Chicken Marsala Pasta

5 from 2 votes

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Pick up some mushrooms and a rotisserie chicken and have this pasta ready for dinner in about 30 minutes.

5-Ingredient Pasta: Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle / Mia / Katie Workman / themom100.com

This chicken marsala pasta dish is the definition of winter-hearty, and weeknight-friendly (dinner in less than 30 minutes!). And don’t we all need more pasta recipes like that in our lives? You can make it with leftover or rotisserie chicken, and aside from that it’s a real pantry staple meal (providing you have Marsala wine, of course!).

Make a salad to serve with this deeply satisfying pasta dish. Try Endive, Arugula, and Orange Salad, Winter Salad, or Fall Vegetable and Farro Salad.

Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle in a bowl.

Chicken Marsala Pasta: The very definition of winter-hearty, and weeknight-friendly. And don’t we all need more pastas like that in our lives?

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What Is Marsala Wine?

Marsala is a fortified wine made from white grapes aged in a cask. Fortified wines are strengthened and stabilized with the addition of another alcohol, such as brandy. That deepens their flavor and also boosts the alcohol content (but as with all boozy beverages, the alcohol burns off in the cooking, just leaving behind the flavor, which enriches whatever dish you’re making).

Marsala can be sweet or dry, and dry is usually used in savory dishes. Its flavor is deep and rich, kind of like port, with hints of caramel and nuttiness and raisins or prunes.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms in a bowl.

Marsala is the typical wine used in the classic chicken dish, made near Marsala, Italy, but you could also substitute in Madeira, another fortified wine made in Madeira, Portugal. Madeira also comes in sweet and dry versions. A dry port is also a possible substitution.

Marsala and Madeira last for months in a cool dry place, so you don’t have to worry about buying a bottle and then trying to figure out what to do with the rest of it immediately.

Dry marsala is best for cooking savory dishes, including Chicken Marsala, adding a nutty caramelized rich flavor. Save the sweet marsala for desserts or dishes with a sweetness to them, like meat stewed with fruit.

Marsala wine is fine to drink, though the more pricey ones usually have better flavor. It’s a sipping wine, usually enjoyed in small portions before or after a meal, or with strong cheese. The bottles you will find in a supermarket are definitely intended for cooking only (do go to a wine store for your Marsala if possible).

More Marsala Wine Recipes

Here are a few nice ways to use up that bottle of marsala:

5-Ingredient Pasta: Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle in a bowl with blue napkin.

Chicken Marsala Pasta Ingredients

  • Pasta – I like a short, chunky shape here, like rigatoni, but you can use whatever shape speaks to you!
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Marsala wine – A fortified wine. You can sub in a dry port or Madiera if you like.
  • Mushrooms – Dealer’s choice!
  • Cooked chicken – You can use a rotisserie chicken, or whatever simple cooked leftover chicken you have on hand (see How to Bake Chicken Breasts and Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken).
  • Parsley – Fresh only, please!

How to Make Chicken Marsala Pasta

  1. Cook the pasta: Before you drain the pasta, make sure to remove a cup of the cooking water.
  2. Cook the chicken: While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until it starts to turn golden, then add the mushrooms, turn the heat to medium-high, and sauté for 8 minutes until they are browned. Add the marsala and chicken and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine reduces by half, about 2 minutes.
  3. Toss and serve: Drain the pasta, adding 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pan with the chicken. Return the pasta to the pot, add the chicken mixture along with the parsley, and toss to combine. Add more of the reserved cooking water if needed to moisten. Serve hot, with additional parsley if desired.
Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle in a skillet.

Variations and Substitutions

  • The beauty of this dish is that it’s the perfect thing to turn to when you have some leftover chicken, whether it’s from a simple dish you made (try Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken in this pasta!), or a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Use any mushrooms you want, from sliced buttons to something a little more exotic.
  • You can use any short, chunky pasta you have on hand.
  • Parsley gives the dish a little burst of freshness. If possible, don’t skip it. You’ll also want to give the finished dish a final sprinkle of parsley at the end, whether it’s in the bigger serving bowl, or over individual portions.

What to Serve with Chicken Marsala Pasta

Woman serving pasta with. chicken marsala from pan into bowl.

More 5-Ingredient Pasta Recipes

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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Marsala Pasta

Pick up some mushrooms and a rotisserie chicken and have this pasta ready for dinner in about 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 6 People
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Ingredients 

  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1 pound rotelle (or another short, chunky pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ cup dry Marsala wine
  • 1 pound cleaned and sliced mushrooms (you can use any type or combination of mushrooms)
  • 4 cups diced or slivered or shredded cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (plus more to serve if desired)

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water generously and let it return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Before you drain the pasta, make sure to remove a cup of the cooking water.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute until it starts to turn golden, then add the mushrooms, turn the heat to medium-high and sauté for 8 minutes until they are browned. Add the marsala and chicken and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine reduces by half, about 2 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta, adding 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pan with the chicken. Return the pasta to the pot, add the chicken mixture, along with the parsley, and toss to combine. Add more of the reserved cooking water if needed to moisten. Serve hot, with the additional parsley if desired.

Notes

Marsala Wine
Marsala is a fortified wine made from white grapes aged in a cask. Fortified wines are strengthened and stabilized with the addition of another alcohol, such as brandy, which deepens their flavor and also boosts the alcohol content (but as with all boozy beverages, the alcohol burns off in the cooking, just leaving behind the flavor, which enriches whatever dish you’re making).

Nutrition

Calories: 528.61kcal, Carbohydrates: 62.14g, Protein: 35.72g, Fat: 12.28g, Saturated Fat: 2.59g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 81.78mg, Potassium: 654.97mg, Fiber: 3.26g, Sugar: 5.1g, Vitamin A: 248.87IU, Vitamin C: 5.22mg, Calcium: 34.6mg, Iron: 2.7mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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