Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala – This classic comfort food recipe is complete with tender chicken breasts that are slow cooked with mushrooms and herbs in a flavorful creamy Marsala wine sauce! The rich sauce makes the perfect gravy served over rice or potatoes. Learn to make this restaurant quality dish at home in your Crock-Pot so that it’s EASY enough for weeknight dinners!
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala Recipe
Using your slow cooker is the way to go when you’re looking for minimal effort and maximum flavor and this easy slow cooker chicken Marsala recipe is no exception.
Cooking chicken in a slow cooker is simply fantastic because it offers convenience, tenderness, and flavor like no other method thanks to the long cooking time which gives all the flavors a chance to really develop.
Even if you’re not a huge slow cooker fan like me – I am the queen of fast 30-minute stovetop dinners normally – but this recipe may turn you into a Crock-Pot fan.
The chicken is so incredibly tender and moist that it practically melts in your mouth. Coupled with the mushrooms, fresh herbs, and ultra decadent Marsala wine and heavy cream sauce, this is a restaurant worthy dinner.
But guess what? It’s not complicated! The magic of Crock-Pot recipes is that once you have everything inside, you can walk away for 4-6 hours and just let it do it’s thing.
So whether you want to serve this as a family dinner at home on weeknights, or impress your guests at a dinner party, as the chef in charge your job is easy!
What is Chicken Marsala?
If you’re not familiar with this classic chicken recipe, chicken Marsala is a mouthwatering Italian-inspired dish featuring tender, golden-brown chicken breasts and mushrooms, simmered in a rich and flavorful sauce made with Marsala wine.
The sauce perfectly balances savory and slightly sweet notes, while the sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and fragrant herbs add an earthy and aromatic touch.
It’s a comforting dish you can make for your family during the week like I mentioned, yet elegant enough to serve to friends at a dinner party.
Ingredients in Crock-Pot Chicken Marsala
A few simple, common, easy-to-find ingredients are all you need to make this delectable dish including the following:
- All-purpose flour
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Mushrooms – baby portabella, brown button mushrooms, or white mushrooms
- Cloves garlic
- Thyme – fresh or dried
- Oregano – fresh or dried
- Dry Marsala wine
- Chicken broth
- Corn starch and Water – this makes a slurry to thicken the sauce
- Heavy cream
- Fresh parsley, for garnishing
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Chicken Marsala in a Slow Cooker
Using a slow cooker is the ultimate in hands-off cooking. Everything gently simmers away for hours resulting in succulent tender chicken every time. It couldn’t be any easier!
Step 1: Dredge the chicken in a mix of flour, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Step 2: Brown the tender chicken breasts in a large skillet over medium high heat, and then remove it from the pan.
Step 3: Add the chicken, 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, garlic, and herbs to the slow cooker.
Step 4: Pour the wine and broth over the top and stir gently.
Step 5: Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours on high OR for 6 hours on low.
Step 6: After 4-6 hours when the chicken is done (165F internal temp with an instant read thermometer) remove the chicken and set it aside.
Step 7: In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water to create a cornstarch slurry and add the slurry to the broth in the slow cooker. This flour mixture helps the sauce thicken later.
Step 8: Add the heavy cream, whisk to combine, add the chicken back in, turn the heat to high, cover, and simmer for 30-60 minutes or until the sauce thickens some.
Step 9: Garnish with parsley and serve with your favorite sides!
What Size Slow Cooker?
I suggest a large 6 to 7-quart slow cooker for this chicken marsala recipe. That’s the most common size that most people tend to have anyway!
You don’t need it to be any larger, but make sure it’s not one of the smaller 4 quart models (usually they are round) which isn’t big enough.
What to Serve with Crock Pot Chicken Marsala
When it comes to pairing side dishes with your this easy chicken Marsala recipe, you have a world of options to choose from. Pairing it with sides that will help mop up all of the sauce is a particularly good idea!
Basic rice or pasta always work but are some fantastic sides to serve alongside your chicken Marsala:
Storage For Leftover Chicken Marsala
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheat leftovers very gently in the microwave due to the wine + cream sauce. If you think it’s necessary, add a splash of chicken broth before reheating.
I’ve never frozen any leftover cooked chicken marsala so I can’t say for sure how it will fare.
Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala FAQs
Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts for crockpot chicken marsala?
While the recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken breasts, and that’s what’s traditional, you can substitute them with chicken thighs if you prefer.
The cooking time may increase slightly, but the result will be very flavorful.
I like to use baby portobello mushrooms, cremini, or small brown button mushrooms. Small white mushrooms are also common in chicken marsala recipes.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try a combination of mushroom varieties like cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms.
There’s a mushroom hater in every family isn’t there! Mine is no exception.
