Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta

I noticed this great pasta recipe on Pinterest from Joelen’s What’s Cooking Chicago blog, and knew I had to make it! It comes from a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen/Cooks Illustrated. What a coincidence, my favorite Chicken Marsala recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated, so I’m sure its bound to be good!

I did tweak it a bit though. I noticed there was no Pancetta in the recipe and thought Chicken Marsala just isn’t Chicken Marsala without Pancetta. So I added it. Basically, I followed the Chicken Marsala recipe from Cooks Illustrated, and added a little chicken broth, heavy cream and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (don’t use fresh, use the stuff in the jar). I sprinkled a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese in for flavor, but didn’t want the cheese to overpower the great taste of the Marsala sauce.

As with Chicken Marsala, it is very important to “reduce” the wine to a syrup. I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong. It’s easy to want to rush things, but very important that you don’t. The reducing not only burns off the alcohol in the wine, the consistency gets thicker, which is what you want for a great sauce.

I gotta tell you, what a great recipe to throw together for a weeknight meal! I use Bell & Evans chicken in all my chicken recipes,  so I know the chicken will turn out tender and juicy. To me, there’s no substitute. I use Sweet Marsala wine for the best flavor and sweetness.

Thanks Joelen, for a great inspiration in this recipe!

Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta -

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Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta

  • Author: A Foodie Affair
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


This delicious meal is perfect for a weeknight meal.


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • 24 Tbsp oil
  • 1 pound dry pasta (Penne or similar)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 oz. pancetta
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1012 ounces sliced or quartered mushrooms, any kind
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 11/2 cup sweet Marsala cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon or so fresh lemon juice
  • 56 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese (from the jar; not fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 34 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Heat 12 inch skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add 2 Tbsp oil to hot skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to plate when done. Transfer to oven to keep warm.
  3. Boil water and cook pasta according to the directions on package. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.
  4. Make sure there are no burnt areas in skillet. If so, wipe out with a paper towel (don’t wipe out the browned bits, just any burnt areas). Melt butter in skillet and a tablespoon more of oil. Add pancetta, stirring occasionally and scraping pan until pancetta is browned and crisp. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
  5. Add onions and cook until translucent. The add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms and onions begin to brown, about 8 minutes.
  6. Add garlic, tomato paste and pancetta, sauteing while stirring until paste begins to brown, about 1 minute.
  7. Off heat, add the Marsala and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until sauce is is slightly thickened (about 5 minutes). Add heavy cream and simmer vigorously until cream reduces slightly.
  8. Off heat, add a slight squeeze of fresh lemon juice and add butter. Stir in until melted. Sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese.
  9. Remove chicken from oven, and cut into bite sized pieces. Add to Marsala mixture. Add pasta to mixture and stir in 2 Tbsp of fresh parsley. Stir together, and sprinkle additional parsley on top.


I use tomato paste in the tube. It’s great when you want to add just a touch to recipes.

  • Category: Main Dish


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  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    So glad you enjoyed it and I love the tweaks you made! I will have to try adding pancetta next time – good call!

    • Reply
      July 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      It came out delicious! Thanks for the inspiration!

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