Picture this: A gentle breeze rustled through the colorful vineyards of Sicily, where you’re embracing the countryside. Within a small town, nestled between rolling hills, is a rustic kitchen where you can smell sizzling herbs and rich sauces through the air — a culinary heaven. Nonna Maria prepares traditional chicken marsala with sparkling eyes and generations of culinary wisdom, where each ingredient plays a symphony rich and deep.
However, when you return home, you quickly realize how hard it is to get traditional Marsala wine, yet you’re yearning for that comforting home-cooked love of Italian food.
What if I told you, you could make an equally delicious traditional chicken marsala without the wine? Don’t believe me? Let me show you with this delicious recipe!
How To Make Chicken Marsala Without Wine
Navigating through Italian cuisine can be challenging when you’re trying to create the Italian spirit but you either don’t have all the traditional ingredients. However, with a little bit of creativity, you can easily make a substitute that will come very close to the taste.
What You Need for This Classic Italian Recipe
Ingredients for Chicken Marsala
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced – use cremini mushrooms if you can
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup non-alcoholic white wine substitute (see note below)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional, for a creamier sauce)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Lemon juice (optional, for additional acidity)
Non-alcoholic white wine substitution:
- 1/2 cup white grape juice or apple juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
Alternative ingredients if you don’t have something
- Chicken breasts – chicken thighs, chicken cutlets, turkey cutlets, or pork cutlets for a protein substitute
- All-purpose flour – cornstarch, almond flour, chickpea flour for dredging – or a gluten-free flour blend
- Mushrooms – either leave them out completely, or substitute with zucchini, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes for a slightly different flavor profile
- Chicken stock – vegetable broth, beef bone broth, chicken bone broth, or dissolved bouillon cube in hot water
- Heavy cream – light cream, half-and-half, or non-dairy milk with a touch of olive oil or melted butter – for a non-dairy alternative, use coconut cream
- Fresh garlic – garlic powder, garlic flakes, or onion powder
- Olive oil – canola oil, avocado oil, or even better for the sautêing – for a dairy-free option use ghee
- Fresh parsley – dried parsley, fresh basil or fresh chives
- Butter – margarine or ghee
If you don’t have something, get creative!
Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Make Creamy Chicken Marsala
Ready to make it?
Step 1: Season each of the tender chicken breasts with salt and pepper before you dredge it through flour – make sure to coat it evenly and shake off any excess.
Step 2: Use a large skillet and heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side) – remove them and set aside to cool off at room-temperature.
Step 3: Add a bit more olive oil to the same skillet (if needed) and sauté the mushrooms until they’re a bit browned and tender, around 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add fresh garlic and sauté for an additional 1 minute.
Step 5: To prepare the creamy sauce, mix together the ingredients for the white wine substitute and combine with the chicken broth to the pan. Let it simmer and scape up any browned bits from the pan – allow the chicken marsala sauce to slightly reduce over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Step 6 (optional): Add heavy cream to get a creamier sauce and allow it to simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Step 7: Add the butter and stir until it’s melted into the sauce, then adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and a splash of lemon juice (if wanted).
Step 8: Add the chicken back to the pan and coat it with the sauce, then let it simmer for another 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through – sprinkle with fresh parsley before service.
This dish is so versatile as you can serve the chicken marsala over pasta, rice, or even with a side of vegetables – make sure to drizzle some extra sauce over the top!
Tip: Store any leftovers in an airtight container!
Feel free to get as experimental and creative as you want with non-alcoholic wine substitutes!
Note: If you’re using salted chicken broth, be careful with how much extra salt you add. Make sure to taste it first and then adjust it based on that.
How to Make the Sauce Thicker
Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water if needed to make it thicker and creamier if you like!
What to Serve This Classic Recipe with
As mentioned before, you can serve Chicken Marsala with so many different dishes as the rich and savory mushroom sauce pairs amazingly.
Here are some of my favorite options:
- Pasta – Egg noodles, fettuccine, or spaghetti are classic options, where you can even lightly coat them with olive oil, garlic, and parsley.
- Rice – Use a bed of plain or garlic rice to soak up the delicious marsala sauce. Alternatively, you can also use Risotto, especially parmesan risotto for a great combo!
- Potatoes – Mashed potatoes for a creamy base, though roasted or garlic potatoes also make great choices.
- Vegetables – Steamed or roasted vegetables like asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts for a refreshed contrast.
- Bread – Crusty Italian Bread or Garlic bread to add a crunch to your plate
- Salads – Opt in for a simple green salad dressing in a light vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast to the heart chicken marsala.
When you’re choosing a side, consider balancing the hearty, rich, and savory flavor of chicken marsala with something lighter, so it complements one another. So, it could be something starchy to absorb the sauce, like pasta or potatoes, paired with something fresh, like a crisp salad or steamed veggies – enjoy this amazing dish!
Alternative Chicken Marsala Chicken Recipes
Looking for some other alternatives to this classic dish? No worries, I’ve got you!
Chicken Marsala with Wine Sauce Recipe
The traditional italian version of chicken marsala is done with rich marsala wine sauce that you’re reducing in the pan as well. So, instead of using the non-alcoholic mix above, you’d use dry Marsala wine, which is a fortified wine from Sicily as the key ingredient – for a sweeter version, use a sweet Marsala wine.
Here are some wine alternatives:
- Pinot Grigio – light and crisp with green and pear flavors
- Sauvignon Blanc – with bright acidity and light fruitiness that greatly balances the richness of the sauce
- Chardonnay – an unoaked chardonnay can offer brighter and fruitier flavors to blend with the buttery notes
Any of these will make great options for a creamy mushroom marsala wine sauce!
This classic Italian dish features chicken breasts cooked in a zesty lemon and caper sauce, mixed with garlic, lemon juice, capers, and some parsley.
Make creamy Alfredo sauce with butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese poured over chicken and fettuccine for a rich and hearty meal.
Here, the lightly battered chicken breasts are pan-fried and then served with a delicate lemon-butter-wine sauce – honestly, one of my favorite recipes, especially when served over rice!
Cook the chicken with onions, bell peppers, savory mushrooms, and garlic in a hearty tomato sauce and serve it either over pasta or rice – perfect for a date night!
Depending on your mood and available ingredients, any of these alternatives will satisfy that Italian chicken recipe craving!Print