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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. Lynn Kasper says:

    Bought your cookbook…and it’s my all-time favorite! I have never had one cookbook contain so many recipes my family loves! But for company, i want something made ahead…can this recipe be reheated in a crovkpot on low?

    I hope you will lend your amazing culinary talents to some make ahead dishes in the future. I will be first in line to buy that cookbook. Love, love, love every dish so far!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Lynn!! I’m thrilled you’re enjoying the cookbook! 😀 Thanks for letting me know! I think you could reheat this one in the slow cooker on low, but I would probably do a test run first as cream sauces can be a bit finicky and separate when reheated, and chicken breasts are prone to drying out. It really depends how long you’re planning on having it sit in the crockpot too. I actually do have quite a few recipes on here with make ahead tips such as my baked ziti: https://bit.ly/4bLdDeJ

  2. Tracey Godard says:

    Made it for a friend last night and we both loved it. I added a few chopped shallots and it was delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!

  3. Nerissa Gatungay says:

    5 stars
    Just made my chicken marsala because I really found Marsala wine from the grocery store. It’s very appetizing; also a great pair for corn on a cob. I give myself two thumbs up 👍

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! Thank you!

      1. Wendy Oliveri says:

        5 stars
        Made this for my family who absolutely loved it. It’s my new go to family favorite. Thank you , ❤️😋

        1. Natasha says:

          You are very welcome, Wendy!

  4. LauraM says:

    5 stars
    I absolutely love this chicken Marsala recipe! It’s my fav now. Easy to make and tastes absolutely amazing!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome! Thanks, Laura!

    2. Sandy says:

      5 stars
      Delicious and super Easy Recipe!!! prepare it yesterday for Dinner time…I love it….thank you so much! For the recipe.
      I totally recommend it 👌

      1. Natasha says:

        You are very welcome, Sandy!

  5. Jocelyn says:

    My sauce came out curdled …. What did I do wrong ? Tasted great though!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Jocelyn!! Did you use at least 33% fat cream or something lighter like half-and-half? That’s the usual culprit when a sauce curdles. It’s also possible you put it in really cold straight from the fridge, and the shock of the temperature difference into a super hot skillet curdled it. I like to let the cream sit on the counter for a bit after I measure it out to take the cold edge off. It’s also a good idea not to boil the heck out of cream. I will let it bubble a bit, but a “furious” boil can curdle it too.

  6. Dione says:

    5 stars
    Great flavor and so easy to make! I will double the sauce next time I make. So good!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks so much, Dione! 😀

  7. Lori says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Used it several times and easy to make

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome! Thank you, Lori!

  8. Dori says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Dori!!

  9. Patty says:

    I made this recipe last evening and it was the best chicken Marsala I have ever had. I will absolutely make again! I made the chicken Florentine last week and it was delicious. Your recipes are by far the best and easy for a new cooker like me.
    I am trying the scrimp scampi next 😋
    Thank you,

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s so nice to hear!! 😀 Thanks so much, Patty!

  10. Pam Burnham says:

    Hello, I’ve made this for myself and husband. We both loved it. I want to make for a family dinner party of 10. Can I make this earlier in the day and just heat up? Don’t want to be doing too much cooking when they are here,
    Thanks

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Pam! So glad it’s a favorite! Yes, I’d reheat slowly over a low heat to ensure that the chicken doesn’t dry out and the sauce doesn’t separate.