If you want to omit the mushrooms because of flavor, you certainly can. At this point you’re no longer left with classic chicken marsala, but if you don’t care about that and you’re just trying to avoid mushrooms, go ahead.
Marsala wine is a fortified wine made near the city of Marsala on the island of Sicily, Italy. This special wine is what gives this Italian-inspired chicken Marsala recipe its classic flavor.
Marsala can be gold (dry), amber (semi-sweet), or ruby (sweet) in color. The darker it gets, the sweeter it becomes.
For this recipe select a DRY Marsala wine. Sweet marsala wine exists when the wine is more aged, but for savory cooking recipes, you want dry.
“Cooking wines” tend to be cheap, not great quality, and not usually intended for drinking. I honestly don’t know why people buy them! If they’re not good enough to drink, I don’t want to cook with them either! Therefore, see one of my substitutions below.
If you don’t have dry marsala wine, replace it with Madeira, dry sherry, dry vermouth, or a dry port.
However, make sure you’re selecting DRY versions – because specifically vermouth and port can be sweet which you don’t want.
You could in a pinch use a dry red wine like a pinot noir or cabernet. I would shy away from white wines (even dry white wine) for this recipe.
Back to harping on classic flavors, you really do need wine in this dish for the flavor. After an hours-long simmering process, the alcohol largely burns off, and you’re left with the rich flavor it lends which is why I have no issue serving this to kids.
If for some reason a person avoids all alcohol and in any form (even denatured), then perhaps this isn’t the recipe for them. I suppose for liquid volume you could use extra chicken broth but the flavor of the finished dish will lack.
Yes you do need to use heavy cream because if you don’t, you run the risk of your sauce breaking. Meaning, the dairy curdles and it looks absolutely awful. You’ll want to throw it all out, which would be the biggest shame after 6 hours of slow cooking!
Wine + dairy = not always the best of friends.
What you can do to make them better friends is to use FAT. Heavy cream has lots of fat.
Don’t use half-and-half since it’s half cream and half whole milk, but without enough fat to protect against a broken sauce.
Don’t use plant-based milk products either. This is the time to break out real heavy cream.
Yes of course, although this recipe wasn’t written with that in mind. I would check online for a skillet version of chicken marsala on the internet because there are tons. I don’t currently have one on my site and there are too many steps to accurately condense quickly.
If you’re feeding a larger crowd or want to have leftovers, you can double the ingredients. Just make sure your slow cooker can accommodate the increased volume and you’ll likely need to increase the cooking time by about 25% but keep an eye on it.
6 hours 10 minutes
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1/2 pound each, or 2 pounds total; thighs may be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I prefer baby portabella, cremini, or brown button mushrooms; white mushrooms may be substituted)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (if using fresh, use 1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (if using fresh, use 1 teaspoon)
- 1 1/4 cup DRY Marsala wine
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch whisked with 2 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (do not substitute for half-and-half or any other dairy)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced; optional for garnishing
- To a large shallow bowl, add the flour, parkia, salt, pepper, and toss with a spoon to combine.
- Dredge each chicken breast through the flour, making sure to coat on all sides. If you have excess, discard it.
- To a large skillet, add the olive oil, chicken breasts and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, just to sear the chicken. Tip – Chicken breasts that are about 1/2 pound each (normal sized) will not be done, just seared to lock in the juices, and that’s fine. They finish cooking in the slow cooker.
- To a large 6 to 7-quart slow cooker, add the chicken breasts in a single flat layer, evenly sprinkle the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, oregano, and pour over the top the Marsala wine and chicken broth. Tip – If you have Marsala wine questions and what you can use as a substitute, if you can omit it, etc. read the FAQ section of the blog post. Bottom line, use DRY Marsala wine for best results.
- Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6 hours OR on HIGH for 4 hours.
- After the cooking time is up and the chicken is done (165F internal temp with an instant read thermometer) remove it from the slow cooker, and set aside momentarily.
- Separately, in a tiny bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to create a slurry.
- Pour the slurry into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Tip – Heavy cream is necessary for the fat content so that your sauce doesn’t break. For more info, read the FAQ section of the blog post. Bottom line, use it and not half-and-half, milk of and kind, nor plant based milk products of any kind.
- Add the chicken breasts back into the slow cooker, cover, turn the heat to HIGH and simmer for about 30 to 60 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly or as desired.
- Remove the chicken breasts, Marsala sauce (gravy), optionally garnish with fresh parsley, and serve with mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad, etc. or as desired. Leftovers will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days, reheat very gently in the microwave (due to the cream + wine sauce) when reheating. I haven’t tried freezing this recipe so can’t say for sure how it will fare.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 433Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 956mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 42g
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