Food Substitute

What Can Be Used As A Substitute For Marsala Wine In Chicken Marsala Recipe?

Marsala wine is one of the key ingredients to make the classic chicken Marsala a staple in Italian-American cuisine.

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website,, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

But what if you don’t have Marsala wine on hand, what can be used instead without changing the flavor or texture of the dish.

Don’t worry, in this article, we are going to provide you with Marsala wine substitutes that can work well in your chicken Marsala recipe.

Let’s check it out!

What is Chicken Marsala?

[amazon fields=”B07RS4XQJM” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Chicken Marsala is a classic dish in Italian-American cuisine.

The dish consists of chicken breast cooked in a Marsala sauce.

Chicken breast is often coated with a thin layer of seasoned flour, then pan-fried so that it is slightly cooked and golden on the outside.

The Marsala sauce typically includes Marsala wine, mushrooms, and heavy cream.

Marsala wine is a versatile kind of fortified wine in Italy that can be ideal for both drinking and cooking.

It is one of the key ingredients in the chicken Marsala recipe that elevates this dish to a whole new level.

Marsala wine provides a balanced taste with a hint of sweetness, sourness, and alcohol.

Normally, the recipe calls for dry Marsala wine instead of the sweet counterpart, but using sweet Marsala will be just fine.

Chicken Marsala is typically served in restaurants, but with these easy-to-find ingredients, this dish is not hard to make at home though.

Can you substitute Marsala wine in cooking recipes?

Although Marsala is a key ingredient to resulting in a special taste of the classic chicken Marsala, it can be substituted with other alcoholic beverages without any fuss.

To know what kind of wine or other liquids can be used in place of Marsala wine in the chicken Marsala recipe, keep reading to figure out.

What can you substitute for Marsala wine in the Chicken Marsala recipe?

There are actually many options to substitute for Marsala wine.

With the following list of alternative ingredients, you will never have to worry about not being able to find Marsala wine to make the best chicken Marsala.

1. Madeira wine

[amazon fields=”B08BTN8BD5″ value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Madeira wine is our highly recommended substitute for Marsala wine.

It is also a kind of fortified wine but comes from Portugal instead of Italy.

Madeira wine can be dry or sweet, so it’s up to you to choose your favorite kind for the Chicken Marsala recipe.

Madeira wine is also mainly made from different grape varieties.

Therefore, you can taste the fruity flavor from this beverage the same way as from Marsala wine.

2. Port wine

[amazon fields=”B0016H965Q” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Despite a sweeter taste, port wine can also be used as a great substitute for Marsala wine.

It is perfectly suitable for people who prefer a sweet side for their chicken Marsala dish.

Pork wine can come in different flavors, such as bitter, nutty, and berry-like.

There are also different kinds of port wine, from sweet, semi-dry, to a dry version.

If you want to replicate the flavor of the traditional chicken Marsala, choosing dry port wine will be a better idea.

3. Dry sherry

[amazon fields=”B000YMBJUY” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Another option for Marsala wine alternative is dry sherry.

There is no need to use the cooking dry sherry as it is often packed with high sodium content.

You can directly add regular drinking dry sherry to your chicken Marsala recipe.

4. Grape juice with brandy

[amazon fields=”B07N974NPQ” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

You can also create a mixture of white grape juice with brandy or cognac to replicate Marsala wine in the Chicken Marsala recipe.

The ratio should be one cup of white grape juice with one teaspoon of brandy or cognac.

5. Red wine vinegar

[amazon fields=”B005AYB38O” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine.

This results in a liquid that has a sweet and sour taste and can resemble the taste of Marsala wine and works the same way in the Chicken Marsala recipe.

Red wine vinegar also tends to be more affordable and available than Marsala wine.

6. Chicken stock

[amazon fields=”B009S4PK7C” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

In case there are no alcoholic beverages to substitute for Marsala wine, you can even use chicken stock.

It is best to opt for homemade chicken stock, but you can use canned chicken stock as well to season your Chicken Marsala.

Using chicken stock in place of Marsala wine will result in a more savory and richer taste, but lacks the sourness so a squeeze of lemon juice might work.

The bottom line

The key to a good chicken Marsala is the right balance of flavors and textures.

And while some people may not have had much experience with wine, it doesn’t mean you can’t make this delicious dish without Marsala wine.

In fact, we went ahead and found five great substitutes for those who don’t like or have to find something to replace the traditional Marsala wine in their recipe, so be sure to check all of them out.

Hope you can have the best Marsala chicken every time trying these Marsala wine substitutes.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
Back to top button