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Chicken Marsala

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Chicken Marsala is a classic for good reason! Tender chicken breasts and a creamy, earthy mushroom sauce come together to create culinary magic. We are kicking things up a notch by adding even more flavor into the sauce by incorporating dried porcini mushrooms. The flavorful base begins with a porcini and Marsala reduction that does take little more time, but trust us, it’s completely worth the extra effort!

A skillet filled with chicken marsala made with fresh and dried mushrooms.

This might not be the quickest meal to prepare but it is still an easy chicken Marsala recipe that has all of the staples of the classic!

Juicy pan-fried chicken and loads of mushrooms swim in a creamy sauce with rich flavor that pulls everything together. 

While fresh mushrooms infuse the rich Marsala wine sauce with earthiness, the key ingredient to making the most delicious sauce is dried porcini mushrooms. We incorporated this into our recipe because re-hydrating them in the sauce adds an even more intense flavor and depth. 

The end result is an elevated Italian classic that is sure to rival some of the best Italian restaurants! 

Why This Recipe Works

If you’re searching for the perfect recipe for chicken Marsala, we’re here to assure you that you’ve found it. 

The extra step of creating a dried porcini mushroom and Marsala wine reduction adds extra flavor but it also requires a little bit of extra time.

Here’s a pro tip: plan ahead and make the reduction a day in advance to save yourself some prep time on the day you plan to serve it. 

Here’s why you’ll love it (and why it could become a new favorite dish!).

  • A symphony of bold flavors. Our recipe is one of those savory dishes that tastes earthy yet slightly sweet, and is comforting yet sophisticated, Aromatics, mushrooms, pancetta, chicken and cream create an incredible meal that you’ll want to enjoy over and over again. 
  • The perfect meal for any occasion. Take this as a sign to save this recipe and prepare this meal for your next gathering, whether it’s a birthday dinner, date night in or a special holiday. 
  • Easy to prepare. The steps to this recipe are quite simple and the end result will leave you feeling like a professional chef! It does take a little extra time so if you are in a hurry, I recommend trying our creamy mushroom marsala sauce and smother it over some skillet chicken.
Chicken marsala on a bed of mashed potatoes next to some green beans.

Chicken Marsala Ingredients

For the absolute best chicken Marsala recipe, here’s a look at some of the main ingredients you will need (be sure to follow the full ingredient list in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page). 

  • Marsala wine. Choose a dry Marsala wine instead of a sweet one. A sweet wine is best for desserts and will be too sweet for the chicken marsala sauce.
  • Dried porcini mushrooms. The “secret ingredient” for infusing bold mushroom flavor into the creamy mushroom sauce. 
  • Chicken broth. ​For extra savory flavor in the sauce. You can also use chicken stock. 
  • Chicken breast. You will need a couple of boneless and skinless chicken breasts, essentially two large chicken breasts that you’ll cut in half horizontally. Or, purchase four thin-cut chicken breast cutlets from the grocery store. 
  • Pancetta. ​Cut into 1/2-inch pieces, this pancetta is cooked until browned and crisp and adds so much flavor to the sauce. 
  • Cremini mushrooms. ​Fresh, sliced cremini mushrooms are key to creating a rich and hearty dish with big mushroom flavor. 
  • Aromatics. Shallots, garlic, and minced fresh oregano for bold and savory flavor.
  • Fresh lemon juice. ​Just a touch of fresh lemon juice adds a tart element that balances out the heavy flavors. 
  • Butter. The butter adds richness, flavor, and you only need a little bit to get a creamy sauce.
Ingredients used to make chicken marsala.

A Delicious Chicken Marsala Recipe

Here’s a look at the steps but be sure to view the details in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. 

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the wine and dried mushrooms to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 6-8 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Set the mixture aside so the dried mushrooms can soak for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Place the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it gently to create a thin chicken cutlet. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet in the flour until coated, then heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Return the skillet to medium-low heat, cook the shallots and add the garlic and pancetta. Cook until the pancetta is browned and crisp. Add the cremini mushrooms and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. 
  4. For a thick sauce, add in a couple of tablespoons of flour (omit if you prefer a thinner sauce).
  5. Stir in the reduced wine mixture. Add the lemon juice and oregano. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it’s slightly reduced. 
  6. Add the chicken back to the sauce and simmer for about 3 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter. Season if needed, then serve immediately. 

If you love this recipe, try our Marsala sauce pasta.

How to make chicken marsala.
Adding chicken to the marsala sauce.

Recipe Tips for the Best Results

  • You can either purchase pre-sliced chicken breast or slice your own. To slice your own cutlets, slice two large chicken breasts in half horizontally so you have four thin cutlets or steaks. 
  • Pounding the cutlets will result in more tender chicken breasts and will help them cook more evenly, The goal is to make the thick part of the chicken an even thickness to the thinner end. You can use a meat tenderizer or even a rolling pin. 

What to Serve with Chicken Marsala

This is one of those dishes that tastes incredible with a number of sides! The rich, gravy-like sauce is delicious over mashed potatoes, rice or your favorite pasta.

You can serve it with a vegetable like green beans or asparagus, or a simple side salad and slice of crusty bread. 

Seared chicken breast with mushroom marsala sauce on a dinner plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chicken Marsala sauce made of?

Our Chicken Marsala sauce recipe features a combination of dry Marsala wine, earthy mushrooms, aromatics and chicken broth. It all cooks together to create an ultra rich and flavorful sauce that coats tender chicken. 

What is traditionally served with Chicken Marsala? 

The sauce is delicious over a carb-y side like mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. For a true Italian-inspired dish, you can serve it over fettuccine or egg noodles. 

What type of Marsala wine is good for Chicken Marsala?

Our recipe calls for a dry Marsala wine instead of a sweet Marsala, otherwise your dish may taste too sweet. 

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A spoon in a skillet of chicken marsala.

Chicken Marsala

Ready to elevate your dinner game with a Chicken Marsala that's seriously the best you've ever had?
This recipe takes a classic favorite and turns it up a notch with a Marsala and porcini mushroom reduction that's nothing short of magic. The secret? Those dried mushrooms. Rehydrating them in the Marsala mix infuses the sauce with an intense, earthy flavor and adds incredible depth.
This Chicken Marsala might be a game-changer regarding taste, but it does ask for more of your time. But trust me, it's worth every minute. And here's a tip: The Marsala reduction can be made a day ahead.
We recommend using a dry marsala wine because a sweet marsala makes the dish.. .well, just too sweet 😉
5 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 702kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry Marsala
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms or mixed dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 2 small shallots finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces

Instructions

Marsala and Porcini Reduction:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the Marsala and the dried mushrooms to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer until reduced by half, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the chicken broth. Set the mixture aside and let the dried mushrooms continue to soak for 10 to 15 minutes or until re-hydrated. 

Prep the Chicken:

  • Place the cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently to an even ½-inch thickness, I typically only have to pound the thick end of the chicken breast. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge each cutlet in the flour until completely coated (save some of the flour for later in step 4 if you want to thicken the sauce).
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the cutlets until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Pancetta and Mushroom Sauté:

  • Return the skillet to medium-low heat, add the shallots and cook until soft. Toss in the garlic and pancetta. Cook until the pancetta is brown and crisp.
  • Add the sliced cremini mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid and start to brown, about 8  minutes. Stir in the tomato paste.
  • If you like your Marsala sauce thick like gravy, stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes (adding flour now will prevent the sauce from getting lumpy). If you like your sauce thin, omit the extra flour. 

Prepare Sauce:

  • Stir in the reduced Marsala mixture along with the reconstituted mushrooms. Add the lemon juice and oregano.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until slightly reduced. 

Final Steps:

  • Add the chicken cutlets back to the sauce and simmer for about 3 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Notes

  • You can either purchase pre-sliced chicken cutlets or slice your own. To slice your own cutlets, slice two large chicken breasts in half horizontally so you have four thin cutlets or steaks. 
  • Pounding the cutlets will tenderize them and it will help them cook more evenly, The goal is to make the thick part of the chicken an even thickness to the thinner end. 
Recipe inspired by Cooks Illustrated. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 702kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 1353mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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angiesrecipes

Monday 4th of March 2024

I am not crazy about chicken breast, but that mushroom sauce looks seriously good!

Dahn Boquist

Monday 4th of March 2024

Thank you Angie!!

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