife means that you are actually working more safely! A dull knife is much more dangerous than a sharp one. We like this knife sharpener, if you need one! Or, you can always look for local knife-sharpening events—most kitchenware stores offer them with some frequency.

  1. Dredge the chicken in flour.

  2. Fry the chicken breasts in butter and olive oil. Things are already beginning to smell really good, and it’s only going to get better!

  3. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms, then add the garlic and thyme. Now it’s smelling really, really good in your kitchen.

  4. Marsala sauce time! Pour in the stock, Marsala wine and cream and simmer the Marsala sauce for about 10 minutes.

  5. Bring it all together! Add the chicken, and simmer everything together to allow the sauce to thicken and the chicken to cook through. This will take about 5 minutes.

  6. Serve! Over pasta, or with polenta or good bread, or even just as-is!

olive oil, shallots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme and salt in a skillet
olive oil, shallots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme and salt in a skillet
olive oil, shallots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt, heavy cream, marsala wine and chicken broth in a skillet
olive oil, shallots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt, heavy cream, marsala wine and chicken broth in a skillet

The Best Chicken Marsala Sauce

That classic, mushroom-dotted, creamy chicken marsala sauce is one of the many reasons we love this recipe. It’s so very simple to make and so very hard to mess up—a terrific combo. There are a few tricks to making the very best chicken marsala sauce:

  • As you add cream or stock to the pan, take time to really scrape up any little bits of mushroom or shallot that have stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

  • Use the best chicken stock you can! Homemade, if you’ve got it!

  • Give the sauce time. We don’t mean a lot of time, but don’t cut down on the simmer times we call for—you want to give the cream sauce time to reduce and thicken. All that wine-y, mushroomy goodness will be worth the (short) wait.

chicken marsala in a frying pan
chicken marsala in a frying pan

What To Serve With Chicken Marsala

So many things go with chicken marsala. It’s so flavorful and satisfying, it doesn’t need much accompaniment to become a hearty and lovely supper. Our very favorite thing to serve with chicken marsala is pasta—twirl the noodles around your fork with a bite of tender, Marsala sauced chicken and maybe catch a mushroom in there, too! But it’s also lovely served over a bed of creamy polenta. If you’re hoping to keep things a little more low-carb, that’s easy enough to do. Simply serve the chicken Marsala with a green salad on the side and call dinner good to go, or, if you’re really wanting to be ambitious, try it with our cauliflower gnocchi!

chicken marsala in a skillet
homemade chicken marsala on a serving platter

Tools You’ll Need:

More Easy Chicken Breast Recipes

We’ve actually rounded up our 60 favorite chicken breast recipes before, so if you want to go deep, click here. BUT, if you want to know our five weeknight go-tos, here they are:

homemade chicken marsala on a serving platter
homemade chicken marsala on a serving platter

The Fastest, Best Chicken Dinner Recipe We Know

Chicken Marsala is one of our favorite recipes to share with others because it is so easy to make perfectly and even newbie cooks will feel really good about their kitchen skills after making something as delicious as this! When you try it, let us know how it all turns out, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Chicken Marsala

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Calories: 590

Ingredients

  • 2 large (1 1/2 lbs total) Boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half to create 4 filets, pounded ¼-inch thickness
  • 1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1 Large shallot, finely chopped
  • 8 oz Mushrooms quartered (cremini, baby bella or white)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup Chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • Chives, minced

Method

  1. Prepare the chicken breasts: Take a sharp knife and slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to create four even, thin cutlets. Place the cutlets between layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a meat mallet to pound the cutlets until they're about 1/4 inch thick. This helps ensure tenderness and even cooking.

  2. Season the prepared chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in the flour, shaking off any excess.

  3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil. When the butter begins to bubble, place the floured chicken breasts in the pan, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken breasts until they are golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Note: you may need to work in batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the shallot and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms and shallots begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock if needed. Add the garlic, thyme and salt and cook for 1 minute longer.

  5. Add the broth, Marsala and heavy cream. Scrape any brown bits from the pan and stir it into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by half and slightly thickened, about 10-12 minutes.

  6. Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices from the plate. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, and the sauce has thickened about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, remove the chicken onto a serving platter or plates and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, stir until incorporated.

  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with minced chives.

Note: If your chicken breasts are smaller or using tenders, be sure to pound them to 1/4-inch thickness. If they are large, create cutlets by cutting them horizontally and then pound them to a 1/4-inch thickness.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 590
  • Protein 47 g
  • Carbohydrates 18 g
  • Total Fat 35 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3 g
  • Cholesterol 168 mg
  • sodium 1454 mg
  • Total Sugars 7 g

Chicken Marsala

Questions & Reviews

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  • Chanelle Manning

    Hi there! Made this tonight w/ angel hair pasta and it was a hit. Do you have any recommendations to make the sauce thicker?

    Marsala sauce is typically a thin (not watery) sauce. You can add simmer it a bit longer to reduce it before adding the butter and that will get it a little thicker. If you want a much thicker sauce, you could always mix 1 tablespoon softened butter with 1 tablespoon AP flour until smooth and add it to the sauce. This is called Beurre manié (French "kneaded butter") it is sometimes used to thicken soups and sauces. I have never tested using it in this recipe but just start with a little at a time.

  • Zaina

    Whats an alternative for the marsala wine?

    Madeira or dry sherry would sub ok but marsala is really what you want for this recipe!

  • Kimberly

    This turned out great!!! Made it for a “special” weeknight dinner (my mom was returning from 2 weeks away and wanted to make something delicious but Wednesday-doable. Everyone, ages 11-73 loved it! Will make again. Mine wasn’t as pretty as yours - didn’t have the deep rich color. But so tasty. Served with rice cause I forgot to buy egg noodles.

    Thank you Kimberly! We are so happy the entire family enjoyed it! Great job!

  • Rose

    OMG!! so good!! I didn't have tarsal and just used white wine and regular milk.. It was so delicious! Served over roasted potatoes.

    Thank you Rose! We are so happy t hear how much you loved it!