Easy Weeknight Chicken Marsala

Do you remember the first time you tasted a certain meal?

Personally, I feel that our first memories associated with certain ingredients or meals are some of the most cherished.

Overhead vertical shot of a white rectangular ceramic platter of chicken with mushrooms arranged at an angle, with a bowl of penne pasta and a stemless clear glass of red wine in the background, on a light blue and white checked cloth on top of a brown wood surface, printed with orange and white text.

Food, after all, is something that everyone needs to live, so it unites us all, in a way.

That’s why I like to think back to the first time I tried a particular dish, to the people who were there, and to the memories we made.

It’s like baking cookies at Christmastime or making macaroni and cheese as a kid. You make those memories and they are ones that you hold fondly in your heart.

Or maybe that’s just the sappy part of me… Does anyone else out there relate?

Overhead shot of a white ceramic rectangular serving platter of chicken and mushrooms with parsley garnish and brown sauce, next to a bowl of penne pasta and two glasses of red wine, and a small glass dish of chopped fresh green herbs, on a blue and white cloth.

Let’s talk about this particular recipe. Chicken Marsala is a classic Italian dish that I’m sure you’ve heard of, if not tasted, if you’ve ever been to a traditional Italian restaurant.

I happened to be lucky with my first experience with this dish. I tried chicken Marsala for the first time in Italy, on the terrace of a small restaurant.

Vertical overhead shot of a plate of chicken marsala with penne pasta, with serving platters of more protein and macaroni, two stemless glasses of red wine, and a fork and a knife, on a light blue and white cloth, on top of a brown wood surface.

We were celebrating my twenty-first birthday, and someone at the table had ordered it. Up until that point, I’d always been wary of the dish because I was not a fan of eating mushrooms.

Wow, did my entire world view on mushrooms change once I tasted a bite of this dish! It was warm and bold, while being comforting and smooth in flavor. Every mouthful was like a dream, and it was at that moment that I started to change my mind about mushrooms.

Overhead shot of a rectangular white ceramic serving dish of chicken marsala, on a light blue and white cloth table runner on top of a wood surface with a stemless glass of wine and a white bowl of penne pasta, beside a pair of metal serving tongs.

I am sure you can tell by now that this is not just any old mushroom dish. The mushrooms are cooked until they are supple and soft, and browned to make them full of rich and intense flavor.

When you pair these with the Marsala wine and some chicken stock, the flavor of the sauce becomes layered and builds in intensity.

This is what makes it perfect for pouring over thinly sliced pieces of chicken that have been cooked until golden brown. The outside is lightly dredged in flour so it has a slight crispness and crunch to it.

Oblique shot of a white plate, rectangular serving platter, and round serving dish of chicken with mushrooms and penne pasta, on a light blue and white checked cloth with two stemless glasses of wine, on a wood service, with metal and black plastic tongs.

You can serve this dish with a variety of sides (I’ll describe a few favorites at the end of this article – keep reading!) and it makes for such an easy meal.

The whole dish comes together in an hour, which might seem like a lot of time for a weeknight meal. However, when it comes to the level of flavor that you’re able develop with just a few ingredients, putting in an hour of work to make the meal is oh-so-worth it.

You need time for those mushrooms to cook and for the sauce to come together, because it truly is the star of the show.

A forkful of chicken marsala and penne pasta is being held up to the camera, with more on a plate in shallow focus in the background, on a blue and white cloth with a stemless glass of red wine and a knife.

This also makes a very special meal to serve up for a simple weeknight dinner party, or a birthday celebration. The recipe serves four people, but it can easily be scaled up for additional guests as needed.

People will think you slaved over the stove all day! You don’t need to tell them that really, it only took an hour.

Print
A white rectangular serving platter of homemade chicken marsala with mushrooms and parsley, on a blue and white cloth with a small clear glass square dish of chopped fresh herbs, a stemless glass of red wine, and white bowl of penne, with silver metal and black plastic tongs, on a wood surface.

