This chicken marsala recipe is an Italian-American classic! It has juicy pan-fried chicken smothered in a creamy wine and mushroom sauce. It's a 30-minute dish that's simple to master in your own kitchen.
For more restaurant favorites at home, try my Easy Chicken Piccata or Chicken Madeira.
Why you'll love it
Many restaurants have chicken marsala on their menu, but why not replicate it at home? It's actually really effortless and quick, so it's ideal for everything from a dinner party for easy entertaining to a weeknight meal when you're craving something a little special.
What's surprising to a lot of people is how few ingredients you need to make homemade chicken marsala. All it involves is a few pantry essentials along with a variety of wine that's easy to get your hands on, and that's it!
What is marsala?
- Marsala is an Italian fortified wine, which means a spirit has been added to it, in this case brandy. It's got a kind of nutty, caramelized flavor when used in sauces. I recommend using either semi-secco (semi-sweet) or secco (dry) marsala for this recipe. I used Cantine Pellegrino Fine I.P. Marsala here. Don't use sweet!
Ingredients for it
- Chicken - we're using two boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut into 4 smaller cutlets
- Garlic powder, salt & pepper, flour - for seasoning and dredging the cutlets to get a good crust, and flour will thicken the sauce
- Olive oil and butter - for sautéing
- Mushrooms - I love cremini mushrooms for their earthy and rich flavor that perfectly balances with the flavor profile of the marsala wine
- Garlic - use even more if you're a garlic aficionado. I like using a garlic press to mince it without peeling.
- Marsala wine - this gives our sauce its signature taste
- Heavy cream - the key to making the sauce luxurious
- If you prefer, you can pound the chicken so it's thinner vs. cutting it in half lengthwise like I suggest. You may then want to use four chicken breasts and sear the chicken in batches. Making smaller cutlets so that it cooks faster and remains nice and tender is my favorite shortcut, though!
How to make chicken marsala
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prep and season your chicken, and then sear it on both sides until golden in a cast iron skillet. Transfer it to a plate. Fry the mushrooms in the same skillet with the remaining butter.
Add the garlic and marsala wine, and let the sauce reduce for a couple of minutes. Stir in the cream, and add the chicken back into the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
Tips for success
- This particular version of chicken marsala is meant to be cooked at a fairly high temperature throughout. To get the nice sear on the chicken and to quickly brown the mushrooms, it's necessary that the pan is nice and hot!
- Only turn the heat down if it's splattering like crazy or you're using copper or cast iron cookware since they conduct heat much more than the regular stuff most of us use on a daily basis.
- Be careful not to overcook it. If you're in doubt, chicken is safe to eat at 165F as indicated by a meat thermometer.
Substitutions and variations
- Since this is chicken marsala, you probably don't want to substitute the marsala for anything, but if you're in a pinch, madeira or sherry will work.
- You can definitely use chicken thighs instead, but I recommend doing the searing step for a bit longer.
- I don't recommend substituting the heavy cream with anything else. Half-and-half or milk will yield a thinner sauce. You may need to add more flour or cornstarch to thicken it up effectively. With that said, some readers have replaced the cream with extra chicken broth and had good results.
- On the other hand, if you love an extra creamy sauce, go ahead and increase the amount of heavy cream to 1 cup. Carpe diem!
What to serve with it
- Chicken marsala is delicious served over pasta. Try my Quick & Easy Garlic Butter Noodles. Also, Garlic Mashed Potatoes or rice are equally tasty with the sauce.
- Serving it with this easy asparagus recipe makes a great vegetable pairing.
- A slice of crusty bread, garlic bread, or a side salad with this easy Italian dressing would be fantastic as well.
Leftovers and storage
- This chicken will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- To reheat, place in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally until it's warmed through.
- I wouldn't recommend freezing this one because of the dairy in the sauce.
More restaurant-quality chicken recipes
I hope you'll love this dish. I think it's the absolute best chicken marsala recipe, but I'm maaaybe a little bit biased. Questions? Let me hear from you below!
Easy Chicken Marsala
- 2 large chicken breasts
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Flour for dredging
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 7 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced fairly thin
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 3/4 cup marsala wine see note
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and trim off any remaining fat. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Coat each piece in flour.
- Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken and sear it for 4-5 minutes/side or until golden. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside (it'll finish cooking in the sauce).
- Add the remaining butter and mushrooms to the skillet and cook them for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.
- Add the minced garlic and marsala wine to the skillet and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cream to the skillet, and then add the chicken back in. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened up a bit. Season with extra salt & pepper if needed. I added a little bit of chopped parsley to finish it off (optional).
