Healthier Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala
rudisill / Getty Images
Total Time: 30 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Servings: 4

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

255 calories
14g fat
4g carbs
27g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 255
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 536mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 27g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 457mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Chicken Marsala is a chicken and mushroom dish made with a wine reduction sauce. The wine used is a popular dessert wine from the Sicilian city of Marsala. The dish originated in the late 1800s with families living in Italy, but as restaurants picked up on the easy-to-make dish, Americans took notice, and it is now popular in the United States.

Chicken Marsala gets much of its flavor from savory mushrooms. Both the mushrooms and the wine provide antioxidants that can help fight cell damage and provide other health benefits. Some studies even show that consuming mushrooms may help to slow age-related cognitive decline.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup crimini or porcini mushroom slices
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 2 tbsps minced Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or chicken bouillon equivalent)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. If desired, pound chicken between two pieces of wax paper or plastic (use anything from an old wine bottle to a small heavy pot for this). Season chicken with salt and pepper if you prefer.

  2. Heat oil in a skillet and add chicken. Pan fry chicken for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once until done. Remove, and cover with foil to keep warm.

  3. Add onion and mushrooms to the pan (add a little more oil if needed), cook until onion is translucent and mushrooms are soft (approximately 5 minutes).

  4. Add wine to pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. At this point, judge the amount of liquid for sauce for chicken. If you need more, add a bit of broth. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  6. Pour vegetables and sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with parsley.

Variations and Substitutions

You don't have to use whole chicken breasts in chicken Marsala. Some people use chicken tenderloins which cook a little bit faster and are less expensive. You can also use veal to make veal Marsala, another popular dish on some Italian restaurant menus.

When choosing a wine, be sure to use dry (not sweet) Marsala wine to get the savory taste that the dish is known for. If you don't have Marsala wine, you can also use Madeira (another Italian wine) or a combination of a dry white wine and brandy. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, try using balsamic vinegar.

Lastly, consider being adventurous by trying different types of mushrooms. Many cooks use shiitake mushrooms, or you can simply use sliced button mushrooms as well.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • You can sprinkle a small amount of flour over the chicken to help in browning the meat. You can also cook the chicken in advance and make the sauce later to save time.
  • Be sure to use proper food safety techniques when cooking with poultry. Thoroughly clean hands, utensils, and surfaces after handling raw chicken. Heat to an internal temperature of 165F.
  • Serve chicken Marsala with a side dish such as polenta, rice, or egg noodles.
  • Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Snopek L, Mlcek J, Sochorova L, et al. Contribution of red wine consumption to human health protectionMolecules. 2018;23(7):1684. doi:10.3390/molecules23071684

  2. Kalaras MD, Richie JP, Calcagnotto A, Beelman RB. Mushrooms: A rich source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione. Food Chem. 2017;233:429-433. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.04.109

  3. Feng L, Cheah IK, Ng MM, et al. The association between mushroom consumption and mild cognitive impairment: A community-based cross-sectional study in Singapore. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;68(1):197-203. doi:10.3233/jad-180959