Easy Keto Chicken Marsala Recipe: A Low Carb Italian Classic

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This Creamy Keto Chicken Marsala is your low-carb answer to the classic Italian dish. With tender chicken, juicy mushrooms, and a creamy Marsala sauce, this recipe is packed with flavor and won’t leave you feeling guilty. Plus, it’s all made in one pan, so cleanup is a breeze. It’s the perfect weeknight meal for busy families!

keto chicken marsala breasts with a cream sauce in a skillet

How to make chicken marsala keto-friendly

Your classic chicken Marsala recipe is pretty keto-friendly in general. The only thing that makes it not keto-friendly is the flour typically used to coat the chicken cutlets before pan-frying. The flour helps to soak up the sauce on the exterior of the chicken. It also helps to thicken the sauce.

But this keto version is made without flour or thickeners, so although the flavors are still the same, the consistency is a little different. The result is still juicy golden chicken cutlets smothered in a lusciously rich sauce that is well seasoned and full of Marsala flavor.

If you love chicken dishes, try my Keto Chicken Stir Fry with Vegetables!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts– Thinly cut, boneless, skinless chicken cutlets are what you want.
  • Cremini mushrooms– These are staple ingredients in chicken Marsala. If you do not have these, use whatever mushrooms you like best.
  • Onions– Onions add sweetness and depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Garlic– Adds a sharp, garlicky note to the sauce that complements the sweetness of the onions.
  • Chicken broth– This is the base of your sauce and adds extra chicken flavor.
  • Thyme & parsley– Thyme and parsley go together very well, making this dish super tasty. Finish with freshly chopped parsley for a fresh touch.
  • Marsala cooking wine– This is the main flavor profile of this dish. Make sure to use a dry wine as opposed to sweet. See other wine options below.
  • Heavy whipping cream adds lots of creaminess and fat to your sauce.

seared chicken cutlets in a pan

How to Make Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala

You’ll find a step-by-step pictorial below for those who are visual. The full recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions is at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Step 1: Melt 1 TB butter and 1 TB olive oil over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper chicken breasts on each side, then sear the chicken on both sides so that it is good and brown. (Approx 4 min on each side) Remove the chicken from the skillet to a platter.

cremini mushrooms sauteeing in a skillet with onions and garlic

Step 2: Turn the heat to medium, then add the remaining butter and olive oil to the skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms, onions, and minced garlic. Sauté the mushrooms, onions, and garlic over medium heat until the mushrooms are golden brown.

sliced mushrooms in a skillet with chicken stock

Step 3: Add chicken broth and deglaze the skillet by scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. The brown bits have lots of flavors, so keep them in your pan. Add the marsala cooking wine and spices and bring to a boil.

creamy marsala sauce in skillet with mushrooms

Step 4: Add the heavy whipping cream and turn down the stove to medium. Boil for 6-10 minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce.

Tip: If you prefer a thicker sauce, follow the instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

browned chicken in a skillet with marsala cream sauce and mushrooms

Step 5: Add your seared chicken back to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees with an internal thermometer. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more chicken broth.

 

creamy keto chicken marsala in a skillet with fresh parsley on top

Step 6: Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve warm as is or over the top steamed cauliflower rice.

Top Tips for Making this Low-Carb Chicken Marsala Recipe

Use a hot skillet: A hot skillet will help the chicken cook evenly and quickly, preventing it from drying out or becoming rubbery.
Be patient when searing the chicken: Don’t rush the searing process. Let the chicken cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.
Don’t overcook the mushrooms: Overcooked mushrooms can become rubbery and lose their flavor. Cook them just until they are tender and slightly browned.
Taste the sauce as you go: Adjust the seasonings to your liking. You may want to add more salt, pepper, or herbs.

“What kind of chicken should I use?”

Thinly sliced chicken cutlets are the best kind for chicken marsala. You want to be able to cook your chicken through using a saute pan. To do this, you need to make sure you are not using those humongous chicken breasts they tend to sell. Larger, thick chicken breasts are great for baking or stuffing. They are not ideal for browning quickly in a skillet.

If you only have thicker chicken breasts, you can do one of two things to thin them out:

Option 1: Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of your chicken breasts and use a meat mallet to pound your breasts until they are about 1/4″ thick. You can also do this inside of a plastic baggie. Just make sure to keep the bag open, or you’ll pop the bag. Using plastic wrap (or a zip-lock bag) is a sanitary thing. It keeps those nasty chicken juices from flying everywhere.

Option 2: Slice your thick chicken breasts in half lengthwise. If they are still pretty thick after slicing, you can move to option 1 to thin them out even more.

easy chicken marsala over top of cauliflower rice on a plate

How to choose Cremini Mushrooms for Keto Chicken Marsala

When selecting cremini mushrooms, choosing firm, dry mushrooms with tightly closed caps is important. Avoid any mushrooms that appear mushy, wrinkled, or have dark spots.

Cremini mushrooms have a deep brown cap and a rich, earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce. The darker the gills, the more intense the flavor.

Where can I find Marsala wine?

I used Marsala cooking wine in this recipe. Marsala wine is a brandy fortified wine that is like sherry. It can be sweet or dry. You can find marsala wine in your local wine and spirits. They also sell Marsala cooking wine in grocery stores, usually in the vinegar aisle. That kind is made without alcohol.

“I do not have Marsala wine. What can I use?”

Marsala wine or Marsala cooking wine is what makes this chicken dish Marsala chicken, so I don’t recommend leaving it out.

BUT if you do not have marsala wine or the Marsala cooking wine at home, you can use one of these replacements.

  • sherry wine/vinegar
  • white wine/vinegar
  • Madeira wine

The flavor won’t be the same, but it will still taste delicious.

