Creamy chicken marsala is an easy one-pan chicken recipe cooked with mushrooms, cream, and garlic in a mouthwatering marsala wine sauce. You’re going to love this fun spin on an Italian-American favorite!
Why you’ll love it: Get that restaurant-worthy taste right in your own kitchen! This creamy chicken marsala is easy to make and perfect to serve on weeknights.
How long it takes: About 10 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking time.
Equipment you’ll need: This recipe comes together all in one skillet!
The Best Chicken Marsala Recipe
Who else instantly gravitates toward chicken marsala the minute they see it on a menu? If this classic Italian-American dish is one of your favorites, just wait until you see how easy it is to make this creamy chicken marsala at home.
Today I’m sharing how to make chicken marsala that’s so simple yet flavorful, no one will blame you if you want to eat it every night! We love chicken dinners in this house, and I just can’t get enough of this dish. It’s made with tender, juicy chicken that’s pan-fried until golden, and then smothered in a rich, silky Marsala cream sauce with mushrooms.
Whether I’m making this recipe for an easy weeknight dinner, or whipping it up when we entertain, it always hits the spot. A similar recipe that we really love is creamy chicken Stroganoff.
What is Chicken Marsala?
Chicken marsala is thin chicken cutlets that are dredged in flour, pan-fried, and then cooked with mushrooms in a sauce made from dry Marsala, a type of fortified wine. This recipe with heavy cream is an Americanized version of traditional Italian scallopini recipes.
What’s scallopini? Well, there are loads of variations out there. They generally involve chicken, beef, or veal that’s pounded thin and then cooked in wine or lemon sauce (Chicken Piccata is another scallopini recipe).
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
What makes this the best chicken marsala recipe? So many things! To name a few:
- One pan. This velvety chicken marsala comes together in one skillet, making it perfect for weeknight dinners (yes to easy cleanup!).
- Quick and easy. You don’t need fancy ingredients, equipment, or a whole lot of time to make a delicious chicken dinner that the whole family will go wild for.
- Rich and creamy. Traditional chicken marsala doesn’t include cream. This simple addition adds even more richness while making this dish more accessible, IMHO.
The list below might look a little long-ish, but I promise you, these ingredients are easy to come by. You may even have them in your kitchen already! Remember to scroll to the recipe card below the post for the full recipe details:
- Chicken: You’ll need 2 chicken breasts to cut into 4 cutlets, otherwise you can purchase cutlets that are ready to go.
- Flour: The key to golden, crispy pan-fried chicken is to dredge it in a thin layer of flour first. The flour also helps thicken the sauce later on.
- Seasoning: I season my flour with dried oregano and garlic powder, along with salt and pepper to add more flavor to the chicken.
- Olive Oil and Butter: For pan-frying the chicken and sautéing the mushrooms.
- Mushrooms: I like to use sliced Baby Bella mushrooms, but you can use any variety of mushrooms you’d like. Portobello or porcini mushrooms are other good options.
- Garlic: I mince up 4 fresh cloves of garlic. You can adjust the number of cloves depending on how garlicky you’d like the sauce.
- Marsala Wine: This is an Italian fortified wine that lends the sauce its deep, caramelized flavor. For best results, use dry Marsala wine (and not the sweet kind). See below for more details and suggested substitutes.
- Chicken Broth: I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth or stock so that the sauce doesn’t turn out too salted. Vegetable stock will also work.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream turns the traditional marsala wine sauce into something ultra-rich and decadent.
- Thyme: Dried thyme adds another layer of flavor to the cream sauce.
- Parsley and Parmesan: Chopped fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan are optional, for serving.
What Can I Use in Place of Marsala Wine?
If you can’t get your hands on Marsala wine, you can still make a delicious version of this classic dish! Instead of the Marsala wine in this recipe, substitute an equal amount of Madeira wine, port, red vermouth, or dark sherry. In a pinch, use a dry white wine, like pinot grigio or chardonnay, and mix it with a spoonful of brandy.
How to Make Creamy Chicken Marsala
Are you ready to make some dreamy, creamy chicken marsala? Believe me, you’re going to want to serve this recipe with a side of bread (try our easy Dutch oven bread!) to soak up every drop of that sauce. It’s impossible to resist. Let’s get into it!
Prepare and cook the Chicken
First, we’ll prep and brown the chicken. If you’re working with whole chicken breasts, you’ll need to butterfly them. If you bought chicken cutlets, you can skip this first step:
- Butterfly your chicken. Place the chicken breast flat-side-down on a clean cutting board. Hold the chicken in place and, using a sharp knife, slice horizontally through the long side of the breast to create two thin cutlets. Repeat with the second chicken breast.