- If you have smaller chicken breasts, there's no need to cut them in half lengthwise, but you will need to cook them a bit longer.
- I recommend using either semi-sweet or dry marsala for this recipe. See blog post for more info.
- Chicken is safe to eat when it's reached an internal temperature of 165F. Use an instant read thermometer to test for doneness.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on December 9, 2015. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!
Made this tonight and it was delicious (and easy). The only thing I would do differently next time is to double the sauce, not because there wasn't enough, because its so tasty!
I'm glad you enjoyed it, Dot!! 🙂 I can't get enough sauce either haha.
Robin Baldwin says
I made this the other night and it was a HUGE success! I'm now trying it with steak. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!
Fantastic!! You're very welcome. Love the steak idea!
Scherra Shepperson says
My sauce came out watery. Trying to figure out where I went wrong... I still ate it. I think I'll remove the chicken and simmer it a bit more to see if it'll thicken. Any other suggestions ?
Hi! Yes, I'd reduce it for a bit longer next time. It's not a super thick sauce, but no, it shouldn't be watery. Did you use heavy cream? You could add in a cornstarch slurry if you want it to be really thick, though.
My sauce kept breaking when I added the cream.
The second try I took it off the heat and it still broke. I tried a third time and didn’t add the cream. Just thickened it with corn starch. Not sure what was wrong.
Hi Kathleen! Are you 100% sure you used heavy or whipping cream (minimum 33-36% fat)? That's the #1 reason sauces curdle. I have never had a sauce curdle on me when using that high of a fat percentage, and I make a lot of sauces. I have had sauces with half-and-half curdle on me before, though. A super hot pan can curdle it too, but you did say you took the pan off the heat and it broke. The pan (especially if it was cast iron or something that retains heat) could still have been very hot, though. One thing you could try is not adding the cream straight out of the fridge... the contrast in temperature can be extreme. Let it warm up on the counter a bit, or temper it by spooning a bit of the warm sauce into a bowl then gradually whisking in the cream, then adding the mix into the skillet.
Made this tonight, very delicious and easy to follow! I have yet to find a recipe of yours that we don’t love! Thanks!
Aww so happy to hear that, Natalie! 😀
This recipe was very good. My family now thinks that I’m a gourmet chef.
Excellent!! That's what I like to hear. 😀
Shannon Guyer says
We love this recipe in our house. It’s so easy and soooooo yummy. Thank you !!
You're very welcome, Shannon!!
Charlone Clark says
I always wanted to make this, so I made it, it came out delicious.
That's great to hear! 😀
Absolutely delicious. . I added Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning. Other than for that I followed the recipe.
Excellent!! Thrilled you enjoy it.
Super quick and full of flavor. Seriously faster than Doordash and much cheaper!!!!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! 🙂
Cynthia O says
Hey there! I’m a new cook and it went awesome! I loved it! I used chicken broth instead of the wine and it worked out very good.
Saludos desde México!
Easy and absolutely delicious.
Thank you so much!
Thanks for the recipe, I love it !!!
Easy way explained..
Nutrition facts only need to add
Mushroom is a excellent source of vitamin D
85 g or 2/3 cup have a 50% Daily value
Loved this recipe! But mine looked white like Alfredo how did you get yours brown?
Thank you! Maybe I browned the chicken more than you did? Did you use a non-stick pan? I use cast iron and get a really good sear on it, and then when you deglaze the pan the brown bits go in the sauce and it can make the color a little darker. 🙂
Cheryl Rosen says
Delicious! Can this be made ahead and kept warm in a 9 x 13 serving dish?
Hi! I think that should be fine. Just be careful to warm it on a low heat (could separate and the chicken will dry out).
Gosh this is good! The flavor is very rich and layered. What I would expect in an upscale restaurant. For my taste, I find that I seldom need more seasonings at the end of your recipes. Your recipes that I’ve made are always spot on.
I served this with the Maple Beets and Carrots side recipe and also some angle hair pasta.
I'm so happy to hear that! 🙂 Thanks, Adele!
This was delicious; my picky Italian boyfriend (and my 2 sons) loved it....and that's saying A LOT 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!
Well that is awesome!! 🙂 You're welcome!
Love the simplicity and convenience of this recipe. I enjoy this served over pasta, but needed to stretch the liquid, using chicken broth. I eyeballed the Marsala, spices and heavy cream. The flavor was great. My only problem was thickening, so I added some cornstarch mixture.
I will use this recipe in the future for every time we want Chicken Marsala. I will just have to anticipate a thickening agent. The floured chicken just wasn’t enough. Thank you for posting this easy rand easy to remember recipe..
