Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala Recipe Copycat

As someone who appreciates a delightful dish, I’ve always been captivated by the rich flavors of Chicken Marsala. The Cheesecake Factory has mastered this classic Italian-American entrée, known for its perfectly pan-seared chicken and a luscious mushroom wine sauce. Their rendition of Chicken Marsala pairs succulent chicken cutlets with a savory Marsala wine reduction, elevated by the earthy taste of mushrooms, a complement that truly makes the dish shine.

Crafting the Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala at home allows me to bring a slice of the restaurant’s culinary finesse into my own kitchen. The key to replicating their success, I’ve found, lies in the quality of ingredients and the precise cooking techniques. Starting with tender chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness for uniform cooking, and culminating in the richly flavored sauce where Marsala wine plays the starring role, each step is crucial for achieving the desired depth and balance of flavors.

The process might involve multiple components—coating the chicken in seasoned flour, achieving a golden-brown sear, and simmering the mushrooms and wine to create a robust sauce—but the end result is a gratifying dish worth every moment spent. It’s about creating that harmony between the juicy chicken, the complexity of the wine, and the umami from the mushrooms, a harmony that the Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala recipe embodies with elegance.

Required Ingredients

For a sumptuous Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala, selecting quality ingredients is paramount. The list below details the specific types of ingredients needed, ensuring each component contributes to the authentic flavor and texture of the dish.

Chicken and Mushroom Selection

  • Chicken Cutlets: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise to make 8 cutlets.
  • Earthy Mushrooms: 8 ounces of brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced.

Wines and Broths

  • Dry Marsala Wine: 1 cup, chosen for its rich, smoky flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: 1/2 cup, which can be substituted with chicken stock for added depth.

Dairy and Oil Products

  • Heavy Cream: 1/4 cup to enrich the Marsala sauce.
  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons for pan-frying the chicken to golden perfection.

Seasonings and Flours

  • All-Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup for dredging the chicken, giving it a light crust.
  • Fresh Thyme: 1 tablespoon, finely chopped, to infuse the dish with its lemony, slightly floral taste.
  • Fresh Parsley: 2 tablespoons, chopped, for garnishing and adding a fresh, herbaceous note.

Note that these simple ingredients come together to create a complex and delightful dish, highlighting the importance of quality and preparation.

Kitchen Tools Needed

To expertly prepare the Cheesecake Factory chicken marsala recipe, I need to ensure that my kitchen is equipped with the right tools. Ensuring I have the proper cookware and utensils will facilitate a smoother cooking process and result in a dish that mirrors restaurant quality.


  • Large Skillet: A large skillet is indispensable for this recipe. I will use it to cook the chicken to golden perfection and to simmer the marsala sauce to the right consistency.
  • Shallow Bowl: I’ll need a shallow bowl for dredging the chicken in flour, which is key to achieving that desirable golden crust.


  • Wooden Spoon: A wooden spoon is my go-to for stirring the ingredients and making sure they are well combined without scratching the skillet.
  • Plastic Wrap: I’ll use plastic wrap to cover the chicken breasts when flattening them to the desired thickness, which helps in avoiding any messes and keeps the chicken tender.

Preparation Basics

A sizzling pan of golden-brown chicken marsala simmering in a rich, savory sauce, surrounded by fresh herbs and spices on a clean, well-lit kitchen counter

In crafting the Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Marsala, I focus on meticulous chicken preparation and the harmonious blending of mushrooms with the Marsala sauce. It’s essential to achieve the perfect sear on the chicken and balance the sauce’s flavors for a truly authentic dish.

Chicken Preparation

To begin, I make sure my chicken breasts are thinly sliced and pounded even to ensure uniform cooking. Seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper right before dredging in flour allows for a well-coated cutlet, important for achieving that golden brown finish. It’s crucial to shake off any excess flour; too much can lead to a burnt exterior or clumpy sauce. I heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil, and once hot, cook the chicken until golden on each side. After this, I set the chicken aside, keeping it warm.

Mushroom and Sauce Prep

Next, I address the mushrooms and sauce. Here’s my step-by-step process:

  1. Add sliced, fresh mushrooms to the same pan and sauté over medium heat.

    • Cook until they’re nicely browned and any excess liquid has evaporated.
  2. Deglaze the hot pan with Marsala wine, letting it bubble for a few seconds over medium-high heat to cook off alcohol.

  3. Stir in chicken broth and cream, scrapping up any flavorful bits.

    • Simmer until the delightful sauce thickens and achieves a nice velvety consistency.

By following these steps, we create a Chicken Marsala that both looks and tastes as it should, with careful attention to the heat levels and the balance of ingredients.

Cooking Procedure

In my experience of recreating the Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala, I’ve found that precision in timing and careful layering of flavors are crucial. The following steps will guide you through browning the chicken effectively, creating a deeply savory marsala wine sauce, and simmering the dish to a perfect creamy finish.

Browning the Chicken

To start, I heat olive oil and a tablespoon of organic butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. I then season the chicken breasts with a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper before placing them in the pan. I’ve found that cooking the chicken for about 3-4 minutes on each side will give it a nice golden color. After browning, I remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside; this makes room for the mushrooms to cook in the same flavorful fat.

Creating the Marsala Sauce

I then add another couple of tablespoons of butter to the same skillet, along with the mushrooms. The mushrooms should take about 4-5 minutes to become beautifully browned and to release their moisture. This is when I pour in the Marsala wine, allowing it to boil for roughly 2-3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol, which creates a base for the flavorful marsala wine sauce. At this point, I might decide to add a bit of cream to transform the concoction into a creamy mushroom marsala sauce that’s rich and decadent.

Simmering and Finalizing

Once the sauce base is ready and the mushrooms are tender, I return the chicken to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. It’s crucial to let everything simmer together gently. This simmering phase, which takes about 3-4 minutes, not only ensures the chicken is cooked through but also allows it to soak up the creamy sauce, marrying the flavors and achieving that characteristic Cheesecake Factory taste. The result is a dish with a savory, creamy sauce that’s both comforting and elegant.

Serving and Garnishing

A plate of chicken marsala sits on a white table, garnished with fresh herbs and a side of creamy mashed potatoes

When presenting my Chicken Marsala, I make sure that both the taste and the presentation meet the highest standards, especially if it’s for a special occasion like a dinner with guests or date night. It’s essential to pair it with the right side dishes and garnishing to truly elevate this gourmet dish.

Dish Pairings

  • Pasta Da Vinci: Incorporating a serving of Pasta Da Vinci adds a rich and creamy texture that complies splendidly with Chicken Marsala’s flavors.
  • Mashed Potatoes: A side of fluffy mashed potatoes is the perfect vehicle for the Marsala sauce, offering a comforting and hearty addition.
  • Egg Noodles: These pair well with the Marsala sauce, as their lightness balances the richness of the dish.
  • Green Beans: For a healthier option, green beans provide a crispy contrast to the tender chicken and enhances the color palette on the plate.

Garnish Recommendations

Type of GarnishFunction
ProsciuttoAdds saltiness and depth
ParsleyOffers a fresh, herbal touch
  • After serving my Chicken Marsala on the plate, I sprinkle it with finely chopped fresh parsley to add a splash of color that pleases the taste buds.
  • If there are leftovers, I ensure they’re stored in an airtight container to keep the dish’s integrity and flavors intact for the next serving.

Storage and Leftovers

When I prepare Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala, ensuring the leftovers are stored correctly is crucial for maintaining both safety and flavor. Here’s how I handle them:

After the meal, I let the cooked chicken cool to room temperature before storing. It’s vital not to leave it out for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.

The leftover Marsala sauce should be transferred to a separate container if possible. I find that keeping the sauce separate from the chicken helps preserve the consistency and taste.

I always use an airtight container for storing both the chicken and sauce. This helps in keeping the leftovers fresh and prevents the absorption of other flavors from the refrigerator.

Here’s my quick guide to storing leftovers:

  1. Cooling Down: Let chicken and sauce cool separately but not exceed two hours at room temperature.
  2. Separating: Place the chicken and sauce in separate airtight containers.
  3. Refrigeration: Refrigerate immediately. The chicken and sauce keep well for up to three to four days.

Reheating Tips:

  • Reheat the chicken in a preheated oven at 350°F until thoroughly warmed through.
  • Warm the sauce over low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally. If the sauce has thickened too much in the fridge, I often add a splash of chicken broth while reheating to thin it out.

By following these steps, I ensure my Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala leftovers are just as delicious the second time around.

Variations and Substitutions

When preparing Chicken Marsala, I understand that you might want to tailor the recipe to suit dietary needs or to work with what you have on hand. Here are some specific tweaks and replacements that can be made without compromising the essence of the dish.

Dietary Adjustments

For those adhering to gluten-free diets, I often recommend using a gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch as a thickener in place of all-purpose flour. If you’re looking to lower the fat content, consider substituting heavy cream with half-and-half or a whole milk alternative. When I aim for a dairy-free version, I opt for almond or coconut milk. For a vegetarian twist, the chicken can be swapped for thick slices of portobello mushrooms, a great meat alternative that absorbes the rich flavors of the sauce beautifully.

Alcohol Alternatives

The Marsala wine is a hallmark of this dish, lending it the signature flavor. However, if I’m out of Marsala or prefer not to use alcohol, I find that Madeira wine is an excellent substitute, being a similarly complex and richly-flavored fortified wine. For those who avoid alcohol altogether, a combination of red wine vinegar and grape juice provides a good balance of sweetness and acidity.

