OMG! This is truly a fave recipe of mine and one that I should’ve blogged for a while now. It’s such a nostalgic recipe for me as I had it so much growing up. It was actually one of the first recipes I learned how to cook myself. I’ve changed it a little since first learning how to cook it and I think it’s even better. This healthy chicken marsala with mushrooms is a perfect fancy-ish dinner to make. I love it because it appears way fancier than it actually is and it’s so tasty, you’ll want to make sure you cook extra!
I think the first time I had chicken marsala was when I was about 22 or so, after my grandma made it for me. It was SO good and I kept wondering why she had never made it before? But after having it that first time, I would ask for it again and again. While I was living on my own at university, I decided the cravings were so real that I had to learn how to cook it myself. It’s one of the first meals I learned how to make and it holds a special place in my heart for that very reason. It’s such an easy dish to prepare and make, but it looks a lot fancier. Seriously, if I could make this at that age when I barely knew how to boil water, anyone can make this!
I’ve lightened up the original recipe just a bit by using a cashew cream instead of heavy cream. I tend to do this a lot with recipes calling for heavy cream because I never have that on hand. However, I pretty much always have cashews. So it’s an easy swap for me.
Ingredients for Gluten Free Chicken Marsala
For this healthy chicken marsala recipes, you’ll need these 10 simple ingredients.
Personally, I’m a bone-in, skin-on thigh kinda girl, but for chicken marsala, skinless and boneless chicken breast is best. I used 1 pound of chicken breast and that would serve about 3 to 4 people.
You can use onion or shallots in this recipe. You’ll need one shallot, chopped.
I’ll pretty much add garlic to anything, I prefer using fresh cloves of garlic in this recipe.
Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily that has a deep flavor. It’s used in cooking, just like in this healthy chicken marsala to create an almost nutty aroma and caramelized and rich flavor. You’ll be looking to use a dry marsala wine in this recipe.
When cooking the mushrooms and chicken for this recipe, you’ll want to use both extra virgin olive oil and ghee (or butter). This will provide LOTS of flavor and using oil in addition to the butter or ghee helps to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Because were making a cashew cream rather than using heavy cream, you’ll need some raw cashews. Make sure that you remember to soak them ahead of time to soften them. I like to soak them in just boiled water for about 30 to 45 minutes, and then blend them in a high powered blender with water to make the cream.
Fresh herbs like parsley add a nice touch to the dish and help balance the look and flavour. I usually use Italian parsley as I like that one the best.
If you’re a mushroom fan like I am, you’ll definitely want to add some sliced cremini mushrooms to the chicken marsala. Portobello mushrooms would also be a good option too.
I use almond flour for this recipe to coat the chicken breast in. It adds a nice nutty touch to the recipe and keeps the recipe gluten free.
This is the brand I use for almond flour.
Chicken broth will help to thin out the marsala sauce quite a bit, while also adding some flavour.
This is the brand I buy for chicken broth.
One Pot Meals
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How to Make Healthy Chicken Marsala
Making this one pot healthy chicken marsala is quite easy, with the whole meal coming together in about 45 minutes.
Make the Cashew Cream
The first thing you’ll want to do is make the cashew cream. If you’re using heavy cream, you can skip this step. Making cashew cream is actually really easy! Simply soak the cashews in water for at least 30 minutes (in just boiled water), rinse and drain and then blend on high with water. That’s it! Two ingredients equals one delicious dairy free cream. I use this all the time when a recipe calls for heavy cream, because I never have heavy cream on hand.
Cut the Chicken Breast
Next, you’ll want to cut your chicken breast in half horizontally if they are quite large, I did this with mine. Be sure to use a sharp knife to do this as this makes it a lot easier. Then pound the chicken breast so that it’s about 1/4-inch thick. This makes the chicken breast into a chicken cutlet (which is just a chicken breast cut in half and then pounded into an an even thickness). If you want to buy chicken cutlets you can and skip this step.
