Creamy Chicken Marsala

So let me start by saying I am well aware of the fact that chicken marsala is usually made with chicken, marsala wine and…mushrooms.  You may have noticed that there are no mushrooms to be found anywhere on this here blog.  Nope.  Not a mushroom.  And that’s because I just don’t like mushrooms…never have, never will, despite my mother trying to sneak them into various things in an effort to show me that maybe I really DO like mushrooms.  I don’t – sorry, Mom!  So what’s a girl to do when she really wants to make chicken marsala but really doesn’t like mushrooms?

Well, she swaps in bacon for the mushrooms, of course. In this case pancetta, which is a lovely Italian form of bacon (although if you need to, you could definitely substitute thick cut bacon for the pancetta and it will still be all kinds of wonderful).

And since I was basically throwing the classic chicken marsala recipe out the window I decided to make things even more decadent and add a little cream with my pancetta and my marsala to make things even more interesting.  But I’m getting ahead of myself here…first you need to start with a couple of chicken breasts.  Pound ’em nice and thin…my favorite way to get the trials and tribulations of the day out of the way.

Not you.  Never you.  Well, except for your unstoppable habit of tackling any guest who walks through our door with 70 pounds of enthusiastic hound dog welcoming. That would definitely be a trial and a tribulation. But aside from that.

Now get out your handy skillet and cook the pancetta in some olive oil for a few minutes until it is just a little crispy and browned, and then scoop it out.  Dunk your chicken in some seasoned flour and put them in the skillet for about four minutes per side until them are cooked and golden.  Take them out and get ready to make a sauce that is going to rock your world.

Pour in your Marsala wine and stir all those delicious chicken bits that are stuck on the bottom of your skillet.  Simmer it for about a minute and then add your cream and simmer that for another two minutes.  Now pop your chicken and pancetta back into the pan, turn the chicken over once or twice until it is coated with sauce and reheated, and you are ready to roll.  I like to serve this with a scattering of parsley and some mashed potatoes on the side, which are perfect for scooping up every last drop of the sauce.

Now, while this SOUNDS all fancy, as you can see there are about 20 minutes between you and chicken marsala wonderfulness.  If you can bear to make it without the mushrooms.  And Mom?  It’s never going to happen…not even if you wrap them in bacon.  But I love you for trying!


Creamy Chicken Marsala
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra as needed
  • ¼ pound pancetta or thick cut bacon, cut into ¼ inch dice
  • ½ cup flour seasoned with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 chicken breast cutlets, pounded to ¼ inch thickness
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add pancetta and cook until slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, leaving oil in the skillet.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour and add to the pan, adding more olive oil if the pan looks dry. Cook until golden on each side and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and put on a plate.
  3. Add Marsala wine to the skillet and cook over medium high heat for one minute, stirring up any cooked on bits from the bottom of the pan. Add cream and simmer for an additional two minutes.
  4. Return chicken and pancetta to the skillet and turn the chicken over a time or two until it is covered in sauce and reheated about a minute.
  5. Place chicken on plates, pour sauce over and garnish with parsley.


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  1. Tricia says

    I love chicken marsala but always hated having to pick out all the mushrooms! Thank you for this wonderful version. Can’t wait to try it!

  2. MaryAlice says

    Although I love (LOVE) mushrooms, I feel that way about eggplant. I don’t even WANT to like it. Blech. But even without mushrooms, this sounds fab!

  3. Amanda says

    I do love mushrooms, almost every recipe I make I ADD mushrooms even where they don’t belong lol, but thank you for the recipe! II love Olive Garden’s chicken marsala and on one of our first dates my husband took me to an Italian restaurant not knowing I really don’t like Italian food (because of the red tomato-based sauces, he showed me that there’s more to Italian food than red sauce!) and when I couldn’t find anything I liked, he recommended the marsala. I’ve loved it ever since!

  4. says

    This post made me smile as my hubby eats everything except mushrooms, lima beans and brussels sprouts. I have seen him picking mushrooms out of sauce so diligently in restaurants. I will make this for sure, as he LOVES bacon (we have it mail ordered and receive it for holiday gifts too..) Thank you…I will show him this post, he will be glad there is another mushroom hater out there (me, I adore them all…)

    • Kate says

      I’m with him on the lima beans – yuck! But I have to admit, I do like brussel sprouts. And bacon as a holiday gift?? I can’t think of anything better. :)

  5. says

    I loathe goat cheese about as much you feel about mushrooms. I love shrooms, but hubs is kinda ‘meh” about it. Bacon…yea! He loves bacon. Who doesn’t? I This looks amazing, and while I love fungus on my chicken marsala, I think I’d like this version just as much.

  6. Lorrie says

    OMG….I’m so happy to find someone who dislikes mushrooms as much as I do! If chicken marsala is on the menu I always order it and pick the mushrooms out. I will definetly try this recipe this winter.

  7. ruthie says

    We’re on the same wavelength again, sort of…I had planned to make Chicken Marsala tonight, ordered both mushrooms (!) and chicken breasts, but the supermarket said they were out of chicken breasts!!! Hard to believe. Ah, well, I have backup in the freezer, just will have to wait for tomorrow.

    I like mushrooms so much that I usually cut them in quarters, from the cap down, just so there’ll be more sturdy mushroomy goodness. Heh. I feel about cilantro the way you do about ‘shrooms. Does that make us even? 😉

  8. Linda G says

    I am thrilled to finally find a blog where there are no mushrooms hiding in the food. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!

  9. Blewits says

    Made this tonight but used mushrooms, with the bacon as a topping with some fresh chopped parsley. Absolutely terrific! Thank you.

  10. Justin says

    My girlfriend doesn’t like mushrooms and I was getting bored with the normal chicken Marsala recipe I’ve been making for her. I tried your recipe and wanted to let you know it was simply amazing! It came out super savory! It paired well with pasta and baked asparagus. I used low sodium bacon and it still managed to have that burst of flavor throughout the entire meal. I may try something less heavy than the heavy whipping cream next time just so I can watch my fat intake. Great recipe. Can’t wait to try the rest of the recipes I bookmarked on this blog!

    Here’s a picture of how mine came out!

    • Kate says

      Hi Justin! Thanks for the picture – looks like you had a delectable dinner! Thanks for showing me how it turned out. :)


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