Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala

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Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala with chicken breast cooked in a creamy mushroom and marsala wine sauce. This crockpot version of the Italian classic is a great way to enjoy this meal without the hard work.

276 CAL 10g CARBS 8g FAT 34g PROTEIN
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This Chicken Marsala cooked in the slow cooker with a creamy mushroom sauce is a lightened up version of the classic dish. It's full of flavor, easy to make, and the creamy marsala sauce is so good. We also love this lightened up Chicken Piccata and classic Baked Chicken Cutlets.

I first fell in love with Chicken Marsala as a kid, stealing bites off my sister's plate. While I often ordered Shrimp Scampi when we went out for Italian, she always got Chicken Marsala and it was always delicious.

However, Chicken Marsala tends to be a pretty heavy dish, with lots of cream and butter. While delicious, it's easy to build those same delicious flavors with a lighter sauce.  When creating a lighter version of a classic dish like this, I always start with the real deal recipe. Then the work starts. A little tweak here, a little tweak there, and when it's just the way I like it and ready to share with all of you.

Of course, I also endeavor to make recipes healthier too which sometimes requires not only tweaking of the ingredients but also trying different cooking methods to see what tastes the best but is easiest for you all to make. Because eating healthy should be easy. I don't want to turn off people from trying healthier recipes because they are too long and involved.

Which brings me to this Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala. What started off as a longer, less healthy version has, over a few iterations, become an easy, set-it-and-forget-it recipe you can throw together in the crockpot and enjoy its delicious rich, tasty flavors guilt-free.

Works great over rice or noodles, or is perfect on its own as well!

Chicken marsala cooked in the crockpot with a creamy mushroom sauce on a plate with a fork and knife.

What is Chicken Marsala?

Chicken Marsala (not to be confused with chicken masala), is an Italian dish that has a very earthy and sweet flavor. It contains mushrooms, wine (marsala wine, though any darker red wine will work in a pinch), and cream in the addictive sauce that makes this dish famous. Then there is the chicken because it's just better (and more filling) with some protein.

If you don't want to use heavy cream, you could use fat free cream, but your sauce will not be as thick.

How do you make Chicken Marsala?

Yes, this is a slow cooker dish but it requires just one extra step and that's browning the chicken. In a super rush? You can skip browning the chicken. It will still taste great but you won't have that browned chicken to slice into so much as you'll have chicken that shreds. Which is great too!

So to follow the recipe, the first thing you'll do is sear the chicken on both sides with spices in a skillet with some olive oil in it. Once the chicken is seared on each side, you remove it from the pan and put it right into the slow cooker. (The chicken is just browned for about 2-3 minutes on each side, the slow cooker will do the rest of the cooking.)

Then, after you put the browned chicken in the slow cooker, you top it with the mushrooms, garlic, wine, and the chicken broth. From there you'll set the slow cooker to cook on low for about 3-4 hours. Check for doneness on the chicken at 3 hours and leave it for another 30 min to an hour to finish up if it's not done at the 3-hour mark.

To make the marsala sauce thicker, you'll have to make a slurry. So first, take the chicken out and put it in a bowl or plate. Then turn the slow cooker up to the "high" setting.

In a small bowl, make the slurry by adding cold water to the cornstarch. Add just a little water at a time until it's able to be stirred around and mixed with the cornstarch but not super thin. Then pour that into the slow cooker and mix together. Let the sauce come together and thicken in the slow cooker for about 20-30 minutes.

Finally, when the sauce has thickened, add the cream and then put the chicken back in. I let this all sit together for a few more minutes to heat the chicken back up and then serve! Easy-peasy!

Serving Ideas

As I mentioned above, I love to serve this over rice and/or noodles, but here are more specifics on that.

  • Want to make this meal low-carb? Then I suggest serving the Chicken Marsala over some cauliflower rice or using zoodles or another veggie noodle.
  • If you'd like to eat this dish by itself but want something on the side, then I think eating it with a roasted vegetable like asparagus, broccoli, or string beans is a great idea!
  • If you love to dip bread into sauces then I suggest you eat this dish with a piece of flatbread like pita or naan.
  • You can serve this over regular or brown rice, wild rice, or pasta - like egg noodles or spaghetti. For a lower-carb version, try low-carb pasta or pasta made from chickpeas.

Crockpot chicken marsala on a plate with browned chicken breast covered in a creamy marsala mushroom sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions About Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala

Here are some of the most common questions we receive about this chicken marsala recipe:

What can be substituted for Marsala wine?

If you don't have marsala wine on hand, you could substitute a Madiera win, port wine, or dark sherry. You can also use dry white wine mixed with a few tablespoons of brandy. For those looking to skip the alcohol in the dish, you could swap in chicken broth or even grape juice with a splash of vinegar.

What's a good side dish?

There are so many options for serving this dish. Typically it is served with pasta or rice to soak up all that delicious sauce. You can also serve it with vegetables, couscous, or roasted potatoes. 

What does marsala wine taste like?

Marsala wine comes in two varieties - sweet and dry. For this recipe, look for dry marsala wine. The flavor is similar to a dry red wine. 

Is Chicken Marsala made with dry or sweet marsala wine?

Most preparations of this classic marsala dish are made with dry marsala wine. With that said, if you prefer a sweeter sauce, you could use the sweet version.

Can balsamic vinegar be swapped for marsala wine?

Balsamic vinegar has a much stronger flavor than marsala wine and is much more acidic. If needed, you can swap in chicken broth with a few splashes of balsamic vinegar but don't make a 1:1 substitution.

Looking for More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala

276 CAL 10g CARBS 8g FAT 34g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 15 Min
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  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (sliced in half horizontally)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (or more marsala wine)
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (or some chopped fresh thyme)

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Season the chicken breasts liberally with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Chicken breast being seasoned with paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the chicken breast in a single layer, you may need to do two batches. Let cook, without moving it, for 2-3 minutes until it is browned and seared. Flip over and repeat.

Chicken breast being seared in a skillet.

Move the chicken to the slow cooker. Cover with mushrooms, garlic, marsala wine, and chicken broth.

Chicken in a slow cooker with mushrooms, chicken broth, marsala wine, and garlic.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside. Turn the slow cooker up to high heat.

Chicken cooking in the slow cooker with mushrooms and garlic.

Mix together the cornstarch with just enough cold water to make a slurry. Pour into the slow cooker and cook on high for 20-30 minutes until thickened.

Cornstarch slurry being made in a wooden bowl.

Stir in the heavy cream and add the chicken back to the slow cooker. Let everything heat back up, about 5 minutes.

Chicken marsala in the slow cooker with marsala sauce and mushrooms.

Serve with fresh parsley or thyme.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 276
Calories from Fat 69
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 88mg
Sodium 189mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 2g
Protein 34g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala
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Brittany G
October 26, 2021 - 02:54
Have you ever tried this using the instant pot? Any idea how to convert it?
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