Chicken Marsala – A Traditional Italian Recipe and Favorite Comfort Food

by Sugar on October 12, 2010 · 74 comments

Chicken Marsala Print

Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite chicken dishes.  It’s a traditional Italian recipe and a comfort food I can’t live without.  I love the mushrooms and the sweet taste of the wine along with the salty prosciutto. I’m sure everyone makes this dish his or her own way, but this is how I do it and everyone seems to love it.

See my “Cook’s Notes” on how to make this ahead of time for an easy dinner party dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds fillet and pounded thin)
  • 1-8 0z. container of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup of flour, for dredging
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices of prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

On a cutting board, fillet each chicken breast and trim off any fat. Place two pieces of chicken at a time between two pieces of parchment paper as seen in photo below. Pound with a flat mallet, until the cutlets are about 1/4-inch thick.  Set aside and repeat until all the chicken is pounded thin. Put some flour in a shallow dish. Season each side of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet lightly on each side with flour.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is nice and hot, brown a few cutlets at a time for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden. Once the chicken is brown, place the pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a rim, or a glass casserole dish. Continue until all the chicken is browned.

Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, sauté for a minute or two until browned. Add the mushrooms, season with a little salt and pepper and sauté until they are nicely browned on each side.  Turn up the heat and pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a minute so the alcohol cooks off. Then add the chicken stock and the butter.  Allow it to cook for a minute or two. Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover with foil and place in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Cook’s Notes:

Entertaining a large crowd:

I love to make chicken Marsala for large parties or family dinner parties. It’s such a yummy treat and everyone seems to love it.  You can easily double or triple the recipe. If I’m having a large dinner party I will usually make things ahead of time and refrigerate them.

You can sauté the chicken, place it in a baking dish or cookie sheet and cover it with foil. Then cook the sauce separately and set aside in a separate bowl. Refrigerate everything and take it out 20 minutes before company arrives. Then preheat your oven, pour sauce over chicken and cook for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Cooking tips:

Filleting and pounding the chicken into thin cutlets is a must for this recipe. When I make chicken people usually ask “how come it’s so tender and you can cut it with a fork?” This is because I fillet it and pound it. If you don’t have a kitchen mallet be sure to pick one up.  You can find them in the supermarket where they have cooking utensils. They usually come in wood or metal.

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Christiana says:

Your recipes look amazing, I have a party coming up in a couple of weeks for about 14 people, and am looking at the chicken marsala or thr chicken a la gloria. They both look easy to make and yum-yum. Just not sure what pasta to pair them with. I was trying to stay away from soaghetti, and maybe go with a baked pasta of sorts. Any suggestions are welcome. It’s been awhile since I’ve had so many people over.

Sugar says:

Hi,

Both are wonderful. You can go with a penne. If you do the Marsala just make triple the sauce so you have enough to cover the pasta. A baked pasta would go well with the marsala too and you can do that ahead of time. Use penne with my simple marinara sauce, some ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella and bake it in the oven. I cook the pasta till it’s still firm, add some sauce and mix in some of the ricotta and the cubed or shredded mozzarella. Top with more sauce and some parmesan cheese. Bake covered in the oven for about 45 min at 350 or until hot and bubbly. You can make the pasta ahead of time and keep it covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Do take it out about an hour before you bake it so it won’t be ice cold when you put it in the oven. I would serve it with a big salad and some garlic bread. Serve it all family style or like a buffet. You can do everything ahead of time so at the end all you need to do is bake the chicken and the pasta. Enjoy :)

mc_janine says:

Well hey there, Sugar. Our plans for an early Sat. Easter dinner fell apart when the still frozen ham had other ideas. With chicken and mushrooms in the house, I turned to your Chicken Marsala recipe and used port and pancetta because that’s what I had. OMG! Your recipe was THE BEST EVER. So thanks for saving my bacon, so to speak.

Sugar says:

Oh I am so glad to hear that. Sorry about the ham but that was quick thinking. LOL! Thanks for the sweet feedback. :)

Tara says:

Hi Sugar,
I’m making this for company this weekend :) I have already made your chicken piccata for them twice so I need to serve them something new! They loves that though!

What type of Marsala wine should I use? Sweet/dry? Type?

Thanks!!!
Tara

Sugar says:

I’m happy to hear they enjoyed it. I use dry but you can use sweet too. Both work great. Have fun cooking and let me know how they like it. :)

Jamie says:

Hi Sugar!
When you say “filet” the chicken breast what exactly do you mean????
I can’t access the pics.
Thanks,
Jamie

Isabel says:

Hi Sugar…Want to make this delectable-looking dish for New Year’s Eve. I happen to have bacon on hand and I was wondering if you have tried making the dish with bacon instead of proscuitto. Please let me know if you think the taste of the dish would be altered too much. I will be making the dish without testing it out first, which I never do, but I trust your judgement and taste buds. Happy New Year!

Sugar says:

Hi I have never used bacon but I’m sure it would taste good but it won’t be like the traditional version. Let me know how you like it. Happy New Year!

Kathy says:

Can veal be used in place of chicken in your marsala dish. Also if made ahead would everything be the same.

Thanks
Kathy

Sugar says:

Yes honey you can use veal just don’t over cook it and make sure you pound it well before you cook it. :) Enjoy

Tanya says:

Hey Sugar,

Thanks for a great recipe just one question. Should there be so little sauce? It seems like not enough and was wondering what I may have done wrong. I tried it out for dinner tonight in practice for a baby shower this weekend that I’m hosting. Thanks

Sugar says:

Tanya,

If you want more sauce just double or tripple the sauce ingredients and you will have more than enough.

Tanya says:

Thanks Sugar. I just wanted to make dire if I do that it won’t take away from the taste! Thank you again

Rita says:

Hi,

Do you use a sweet or dry marsala for the sauce in chicken marsala? Anxious to try this recipe. The chicken picatta recipe is delicous. I made it last night for a dinner party and everyone loved it.

Happy cooking,
Rita

Sugar says:

Rita,

I’m not fussy when it come to which one to use. I have used both. I like the dry but the sweet is good too. It’s up to you.

Enjoy!

Mark J says:

Hi Sugar…I love chicken marsala…will be making this for about 80 people…any suggestions in terms of preparation…if the dinner is on Sunday in the evening…when should I prepare?

Sugar says:

Mark,

I would make the chicken and the sauce Friday or Saturday. Be sure to cook the chicken completely since you are making it in advance. Make extra sauce and refrigerate the chicken and the sauce separately. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before you reheat everything in the oven, just so it isn’t ice cold when you heat everything. It should be great. Enjoy!

P.S. I have some other tips in the questions other people have asked me so read them as well.

Tonya says:

I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it for the first (definitely not the last) time last night. It was amazing. My husband said you could drink the sauce. My sister in law said the chicken was so tender it just melted in your mouth. Thank your or sharing your recipe – it was truly amazing.

Sugar says:

Tonya,

I am so glad you and your family enjoyed this. It is one of our favorites. Be sure to try some of my other recipes. You will probably enjoy my chicken piccata too.

Thanks for the feedback.

Tonya says:

I did try the Chicken Picatta and we love it. I have to call it up every time though – is there a print button I’m missing? Your’s is my go to blog for things I know my husband will love.

Sugar says:

So glad you liked it. You can print all my recipes by going to the bottom of the recipe and clickink on the last icon where you see Sharing is Caring. Let me know if you can’t find it.

cheryl says:

please let me know asap, if i can make chicken marsala ahead of time ,on thursday for a party on sat

Sugar says:

Sure you can. Just cook the chicken completely and make extra sauce and keep it separate. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish covered in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve the chicken. Remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking it in the oven. Top with the sauce and then bake covered with foil until heated through. Remove the foil for a few minutes it you want to brown a little.

Enjoy!

Gail Webster says:

I am planning to make this for six people. How many chicken breasts do I use? I am confused when you say use four in the recipe that is printed—is that whole or half since a half-breast makes two when filleted. Also, I like to have my dinner cooked when my guests arrive so how long can I hold this? It sounds delicious!!

Sugar says:

Yes it’s 4 whole boneless breasts that you start with and then you filet them and follow the recipe. You can easily make this ahead of time and place it in a rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish. I would make extra sauce and leave it on the side. Cover the chicken with foil and allow it to sit for up to 30-40 minutes. If it is going to be longer than that I would refrigerate it. Then remove it from the refrigerator about 15-20 minutes before you want to serve it. Top with extra sauce and place covered in a 350 oven for about 30-40 minutes until heated through.
Enjoy!

Patricia Hynson says:

Sugar,
What side dishes do you serve with your Chicken Marsala?
Thanks for a terrific site and caring responses.
Patricia

Sugar says:

Hi, I like to serve this with pasta or rice and some steamed asparagus or salad. I’m sure no matter what you serve with it everyone will love it.

Enjoy!

Sugar

Giuseppe says:

Sugar,

Fantastic Recipe!! I have been making chichen marsala for a long time and never thought about finishing it off in the oven, I have always placed the chicken back into the pan with the sauce. Using the over is a great way to prepare for larger portions needed for a big family dinner, which I hosted this past Sunday. This dish was the biggest hit, everyone asked for the recipe.

Thanks again Sugar….

Sugar says:

Oh I am so glad it worked out well for you. Thanks for the feedback. It made my day. :)

Sugar

Julie says:

Hi Sugar… I’m making your chicken marsala recipe for my Oscar’s party this Sunday. I know you’re not supposed to try something new on your guests, but I’m going for it. I, too, love to cook and can’t wait to try. I’ve never used a mallot to pound chicken, but it seems very quick. I also love that you give the ideas on how to prepare before so I can enjoy the party. I’ll make angel hair with it.
Don’t know if you’ll get this in time, but when you serve pasta as a side to a large crowd, how do you keep it from clumping up, staying warm, how to present it, etc…?? I am planning on doubling the marsala sauce…. Thanks! excited to try! :)

Sugar says:

Julie,

Hi, I’m sure you are going to love this dish. I don’t think you should serve it with the angle hair. Angle Hair cooks up very quickly and can easily be over cooked. So you may want to go for a slightly larger cut like a thin spaghetti. Slightly thicker but way easier to control for a party. If I were to serve this with the chicken I would cook it al dente so it’s nice and firm and then toss it with some olive oil, a tablespoon or two of butter, and some grated parmesan cheese with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley for color.
Have your pot of water on the stove heating when you put your chicken in the oven. As soon as your chicken is done cooking remove it from the oven and keep in covered so it says warm. Toss in your pasta in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water. It will only cook about 6 minutes, drain immediately and toss with the olive oil, butter, cheese and parsley. Uncover the chicken and everything will be warm and perfect to serve. I would also serve this with a salad and some garlic bread.
I’m sure it will be a hit. Enjoy and keep me posted.

Sugar

Julie says:

Hi Sugar…
It’s the night after the Oscars and I must say….the chicken marsala was a hit! It was so easy! I loved being able to prepare it ahead of time!
I did do pasta, al dente, as you suggested. I actually bought bow-tie, so it would be easier for us to eat around the tv while we were all watching the show. I also served it with asparagus that I baked in the oven with drizzled olive oil. Again, easier to eat while watching, and so good!
It was soooo good! Thank you so much!
In fact, we just had leftovers tonight….I’m not sure if tonight wasn’t even better!
Thanks, again. Julie

Sugar says:

Julie,
Hi honey. I’m so glad you took the time to write me back and let me know how it went. I was thinking about you yesterday. I’m thrilled to hear it went well and yes I think it all tastes better the next day. I’m sure it was super yummy. :)

Thanks again for the feedback. :)

Hugs,

Sugar

Judy says:

Hello Sugar,

I am making your Chicken Marsala and serving 12 people.
I see when you have a boneless chicken breast, you cut
it in half then you pound it…..then cut that in half..
How many people does your receipe feed ?

Sugar says:

Judy,

I usually make one breast for every two people. For 12 I would buy about 7 or 8 whole chicken breasts and filet them in half and then cut those pieces in half. This will probably give you leftovers but if you have a few big eaters you will have enough.

Hope that helps. Oh and let me know how it goes.

Sugar :)

abbey sommer says:

By accident, I mixed the chicken broth in withe the marsala & didn’t add each one separately will that make a difference in the sauce, texture, etc. Can you pls. answer asap as I’m serving it tomorrow evening.

Mant Thanks, Abbey

Sugar says:

Abbey it should be just fine. I like to add them separately but it will all taste good no matter what. Cooking isn’t like baking where you have to be so exact. No stress honey.

Enjoy!

Sugar

abbey sommer says:

Dear Sugar,

I don’t know what happened to the chicken, it was tough. I bought the breasts & sliced them through the middle, pounded them. However, they didn’t seem too thin when I floured & fied them. Could it be that I pounded them on a tempered glass board? Would it have been better to pound them on a wooden board or get the thin breasts. Maybe I overcooked them by 5-10 min. or could it have been that I baked them in a corning wear rimmed dish? The sauce was tasty, I may have preferred it a bit thicker. What are your thoughts? Many thanks, again, I feel so fortunate to have found you. happy & Healthy New Year.

PS-Thanks for getting back to me B/4 I prepared the food yesterday.

Best, Abbey

Sugar says:

Abbey,

I’m not sure why that happened. I make it like this all the time and it comes out super tender. It’s the same method for any chicken cutlet dish that I make. I made chicken parm yesterday for over 30 people and it was so tender I didn’t even need to put out knives. Fileting it, pounding it, frying, then baking should give you a very moist chicken dish. Did you cover it when you baked it? It should be covered so that it sort of steams.

Watch my Piccata video and see if you did it the same way. If I’m making a small serving of chicken marsala I do it all in the frying pan so you can do it that way too. However, if I’m making it for a large crowd like I show in this video, I do it this way.
http://www.cookingwithsugar.com/how-to-make-chicken-piccata-delicious-dinner-party-recipes-and-ideas/

As for the sauce being thicker the flour on the chicken usually thickens the sauce when you do it together in the pan but you can always make any sauce thicker with a half cup chicken stock and a table spoon or two of flour or corn starch. Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work out the first time. Trust me when I tell you that this recipe works you just need to figure out what went wrong.

Happy Cooking!

Sugar

ABBEY SOMMER says:

I had an extra letter in my email, sorry. What vegetable & starch other than pasta do you suggest. Also, if I make ahead when you say store the sauce separately, does that mean w/the mushrooms? Tks. Sugar!

Sugar says:

Abbey,

Yes I do make the sauce with the mushrooms ahead of time. It all depends on when you are going to serve it. If it’s going to be that same night within an hour or two. Cook the chicken completely, make some extra sauce cover them separately and then heat together in the oven before serving. If it’s the day before do the same thing but refrigerate separately covered. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking then back together in the oven until heated through. I like to serve this with asparagus or a salad.

Enjoy!

Sugar

meaghan says:

THANKS Sugar! Can I fillet the chicken the night before I cook it, to save more time?

Sugar says:

Oh yes meaghan I do that all the time. :)

meaghan says:

In addition to above question, I think I answered my own question from a previous reply you left–that you brown and then refrigerate? I have to travel 2 hours with my dish–is it safe for the chicken to travel half cooked? Just put lots of ice or am I asking for trouble?

Sugar says:

Meaghan,

If your making it and traveling like that you will want to brown the chicken enough that it’s cooked through completely. You don’t want it to be partially cooked and sitting out for that long. Cook the chicken, make some extra sauce and then heat it. Put both in a cooler bag with a cold pack and bake in the oven when you arrive to your party. Or, cook the dish completely make some extra sauce and just heat in the oven covered with foil when you arrive. Good luck and enjoy.

Sugar

meaghan says:

Finally a recipe I can make ahead of time! I am making it a day ahead, and will keep the sauce separate. The day before, am I cooking the chicken all the way? or only ‘browning the sides’ and finish cooking the next day’?

Kelly Kruse says:

I am planning on making this for new year’s eve. At what temperature do I reheat the chicken on the day I am going to serve it?

Thanks.

Sugar says:

Kelly,

You can put it in the over at 350 covered. Be sure to keep the sauce separate and then add the sauce right before you put it in the oven. You only need to heat it for about 25-30 minutes or until it’s heated through. The last 5 minutes you can uncover it.

Happy New Year and let me know how it turns out.

Sugar :)

Julia says:

Hi. Great recipie. Would like to make it for christmas Day but curious, if prep everything in the pan on stove and reduce sauce before and let it sit on top of stove with no heat after its’ done can I then heat it for 20 min in oven when guests get there and we are ready to eat it. I’m just afraid that after i reduce the sauce if I don’t serve right away it will get loose again?? Can you provide any suggestions. Thanks.

Sugar says:

Julia,

Hi, thanks for checking out my site. This recipe is so yummy. When I make this for a crowd I actually brown my chicken then set it aside in a rimmed baking pan. I do the sauce separately and usually double it. Set the sauce aside in a bowl and cover the chicken with foil. About an half hour before I’m going to serve this I then pour the sauce over the chicken and put it in the oven covered for about 20 minutes then uncovered for 5 or 10 minutes. I sometimes even do the chicken and the sauce the day before and refrigerate the chicken and the sauce separately. The next day I take everything out of the fridge an hour before I want to bake it so it isn’t ice cold when I put it in the oven. I then add the sauce and bake as I explained above. It’s similar to the way I do my Piccata. You can see that video here.

Have a wonderful Christmas and please let me know how it goes.

Sugar
http://www.cookingwithsugar.com/how-to-make-chicken-piccata-delicious-dinner-party-recipes-and-ideas/

ABBEY SOMMER says:

If I’m not cooking pasta with this dish what do you suggest as a vegetable & starch? Thank you Sugar.

CD says:

Hey Sugar,
Just found your site/recipe, and I am excited about making this dish for
the upcoming holiday. Question: Is the prosciutto necessary, or is there
a good substitute for it? I don’t eat pork. Thanks!

Sugar says:

Hi,

I’m so glad you found my site. No you don’t have to use the prosciutto it just gives it a great flavor. You can leave it out just make sure you add enough salt and pepper. I’m sure you will love it.

Enjoy and keep me posted.

Sugar

Carrie says:

Hi Sugar!!

Carrie says:

Was wanting to know if you could replace the wine in this recipe with anything?

Sugar says:

If you don’t want to use the wine you can just use chicken stock but the flavor will be different. It will be yummy though. Give it a try and enjoy.

Sugar

Glorimar says:

Hola Sugar!

And very happy i find out ur web site. I make this recipie for my boyfriend and he LOVE IT!! He really don’t like red sauces for pasta only Alfredo sauce and when he look the plate he said you know i don’t eat this. After he try he repeat 2 times more!!!! Keep doing a great job. Big kiss from Fort Lauderdale Fl.

Glory ;0)

Sugar says:

Glorimar, I’m so glad you like my marsala recipe. It makes me so happy to see other people enjoying it. Thank you for the kind feedback. Be sure to check out some of the other recipes I have here and tell your friends and family too.

Sugar :)

Tom Fallon says:

Sugar, the Chicken Marsala was superb. I made it for my wife on her birthday. After tasting it she wanted to know where I bought it.” The best Marsala I’ve ever had”, quite a compliment coming from an excellent Italian cook herself. One question – how would I increase the amount of juice (sauce)?

Sugar says:

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that. I enjoy sharing love from my kitchen to others. If you want extra sauce just use 1 and 1/2 of the ingredients minus the chicken or just double up on the other ingredients. I do this when I’m serving it over pasta and it usually gives me enough sauce. Thank you for the feedback. You should also try my Aunt Angelina’s Ricotta and Spinach Pie. That one is easy and Oh so good too. Enjoy!

Nancy says:

Hi Sugar,

I made the chicken marsala for my company last night and it was delicious!!!! I can’t believe the incredible taste and how easy is was to make! Please add more recipes I love trying them out. Every recipe that I have tried has been great and easy, lot’s of flavor!!

Sugar says:

Nancy,

Thank you for the great feedback. It makes me so happy to see other people cooking my recipes. :) I have so many more to add so please keep checking and if you aren’t signed up for my updates be sure to join my email list. Oh and make sure you spread the love and tell other people about my site.

Andria says:

It looks like my husband got to the comment before I did… This was delicious! I doubled up on the sauce and mushrooms so that I could have extra to put over some angel hair pasta. It was perfect, and so easy! Its so nice to be able to cook delicious food!! Thank you! Thank you!

Sugar says:

Yum! I love to have this with pasta. It sounds like you are turning into an amazing cook. Glad you are enjoying my recipes. I love hearing the feedback, so be sure to keep me posted. :)

Mike says:

Sugar,

Andria made this tonight and it was awesome!

Thank You!

Sugar says:

Mike, I’m so glad you liked it. It is one of our favorite dishes. Thanks for the feedback. I love knowing people are using my recipes and enjoying them.

Arlene O says:

Sugar,
I made this dish on Sunday, and it was so delicious. Honestly, I enjoy trying your recipes because I know it will be something delicious, but also something I can actually prepare. Your recipes are simple, and I love the way you break everything down. Just one thing, you need to add mushrooms to the ingredient list. Although they are listed in the recipe, I quickly glance at my phone for the ingredients while I am shopping, and could have missed it. Thanks again for another great recipe.

Sugar says:

I’m so glad you liked it and it was easy to make. Silly me! How could I forget to add the mushrooms to the ingredients list? LOL!! Thanks for pointing that out. I will fit it now.

Janice Ridenour says:

Dear Sugar, thanks for this recipe. My husband LOVES Chicken Marsala and I have never made it before. He always orders it when we go out. This recipe sounds easy and delicious, I can’t wait to try it!!! – Janice :-)

Sugar says:

Janice, It is an easy recipe so be sure to give it a try. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for the feedback.