Is Marsala wine keto-friendly?

Marsala cooking wine is about 4g of net carbs per serving. Remember, as with any wine, there is always some sugar involved. Since we use just 1/4 cup in this recipe, it equates to minimal carbs. But if you are following a strict keto diet, may I suggest you use sherry vinegar instead of wine?

How to make sure the chicken is cooked through without overcooking

  • Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken’s doneness. Insert into the thickest part, avoiding bone or cartilage. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) for food safety.
  • Resting: Let cooked chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. This redistributes juices for moist, tender chicken.
  • Visual Cues: Cooked chicken will have a white, opaque appearance and lose its pink color in the center. The juices should run clear, not pink.

How can I make my Keto Chicken Marsala sauce thicker?

If you find that your Keto Chicken Marsala sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by adding a small amount of xanthan gum, a low-carb thickener. Detailed instructions are in the recipe card.

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this easy Chicken Marsala keto recipe ahead of time and reheat it later. Cook the chicken and sauce according to the recipe, then allow it to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the chicken and sauce in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.

What to serve with this dish

I love serving a saucy meal over top of steamed cauliflower rice. Other sides you can serve with this are:

Other keto chicken recipes:

keto Chicken Marsala in a skillet
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4.69 from 29 votes

Creamy Keto Chicken Marsala

This Creamy Keto Chicken Marsala recipe is a low-carb version of the traditional Italian dish. It is made in one pan using thinly sliced chicken breasts and mushrooms in a rich and creamy Marsala sauce.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, casual, Italian
Keyword: Keto Chicken Marsala
Servings: 4
Calories: 379kcal
Author: Kasey Trenum

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Before you start cooking, it's important to pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. This will remove any excess moisture that could prevent the chicken from searing properly and result in a pale, soggy appearance.
  • Once the chicken breasts are dry, generously season them with salt and pepper on both sides. This will enhance the flavor of the chicken and add depth to the dish.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. The butter will add richness to the sauce, while the olive oil will help the chicken sear evenly.
  • Once the butter and olive oil are hot, carefully place the chicken breasts in the skillet. Don't overcrowd the pan, as this will prevent the chicken from cooking evenly. Cook the chicken breasts for 4 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set them aside on a plate
    * Don't move the chicken breasts around too much while they are searing. This will disturb the sear and prevent it from forming properly.
  • After searing the chicken breasts, turn down the heat to medium. This will prevent the onions and mushrooms from burning before they have a chance to soften. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. The additional fat will help to sauté the onions and mushrooms evenly and prevent them from sticking to the pan.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms, onions, and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté them over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are golden brown and the onions are softened. Stir the vegetables occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  • Once the mushrooms, onions, and garlic are cooked, it's time to deglaze the skillet. This means using a liquid to dissolve the browned bits of food that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. These browned bits contain a lot of flavor, so it's important to incorporate them into the sauce.
    Pour in the chicken broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan, dislodging the browned bits. Continue scraping until the browned bits have dissolved into the broth.
  • After adding the Marsala cooking wine and spices, pour in the ¾ cup of heavy whipping cream. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. The Marsala wine will add a rich, nutty flavor to the sauce, while the dried thyme will add an earthy aroma.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and let the sauce simmer for 6-10 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken and reduce, resulting in a richer and more flavorful sauce.
    ***See note in the last step if you prefer a thicker sauce.
  • Add your browned chicken back to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken is done. To ensure that the chicken is cooked through, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C)
  • If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add more chicken broth. Simply add a tablespoon of chicken broth at a time, stirring until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is to your liking, garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve the Keto Chicken Marsala on its own, with a salad, or over steamed cauliflower rice.
  • ****If you prefer a thicker sauce, follow the instructions below instead of steps 7 and 8.
    If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can use xanthan gum, a natural thickener that will not affect the flavor of the sauce. To do this, follow steps 7 and 8, then:
    Remove 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the pan and place it in a small bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum to the sauce in the small bowl and whisk until combined. Return the thickened sauce to the pan along with the browned chicken.
  • Simmer the sauce on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
    To ensure the chicken is cooked through, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) for food safety.

Video

Notes

If you have thicker chicken breasts, you can slice them in half lengthwise or pound them using a meat mallet until they are about 1/4" thick. You would need two regular-sized chicken breasts for this recipe if you cut them in half. 
If you do not have marsala wine or marsala cooking wine, you can use one of the following. (The taste will not be the same, but it will be delicious either way.)
  • sherry wine/vinegar*
  • white wine/vinegar*
  • Madeira wine
*Use if you are following a strict keto diet and do not want the added sugars from wine.

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1019IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @kaseytrenumblogger or tag #kaseytrenumblogger!

collage image of chicken marsala in a skillet and plated

14 Comments

    1. It is per serving. The number of servings is listed at the top of the recipe card and I divide it evenly by that number.

  1. I just made this tonight!
    Such a delish recipe. I did not add onions but followed everything else. I used Xantham gum in mine bc I like my sauce thick. I added a little extra to the sauce and it came out perfectly. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. 5 stars
    I am an experienced cook and have made classic Chicken Marsala several times. My husband and I are doing keto right now, so I tried this recipe tonight. It was delicious, with all of the traditional flavors. I used the Xantham Gum recipe, but the sauce was a little thinner than I prefer. However, I did not reduce my rating, as the flavor was all there! Fantastic!!

    1. Fantastic. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Next time, feel free to add a bit more xantham gum and just let it sit for about 10 min. You have to be careful not to add too much or it will taste slimy.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for another wonderful recipe! I made this tonight for dinner and hubby and I both enjoyed it! I used a Marsala cooking wine. I served it with a keto caprese salad.

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