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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.

closeup of a skillet with chicken marsala

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 chicken marsala on a marble counter

What you’ll need

  • 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

Pro tip

  • 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.

pan searing chicken and mushrooms in a cast iron skillet

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.

finishing the sauce and adding chicken back into a skillet for chicken marsala

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 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.
chicken marsala on a plate with mashed potatoes and asparagus

Pro tip

Want a standalone recipe for the sauce? Head over to my Easy Marsala Sauce recipe.

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 chicken marsala

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.
a cast iron skillet with chicken marsala

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. Let me hear from you below if you made it! 

closeup of a skillet with chicken marsala
4.96 from 106 votes

Easy Chicken Marsala

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.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced fairly thin
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup marsala wine see note
  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream

Instructions 

  • Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make 4 thinner cutlets. 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).

Notes

  • 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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 428kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 136mg, Sodium: 225mg, Potassium: 704mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 734IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

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!


Hi! I’m Natasha.

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294 Comments

  1. Kathleen says:

    5 stars
    You got me to try this dish, we loved it!

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! I’m so glad to hear it!

  2. Elizabeth Rivera says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and so easy to make! Highly recommend!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much!! 😀

  3. Unhappy chef says:

    Horrible website. The recipe was fine, but so many ads that kept jumping around. You could not get to the recipe every time I went back to see the next step edit pop to the top with more ads and you had to go back and find where you left off, which was frustrating in the middle of cooking. Horrible horrible horrible!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! I actually have a lower ad volume than many websites, and many people say how easy this site is to navigate etc. I know that no one likes ads, but 3 people work on this site full-time and we earn our livings through ads and enable the recipes to be free for you. Have you tried printing a recipe? And I am assuming you’re on your phone vs. a laptop? I am going to keep an eye on the ads and see if they jump around for me and if there’s anything that can be done.

  4. Maureen Galloway says:

    4 stars
    Quick easy, recipe. Very tasty.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks!

  5. Hannah says:

    5 stars
    Tasty and easy to make!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much, Hannah!!

  6. Mary says:

    3 stars
    There was barely enough sauce in the recipe. It needs to be doubled or chicken broth added

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Mary! You could definitely double the sauce next time or add some chicken broth. Sounds like you cooked it down more than intended?

  7. M Mays says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was easy as well as delicious. Can’t wait to make it again.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s lovely to hear!! 😀

  8. Linda says:

    I love this recipe. Was wondering if I cooked it can it be frozen for a later dinner?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Linda! So glad it’s a favorite! See “leftovers & storage” in the blog post.

  9. Angela Turner says:

    I made this for my family…IT WAS AMAZING

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Angela!!

  10. Mikki says:

    Made this tonight-DELICIOUS! Only thing, I kept getting a sweet taste-any thoughts on why?
    Either way though it was fantastic!!!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Mikki! So glad you liked it. Marsala sauce can have a bit of a sweet flavor. Did you by any chance use sweet marsala or semi-sweet marsala?