Chicken in Creamy Mustard Marsala Sauce

by Andie Mitchell on December 6, 2010

Ahhh to be home.

It smells like only home can. Sweet and buttery, like Eau de Paula Deen, I imagine.

It feels familiar, comfortable, and nostalgic. The floorboards sigh and squeal at just the same coordinates they did as I used to tip-toe in at 1am. My adolescent face is gracing just about every wallspace. Unfortunately.

My mother has her Christmas decorations so beautifully and elaborately strewn that Santa is calling Martha Stewart and together they’re devising a plan to up their holiday game next year. I wish them the best.

My bedroom is still fit for a queen. Mixed CD’s are still stacked on the shelves in my closet. Sequins and tulle are [apparently] time-honored classic textured fabrics. Titanic memorabilia abounds, much like all the remnants of my years-ago fascination with eBay.


The cupboards are adequately stocked for my homecoming…with peanut butter, baking ingredients, and five tubs of marshmallow fluff. I come with a rider.

The dinner table is clothed in red linen… green embroidered silk place mats adorn each setting… the gold glittered centerpiece is lit…

And my big, beautiful and ever-hungry family is seated around it, as always…

waiting for me to make dinner.

I shout “Take out!”

They shout “Tie your apron!”

And so…

I do what I do best.


And then I cook.

And I feel so good taking care of them, making meals, packing wholesome lunches, baking dessert from scratch. It’s how I show love. It’s how I give and nurture and lose my marbles…one meal at a time.

This dish is one that I absolutely love. Probably my favorite chicken dish to prepare, and my among my top three to eat. The sauce is rich, silky, and so deeply and intensely flavored that you lick your fork tines repeatedly for fear you might have missed a stray slick of mascarpone-marsala sauce. It’s sweet from reduced wine, sharp and savory from sauteed garlic and dijon mustard, and velvety from the thick, creamy mascarpone cheese. And the best part is that it’s so very easy.

I used leftover cooked chicken breast from two roasted whole birds I had made earlier in the day, and added it to the creamy sauce to heat through. I simply pulled the breasts from the bone and chopped them up to make this meal, but you can absolutely use fresh boneless chicken breast and saute them in the pan. To do that, you want to begin with uniformly thin chicken cutlets- so it’s best to pound the meat under a sheet of plastic wrap with a meat mallet or any heavy blunt object, and get them to about a third of an inch in thickness. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and then add them to a large saute pan (the same one you’ll make the sauce in) set over medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Cook them for about 4 minutes per side (they’ll cook quickly if they’re thin enough). When they’re browned on both sides, remove them to a plate and make the sauce as I have below. While the sauce is beginning to simmer, after all ingredients, except for chicken, have been added, slice the cooked chicken cutlets into thin strips and then add those along with any juices that may have collected on the plate back to the pan and stir to combine well with the sauce. Let the whole mixture cook together for about 4 minutes to blend.

Here is how to make the sauce:

Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pan set over medium heat.

Add a quarter cup finely chopped onion and saute for a few minutes, just until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add mushrooms and stir. Let them cook for about 2 minutes.

Add minced garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Slowly stream in marsala wine, stirring to combine.

Bring the pan up to a simmer.

Add dijon mustard and stir.

Now add 1/3 cup (about 6 tablespoons) of mascarpone cheese. Stir to blend well. Add chopped, cooked chicken or turkey and stir to coat in the sauce.

Keep the pan on the burner for two to three minutes more, just to allow the sauce to thicken and become glossy.

Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

(recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

(serves 4)

1 lb leftover cooked chicken or turkey breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 cup Marsala wine

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Add wine and bring mixture to a simmer for a few minutes until slightly reduced. Stir in dijon mustard. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until it has melted and the sauce is well blended.  Add the cooked, chopped turkey or chicken breast.  Stir to combine all ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes so that the meat has warmed through.

Stir in fresh parsley and serve.


Each serving is just under 300 calories with 17 grams of fat.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Heather's Dish) December 6, 2010 at 7:27 am

this is one of my hubby’s favorite dishes…he’ll DIE if i make it for him!


To Kiss the Cook December 6, 2010 at 7:36 am

Andrea…this looks too good. I am now facing an insurmountable craving at 9:30AM.


