This chicken marsala pasta is the kind of sleeper meal that will slide easily into your regular dinner rotation. Chocked full of chicken, mushrooms, and a silky rosemary wine sauce, you’ll find yourself making this meal on weeknights and for weekend guests alike.
Raise your hand if you need some new dinner inspiration! I know I CERTAINLY do!
I realize that probably sounds strange coming from someone who creates recipes and cooks for a living but there are definitely times when I get stuck in a cooking rut. In fact, it happens multiple times a year.
And while I usually have a huge list of recipes to try and ideas for new recipes that I’ve dreamed up, sometimes I don’t have any clue what I’m going to make for dinner on a given night until I open the fridge.
Yes, you read that right. I’m not always as organized as you may think I am. Many nights I’m literally throwing dinner together from whatever I’ve got in the fridge.
As a single [widowed] parent now with a business to run, gone are the days of structured meal plans laid out a week in advance with 3 full meals per day for 7 days.
So that’s why this chicken marsala pasta recipe was created. Here’s what happened the night I first made it. I…
- Opened the fridge door.
- Pulled out the almost expired package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Rummaged through the vegetable crisper drawer and emerged with no salvageable vegetables except mushrooms. (Leftover from Cajun chicken pasta the week prior.)
- Remembered that there were fresh herbs growing on the deck.
Everything else I needed to make dinner I had on hand in the pantry and fridge. Here’s the basic list of what you’ll need for this recipe. Be sure to keep scrolling down to the recipe card to view the full ingredient list, which includes amounts.
- Uncooked pasta: I used penne but farfalle (bow ties), rotini, rotelli, ziti, rigatoni, etc. will all work here.
- Olive oil
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Boneless, skinless thighs or tenderloins are fine too.
- White or yellow onion
- Sliced mushrooms. See the section below for my mushroom notes.
- Fresh rosemary
- All-purpose flour
- Marsala wine: Dry, not sweet Marsala.
- Chicken broth or stock
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
What Kind of Mushrooms for Chicken Marsala?
Any kind of basic grocery store mushroom will work for chicken marsala and any type of spin-off chicken marsala recipe.
If you can find baby bella or cremini mushrooms, use one of those. They’re more flavorful than white button mushrooms. But, button mushrooms will work fine for this pasta recipe too. Don’t lose sleep about this.
Whole mushrooms are cheaper to buy than sliced mushrooms are but if you’re in a hurry, do yourself a favor and buy sliced mushrooms.
How to Make Chicken Marsala Pasta
Unlike some of my favorite dinners ever, you’ll need an extra pot to cook the pasta. I wanted to make this a one pot meal but I didn’t want to turn the mushrooms to rubber by boiling them while the pasta cooked in the pan.
So, here are the quick and easy steps for getting this weekend dinner recipe on the table. Be sure to read the full Instructions list in the recipe card below.
- Cut the chicken into cubes and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the chicken. Transfer to a plate to keep warm.
- Cook the sliced onions in more olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Toss the rosemary sprigs into the pan for a couple of minutes so they start to release their flavor and then remove them.
- Dust the mushrooms and onions with flour and cook until the flour starts to turn brown. Pour in the marsala wine and scrape up all those good brown bits from the pan. Whisk the chicken broth into the pan.
- Add the rosemary back to the pan and simmer the sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Stir the cooked chicken, drained pasta, and cheese into the pan and cook for a few minutes to reheat the chicken.
- Serve with crusty bread and a salad on the side, if desired.
What We Loved About this Recipe
Honestly, what’s not to like about this chicken pasta recipe? I mean, it’s chocked full of hearty ingredients like chicken and mushrooms.
The flavor is completely spot on and mimics our favorite chicken marsala recipe with tons of herby rosemary and earthy marsala. I tend to go heavy on the wine since we love the flavor but you can certainly cut back on it.
It’s a creamy pasta meal and we are alllll about creamy pasta recipes. Case in point: this creamy sausage pasta is still in our regular rotation over 6 years after I first shared it here.
And lastly, this is such an easy meal to make on a busy weeknight – in about 40 minutes! – but it doubles as a perfect dinner to make for company on the weekend too. If you want to impress your friends and family, make this recipe.
Marsala Chicken in Other Forms
We have long been big fans of veal marsala and chicken marsala, but I don’t cook veal often because of the hefty cost it comes with. And while chicken marsala is always a favorite, we’ve let our creative juices flow over the years using marsala as the main ingredient.
Here are some of our other favorite recipes with marsala wine:
- 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), ½-inch cubed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large white or yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
- 2 packages (8 oz each) sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (don’t remove leaves from stems)
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ cup dry marsala wine
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 12 oz dry penne pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Toss the cubed chicken with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in an even layer and cook until all of the chicken is lightly browned, about 4 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the hot pan (still over medium-high heat), add the onions and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Drop the rosemary sprigs into the pan and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until you can smell the rosemary start to release its oils.
- Remove the rosemary; set aside on a small plate. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mushrooms and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Pour the marsala into the pan and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Immediately whisk the chicken broth into the mixture until no lumps remain and drop the rosemary sprigs back into the pan. Simmer until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Once the sauce has thickened, mix the chicken and then the pasta and Parmesan cheese into the sauce. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Allow the pasta to rest for a couple of minutes to help it thicken a little more. Remove the rosemary sprigs or leftover stems before serving the pasta.
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