Easy Weeknight Chicken Marsala


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Your weekly dinner rotation needs to include the best Easy Weeknight Chicken Marsala recipe. This elegant meal is surprisingly easy to make.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 45 lbs)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (or cornstarch for gluten-free)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 12 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (or dairy-free margarine)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Trim the fat off the chicken breasts. Slice in half as though butterflying them, but cut all the way through to separate each breast into two thin pieces. Place the halves between two large pieces of plastic wrap, and pound so they are thin and even.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides, to taste. Let sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Combine flour or cornstarch with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Dredge each chicken piece lightly on both sides and gently shake off the excess.
  5. Place chicken into skillet and cook about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on a serving platter.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Cook until browned and the moisture has evaporated, flipping occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour in the Marsala and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits of fond on the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until reduced slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Stir, and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in the butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Pour sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.
  10. Serve over mashed potatoes or pasta with plenty of sauce.

  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: chicken marsala, marsala wine, mushrooms, entree

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep, Chop, and Measure

Get out a sturdy cutting board, and your favorite chef’s knife.

Trim the fat off the whole chicken breasts and slice the breasts in half to create two thin pieces.

A chicken breast cut in half and arranged on a white plastic cutting board with a serrated knife with a black handle, on a wood surface.

Place the chicken breast halves between plastic wrap and pound thinly, so they are even. You can use a meat tenderizer for this, or even a rolling pin.

A butterflied chicken breast under plastic wrap, on a white and black plastic cutting board with a metal meat mallet to the right, on a wood surface.

Season with salt and pepper on both sides of each piece, then set aside let sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes.

Wash the mushrooms, remove the stems, and slice them.

Overhead shot of two square glass bowls of butter and minced parsley, two round glass bowls of marsala wine and chicken broth, and a small stainless steel bowl of sliced crimini muchrooms, on a wood surface.

Remove the stems and chop the parsley until you have a total of 2 tablespoons.

Measure all remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list. Make sure you are using dry Marsala rather than sweet for this recipe, since it’s a nice complement to savory dishes.

Step 2 – Cook

When you’re ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

A round glass bowl of flour beside a square glass bowl of salt and pepper, on a wood surface.

Stir together your flour or cornstarch with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a shallow bowl, or use a small bowl and then transfer it to a plate.

A piece of boneless, skinless chicken breast on a black plate of flour, on a striped beige and brown wood surface.

Dredge each piece of chicken lightly on both sides.

Chicken breasts dredged in flour, cooking in a nonstick frying pan, on a brown wood surface.

When the oil is hot, add chicken and cook for 4 minutes on each side. The meat should be cooked through and lightly browned.

Three pieces of browned chicken breast in a nonstick frying pan on a wood surface.

Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer it to a serving platter.

Browned chicken breast coated in a light flour mixture, on a rectangular white ceramic serving platter, on a striped beige and brown wood surface.

Cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm.

Step 3 – Make Sauce and Serve

Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and season them with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until they are browned and the moisture has evaporated. This will take about 5 minutes.

Sauteed sliced crimini mushrooms in a large nonstick frying pan, on a brown striped wood surface.

Pour in the Marsala to deglaze the pan, and bring it to a boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits of flavorful fond from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has reduced slightly, about 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Let the sauce reduce by half, continuing to cook for about 5 minutes.

Sauteed sliced mushroom in a large nonstick frying pan with chicken broth and marsala wine, on a wood surface.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter to enrich the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

A white rectangular serving platter of homemade chicken marsala with mushrooms and parsley, on a blue and white cloth with a small clear glass square dish of chopped fresh herbs, a stemless glass of red wine, and white bowl of penne, with silver metal and black plastic tongs, on a wood surface.

Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately with mashed potatoes or pasta.

What Sides Make the Perfect Pairing with This Dish?

I recommend serving chicken Marsala with your favorite kind of pasta, or roasted potatoes. Penne is my personal favorite, but you can also use spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, or any other type that you prefer.

If you are making roasted potatoes, I prefer russets or golden varieties. Mashed is another nice option. You can even serve this dish with brown or white rice, if that’s your favorite starchy side.

A black and white patterned plate of homemade chicken marsala and penne pasta, with a fork and knife, a glass of wine, and a bowl of penne on a light blue and white cloth on top of a wood surface.

Finally, don’t forget the vegetables! In addition to the mushrooms, I like a nice green salad, easy roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or green beans.

If you are looking for more weeknight dinners to whip up this week, look no further than these delicious recipes:

What will you serve this dish alongside? Will you pull out the recipe on a busy weeknight, or save it for a special occasion? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you’ve tried it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 14, 2012. Last updated: May 7, 2019 at 19:55 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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