In situations where I want to mimic the depth that Marsala brings without any wine, I use a non-alcoholic brandy-fortified wine or even a white wine with a boost from extra seasonings like onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch more of salt, which I find can emulate some of the savory notes. For every cup of Marsala, I use ¾ cup grape juice with a tablespoon of vinegar. This comes quite close in a pinch.

Additional Tips

When preparing Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala, achieving a rich and incredible flavor begins with the quality of your ingredients. I recommend using a well-marbled juicy chicken breast for tenderness. It’s vital to follow the recipe closely, especially when working with new recipes for the first time.

  • Seasoning: Before cooking, ensure that the chicken breast is evenly coated in a seasoned flour mixture. This not only adds flavor but helps create a desirable texture on the chicken.
  • Cooking Time: Patience is key. Cooking the chicken just right ensures the best results—too little time and it won’t be safe to eat, too long and it’ll dry out.
  • Marsala Wine: The choice of Marsala wine significantly contributes to the flavor of the dish. Opt for a quality brand for a deeper flavor profile.

To complement the dish, I often serve it with a side of al dente green beans to add freshness and balance. Here’s a quick way to prepare them:

  1. Blanch the green beans in salted boiling water until they’re bright green.
  2. Immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  3. Sauté with garlic and a pinch of salt before serving.

Remember, great cooking is about experimentation and adaptation to your personal taste. Don’t be afraid to adjust the cooking time or seasoning to achieve the meal that’s perfect for you.

Health and Nutrition

When I prepare the Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala at home, I pay special attention to the health and nutritional aspects of the dish. Chicken Marsala traditionally includes chicken breasts, mushrooms, Marsala wine, and sometimes heavy cream. Below is a simplified nutritional breakdown of the main components that I use:

  • Chicken Breast: A lean source of protein that helps with muscle repair and maintenance.
  • Mushrooms: Low in calories and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Marsala Wine: Used in moderation, contributes flavor; however, the alcohol content is evaporated during cooking.
  • Heavy Cream: Adds richness but also calories and fat; can be substituted with lighter options.

To make a healthier version, I often substitute heavy cream with Greek yogurt or light cream, which significantly lowers the fat content. Also, I ensure that I employ healthy cooking techniques such as sautéing the ingredients in olive oil instead of butter.

Here’s a quick view of the key nutrients found in a serving of my version of Chicken Marsala:

NutrientApproximate Value
Dietary Fiber1-2g

Remember that individual ingredients can vary in their nutritional content, and portions play a significant role in the overall healthiness of the meal. When crafting this dish, I’m mindful of the portion sizes and the balance of nutrients to ensure that it fits within a well-rounded diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I cover some of the most commonly posed questions about replicating Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Marsala and its culinary particulars.

How do I replicate the Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala at home?

To recreate the Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Marsala, you’ll need to sauté mushrooms until browned, deglaze your pan with Marsala wine, and simmer with chicken stock to develop the characteristic rich flavors of the dish.

What are the nutritional details of the Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala?

The original Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala is a hearty dish. Nutritional details vary but it typically contains a significant amount of calories, fat, and protein, primarily from the wine-infused cream sauce and pan-fried chicken.

Can I use a different wine in place of Marsala for the Chicken Marsala recipe?

Yes, while Marsala wine imparts a unique flavor, you may substitute it with a different wine like Madeira if necessary. However, this will alter the taste and will no longer be a classic Chicken Marsala.

Is there a distinct difference between Chicken Marsala and Chicken Madeira?

Yes, Chicken Marsala and Chicken Madeira are distinct. The main difference lies in the wine used—as the names suggest, Chicken Marsala uses Marsala wine, while Chicken Madeira is made with Madeira wine, resulting in differing flavor profiles.

What dish is comparable to the Cheesecake Factory Chicken Marsala at Spaghetti Factory?

The closest counterpart to the Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Marsala at Spaghetti Factory would be their Chicken Marsala, featuring a similar wine-infused sauce with mushrooms paired with chicken.

How does Chicken Piccata differ from Chicken Marsala at Cheesecake Factory?

Chicken Piccata is different from Chicken Marsala. The former is typically made with a lighter sauce based on lemon and capers, offering a tangy profile, whereas Chicken Marsala has a richer, more robust sauce flavored with mushrooms and Marsala wine.

Chicken Marsala inspired by The Cheesecake Factory

Recipe by kitcheneasylifeCourse: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Prepare to impress your taste buds and elevate your dining experience with this Cheesecake Factory-inspired Chicken Marsala recipe!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • All-purpose flour, for dredging

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini or button mushrooms work well)

  • 1 cup Marsala wine

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)


  • Begin by seasoning both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dredge them lightly in flour, shaking off any excess.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the remaining butter and olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they are golden brown and tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Pour in the Marsala wine and chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce by half, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and return the chicken breasts to the skillet, simmering gently until the sauce thickens slightly and the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and serve hot.


  • Pair this indulgent Chicken Marsala with your favorite pasta or mashed potatoes for a complete meal that rivals any restaurant experience!

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