Happy you enjoyed it, Leila 🙂
This turned our fantastic. I only has sweet Marsala and we still loved it. I used half and half because it was what I had on hand and it was still very silky thick sauce !!! A definite redo.
I'm so glad it worked out! 🙂
Made this tonight and it was very good. Had to go to liquor store to buy the wine because Walmart didn’t have it!!! My hubby ate it all and he doesn’t do that unless he likes something. Picky eater. Now I have to find other Marcella recipes to use up the wine. LOL
Haha so glad he liked it!!
Loretta Fiduccia says
This was the easiest, tasteful, chicken Marcella I ever made.I recommend everyone try this .you can even put it over noodles.
So happy you enjoyed it!! 🙂
Pat McG. says
I made this tonight— omg it’s excellent! And soooo easy! I doubled the recipe so I have enough for another meal. If you make this, you will not be disappointed! The only thing is I moved to a large baking dish and poured sauce over the top and let it finish cooking in the oven because I like to make sure the chicken is cooked through. I wish I knew how to upload the picture I took because it looks amazing!
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Pat!! 🙂 There's no way to upload a photo on my website so no worries!
Really good recipe, second time making it. Has your recipe changed since first posted ?
Thank you! I first published it in 2015, and I believe I did tweak it when I took the new photos and republished the post back in July. 🙂
Love love love it!!
I made the recipe exactly as written and it was wonderful!
This is my second time making this and we love it! I used Colombo Dry Marsala (which I found in the grocery store... Publix). I might have added a touch more garlic as I don’t usually measure my garlic lol. But this is by far my favorite chicken Marsala recipe!
Awesome!! Lol I am the same way with garlic!!
Purchased Marsala cooking wine in the grocery store, big mistake. Too mild in flavor.
Good recipe however, will try again!
Yes, let me know what it's like with the good stuff. 🙂 I'm glad you're giving it another try.
I made this tonight for dinner for the first time. I *HATE* mushrooms so omitted them, but next time will make them on the side for my husband to add in to his dish. I substituted with onions. I also used grocery store Marsala, and again hubby said it was SO VERY GOOD! But of course next time he said he'll venture to the liquor store to get *REAL* Marsala wine and it will be even better!
I bought chicken breast filets which came with 6 (so 3 breasts). I served it over spaghetti so I did double the marsala/cream/garlic to be sure there was enough sauce. I had to add a little more flour to thicken it.
Definitely a keeper, it was so DELISH!!! Thanks again for the great recipes!
Aww I'm so happy that you enjoyed it! 🙂
Today is the first time I ever attempted to make chicken Marsala. This recipe was excellent. I didn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen so I’m thankful that this recipe was quick, simple and delicious.
That's awesome! I'm so happy it worked out for you. Thanks for leaving me a review, Angie!
Excellent! Will put this recipe in my collection!!
Denice Murphy says
Great recipe and easy to. I used half of a roasted chicken to make it faster and used my favorite mushrooms (portabellas). Came out good.
Awesome!! I'm pleased to hear that! 😀
So good and easy! Used Serra Mission Marsala wine. A Sunday dinner the whole family enjoyed. I served it over fresh pasta and green beans.
I'm so happy it was a hit! Thanks for commenting!!
Juri Han says
I’ve never had chicken Marsala and was a bit skeptical about making this dish due to it being so simple and easy. The end result was amazing and I will definitely make this again! Everyone who ate the chicken was amazed by the taste and how great it was. Thank you!!
Well I'm so happy that it was a hit! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
SOOO good. Thank you! I have a couple leftover questions: How long will this last in the fridge? How would you recommend reheating this dish for optimal results? Thank you again!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂 I always err on the side of caution... I'd eat it within 3-4 days for sure. I recommend reheating it on a low heat. If the sauce starts to separate, you may want to add a little more cream or chicken broth.
Heather Brown says
Made this after ordering some good(ish) Chicken Marsala from a not inexpensive neighborhood Italian spot. Both my husband and I liked this better. So delish!! Even my toddler ate a couple of bites. Super easy too - thanks!!!
I'm so happy to hear that!! 🙂
I didn’t have Marsala (though I’ll definitely be making this again so I’ll pick some up). I used a dry white wine and a little chicken bone broth instead and I also caramelized some sweet onion in the pan before adding the mushrooms. This recipe is fantastic and so simple. It was the most tender chicken I have ever prepared. Even my picky 5 year old raved about it. Wonderful!
I'm so happy you were able to adapt it!! And love the onion idea. 🙂
Is this low cholesterol? I have been put on a very strict low cholesterol diet.
Hi, I'm not a trained nutritionist, so I really can't give you advice on that unfortunately. Heavy cream is quite fatty, so I would say this recipe is probably not suitable.
