Chicken Thighs Marsala for Two

chicken thighs in marsala sauce, a restaurant worthy 30 minute meal

Chicken Thighs Marsala for Two is a quick and easy one skillet meal for a romantic date night, or a casual weeknight dinner. This classic chicken recipe gives you great restaurant style flavor in a jiffy.

Chiucken Thighs in a creamy Marsala mushroom sauce

Chicken thighs marsala sounds fancy but is ready in under an hour

Most nights I’m just cooking for Grant and me, so I’m ahead of the game when it comes to dinners for two, romantic or otherwise. Simple dinner’s for two are nice because everything fits in a cast iron skillet, and it takes just a few minutes to prep and cook. We eat at 6:30 and honestly most nights I  don’t get into the kitchen until around 6. Since we watch the nightly news with dinner (not so romantic, I know) I have to get things organized by 6:30 or we’ll miss something huge, I just know it.

mushroom sauteeing for Chicken Thighs Marsala

There is 1 pan, and 3 steps to this easy chicken recipe —

  • First the chicken thighs get browned over a high heat to kick start the cooking and give them a nice golden color.
  • Then sauté the shallots, garlic and mushrooms.
  • And finally you’ll make the sauce right in the same pan and add back the chicken for a final few minutes of cooking in the oven. You can also finish if off on the stove if you like.

Crispy Chicken Thighs in a creamy Marsala mushroom sauce

Marsala sauce is an easy way to add instant elegance to simple chicken thighs.

I’ve said this a lot before, but the combination of shallots, mushrooms, garlic, cream, and Marsala wine (you can also use a dry Sherry) gives instant fancy restaurant appeal to the most basic chicken. Marsala is a fortified wine, which just means that is has a higher alcohol content than regular wine. It’s used in chicken dishes like this, and in risottos and even tiramisus. You’ll recognize the flavor instantly. Add fresh thyme and you will get rave reviews, no question.

quick dinner for two - chicken thighs marsala


Ingredient spotlight: MARSALA WINE


MARSALA is a fortified wine (it has a higher alcohol content than regular wine) from Italy that has a special affinity for any dish that features mushrooms. I love the flavor it imparts to sauces so I keep a bottle in the cupboard above the stove. Don’t buy cooking Marsala, buy a drinking grade wine, it’s not expensive and so great to have around!

More easy chicken dinner recipes

Chiucken Thighs in a creamy Marsala mushroom sauce
3.32 from 169 votes

Chicken Thighs Marsala for Two

Chicken Thighs Marsala for Two is a quick and easy one skillet meal for a romantic date night, or a casual weeknight dinner.  This classic chicken recipe gives you great restaurant style flavor in a jiffy.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American/Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 2 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 4 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb small mushrooms, I used a combination of white button and brown cremini
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine or dry Sherry
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  • fresh parsley
  • fresh thyme


  • Set oven to 375F
  • Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth. Cut off the ends of the stems, and slice them, rather thickly. You can simply cut small mushrooms in half.
  • Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat until quite hot. Brush the skin side of the thighs with a little olive oil and, when the pan is good and hot, but not smoking, brown the thighs, skin down, for about 5-10 minutes or until they have a nice brown color. Remove them to a plate.
  • Wipe out any burnt bits and add 2 Tbsp of the butter to the pan. Saute the garlic and the shallots for about 5 minutes, stirring often and being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until they start to shrink and brown.
  • Add the wine to the pan and turn up the heat and let it reduce down a bit.
  • Add the cream to the pan and mix well. Add the sprigs of thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish the sauce by stirring in the last bit of butter.
  • Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, spooning the sauce over them a bit as well.
  • Bake the thighs for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the thyme sprigs.
  • Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and/or thyme

Cook's notes

The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times since my original question, and realized I never rated it. 5 stars! Is relatively easy to make, and tastes so good!

    • Reply
      September 8, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks Peter 🙂

  • Reply
    August 27, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Making this tonight. In the ingredients you list a handful of thyme sprigs and further down you say thyme for garnish. Nowhere in the recipe do you mention when to add the thyme sprigs. I will add to the sauce before putting in the oven.

    • Reply
      August 27, 2020 at 8:16 am

      I just clarified that, you’ll add the sprigs along with the cream, and then remove them after cooking.

    • Reply
      August 28, 2020 at 8:53 am

      5 stars
      Now that I have tried it, I can rate it. This is comfort food at its best. So many good flavors going on. We did add the sprigs with the cream. Cant have too much flavor! Will be making this again.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Sue, I love this recipe because it’s relatively easy, uses thighs, and is delicious. One question for you is I don’t have a dutch oven so have been using a large skillet. When I add the chicken thighs back to finish cooking on the stove, would you recommend I put the cover on or leave it off? Thanks again. ‘

    • Reply
      November 23, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      I guess it would depend on how thick your sauce is, if it’s thin you can leave the cover off, but if it’s thicker you might want to cover or partially cover the skillet.

      • Reply
        November 23, 2019 at 4:36 pm

        Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, I have left it off some of the time so the sauce thickens up a bit. I’ll have to check out a few of your other recipes. Again thanks!

  • Reply
    Audrey Thornton
    August 21, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    I don’t have an oven yet (looooong story). How long should I cook this on the stove top? Or in the alternative, could this be adapted for a pressure cooker? Thank you!

    • Reply
      August 27, 2020 at 8:18 am

      I haven’t tried this in a pressure cooker Audrey, and for the stove top cooking I would say about 15-20 minutes, but use an instant read thermometer to be sure, the chicken should get to 165F.

  • Reply
    November 7, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I found the cooking time totally inadequate. I sauteed the thighs in the pan for 10 min., not 5. The baked in preheated oven 20 min. – they were still raw inside. 40 min. is more realistic. Also the marsala evaporated during 20 min. baking, leaving very little sauce at the end.

  • Reply
    Isela Guzman
    September 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    I dont have a skillet that can go in the oven, will it work the same if i transfer all to an oven safe dish before putting in oven?

    • Reply
      September 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      Sure, that will work.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Is it important that I use bone-in thighs with skin? I bought boneless skinless thighs before carefully reading the recipe…

    • Reply
      August 4, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Oh no, feel free to use any type of thigh, or any cut of chicken, for that matter. Your boneless skinless will work fine.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this lovely and easy chicken dish. My husband scraped the pan for any leftover sauce. We’re looking forward to making the Chicken Lemon Biryani. Really like your site too, it’s not over the top full of fluff and stuff, just right and gets down to cooking.

    • Reply
      March 18, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks for the nice comment Jann, and I’m so glad you liked the chicken. FYI the chicken biryani is one of my favorites, I think you’ll like that one too.

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