September 28, 2022


This Lighter Chicken Marsala is a macro-friendly take on my favorite Italian-American dish. It satisfies in every way! The fork-tender chicken filets are smothered in rich marsala sauce with mushrooms, perfect over a bed of buttery noodles. It's also low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, gluten-free and dairy-free! An absolutely flavorful dish that tastes even better as leftovers.

Did you know? Just 3 ounces of cooked chicken has 36% of your daily selenium needs, a mineral that’s essential for immune function, thyroid health, and fertility. (source)


Choosing the best chicken

When it comes to chicken, I look for "organic" or "free range" with "no antibiotics." This means at the minimum, the chickens were raised with "some" access to the outdoors, and that they were not administered antibiotics due to disease or dirty living conditions. "Pasture-raised" or "humane certified" are better indicators of the chicken's welfare. 

This recipe works with either chicken breasts pounded thin, or chicken tenderloins. I personally used chicken breasts and pounded them to half their original thickness (this also tenderizes the meat).


Preparing the chicken

To pound the chicken thin, you're going to want to cover it with a plastic bag or cling wrap then use a meat mallet, or the heel of your wrist to beat the breasts to half their original thickness, or about 1/4" thick. If your chicken breasts are really thick and large, cut them in half horizontally before doing this!

Next, combine gluten-free baking flour (or all purpose flour), salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss chicken pieces in flour mixture and set aside.

Finally, cook the chicken in a medium-hot skillet with avocado oil for 4-5 minutes per side (I used a timer). A lot of recipes call for olive oil, but I prefer avocado oil since it is more heat stable.


Making the marsala sauce

Once chicken is done, sauté sliced mushrooms, chopped shallots, and minced garlic in some ghee (clarified butter) or more avocado oil. Both have a buttery taste, but avocado oil is dairy-free and ghee is only lactose-free. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned in spots.

Next, add marsala cooking wine to the skillet and use your spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Marsala can be found near the cooking wines and vinegars in most grocery stores. There is no substitute for marsala here - it's literally the essence of this dish!

Once the wine is bubbling, add chicken broth and unsweetened cashew milk (or other neutral flavor milk) to the skillet, along with fresh thyme (just a pinch).

Season with more salt and pepper to taste, then let simmer for 15-20 minutes until sauce has thickened (it really does take that long!)


Serving your chicken marsala

Once the sauce has thickened, add chicken back to skillet and simmer in sauce for 2-3 minutes until heated through. The best part is, the longer the chicken sits in this sauce (even in the fridge), the more tender the chicken gets!

I really love this Lighter Chicken Marsala served over gluten-free egg noodles with some roasted green beans on the side! Simply toss fresh green beans with some avocado oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; then bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. 

This would also be super yummy with rice pilaf, risotto, polenta, or roasted potatoes and asparagus. So many options!

Here's the printable recipe for this Lighter Chicken Marsala. I hope you love it as much as our family did ;)

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