Chicken Marsala Recipe (Easy & Creamy!)
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Back when we first met, my husband asked me what my favorite restaurant was. Being in college at the time, I certainly couldn’t afford to go anywhere fancy, and my parents never went out growing up… I told him Olive Garden. I’ve expanded my palate a lot since those days and it’s not my top choice anymore, but their creamy chicken Marsala is still one of my favorites. Today’s easy chicken Marsala recipe is inspired by that restaurant — and it’s the perfect dish for a date night at home and weeknights alike.
Marsala chicken may look impressive, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. Just like my sun dried tomato chicken, zesty lemon chicken piccata, and creamy chicken Florentine, it’s made in one pan in less than 30 minutes. Despite the simple method, the chicken is juicy and tender, while the classic wine sauce makes it more than “just” a chicken dinner.
What Is Chicken Marsala?
Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish that consists of sauteed chicken cutlets in a Marsala wine mushroom sauce, sometimes with cream added.
Creamy chicken Marsala recipes like this one are a little similar to creamy mushroom chicken, but the Marsala wine provides a unique, slightly sweet flavor.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe
- Tender, juicy chicken
- Thick, creamy sauce
- Buttery, garlicky flavor with a hint of sweetness
- One pan for easy cleanup
- No dredging or white flour needed
- Naturally gluten-free
- Easy for weeknights, but special for date nights or company
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this creamy chicken Marsala recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chicken – I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and sliced them in half lengthwise, which helps them cook quickly and at the same rate. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are also a great option for chicken Marsala, though less common.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – For seasoning the chicken.
- Olive Oil – For sauteing. A classic choice for an Italian dish like this, but you can substitute avocado oil or your favorite cooking oil.
- Butter – Butter makes the base of the sauce for the richest flavor. Use unsalted butter, because otherwise this dish will be too salty from the other ingredients.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic for the best flavor, or jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Cremini Mushrooms – Sometimes these are called “baby bellas” at the store. Other fresh mushrooms such as sliced portobellos, shiitake, or everyday white mushrooms will work as well.
- Marsala Cooking Wine – Marsala wine is the star of the chicken Marsala sauce! It’s a delectable brandy fortified wine with an unforgettable flavor. I used Marsala cooking wine, but you could use sweet Marsala wine, dry Marsala wine, or even vermouth. You could use extra broth (in addition to what is already in the recipe) as an alcohol-free substitution for the wine, but the flavor will be different.
- Chicken Broth – Use reduced-sodium chicken broth to avoid an overly salty dish. If you like, you can use chicken bone broth for extra richness and nutrition.
- Arrowroot Powder – Just a tablespoon helps thicken the sauce without any flours, making it a great cornstarch substitute. You could also use cornstarch if it fits your lifestyle. Feel free to omit the thickener altogether, but be aware that the sauce will be thinner.
- Heavy Cream – You can make chicken Marsala recipes without cream, but I totally recommended it to create a sauce that’s thick, smooth, and (of course) creamy. If you need a dairy-free substitute, full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream are good alternatives.
- Fresh Parsley – Optional, for garnish. You could use other herbs such as fresh basil or rosemary if you prefer.
How To Make Chicken Marsala
This section shows how to make easy chicken Marsala, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Butterfly. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise, making 4 pieces total. Pat dry with paper towels.
VARIATION: Pound whole chicken breasts instead.
Instead of slicing chicken, you can pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet. Either slicing or pounding are both methods to tenderize the meat and helps the chicken Marsala cook evenly.
- Season. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.
- Sear the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (I recommend a cast iron skillet like this one) over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and sear until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Saute the mushrooms. Without wiping the pan, add butter and melt. Add mushrooms, and saute until they are golden brown and their liquid has evaporated.
- Add aromatics. Add minced garlic to the pan. Saute until fragrant.
- Deglaze and simmer. Add the wine to the chicken Marsala pan. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan (this is called deglazing). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half.
- Thicken. Whisk the arrowroot powder with a little chicken broth in a small, shallow bowl, then add to the pan.
- Make it creamy. Add the heavy cream. Simmer, stirring until sauce thickens.
- Finish. Add the chicken back to the pan and heat until the chicken is warm. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed. Garnish the finished chicken Marsala recipe with fresh parsley, if desired.
Tips For The Best Chicken Marsala Recipe
Preparing a deliciously savory and tender chicken Marsala dish is very easy, but don’t forget to follow these helpful tips:
- Turn the heat up if needed. If the mushroom liquid or Marsala wine is not evaporating quickly enough, you can turn the heat up to medium-high as needed.
- Deglaze the pan. After adding the Marsala wine, scrape the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits. This adds a lot of flavor to the final dish.
- Beware of curdles. Acid from the wine can sometimes cause cream to curdle. To prevent this, make sure the wine has reduced by half before adding the broth and cream.
- Store: You can keep leftovers from this easy chicken Marsala recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Warm on the stovetop over medium heat, or in the microwave at low power, until heated through.
- Freeze: Cover the chicken Marsala tightly with plastic wrap or seal in a zip top bag and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before reheating. The sauce may separate a little, but should come back together if you stir it.
What To Serve With Chicken Marsala Recipes
What goes with chicken Marsala? There are so many options:
More Easy Italian Inspired Dinners
Italian recipes are some of my favorites because they’re so fresh and easy! If you like this recipe for chicken Marsala, try some of these meals next:
Chicken Marsala Recipe (Easy & Creamy!)
This easy chicken marsala recipe features tender meat and mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce. Creamy chicken marsala is irresistible!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 (adjust to scale recipe)
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, making 4 pieces total. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (I recommend cast iron like this one) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and sear for 4-7 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Without wiping the pan, add the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown and their liquid has evaporated. (You can turn the heat up to medium-high as needed to evaporate the liquid.)
Add the minced garlic. Saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add the Marsala wine to the pan. Bring to a boil, turning up the heat to do so if necessary. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits (this is called deglazing). Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half.
Whisk the arrowroot powder and chicken broth in a small bowl. Add the chicken broth mixture and heavy cream to the pan. Simmer, stirring and scraping any browned bits from the bottom, for 3-4 more minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Add the chicken back to the pan. Heat for a minute or two until the chicken is warm. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Serving size: 1 piece of chicken with Marsala sauce
Nutrition info does not include the optional arrowroot powder and parsley.
Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.
Total Carbs 10.4g
Net Carbs 9.9g
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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