You know those chef competitions that are so popular right now (Top Chef, Master Chef, etc)? At some point or another, they are usually asked to prepare their signature dish. Id’ have to say that chicken marsala would be mine. It’s one of the first recipes that I’d ever tackled back in my newlywed days, it was even the first post I made here on the blog. This was the also the first recipe I’d ever tried from Cook’s Illustrated, which quickly became my go-to recipe source. So many good things I associate with this recipe!

Which is why I figured I’d take a new shot for you guys when I made this last week. I’ve probably made this dinner 100 times, and it still never ceases to “wow” us. It’s perfect for company too – impressive, but much of the prep work can be done beforehand, which is great for dinner parties. When browsing through the ingredients list, the sweet Marsala might throw you a bit. Who wants a sweet wine in their savory sauce, right? But trust me, the sweetness is balanced out with plenty of fresh lemon juice. I’ve tried it with dry Marsala as well, but it’s just not as flavorful – sweet definitely wins out. If you can’t find sweet Marsala, use dry but omit most of the lemon juice. Paired with a pile of fettuccine and a nice green salad, this is truly a perfect meal!


  1. Posted August 22, 2012 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    I adore chicken Marsala, I remember feeling so fancy when I ordered it at our local pizza place.

  2. aria
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    No joke – this is the only recipe I use. I guess I saved your first blog post way back when and after trying a few others, I always go back to yours. It’s delicious! and now it must go on the menu…

  3. Posted August 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    Marsala is one of my favorites but I haven’t made it in years! I wanna try this recipe!

  4. kellyann preston
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    I love chicken marsala and make a lot, but never heard of tomato paste being used. I will try it tho.thanks!

  5. Lorraine Marchese
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    This is one of the best dishes that I have made,used to work at an Italian Resturant s Manager and would get this at least once a week

  6. Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    I wish my husband liked mushrooms so I could make this for our family!

    • Laura
      Posted August 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

      Branny, this dish has converted several mushroom haters. It’s good enough, he won’t complain about having to pick them out!

  7. Posted August 31, 2012 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been wanting to get a marsala wine, and your post just makes me craving for it even more!

  8. Terri A.
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    I made this for someone tonight and we LOVED it. It’ll be my go-to recipe for Chicken Marsala from now on.

  9. Jenn
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    Do you return the bacon to the dish or do you just use it to render the fat for flavor?

    • Laura
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

      Jen, return it to the dish. Thanks for catching that!

  10. S
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    Could you please post modifications to the ingredients to ensure it’s considered a “clean eating” entree? I’m new to this concept of eating clean but would love to incorporate most ingredients. Thanks!

    • Laura
      Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

      I’m not sure what you mean. Feel free to modify the recipe however you see fit for your dietary needs! This is a “once in a while” dish for us, but the calories are worth it.

  11. christina
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    What do u do with the butter?

    • Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

      It is whisked into the sauce at the last minute of cooking to make it nice and glossy.

  12. Susan Stonick
    Posted February 17, 2013 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    This was wonderful. I made tonight. The sauce is excellent and will have to double next time! Only things I did different is used baby portabello and white mushrooms and reduced the butter in half.

    • Posted February 18, 2013 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

      Susan, I love using cremini (Baby Bellas) mushrooms too – I think they have more flavor than the standard button, but I have a hard time finding them here in my small town. So glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Stephen
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    This has been my go-to recipe for chicken marsala over the past year and half – I even shared this gem with my buddy for him to cook for his date. I write this post as I will be making this dish again tonight and cannot wait! Thanks for a great meal!

    • Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

      You are more than welcome, Stephen – thanks for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. This is one of my very favorite recipes too! 🙂

  14. Posted February 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    Hope to try this for a Valentine’s Day dinner. We don’t eat bacon. Is there a substitute, or should I just add a bit more olive oil? Turkey bacon just doesn’t seem like it would work.

    • Posted February 11, 2014 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

      Yes, the point of using the bacon is to render the fat to heighten the smoke point for the oil to cook the mushrooms. So just sub with a little extra olive oil or vegetable oil, and it should be fine!

  15. Rebecca
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    Hi Laura, I want to make this for a first communion. Is there any way to make ahead to a certain point and finish right before serving? Have you tried making this for a crowd? Thanks!

    • Posted April 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

      I think that you could probably cook the chicken, then the sauce, and refrigerate separately. Then combine and reheat right before serving. I’ve made it for a group of 6, but that’s about the largest I’ve tried!

  16. Rosa
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    Made this last night and it was delicious! However, not sure if I used a really large lemon, but I thought the dish had a lemon taste a bit stronger than I usually like. Do u recommend a specific amount for the lemon juice?

    • Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

      About 2 Tbsp or so, Rosa. I like to start there and then add more to taste to balance out the sweetness of the marsala. Glad you enjoyed it, it’s one of my favorites!

  17. Marilyn
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    Yum! This was delicious and my boyfriend says it’s definitely a keeper. Had to make a couple of adjustments only because I didn’t have everything on hand. Only had about a half cup left of Marsala so used a red wine to bring it to a cup. I also didn’t have any mushrooms but neither my boyfriend or I love mushrooms so me didn’t miss them. Not sure how much flavor the mushrooms would have added but we loved it as it was!

  18. Posted October 20, 2014 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    This is the first chicken Marsala recipe I’ve seen with bacon. The recipe looks so rich with flavor.

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