Sooo good! I left out the chicken and replaced it with sliced baby portabellas such a good veggie dish!! Will definitely make it again!
That's awesome!! So glad you were able to successfully adapt it!
Patti Lightman says
This recipe is perfect in every way. Easy to make and delicious to taste ... and it looks just like the attached photo!! This will definitely become a family favorite .. thank you.
I'm so glad to hear that!! Thanks for leaving me a comment, Patti! 🙂
Connie Reeves says
So glad I found this recipe. My dinner was delicious. I will make this again.
This must be the fifth time I have made chicken marsala. Each with a different recipe. THIS one is a keeper. So delicious and creamy. This will be my go to from now on. Served it with rice and a little mozzarella cheese on top!
Oooh that makes me really happy!! Thank you for letting me know. 😀
Becky torres says
Just made this tonight for dinner and It was so delicious!!!!! I’m so excited !!! Thank you for sharing your recipes !!!!! Delicious!!!
You're very welcome!! So happy you enjoyed it, Becky!
Just made this. It was delicious! Marsala is one of my favorites and adding cream to it made it better! I also added some better than bouillon very tasty
I'm so happy to hear that, Michelle! 😀
Love my chicken marsala but have never added cream before. THIS WAS AWESOME! Served over angel hair pasta. This will be my go to marsala recipe from now on!! Thank you!
Aww I am so glad to hear how much you enjoyed it, Bodi!! Thanks for taking the time to write me a comment! XO
THE. BEST! I never tried to make chicken Marsala at home before but given what a hit all your other recipes have been I gave it a try! Glad I did, it was awesome! I used a little less Marsala than you recommend (just personal preference) and used portobello mushrooms instead of crimini. Side of angel hair and dinner was served in less than half an hour!
Yay that makes me so happy! XO
Joann Hunter says
We don’t use alcohol. Is there a substitute for the wine?
Hi Joann... I'll be honest... it's chicken marsala, the marsala is the main flavor... so I really am not sure what else you'd use. It's possible that reduced or no alcohol versions of marsala exist out there, so if you're really set on this recipe, you could do some investigation. Keep in mind the alcohol in wine cooks out when you cook with it. I do have a ton of other chicken recipes you may like to choose from, however: https://www.saltandlavender.com/category/chicken/
This was absolutely delicious! Reminded me of a pasta dish I love at Cheesecake Factory - the pasta da Vinci! Thank you for this awesome recipe which will now be a regular for me!
Ooh that’s awesome!! Thanks for commenting! ♥️🤗
Reisha Holton says
Just tried this tonight because my sweet husband orders Chicken Marsala all the time at restaurants. Now he never wants to go out again! Such an easy recipe with such big results! May repeat for Christmas Eve! Thanks, Natasha!
Aww I’m so happy to hear that! ♥️
Just made this for dinner! It was great. I added some sherry with the Marsala wine and it really added to the flavor.
Great idea with the sherry! So pleased you enjoyed the recipe.
This looks amazing and I love Chicken and Veal Marsala. I have just made a grocery list for these ingredients and plan to try it tonight! Thank you for sharing your creativity with us.
Thanks, Michelle!! I love it with veal as well. Let me know how you like it! 🙂
I had a wonderful recipe for chicken Marsala that I lost. I know it didn’t contain cream, which I cannot eat. You said not to substitute milk or half and half, which I can’t eat either, but do you have any ideas for me? Thanks.
That's a shame! Hmm... I haven't tested it, but maybe you could try adding 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken broth at the same time as you add the marsala. Let it cook down for a little longer prior to adding the chicken. I think it should taste good like that. 🙂
Thanks so much for your prompt reply. Bingo! I think my recipe may have used chicken broth, actually. I will have to try this; it was my son’s favorite!!
You're welcome! Let me know if you try it... I am definitely curious 🙂
Cheryl Terey says
I don't use cream at all but substitute chicken broth instead. It's EXCELLENT and really lightens up the recipe.
Yup, that would definitely be tasty too!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
Chicken Marsala is one meal that Tom and I can never pass up Natasha! And yours looks incredible (as always). We'll be trying soon
Thanks so much!! Let me know if you make it! 🙂
This was soooooo good! I subbed regular flour for almond flour and it worked perfectly. The flavor of the Marsala (we used dry) with the mushrooms and cream was simply decadent. The entire meal came together in minutes and at one point my fiancé said, “I wish I could spoon this sauce into my mouth” lol! It will definitely be part of our regular rotation!
So pleased you liked it, Hilary! Thanks for the almond flour tip! 🙂