Can You Stay for Dinner December 6, 2010 at 7:38 am

Yay! Thanks my dear!!


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman December 6, 2010 at 7:48 am

I LOVE chicken marsala. But this sounds even better with mustard and mascarpone.


Tes December 6, 2010 at 7:59 am

I love the idea of adding mastard to chicken masala. It sounds so interesting and delicious :)


Cindy December 6, 2010 at 8:33 am

oh, I just caught that this was adapted from a Giada recipe.

SHEW, I was about to say, that after looking at your pictures that I was having Giada Marsala Chicken withdrawl. I was trying to figure out where I put her cookbook…was it in my box, the pantry or the safe.

I adore her cooking. and now you’ve gone and made a giada esque dinner that now I have to go and roast a chicken, and go find some marsala (gasp….illegal I know) but I am out and sadly I will need to go the store before the ink on the paper I just printed dries.



Leah @ Why Deprive? December 6, 2010 at 10:26 am

No surprise, but this looks incredible.

I love your stories. You are SUCh a good writer Andrea.


Can You Stay for Dinner December 6, 2010 at 10:34 am

Thank you so very much Leah!!!


Lu December 6, 2010 at 11:55 am

That looks amazingly good. I’m not a huge fan of Marsala, but this is screaming try me, try me. I love Giada! I also love that this recipe has less than 300 calories. Priorities.


patridew December 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Another great post, another great recipe and another reason why I keep coming here.


Nicole December 6, 2010 at 6:02 pm

When are you going to write a book? That sentence about Santa Claus and Martha devising a plan on how to do better next year? Literary genius that made me laugh out loud. You definitely have your very own cookbook in your future!


thecompletecookbook December 6, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Oh yummy, yummy, yummy. This falls into the comfort food category for me. What a lovely recipe.
:- ) Mandy


M.J. Jacobsen December 6, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Great post Andrea! Have fun at home, sounds very relaxing. :) I want to make this this weekend, my guinea pigs AKA our BFF’s are coming over, we will all like this!


Devaki @ weavethousandflavors December 7, 2010 at 8:01 am

Very very clever! use of mascarpone and left over white meat with marsala. Delish….and the brussel sprouts to go with, yummy!

Hope you are well, Andrea :)

Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors


Sagan December 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Oh wow. Yum! This looks amazing!

I love what mushrooms do in a dish.


Stephanie @cookinfanatic December 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I have yet to cook with mascarpone but definitely need to try to soon bc it’s so delicious! This recipe looks great, love mushrooms plus chicken!


Eric March 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Have you ever made this without the mascarpone? Ive never used it before and seems like an awful waste to buy it just for 1/3 of a cup.


Can You Stay for Dinner March 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hi Eric! No, I’ve never made it without mascarpone. But I think you just need something comparable- either cream cheese (same amount) or heavy cream? Let me know how it goes if you try it!


Stacy September 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I made this tonight and it was amazing! Your recipes are making “dieting” so much easier! Looking forward to your cook book.


Samantha April 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Thank You!!! Your website is amazing!!!


Nadine August 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I made this lastnight! It was the most delicious things iv made! Thank you! How do I pin to pinterest?


Claire Martin February 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

I always always substitute cream based dishes with low fat creme fraiche – its amazing to cook with, keeps for longer and is low in fat! Just be careful when adding to hot sauces or high fat sauces, it can curdle – secret is to add it bit by bit. Lovely!

I’ve just discovered your AMAZING website and I can see my productivity at work going down considerably! Like you I am OBSESSED with cooking – much to my rugby playing hubby-to-be’s delight! I also don’t think cup measurements are used enough here in the UK – they are so easy, especially for a cook like me who just likes to bung stuff in!


teachermrw April 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Just made this today. Absolutely delicious! One thing though: I thought the sauce could have been a bit thicker. What would help this? Flour? Cornstarch?


Erin May 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm

the pictures are not showing up for me on some of your older posts. Just wanted to let you know!!


Stephen August 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

I am planning a dinner party for 14 and one of the dishes will be Giada’s original recipe for Chicken w/ Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce. My only change is I use Madeira instead of the Marsala because I feel the flavor holds up better. My question is since I am planning on serving another dish as we’ll, I want to make it the day before then reheat for service. I am worried that the sauce may break. What should I do to help prevent this.


Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: