This flavourful Creamy Chicken Marsala recipe features chicken scaloppini, sliced cremini mushrooms, Marsala wine, spices and a generous splash of heavy cream. Follow this simple recipe then serve up a perfect weeknight meal the whole family will love. It’s absolutely delicious over pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.
Italian American cuisine is a unique, yet flavourful culinary diaspora. Authentic Italian recipes like Slow Cooked Pappardelle Bolognese become Americanized ‘Spaghetti Bolognese’ and ingredients like tortellini and pesto are featured in new dishes like Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad. The old ways slowly adapt to fit in with a new lifestyle, but the delicious flavours remain.
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Creamy Chicken Marsala
Creamy chicken marsala has been an Italian American dinner favourite for decades, and there’s a good reason why. Its rich flavours come from mushrooms, dry Marsala wine, and heavy cream that are cooked together, making it a treat for the whole family – adults and kids alike!
Original Italian Scaloppine di pollo al Marsala recipes feature briefly sautéed chicken escallops, or scaloppini, in a buttery Marsala wine sauce. However, this Americanized adaptation goes one step further with the addition of heavy whipping cream and mushrooms.
Are you drooling yet? I promise this dish is surprisingly easy to make which makes it ideal for weeknight family meals yet elegant enough for dinner parties and special occasions.
Creamy chicken marsala has a surprisingly long history, believed to have originated in the 19th century and popularized in the early part of the 20th century. This popular dish can now be found on countless menus around the world, proving its staying power over time.
Ingredients in Creamy Chicken Marsala
This chicken recipe contains everyday ingredients that you most likely have on hand or can easily find at your local grocery store. You may or may not have a bottle of Marsala cooking wine in your pantry but now is a great time to buy one. I promise you’ll want to make this recipe over and over again!
For ease of preparation, it’s best to purchase boneless skinless chicken. Either skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs work well in this recipe. Large chicken breasts are a more popular choice because they result in a more visually appealing classic Creamy Chicken Marsala.
For simplicity’s sake, this recipe calls for cremini mushrooms – either brown or white. I consider brown cremini mushrooms preferable to white creminis as they tend to have more flavour. Additionally, you can use your favourite mushroom in this dish. It would be delicious with oyster mushrooms, chopped Portobello mushrooms, and even Morel mushrooms!
For ease of preparation, I suggest you use a heavy cream or whipping cream with a high percentage of butterfat. The high fat content in the cream will allow you to heat it, boil it, and even reduce it to your heart’s content. It won’t break, curdle, or separate.
I prefer the mild flavour of chopped shallots in this creamy recipe. However, you can use very finely diced onions instead of chopped shallots. Just be aware the allium flavour will be more pronounced.
What is Marsala Wine?
Marsala wine is a unique and flavorful fortified wine, originating in Sicily. It has been described as having notes of raisins, dried plums, vanilla and nutmeg, and it is often used to flavour many dishes. On the palate it may be complex and smooth, offering flavors such as honeyed apricots and toasted nuts.
Both commercial Marsala cooking wine and Marsala wine can be used for cooking. While both have a high alcohol content (15-20 % ABV), the alcohol is cooked out of the sauce while it deglazes the pan. Only the lovely, sweet Marsala wine flavour is left behind in this decadent sauce.
This type of wine pairs well with game birds and mushrooms, making it a wonderful accompaniment to heartier meals. Its famous use in Italian American cooking also makes it perfect for more classic comfort dishes such as chicken marsala.
How to Prepare Creamy Chicken Marsala
This chicken marsala recipe is as easy to prepare as spaghetti and meatballs. Preparing and cooking the chicken is the most difficult part of the recipe, but if you can slice or pound chicken and sauté it, then you can make this recipe!
Preparing the Chicken Scaloppini
There are two ways to prepare the chicken scaloppini. If you have thick large chicken breasts, you can use a sharp knife to slice them in half horizontally. Try to slice them into similar thicknesses so that they cook evenly. If there is one side that is thicker than the other, cover the breast with plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound it flat.
Alternatively, you can use the meat mallet method to flatten the whole breast (or thigh) without slicing it beforehand. Start at the thickest part in the middle of the breast and work outward using the flat end of the meat mallet.
Next, pat chicken scaloppini dry with a paper towel then season them with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place the flour in a low bowl or plate. Dredge the seasoned scaloppini in the flour, then lightly remove excess. Set the dredged scaloppini on a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Carefully lower the dredged chicken scaloppini into the hot oil. Allow the contact side to sear and become golden before flipping the scaloppini. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
Making the Marsala Mushroom Sauce
To make the Marsala sauce, melt the butter in the same skillet used for the chicken. Then add chopped shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Next, add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms to the pan. Cook them for another 2-3 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the dry Marsala wine and allow it to simmer for a minute while stirring up any bits that are stuck to the pan. Add the chicken broth and allow it to simmer in the pan over medium heat for a few minutes.
Finally, pour in one cup heavy cream and add the red pepper flakes to the simmering sauce then allow it to cook further – until it starts to thicken.
Putting it all Together
Return the chicken and its accumulated juices to the pan of mushrooms and sauce. Let them simmer together for another 3-5 minutes cook time. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and crushed red pepper flakes.
What to Serve with Creamy Chicken Marsala
This comforting dish is great over angel hair pasta – and fettuccine or penne are especially delicious. For those looking to go beyond classic pasta, mashed potatoes, rice or buttered noodles are absolutely delicious. Try serving it on a bed of wild rice or quinoa for a unique spin on this creamy classic.
The key to a perfect plate of creamy chicken marsala is to pair it with flavourful sides that balance out the richness and acidity of the creamy marsala sauce. Try it with tasty vegetables like roasted asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, or sautéed garlicky spinach. We love it with fresh crusty Italian bread for sopping up all the creamy sauce!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
To store your leftovers, transfer them into an airtight container and place in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Since dairy products are involved, it’s important to consume or freeze the stored leftovers within three or four days for food safety.
When the time comes to reheat your creamy chicken marsala, be sure to use only low heat to prevent the dairy ingredients from separating into a lumpy sauce. Once your cream-based dish reaches the desired temperature (165 F), enjoy!
PS. Leftovers make for an easy, delicious lunch. One of my favorite recipes is grilled cheese sandwiches with creamy chicken and melted Brie, Provolone, or Havarti cheese — the flavour combination is perfect.
If you make this Creamy Chicken Marsala recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts; cut into halves horizontally to make 4 scaloppini
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots; finely chopped
- 8 oz brown cremini mushrooms; sliced
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 3/4 cup Marsala cooking wine
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano; finely grated for serving
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for serving
- Pat chicken scaloppini dry with a paper towel then season them with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Place the flour in a low bowl or plate. Dredge the seasoned scaloppini in the flour, then lightly remove excess.
- Carefully lower the dredged chicken scaloppini into the hot oil. Allow the contact side to sear and become golden before flipping the chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Transfer scaloppini to a plate and set them aside.
- Melt the butter in the same skillet used for the chicken. Then add chopped shallots and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with the Marsala wine for a minute, then add the chicken stock and allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and red pepper flakes to the simmering sauce then allow it to cook further - until it starts to thicken.
- Return the chicken and its juices to the pan of mushrooms and sauce. Let it cook together for another 3-5 minutes.
- Serve the Creamy Marsala Chicken on a bed of pasta/mashed potatoes/rice/noodles and garnish with the chopped parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1006mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 28g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.