- Coat the chicken. Next, whisk together your flour and seasonings in a shallow bowl. Dip each chicken cutlet into the flour, coating it lightly on both sides. Save the leftover flour mixture, as you’ll use it to make a roux later on.
- Cook. Fry the floured chicken pieces in a large, hot skillet with oil, until crisp and golden brown (about 3 minutes per side).
Make the Chicken Marsala Sauce
Once all your chicken pieces have browned, move them to a plate tented with foil to keep warm. Now, it’s time to prepare the marsala cream sauce:
- Sauté the mushrooms. In the same pan you used to brown the chicken, melt some butter before adding the sliced mushrooms. Leave them to cook in the butter, stirring occasionally, until tender.
- Add garlic and flour. Next, stir in the garlic and sprinkle in the leftover flour mixture. Let it cook off for a minute or so. Flour combined with the butter creates a “roux” that will help to thicken the sauce.
- Add wine and broth. Lastly, pour in the Marsala wine and stir, allowing the wine to cook off for another minute. Gradually pour in the chicken broth along with the heavy cream, followed by a pinch of dried thyme. Bring the skillet to a low simmer.
Finish Off Your Dish
After 10 minutes or so, your chicken marsala sauce should be thickened and ready for your chicken! All that’s left is to bring everything together:
- Add the chicken. Gently return the chicken cutlets back into the pan, tucking them into the sauce. Leave it to cook for 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve. I love to serve this chicken recipe garnished with chopped fresh parsley and a generous sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan. See below for more serving suggestions!
Tips for Success
You’ll be a chicken marsala pro in no time. In case you need some extra guidance, follow these tips:
- Make sure your chicken is thinly sliced. If your chicken breasts are particularly large, consider pounding the halves with a meat mallet to get them thinner. This will help the chicken cook faster and more evenly.
- Leave the chicken bits in the pan. You don’t need to rinse your skillet between browning the chicken and preparing your mushrooms and sauce. All those browned chicken bits offer tons of extra flavor!
- For a lighter cream sauce, swap in half-and-half in place of heavy cream. Just be careful to not let the sauce boil, as the half-and-half may separate.
- Don’t worry if your sauce looks a bit runny at first. The flour from the chicken will further thicken the sauce once it’s added back into the pan.
What to Serve with Chicken Marsala
Chicken marsala is one of those recipes where you’ll never run out of ways to serve it. Dish it up with a side of fluffy mashed potatoes or polenta (both made in the Instant Pot for extra convenience!). Creamy chicken marsala is a cozy anytime meal, but we especially love it in the cooler months.
This creamy chicken marsala is also incredible served over a bed of tender angel hair pasta, egg noodles, or rice. Pair it with a side of healthy roasted green beans or lemon roasted broccoli. Of course, a side of crusty bread or ciabatta is a must for sopping up the extra sauce! You can even freshen up the meal with a starter of homemade tomato bruschetta or arugula salad.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
This easy chicken recipe tastes just as great in the days after it’s made! Here’s how to store leftovers:
- Fridge. Store any leftover chicken along with the marsala sauce airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. Gently reheat your creamy chicken marsala in a skillet on the stovetop until warmed through.
- Freezer. You can also freeze your leftover cooked chicken for up to 3 months. Defrost your chicken marsala in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Recipes With Marsala
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala
- Slow Cooker Beef Marsala Stew – hearty, rich, and so good!
- Chicken Marsala Pasta – an easy one pan pasta dinner!
- Marsala Roasted Mushrooms
- 1.25 pounds chicken breasts or cutlets (2 breasts or 4 cutlets)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced (or white mushrooms)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup Marsala wine (dry, not sweet)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for serving
- Freshly shredded parmesan for garnishing, optional
- If you purchased chicken breasts, carefully butterfly each one, creating two thin cutlets from each breast. If you purchased cutlets, skip this step.
- Mix flour, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or plate. Coat both sides of each piece of chicken with flour mixture. Reserve the leftover flour mixture.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When the oil is glistening, add chicken. If you can't do this in a single layer, do it in batches. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown, flip, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through. Remove to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan. When butter is melted, add mushrooms, toss to coat with butter, and spread into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, for two minutes. Stir, and continue to cook until browned and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and reserved flour; cook for 1 minute, stirring.
- Add Marsala wine and cook for 1 minute, until thickened.
- Slowly add chicken broth, cream, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and keep at a low simmer. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add chicken back to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve with fresh parsley and parmesan.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, pasta, egg noodles, or polenta.
- Nutrition information is for chicken and sauce, 1 cutlet per serving, and does not include sides.
- Leftover chicken marsala can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.