Chicken marsala pasta is a twist on the old classic that is hearty, comforting, and tasty! Earthy cremini mushrooms, salty prosciutto, and tender bite-sized pieces of chicken breast are tossed with pappardelle noodles in a silky marsala wine sauce and topped with fresh parsley and crispy prosciutto. This is one of our new favorites and we hope it's one of yours!
Chicken marsala pappardelle is one of our new favorite pasta dishes.
Heartier than the original because of the pasta, this is a wonderful meal to make when you're craving chicken marsala but also want some pasta!
We sliced the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces so there's a little bit of chicken in almost every bite you take.
We also used prosciutto to add another dimension of flavor making this already delicious dish even better!
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Begin by prepping your ingredients: slice the mushrooms, chop the prosciutto, and mince the parsley.
- If you purchased thick-cut breasts like I did, fillet them first, then pound until flat and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- Liberally season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- Next, dredge the chicken pieces in flour and shake off the excess. To make this process simpler, you can place all the pieces and the flour in a large Ziploc bag and shake. Note: You will have flour left after dredging. This should be discarded and not saved for later use.
- Bring a pot of salted water (2 tablespoons of kosher salt per gallon of water) to boil. While you're waiting for the water to boil, heat a very large pan to medium heat and saute the mushrooms until they brown and release their water (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, then remove the mushrooms from the pan and set them aside in a dish covered with tented foil.
- Add the prosciutto to the same pan and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the prosciutto and set it aside on a small plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan. Sear the chicken slices until browned on both sides, roughly 6-7 minutes total. You may need to work in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Remove the pieces and place in the same plate as the mushrooms.
- Begin to cook the pasta to 1 minute less than al dente. Add the garlic to the pan along with a touch more olive oil and cook for approximately 1 minute until golden.
- Add the marsala and the chicken stock and turn the heat to high. Allow the liquid to reduce by half (about 3-4 minutes) while scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to remove the brown bits.
- Once the sauce has adequately reduced, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the remaining butter, whisking it in.
- Add all the chicken and mushrooms, and half the prosciutto, and mix once more. Taste test the sauce and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Continue to cook until the pasta just reaches al dente, about 30-60 seconds. If needed, add a ladle or two of your reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the parsley. If the pasta dries up at all just add a touch more pasta water to thin it out. Divide into plates and top with the remaining crispy prosciutto. Enjoy!
Top tips for perfect pasta chicken marsala
- The chicken. Classic marsala is usually made with either veal or chicken. For this recipe, we're using chicken breasts that have been filleted, pounded thin, and sliced into bite-sized chunks. The chicken should be sauteed in batches here to prevent crowding the pan and ensuring a nice sear on every piece. It's more economical to buy full chicken breasts and fillet them yourself, but if you want to save time, buy the thinly sliced cutlets and cut them into bite-sized chunks.
- The marsala. When making chicken marsala, or chicken marsala pasta, dry marsala wine is typically used as opposed to the sweet marsala wine. The domestic marsala is usually $1-2 cheaper than the imported from Italy. Since the price difference is small, I'd recommend opting for the imported version as it simply tastes better. If you want to make this without alcohol, you can replace it with extra chicken stock, just note you will lose that quintessential marsala flavor.
- The prosciutto. We used prosciutto from the deli counter and requested it thinly sliced. We think it greatly enhances the flavor and texture of the dish but if you can't get your hands on any prosciutto, you can definitely go without.
- The sauce. The sauce is pretty silky as is, but if you want a creamier sauce, you can add ¾ cup of cream after reducing the wine and stock. Cook the sauce until simmering (about 2-3 minutes) and then continue with the instructions.
More hearty pasta recipes
If you loved this chicken marsala pasta recipe, check these others out!
- Short rib ragu with pappardelle - Beef short ribs braised in a tomato and red wine sauce then tossed with pappardelle.
- Pasta bolognese - The classic ragu of ground beef, pancetta, carrots, onions, and celery with wine and tomatoes.
- Chicken Alfredo pasta - Seared chicken, butter, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, and a touch of cream.
- Pasta alla Norcina - Crumbled pork sausage, cream, Pecorino Romano, and white wine with a touch of nutmeg.
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- 1 pound pappardelle or any hearty pasta you like
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms sliced
- ¼ pound prosciutto chopped
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts pounded flat and cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ cup flour for dredging only
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups dry marsala
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups reserved pasta water will most likely not need it all
- 3 tablespoons parsley minced
- Bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon) to boil.
- Liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper then dredge the pieces in flour and shake off the excess. Place the dredged chicken pieces on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Heat a very large pan to medium heat and saute the mushrooms until they brown and release their water (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, then remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside in a dish tented with foil.
- Add the prosciutto to the same pan and cook until browned (about 3-4 minutes). Remove the prosciutto to a small plate and set it aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Sear the chicken until browned on both sides (about 6-7 minutes total) then remove the pieces to the same plate as the mushrooms. If necessary, work in batches using more butter and olive oil so as to not crowd the chicken.
- At this time begin cooking the pasta to 1 minute less than al dente.
- Add the garlic to the pan along with a touch more olive oil and cook until golden (about 1 minute). Add the marsala and the chicken stock and turn the heat to high. Reduce the liquid by about half (3 minutes) while scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to remove all of the flavor bits.
- Once the sauce adequately reduces, turn the heat down to medium-low, add the remaining butter, and whisk it in.
- Add all the chicken, mushrooms, and half the prosciutto and mix once more. Taste test the sauce and adjust salt and pepper if required.
- Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Cook until the pasta just reaches al dente (about 30-60 seconds). If needed, add a ladle or two of pasta water to loosen up the sauce.
- Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle in the parsley. If the pasta dries up, just add a touch more of the reserved pasta water to thin it out. Divide into plates and top with the remaining crispy prosciutto. Enjoy!
- Makes 6 moderate or 4 very large servings.
- If a creamier sauce is desired add ¾ cup of cream after reducing the wine and stock. Cook the sauce until simmering (about 2-3 minutes) then continue with the instructions.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave.