Chicken marsala is a favorite on Italian menus everywhere and you'll be surprised just how easy this classic recipe is to make at home! Chicken breasts are pounded thin and pan fried until golden-brown then slathered in mushrooms and an incredible marsala wine sauce. It's as delicious as it sounds, and now you can make restaurant-quality chicken marsala from the comfort of your own kitchen!
Easy Chicken Marsala
Chicken marsala is an easy chicken dinner that will satisfy the whole family (as long as everyone loves mushrooms)! Odds are you've had it at your favorite Italian spot, but it's also an incredibly easy dish to replicate at home!
The chicken is coated in a super simple seasoned flour, then pounded thin and pan fried- then you make the marsala sauce and mushrooms in the very same skillet! Anything with less dishes is a winner in my book.
In place of chicken breasts, you could also use chicken tenderloins or cutlets, whatever you prefer. The cutlets will likely not need to be pounded out as they are already thin.
- All-Purpose Flour – ¼ cup.
- Salt & Pepper – ½ teaspoon each combined with the AP flour, plus more as needed.
- Chicken Breast - 1 ½ pounds pounded ¼-inch thick (*see note).
- Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
- Unsalted Butter – 3 tablespoons, divided into a 2 tablespoon portion and 1 tablespoon portion.
- Cremini Mushrooms – Also referred to as ‘baby bellas’. 1 8-ounce package sliced or use button mushrooms.
- Shallot – 1 medium shallot chopped finely (*see note).
- Garlic – 2 cloves, minced.
- Chicken Broth – ⅔ cup.
- Dry Marsala Wine - ⅔ cup.
- Heavy Cream - ⅔ cup.
- Fresh Thyme –2 teaspoons, chopped.
- Fresh Italian Parsley (optional) –2 tablespoons, chopped for garnish.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 How To Make Chicken Marsala
There are a few steps, but once you get going you will see that none of them are difficult. Get out a large skillet, a freezer bag, a meat mallet, a wooden spoon, and some tongs.
Pan Seared Chicken
- Coat the chicken. In a large gallon-sized freezer bag, combine ¼ cup all-purpose flour and ½ a teaspoon of both salt & pepper. Shake the bag to mix, then add the 1 ½ pounds of chicken and shake to coat.
- Heat the pan. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the first 2 tablespoons of butter. Once hot, shake off any excess flour coating on the chicken breasts and place them in the pan.
- Pan fry the chicken. Cook the chicken until golden-brown on the outside and just barely cooked through, about 5 or 6 minutes. Flip the chicken just once, halfway through. Transfer it to a plate or cutting board and set it aside.
- Saute mushrooms. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to your hot pan. Once it has melted, add 8 ounces of mushrooms. Stir frequently until they begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
Combine Sauce, Simmer & Serve
- Make the marsala sauce. Once the mushrooms begin to brown, add 1 medium chopped shallot and 2 cloves worth of minced garlic. Cook for just 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Then add in ⅔ cup chicken broth, ⅔ cup marsala wine, ⅔ cup heavy cream, 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Simmer. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits (or frond) from the bottom of your skillet so it can mix into the sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer gently for 10-15 minutes uncovered, or until the sauce has reduced by half and has started to thicken just slightly.
- Thicken. Place your cooked chicken breasts back in the skillet as well as any juices that have pooled around them while they were sitting. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce has darkened and thickened just a bit more (about 2-3 minutes).
- Serve. Remove the skillet from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley if desired.
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Pound the chicken underneath plastic wrap or inside of a Ziplock bag to keep from making a mess.
- If working with extra large chicken breasts, it is best to slice them in half horizontally (to make cutlets) then pound them to about ¼-inch in thickness so you can make even, flat filets.
- 1 medium shallot should equate to about 3 tablespoons when chopped.
- A stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet will brown best, but non-stick will work also. You just won't have as much of the golden-brown sear on the outside of your chicken.
- Storing: Keep leftover chicken marsala refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat it in the microwave for 2 minutes or so, or on the stovetop over medium heat.
🍗 More Tasty Chicken Dinners!
- Mushroom Swiss Chicken
- Fried Chicken
- Million Dollar Baked Chicken
- Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Baked Parmesan Chicken Wings
- Cream Cheese Chicken
In addition to these wonderfully tasty chicken meals to share with your family, you may love my quick chicken recipes too!
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- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (plus more, to taste)
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breast (pounded ¼-inch thick (*see note), or use chicken tenderloins or chicken cutlets)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter (divided into a 2 tablespoon portion and 1 tablespoon portion)
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms (AKA 'baby bellas', or use white mushrooms, sliced)
- 1 medium shallot (finely chopped- *see note)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- ⅔ cup chicken broth
- ⅔ cup marsala wine (use a dry marsala)
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
- 2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley (optional, chopped for garnish)
- In a large gallon-sized freezer bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper then shake to mix. Add your chicken breasts to the bag and shake until fully coated.¼ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper, 1 ½ lbs chicken breast
- Heat the olive oil and first 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, shake off any excess flour coating on the chicken breasts and place them in the pan.1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Cook the chicken until golden and just barely cooked through, about 5 or 6 minutes, only flipping it once at the halfway point (3 minutes or so). Transfer it to a plate or cutting board and set it aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the hot pan. Once it has melted, add the mushrooms. Stir frequently as the mushrooms cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to brown.8 oz cremini mushrooms
- Once the mushrooms begin to brown, add the shallots and garlic. Cook for just 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, then add in the broth, marsala wine, heavy cream, fresh thyme, and salt & pepper to taste.1 medium shallot, 2 cloves garlic, ⅔ cup chicken broth, ⅔ cup marsala wine, ⅔ cup heavy cream, 2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Use a wooden spoon to scrape the fond (brown bits) from the bottom of the pan so it mixes into the sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and allow it to boil gently, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by half and begins to thicken just slightly (about 10-15 minutes).
- Add the cooked chicken back to your skillet, along with any juices that have seeped out as it was sitting. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the chicken has warmed through and the sauce has thickened a tad more.
- Serve immediately and garnish with freshly chopped Italian parsley, if desired.2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
- Pound the chicken underneath or between sheets of plastic wrap, or inside of a Ziplock bag to keep from making a mess.
- If working with extra large chicken breasts, it is best to slice them in half horizontally then pound them to about ¼-inch in thickness so you can make even, flat filets.
- 1 medium shallot should equate to about 3 tablespoons when chopped.
- A stainless steel pan will brown best, but non-stick will work also. You just won't have as much of the golden-brown sear on the outside of your chicken.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!