Pound the Chicken Breast
To pound the chicken breast, simply place some plastic wrap over top (or place in a plastic bag) and use a meat mallet. If you don’t have a mallet, a hammer works (just be careful!). If you use the plastic bag, go ahead and add the almond flour and salt and pepper to the bag and coat the chicken breast. Or toss on a plate or in a large bowl or baking dish.
Sear the Chicken
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add half the butter and oil. Using both ensures the butter or ghee won’t burn. Although ghee shouldn’t burn at all. Once the skillet is hot, add your coated chicken breast and sear on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes. You want a nice crust formed. Then remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
Cook the mushrooms
Add a splash more ghee and/or oil if needed and then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until some liquid is released. Then add in the shallot and cook for another minute or two. Add in the garlic and stir, cooking for about 30 seconds so you don’t burn the garlic.
Go ahead and deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and the marsala. Give that a stir, and then add in the cashew cream.
Let that simmer over medium-low until its thickened, this will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the chicken back in, cover with a lid and let it simmer over medium-low for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Top with parsley, serve and enjoy!
What to Serve with Your Healthy Chicken Marsala
Personally I love serving this saucy chicken marsala with something that will soak up the sauce too. Either smashed potatoes, mashed potatoes (or cauliflower), or even rice. A nice kale salad on the side is also a good idea (I love this one!), feel free to leave out the lentils to make it easier.
Anything goes with chicken marsala. You could also go all out and serve it with a creamy pasta too!
Substitutions for This Healthy Chicken Marsala
Feel free to substitute as needed.
Use another flour instead of almond flour: pretty much any flour will work. A gluten free flour blend works too if you need, or use spelt flour, regular flour or even buckwheat.
Use heavy cream: rather than making the cashew cream, you could use regular heavy cream instead. Or use a store bought dairy free cream instead. I wouldn’t use a coconut based one as the flavor will be too strong.
No mushrooms: if you don’t like them, skip them. Or use another type of mushroom if you like.
No shallots: use a regular yellow onion instead, but perhaps stick to about 1/4 of the onion if its large.
No ghee: use grass-fed organic butter instead. If you cannot have ghee either, you could use a vegan butter that is completely dairy-free or just use oil.
Paleo Chicken Marsala
To make sure that this healthy chicken marsala is paleo, be sure to use ghee instead of butter. The marsala of course isn’t strictly paleo, as alcohol isn’t paleo, but because it’s being cooked down, the alcohol is reduced and cooked off. It’s a personal preference whether or not to drink alcohol. But for me, I don’t follow any type of diet and I certainly wouldn’t be able to call this chicken marsala without the marsala (sorry, not sorry!).
I hope you love this healthier version of chicken marsala as much as I do. It’s definitely a comforting, rich and tasty dinner and is perfect for serving to guests, yourself or a special someone.
If you love this recipe, you’re going to want to check out my eBook which has over 50 recipes that are all one pot, delicious and EASY!
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Healthy Chicken Marsala
This easy and flavourful healthy chicken marsala with mushrooms is made in one skillet in under an hour.
- 1/3 cup cashews raw, soaked for at least 30 minutes in hot (just boiled) water
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp ghee or butter
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 8 mushrooms cremini, sliced
- 1 shallot medium sized, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup marsala wine
- 1/4 cup parsley Italian, chopped fine
Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and add to a blender along with the 1/2 cup water. Blend on high until smooth and creamy and then set aside.
Cut your chicken breast in half horizontally if they are quite large. Then pound the chicken breast with a meat mallet into about 1/4-inch thick. You can use a plastic bag or plastic wrap over top to do this. If using a plastic bag, add the almond flour and salt and pepper and coat the chicken. Alternatively, do this on a plate or in a large dish.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add half the butter and oil. Once the skillet is hot, add your coated chicken breast and sear on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes. You want a nice crust formed. Then remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
Add the remaining ghee and/or oil if needed and then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until some liquid is released. Then add in the shallot and cook for another minute or two. Add in the garlic and stir, cooking for about 30 seconds so you don't burn the garlic.
Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and the marsala. Give that a stir, and then add in the cashew cream. Let that simmer over medium-low until its thickened, this will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the chicken back in, cover with a lid and let it simmer over medium-low for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely. Top with parsley, additional salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!