Chicken Marsala, But Make It Pasta!
Rich, thick, and creamy, this chicken marsala pasta is cozy comfort food in a bowl. If you are familiar with the classic Italian dish, chicken marsala, you already know that this recipe is packed with flavor.
The key to making a good marsala at home? It’s all about that marsala cooking wine.
What is marsala wine? Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily, usually supplemented with a distilled spirit, such as brandy. It’s similar in flavor to Madeira. You’ll see marsala labeled as either sweet or dry. We’re using dry marsala wine in this recipe. Sweet marsala is typically reserved for desserts!
Is there a marsala substitute? While nothing is quite the same as using marsala wine to make chicken marsala, you can use madeira wine as a substitute in a pinch! It’s not the exact same flavor, but it’s the next best thing.
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Ingredients For Chicken Marsala Pasta
- Chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts: Cut into small, bite size pieces, about 1 ½” each
- All-purpose flour: For dredging the chicken to help it brown
- Dried oregano: To season the chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: To season all ingredients
- Unsalted butter and olive oil
- White button mushrooms: About 1 lb of mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
- Shallots: Thinly sliced; can substitute with 1 medium onion
- Dry marsala cooking wine, sherry vinegar, and balsamic vinegar: This is the same marsala wine mixture we use in our stuffed chicken marsala recipe, it is so good! If you don’t have sherry vinegar, you can substitute with brandy or white wine. Chicken broth, while not as flavorful, will also work!
- Pasta: Use any long, flat pasta. Linguine, fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle are great!
- Parmigiano Reggiano: We love to sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top before serving
- Fresh parsley: Adds a bright, vibrant citrus flavor that nicely rounds out the dish
Some marsala recipes call for the addition of heavy cream. While ours does not, feel free to add 2-3 Tbsp right at the end (when you’re stirring in the cooked pasta) to make this more of a creamy chicken marsala pasta.
How To Make Chicken Marsala Pasta At Home
Dredge the chicken! Whether you use chicken thighs or chicken breasts, cut them up into small pieces (they’ll cook quicker and you won’t need a knife to slice!), then coat in flour seasoned with dried oregano, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Make sure to shake off an excess flour, then set aside.
This is when you should get a large pot of water boiling for some pasta. Make sure to season it generously with Kosher salt, then cook according to package instructions to al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve at least 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid! This will help to thicken the sauce later.
Melt a few tablespoons of butter and olive oil (butter for flavor, olive oil for higher smoke point) in a large skillet over medium-high heat — we’re using our favorite 3.5-Qt Staub Cast Iron Braiser. Add the seasoned chicken, then cook, browning on all sides. Transfer chicken with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
Next, sauté the mushrooms! Add sliced mushrooms and shallot to the hot pan, then give it a good stir. Let the veggies cook until tender and the mushrooms begin to take on a golden brown color, about 4-5 minutes undisturbed. Stir again, then let them cook a few more minutes.
Make the chicken marsala sauce. Pour in the marsala wine, sherry vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil of high heat, then reduce to a simmer and allow to thicken, about 2-3 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan to finish cooking. Add the cooked, drained pasta, then pour in about ¼ cup reserved pasta water (to start, you can always add more!). Toss it all together, then sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and garnish with chopped parsley.
Best Chicken Marsala Sides
There is no shame in cozying up on the couch with a big bowl (or two!) of chicken marsala pasta, a glass of wine, and nothing else. Period, the end. However, if you insist on something green, we’ve got you covered with these easy chicken marsala sides!
Alternatively, if you’re wanting to serve this chicken marsala recipe to someone who follows a gluten-free diet, you can easily serve over white rice or even a fluffy baked potato.
FAQs + Tips!
- Can I use other types of mushrooms? Yes! Baby cremini mushrooms or thinly sliced shiitakes also work well. You can even mix and match with a few ounces of each!
- Can this pasta be made ahead of time? We actually think that most pastas taste better the next day. So yes, you can absolutely make this the day before, then store in a fridge and reheat the next day. To reheat, place everything in a skillet, then heat slowly over medium heat with a splash of water, chicken stock, white wine, or heavy cream. You want to add enough liquid to help loosen it up and bring it back to life. As always, finish with additional freshly grated Parmesan and some chopped parsley!
- What type of wine would you serve with chicken marsala pasta? For a red, we’d pair it with Dolcetto or Pinot Noir. If you’re leaning white, try an unoaked Chardonnay or Viognier. A Provence rosé would be fantastic too!
With a sauce this deeply flavored and luscious, you’ll want to make this again and again. It’s particularly delicious on a cool winter evening. You’re going to love this!
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More Pasta Recipes To Try!
- Caramelized Shallot Pasta
- Lemon Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Scallops
- Spicy Crab Pasta
- Pappardelle With Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil Cream Sauce
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
Chicken Marsala Pasta
- Large skillet
- Large pot for cooking pasta
- 1 lb pappardelle or other long, flat pasta
- 2 ½ – 3 lbs chicken thighs boneless, skinless — about 6 thighs (can use chicken breasts instead)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt divided, plus more for cooking pasta
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 2 pints white button mushrooms stems removed, caps thinly sliced
- 2 medium shallots thinly sliced
- ¾ cup dry marsala cooking wine
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped, plus more for serving
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, then season generously with about 2 Tbsp Kosher salt. Add pasta, then cook according to package directions, until al dente. Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside.
- Dredge the chicken. Cut chicken thighs into roughly 1" pieces, then place in a large bowl. To this, add ¼ cup flour, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp Kosher salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Mix well to thoroughly coat the chicken on all sides.
- Brown the chicken. Heat a large skillet or braiser over medium-high heat, then add 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 Tbsp unsalted butter. Add seasoned chicken, then cook for 3-5 minutes undisturbed. Stir well, then cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. Transfer chicken to a large plate.
- Cook the mushrooms. Add another 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or butter), then add sliced mushrooms. Cook 3-4 minutes undisturbed — this allows them to take turn golden brown. Stir, then cook an additional 3-4 minutes until evenly browned. Add sliced shallots, season with remaining ½ tsp Kosher salt, then stir and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes more.
- Make the chicken marsala sauce. Pour in ¾ cup marsala wine, ¼ cup sherry vinegar, and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. Use a spatula to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the skillet. Return the chicken (and any drippings) to the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Allow sauce to reduce and chicken to finish cooking through, about 3 minutes.
- Add the pasta. Add cooked pasta to the pan, then pour in about ½ cup reserved pasta water. Grate ¼ cup Parmigiano Regianno cheese on top, then sprinkle with 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If you want more of a sauce, add additional reserved pasta water. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese and freshly grated black pepper.