Chicken Marsala


This Italian dish prepared with chicken cutlets, mushrooms and Marsala wine belongs on your table.

Chicken Marsala

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Amelia Rampe

Total Time:
30 mins

Chicken Marsala has roots in Marsala, Sicily. The dish features thinly sliced chicken, Marsala wine, and mushrooms. It’s an easy dish that comes together in less than an hour, making it an elegant addition to your weeknight repertoire.

It is said that this dish originated when Marie Antoinette’s sister, Queen Maria Carolina of Sicily and Naples, visited Sicily and brought along French chefs, because she felt the cuisine of the region was not good enough for her court. Her chefs combined the French technique of using butter and shallots to create a pan sauce with the local wine to create Chicken Marsala.

RELATED: Why You Should Drink Marsala, Not Just Cook with It

How to Make Chicken Marsala

Just a few ingredients come together to prepare this dish. Start by cooking cremini mushrooms in butter until the mushrooms release their liquids and become golden and tender. Then, lightly coat thinly-sliced chicken breasts in seasoned all-purpose flour — the flour helps the chicken brown while it cooks — and sear the chicken in a skillet with olive oil. Next, build the sauce by cooking chopped shallots with Marsala wine. Be sure to scrape up any fond (the browned bits) left in the skillet to help build the flavor of the sauce. Chicken stock and fresh rosemary complete the sauce and give it a lovely herbaceous flavor. Thicken the sauce with butter, then return the chicken to the rich wine sauce.

What to Serve With Chicken Marsala

The simplicity of Chicken Marsala means it pairs well with light pasta dishes. Try serving it alongside Creamy Lemon Pasta, Cacio e Pepe, or this Pasta with Pumpkin Browned Butter Sauce. Complete the meal with a bright, fresh Italian-style Salad.

RELATED: The Best Pasta Cookbooks for Home Cooks, Recommended by the Pros


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms

  • 4 six-ounce thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they are golden brown on the edges. Remove mushrooms from skillet and set aside.

  2. Mix salt, pepper and flour. Dredge chicken breast in flour, shaking off any excess flour.

  3. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium. When oil is hot but not smoking, add dredged chicken breasts and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove cutlets from skillet and set aside.

  4. Add chopped shallots to skillet and cook until transparent, about 30 seconds.

  5. Add Marsala to skillet and reduce until just a small amount is left to coat the bottom of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.

  6. Add stock and rosemary to skillet and reduce sauce by half, about 5 minutes.

  7. Whisk the remaining tablespoon of butter into sauce and add mushrooms.

  8. Return chicken cutlets and coat them with the sauce. Continue cooking over low flame until sauce is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.

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